Been doing and going and being very busy. Always gluten-free. As long as it is my choice.
Recently several of my gluten-free clan have had an infiltration of wheat gluten. The youngest grandchild was given goldfish crackers, accidentally. The child care staff had some newbies. The typical apology, with follow-up of observation of he did not get sick right away, maybe it will be ok, this time, comment was given to his mom. Then, just a week later, he stole some goldfish from another child at snack time. He found out those gold-fish taste way better than the raisins all the gf kids get while the others get their exceptionally good snacks. Another grandchild has had a flare up with his psoriasis, he recently started kindergarten, and the family went on a mini vacation and of course ate out for 3 days, so there is no telling where he ingested wheat. Keith and I both had wheat somewhere sometime, either fries coated with something, or the chili verde at the new Mexican restaurant, that looked a bit thick. Or something at Johnny Carino’s really wasn’t gluten-free. The 3 weeks of indigestion and frequent bathroom trips are just starting to slow down. I went into Evans apartment a month ago and found him eating Pringles potato chips, and showed him the content list with wheat gluten on the back of the canister. He had not thought to look on chips, and I had not told him Pringles are forever off-limits. He has been a grump and ‘slow’, for weeks and now I know why.
Thank God, we don’t drop dead when we ingest wheat, like those who are allergic to peanuts could when they breathe peanut butter fumes. We would all be dead and buried a long time ago. When wheat does pass our lips per accident of the server, and we catch them, we always get the typical apology and then” well you didn’t die so it mustn’t be that bad” kind of response. They just don’t get that it sets off a chain reaction that begins in a few days and lasts for weeks, if not months, and it is not just a stomach ache. Yes, many of us will have stomach (bowel) issues, sometimes before we can even leave the restaurant, but there is soooo much more. Our immune systems begins to attack the body, to rid itself of this poison that has entered it. Migraines, joint pain, fibromyaliga flares, psoriasis (grandsons went from an itch to a bleeding sore in just a week) Addictive cravings for wheat, just as a recovered alcoholic would have if you slipped him some alcohol. ADD/ADHD. Sleeplessness. Night terrors. Muscle cramps. diarrhea, constipation, acne flare up, asthma, indigestion, skin rashes, more susceptible to infections. The ingestion of wheat causes a reaction that leads to another that leads to another.
t distressing to say, but, I don’t think I have been totally wheat free for more than 6 months, due to some ‘mess up’, either of my own, or some bonehead in a restaurant. This is frustrating, to say the least. The mistakes I make have been from not reading a label thoroughly, or from having a tried and true gluten free item change it’s ingredients. Why does Blue Bell Chocolate ice cream have wheat in it? Why must McDonald’s put wheat on their french fries?
The gluten full public don’t seem to take the gluten less population seriously. Or they just don’t care. Somehow we gluten free are deemed as health nuts, hippies, freaks. I know when we ask for no bun on our burgers they always seem surprised that we do want fries and cheese and not just vegetables. Jason’s always brings ‘baked’ healthy chips with the GF sandwiches. Most of us are not watching our carbs, we are not eating healthy, we want all the sweets and fattening stuff out there, just without wheat/gluten. I don’t know what one with a peanut allergy has to ask for or watch out for when eating out, but I would bet if they do ask the server about peanuts in food, the server will bend over backward to make sure no peanut gets in the customer.Why doesn’t a peanut allergy person get called ‘one of those’ ? The gluten full public seems to have the attitude that we gluten less are making up our illness. We don’t look sick. Like the diabetic doesn’t look sick, until their glucose gets too high. If one in a wheelchair goes to a restaurant they are given a table that can accommodate the chair, less traffic from those passing by. When we go to a restaurant and ask for gluten free menus for both, we are brought bread and croutons on our salad. Is it being inconsiderate or ignorant?
There are probably about 10 families in our church that know they are GF. Recently our church started serving all gluten free communion. PRAISE! For years, we have just passed up the little stale crackers. (No big loss) and concentrated harder on ‘the Body’ while others chewed. 😉 The reason for the change is another GF joined our ranks in the church, the new Pastors wife. Having an ‘in’ has it’s benefits! At first there was a question and trial on how to serve to those few that were GF; Have them raise their hands and be served from special plate? Have them go to back where GF communion was set up? They asked me to brain storm with them for ideas. It was a short storm. Just serve EVERYONE gluten free! The crackers are blech anyway, gluten free won’t hurt anyone, and gluten full would! We had a couple of hand raising communions, then they started the everyone eat GF. I am sure some are @#%&* about the cracker change, but if they are, they got more to deal with that GF crackers anyway. 😉
I, we, have been passive about our being gluten free. Cringing when we hear of those who are gluten free and cause scenes by having all the condiment bottles cleaned for traces of wheat contamination. I think we have felt some shame on having to ask about coating on fries, or wheat thickener in soup. I know I search the menu for something that just can not have wheat in it to avoid the conversation at all. We don’t want to inconvenience. I am realizing though the concern is not reciprocated. Most people are not concerned for us or ours. They themselves do not want to be inconvenienced. In truth it is their job, whether a waitress, cook, child care giver, teacher is serve, the patron whether it be gluten free or not. Celiac disease/gluten intolerance/wheat allergy is an illness, an autoimmune disease, it should be accommodated, by us and by those who are in contact with us, not opposed. We should expect it, we pay for it. And if we don’t expect respect for our gluten free request, we will pay in another way.