I didn’t get sick … life with #celiac disease

By | April 28, 2016

I just had a conversation with a friend about how we need to be better about blogging when things go well. It is so easy to find reason to write and rant about things, but more difficult to remember to write when things go well. So this post is mostly about things going well, with a little stupid mistake on my part.

Last week I spent the three days in New Orleans for an Ed Tech conference. I managed to navigate eating in New Orleans without getting sick. That is a huge success. I had only one minor melt down – and that had more to do with high expectations not being met. We were at a nice restaurant for a special dinner event with 50+ people. I expected that when I requested a gluten free meal (which I did well in advance) that I would get a decent meal. Unfortunately the shared appetizers were not gluten free and there was no effort made to provide something. Then when the meal came I was not given a choice between chicken or fish like everyone else. I was given a piece of dry chicken breast. I had a minor melt down. I refused to eat it. Shed a few tears at the frustration (body filled with sadness), then turned it into anger. I expressed my anger to the wait staff and asked that they asked the chef to make me something better. I would be happy with pan fried piece of fish that was gluten free. This should not be a difficult request. The waiter did well. They took away my dried chicken breast and about 5 minutes later a nice piece of pan fried fish arrived. I am so glad that I found the courage to get up and complain. This is part of my advocacy – I remember writing about it early. I need to speak up for all those with celiac who are not able to. Good restaurants can do better!

I am, unfortunately, very sensitive to gluten. After getting home, I foolishly bought some chocolate ice cream. It was a brand that I have purchased before – organic, local. I’ve always bought the cookies and cream made with gluten-free cookies. I’ve never had a problem. This time I bought the dutch chocolate. The next day I was horribly sick (diarrhea, stomach cramps, felt like a fever). It took me a while to figure out what it was that I had eaten. I should have known better. I recall at the conference in New Orleans someone handing out chocolate bars. I asked if it was gluten free. They said it was just chocolate, so it should be. I explained to him that most chocolate is NOT gluten free, as it is often processed on equipment that also processes gluten. I knew enough in New Orleans not to try it. I should have known that the dutch chocolate flavored ice cream would be a problem. As the saying goes, live and learn.

I am celebrating that I didn’t get sick in New Orleans, and I’m learning that I shouldn’t buy any ice cream that isn’t gluten free. Fortunately, I own a good ice cream machine. Next time I want chocolate ice cream, I’ll make my own.

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