Adjusting to a gluten free life

It's been a discouraging week. For the most part, this whole experience of going gluten free has worked out pretty well. I did not miss it after going off or crave things like I've heard others do. The first time I went off of gluten was for two weeks after my doctor told me she thought I had celiac. When I read about what I was going to have to give up, I sat and cried. It is a huge loss. But then I found out I had to have a biopsy and had to go back to eating gluten until after the biopsy. 

During the time I didn't eat it for two weeks, some of my symptoms had started to go away, so going back on it was hard. The symptoms came back and even worse than before. In a way, it was my last hurrah. I had almost two months till my biopsy, so I ate and over ate every gluten filled thing I loved. I ate fried chicken every week, toast every morning, yeast rolls with peanut butter, cheese it's, you name it. And I got sicker each week. By the time I got to my last week before my biopsy, I was choking down the toast in the morning. I knew what was making me sick and it was like eating poison and knowing it. I could not wait to start my new life and be well.
I did not miss it. I did not miss feeling sick. 

I looked at this cooking thing as a challenge and something to be excited about. I really wanted to concentrate on what I could have instead of what I couldn't have. Then my daughter found out she tested positive in her blood test. It was her time to sit and cry. It's so hard for a 17 year old. She did not have the same symptoms as I did, so I think it has been harder for her. 

We are fine at home, both of us. I have figured out how to make many things thanks to other bloggers and many helpful websites. At home we don't want for anything. The kicker is the social life. I know for my daughter that is the hardest. Her friends just don't get it. She gets tempted to cheat. She breaks out in a rash and now gets some of the symptoms that I did.
What has been so discouraging to me this week is not being able to eat out. Mind you, I don't want to eat gluten when eating out….there is no temptation there….I just wish I could eat safely. 

There is no freedom anymore and sometimes it's hard to deal with.
I find that my body can tolerate eating out once, maybe twice a week. That is if I am very careful where I eat. My husband and I are of an age where our children are almost grown and we have a very active social life. We get asked many times a week to go out with friends. We have had a lot going on the last 6 or 7 weeks and on average have been going out 4 times a weeks. It has taken it's toll on me, the cross contamination. No matter how careful you thing you are, it catches up with you.
This is the source of my sadness. 

Years ago, we didn't have a social life. We were raising children and too busy and broke. Now we have the time and enjoy being with our friends so much. I do have them over and cook for them as well, but you know, friends like to go out. This is the bump in my happy gluten free road.
If I eat at home, I feel so good and my symptoms go away. When I start going out too much even though I am careful, the symptoms come back and I start getting sick again. 

Right now I am cutting way back…no going out for several weeks at all. I didn't go to a Christening today because I knew everyone would want to go out afterwards. Now it feels like the end of my social life. You mourn the loss of food and then freedom.
I don't mean to sound down and discouraging especially if you are reading my blog and you have just been diagnosed. And I started to not even write about this….thought maybe I should keep it positive. But this is where I am at in my journey. If I can work through this, maybe I can help someone else work through it as well. I am pretty stubborn. I will find a way to stay healthy and go out with my friends at the same time. I think I just need to slow down a bit. This too shall pass. It's just hard sometimes.


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9 responses to “Adjusting to a gluten free life

  1. Esther

    The social life is the hardest. I have three children that are very allergic to lots of stuff. Soy, peanuts, eggs and dairy are the worst. It is almost impossible to go out to eat with them, they just aren’t safe. They are only little but what happens when they grow up? I feel your pain on the social life, you don’t realize how much life revolves around foor until food can be harmful and even deadly. Best Wishes!

  2. Gluti Girl

    Thanks Esther, I just can’t imagine having small children and going through this. That must be really hard especially if they go to school. At least my daughter is older and has some control. I can’t imagine having to send a younger child out into the world and putting them into someone else’s hands. It would take a lot of trust in the school system or care providers. The peanut allergies are very scary!

  3. Cassandra

    It is the hardest part of being gluten-free. Perhaps a couple of your close friends would be willing to learn about gf with you, so that you could do progressive dinners with them. The chicken curry recipe that I love came from a friend during a progressive dinner (the only one I’ve done since gf). She called and checked on everything. The lady who did the appetizers had some wonderful fruit and some gluten quiches (that I heard weren’t that good anyway) but she doesn’t cook, and the fruit was wonderful. I made an Andes mint cheesecake, and we had so much fun together.

  4. Carrie

    I’m sorry you’ve come to this bump in the road gluti girl! I guess it hasn’t been as much of a problem for me because even before going gluten-free my husband and I didn’t go out to eat much, we usually cooked at home, so there wasn’t much change there… BUT what has been hard is when I forget to plan ahead and I end up having to figure out where in the world I can get something to eat… or if I’m with a friend and we have lunch… it’s like i’ll forget i’m gluten free until I’m actually sitting at the table and looking over the menu and realizing there is NOTHING that I can eat… It is very frustrating.. and you need to write about that. It’s good therapy!! You’ve got a great blog and I’m amazed that you and your daughter are getting the hang of this gluten-free thing so quickly!! Way to go! Keep looking up! Before we know it, there will gluten-free restaurants (at least I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!) Smile!

  5. Gluti Girl

    Cassandra, It sounds like you have some great friends there and you had a fun dinner. I’ve had a friend who had us over and really went out of her way to make sure there was something I could eat. It’s nice to have someone care like that. Carrie, It’s so funny because when we were young we didn’t go out much either. I think it’s our age right now and having the time. Hubbie took an early retirement. My friends are very good about asking where can we eat. I think it’s got to be hard for others to understand the issue of cc and all the problems that go with that. Last week, each time I went out to eat it had started to be something I was not looking forward to instead of being a joy. That’s a bummer. And, I’ve ended up in many places where there was nothing I could eat in the last several weeks too! I know I will get the hand of this eventually.

  6. Kate

    Hey Melanie- Move to WA State and join our cooking parties! We could use your phenomenal photography and laughter! 🙂 Always room for more!

  7. Karen

    I’m right there with you. my husband and I like to go out with our friends a couple time a week, and people at work want to go out to lunch. I’ve stopped going out to lunch in order to hang out with my friends. We’ve also started to take turns cooking and hosting informal suppers. But I do much better when I eat at home (or my friends) instead of eating out. I really pay for it when I’ve been eating out a lot. Even if I don’t get violently sick, it does seem to add up.(Warning, if you visit my page, I’m a Patriots fan – sorry about that! lol!)

  8. Gluti Girl

    Oh Karen, there is nothing wrong with being a huge fan! I love that! We are big Colts fans here. When the kids were little we were all about the Pacers and Reggie Miller. My son had a shrine in his bedroom to them. Love your site!

  9. gaile

    Just remember, you can keep some quick snacks on hand so that you can go out with your friends. You can still enjoy their company without eating the same food.

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