Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance is far more isolating than Fibromyalgia or any other ailment I've experienced. For those who suffer this condition, the struggle is real. It's isolating. It's lonely. It sucks! For those who do have CD or a gluten sensitivity, we can never freely dine out wherever we please, vacation, attend social gatherings or holidays with food, or any functions without worrying about the of fear cross-contamination.
If it's not your own health, you may never grasp that gluten is like poison to my body. One little crumb can send my immune system to attack itself. And then my health spirals out of control. There's over 300 painful symptoms that can arise simply from a restaurant or social gathering to accidentally not use all precautions with my food.
To most of you, it's no big deal. To me, it's my reality. The. Pain. Is. Real. By the way, I accidentally got glutened on Saturday when my husband and I went to a restaurant for an early Valentine's Day date. This explains my migraine, insomnia, aching body, numerous oral ulcers, and digestive issues over the past four days.
The next time you think that I'm anti-social or you question why I no longer attend social gatherings, do not tell me that it's about the people and not about the food. All holidays and social gatherings place a huge emphasis on the menu so please don't tell me otherwise.
Yes, it's great to spend time together and enjoy one another's company. But it is also stressful for those who can't eat what everyone else is eating. FYI: When I do bring myself a GF dish (which is always), this one single item is not a filling meal and I usually go home very hungry. If I were to cook more than one gluten-free dish, it actually makes more logical sense to simply eat it at home.
Sure, I can bring my own GF snack or dish. That truly is the only way that I know I'm safe. (As long as no one else accidentally slips up or places a contaminated utensil in my food.) After six years living with this insane condition, it gets old real quick. I'm sick of being sick.
Between you and me, I wouldn't wish this on my enemy. I don't expect most of you to understand what I face on a daily basis, 24/7. However, if you have a relative or friend or yourself who has Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, it would be helpful if you could validate that this is a serious condition and their health is important.
If you or your loved one has CD or a gluten intolerance, feel free to share how you manage with social gatherings, holidays, and cross-contamination. Also, how do you overcome the isolation and social aspect of this ongoing condition?