Well it happened.
If you have been waiting for something to go wrong with the gluten free diet (whether for yourself or your child)….it likely will– some time. A serious “glutenization” happened to Emma over the weekend. This was the first time since her diagnosis in 2000.
Emma has had rare cross contamination which caused stomach pain a few times, but nothing like this.
Over the weekend, we were in a soccer tournament in the suburbs north of Chicago. There was some miscommunication amongst myself and parents who ordered food, I made an assumption and before you know it, Emma is hesitantly eating full-on gluteny fettuccine noodles with Alfredo sauce. However, I didn’t put two and two together until I heard her crying in bed at 1:30 a.m.
I got up and asked her what was wrong…she said her stomach hurt really bad. She had already gotten up and had diarrhea. While my husband stayed to watch her, I ran to Walgreens to pick up Tums (fruity kind are gluten free). While I was out, she threw up — while no fun, she did say it made her feel a bit better.
Once I got back I gave her two Tums and she went to sleep– and was out the rest of the night. I am sure for many others with celiac, this may be a tame reaction compared to what you have had. But it was monumental for us.
Emma woke up the next morning and said she felt better. She ate breakfast and lunch too. Emma’s game was a full 12 hours after she got sick and in nearly 100 degree heat, plus humidity. Needless to say she didn’t play much. She probably played about 35% of the game but came out because she was queasy.
The Gluten-Free Dilemma
This one has been tough for me to deal with. I am finding it difficult to balance being a control freak and just taking over, and helping Emma understand that we need to be respectful and appreciate others’ attempts to get gluten-free food for us. If she doesn’t trust the food, then we can leave and find something else later. But it is very nice when people think of us and that shouldn’t be blatantly discarded.
It would be so much easier to just handle this on our own. But many gluten free folks also want to be thought of and not dismissed or forgotten by others. Time and time again on The Savvy Celiac Facebook page I hear about the “best gluten free moments of the weekend” and people say things like “when my friend ordered a gluten free cupcake for me during work party where regular cake was served”…. or “my child’s teacher made sure my son had a gluten free treat when a classmate brought in cookies for everyone…”
We want to be in control of our food to ensure it is safe, yet we want people to think of us during times like those mentioned above. Can we have it both ways?? I apologize if I am making a general assumption here, maybe you don’t feel this way, but I think many folks do.
How have you managed this balancing act? I would love to hear– and I am sure you would benefit not just me, but others who read this post.
By the way, there definitely were good gluten free experiences in Chicago. Three words: Greg’s Frozen Custard. More on that tomorrow!