Thursday, April 30, 2015

How to Get People to Take Your Celiac Disease Seriously

AKA a ranty-rant of a post at 2 in the morning because I've been sick since Thursday

When you have celiac disease and you go to a restaurant that is not completely gluten-free, you'll probably have a conversation that's something like this (at least this is how the conversation sounds in my head):

you: Is the (whatever food) gluten-free?
Waiter: I think so.
you: I need to know if it is though because I have celiac disease so I can't eat gluten.
Waiter:  Would you die if you ate gluten?
you: Yes I would literally die if I ate gluten. (Because literally means figuratively now and don't even get me started on that!)
Waiter (if they are the sort of person who doesn't want to be responsible for a dead body being in the restaurant): Maybe you should eat at a different restaurant instead.

This is literally (almost) a conversation I had at a restaurant about six months after being diagnosed with celiac disease.  My friends took me there because they had gluten-free sandwiches!  After a lot of interrogation I learned that the gluten-free bread for the sandwiches is put on the same grill as the gluten bread, causing cross-contamination.  It's not all bad though because I discovered an amazing gluten-free bakery a block away and may or may not have filled up on pastry samples and then bought a dozen more pastries to take with me.

My point (if I even have one) is that gluten is a tricky little thing.  My doctor had me do an allergy test earlier this month to make sure I was getting the proper nutrients on my gluten-free diet.  I was low on vitamin D and iron, so she gave me vitamins to take to bring my energy levels back to normal.  Everything was going along normally, except I was burping a lot more than normal during the first week, but whatever!  And then on Thursday none of my food stayed down, and I thought, "Here we go again".  Because one of the super fun things about celiac disease is that without a pill that doesn't exist yet to take in addition to a gluten-free diet, you're just going to get sick every so often.  Just because.  Cut to Tuesday and I have a realization.  The symptoms started when I started taking those vitamins.  And wouldn't you know it that since stopping the vitamins and not taking the ones I was supposed to take that night, my symptoms have improved.  I even managed to keep down a half a bowl of cereal today, and then later a bowl of soup!  So I'm pretty sure that the vitamins my doctor gave me to make me better have gluten in them, despite the fact that she knows I have celiac disease because she diagnosed me and we were discussing it right before that.

So I got a week off of work unexpectedly.  But it was not fun.  I spent it in various ways of being sick, Pinning delicious looking gluten free recipes because I couldn't keep food down but I was so HUNGRY, alternating with crying a lot, and sleeping for up to 18 hours a day.  So I was frustrated.  So I ranted.  And that is all.


  1. Aww I'm really sorry to hear that :( I can't even imagine how awful it'd be to restrict your diet let alone frequently getting sick.. Dick move by your doctor though. I hope you give them what for!

  2. Yeah it's definitely not a fun time. Hopefully they can get me some vitamins that are actually gluten-free next time!


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