Coeliacs - going gluten free
Coeliacs is a bit like the Covid-19 pandemic. Now everyone is worrying about what they touch & how many times a day you have to wash your hands, those with Coeliacs have been living their life like that since diagnosis. When one little slip up or a crumb can or could ruin your day/week/month, you are super careful about what you touch, and what has touched you! Don't tell a coeliac to up their hand washing, they are already on it!!
Following my daughter's diagnosis, it was really challenging. No more just dashing out the door, "we'll grab something on the way", '"we'll stop at XYZ & have lunch". No, now we had to plan, pack & go. Making sure you have a snack so that if the shop or restaurant has nothing you can eat, or want to eat, you have at least something.
But its not just about that, its the little things you take fore-granted. You can't just stop at the restaurant without having looked them up online, called ahead, do you cater for Coeliacs, do you understand cross contamination, do you have a separate fryer for chips? Do you fry anything else in there with the chips, do the chips have a wheat coating? No, gluten is not killed by high heat!! (Mother slaps her head again with the knowledge that its going to be a trial). I am now that person you look at in a restaurant & laugh at (perhaps), questioning the poor waiter, looking obsessive, cleaning the knives & forks, checking and checking again that they do understand that one crumb could make her ill and she'd get 'glutened'. It makes you overly obsessive. But when it's your child you are protecting, then you do it. I don't want to see her grey again, comatose for the next 24hrs sleeping it off, from eating something that makes her so ill she has the worst sore tummy possible, crying from the pain, sleepless nights for you and her. It rips your heart out. So I will ask questions, I will question your methods and I will question the food you put down in front of her to make extra sure that you understand if you give her the wrong food, she is ill, she is sick & we lose days off work/school etc. And for each time she is 'glutened' having been off gluten for the past 2 years, the reactions get stronger. The pain gets worse, and that makes me sad.
Being off gluten you would think is easy. Just cut out the wheat/barley/rye (BROWS as its known in the Coeliac world - Barley/Rye/Oats/Wheat/Spelt). Simple. Easy. Nope! Just hold your horses on that one! Its not, its so much more. Its making sure none of that is in your diet, plus the cross contamination issues. Don't use the same spoon in the gluten pasta as the gf pasta.....thats cross contaminated. (holds head in hands), no wheat covered chips aren't suitable to give to a coeliac - you don't need an app for that, you just need to read the ingredients.
Coeliac life is tricky, but can be managed, it has to be to ensure you're in the best of health.
And after all, there is always cake!