How To Deal With Family Members That Don't Believe
Posted 22 October 2004 - 06:45 AM
Both my husband & I have a hard time talking to my mother-in-law about celiac. I don't look sick, so I am not. She also maintains she has been cooking a certain way for years & will not change. "She has to learn she will get sick sometimes & just deal with it". We ask what is in the marinates....and she will lie to my face.
I have tried giving her short informational articles, but they end up in the garbage. I doubt she reads them. We gave them a bag of groceries that I couldn't eat, all new & unopened. She was 'just use it up, don't give it away".
We are at the point we will not eat at their home anymore. The upcoming holidays are making this very difficult. This year Thanksgiving will be at our home (my father & brother also have celiac), and she made comments on the gluten-free Thanksgiving. She nicely offered to bring HER stuffing, even if we can't have it. I declined for cross-contamination reasons. She is now bringing a salad - which we will not eat.
Any suggestions on how to get through to her? She really believes I am just trying to get attention.
Posted 22 October 2004 - 07:24 AM
Mom 2 2
Posted 22 October 2004 - 07:55 AM
My grandmother was the same way when she was alive. She thought it was all in our heads - my dad, her son, is diabetic and she would just roll her eyes, make funny noises, strange comments and we would move on and go to where we could eat anyway.
Luckily everyone I am around either thinks I am just weird or belive me but they all support me. I refuse to eat where I will get sick. She cannot force you to eat, I understand the under-currents and everything, sometimes you just have to push or, as you are currently doing, refuse to go there to eat. They will either finally get it and fix something you can eat or not.
Do NOT make yourself sick.
gluten-free since July 2004
Strawberries and Banannas (2007)
Nitrates (April 2006)
Yeast (which includes all vinegar so no condiments) (Oct. 2004)
Peanuts (Nov. 2004)
Soy (Oct. 2004)
Almonds (Sept. 2004)
Corn (Sept. 2004)
Posted 22 October 2004 - 09:27 AM
What to do when your family doesn't believe you.
It is easier for me to come to this conclusion, my daughter who is 2 also has celiac. Anyone who would give her something to eat that is not thinking in her best interest is harming her. You wouldn't sit back and let a child be harmed, so don't do it to yourself.
Family is not supposed to make "those comments" or potentially hurt you.
Spend the holidays with those you love and love you.
Posted 22 October 2004 - 09:46 AM
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Posted 22 October 2004 - 09:57 AM
Posted 22 October 2004 - 11:13 AM
Oh, my heavens! Your mother-in-law sounds like mine--especially the part about being convinced that I am just being a hypochondriac to get attention! My kids both have celiac disease, too, and my mother-in-law has expressed the desire to "talk" to their pediatrician (with the intent, no doubt, of explaining that the doctor shouldn't trust anything I say about their alleged "reaction" to gluten and should rely instead on her assurance that the boys are totally healthy!). This is ridiculously hysterical to me, because my in-laws live in a different state! They get to see the kids for maybe a week a couple of times a year! Of course, my older boy did stay with them for a three-week visit once before we had put the pieces together and realized he had celiac disease, but so what? Does that mean that they know "the truth" about my kids' health, and I don't? Needless to say, they won't be keeping the kids again--no matter how angry they get about it!
I am SO glad I don't have to deal with my in-laws often--especially since I am not "permitted" to bring food into their house, as it is "insulting." This doesn't stop me from doing it, but it does precipitate fights. My husband has so far chosen to be absent from our confrontations, and it is actually very painful for me that he won't tell his mother when she's crossed the line. (His father is also passive, so I really shouldn't be surprised....)
I haven't figured out what to do. I want to keep my kids out of her house at all costs, but she would throw a fit (and I am pretty sure my husband would side with her). I have had so many accidents in the past month just from plain old bad luck (like a contaminated batch of canned salmon, of a brand that I have eaten without problems for over a year) that I have no intention of eating anywhere I can't be sure is safe, and her kitchen is definitely NOT. I am thinking that I may have to refuse to visit over the holidays and just send the boys with their father. This would at least put the onus of keeping them gluten-free on him, for a change--unless he decided to lie to me about it. It would be out of character for him, but I am actually very reluctant to trust him about this. He seems to think that 1.) he owes his mother respect (which is laudable), and 2.) respect=deference/obedience. In other words, if she wants to feed my kids pancakes, well, it is her house.... It also doesn't help that none of our celiac disease has been biopsy-proven, so he's not even 100% convinced that gluten harms the kids (especially my older boy). I guess he shares his mother's belief that parental insight and clinical improvement on the gluten-free diet mean nothing; only specialized medical tests can establish that gluten is problematic for them.
So, like I say, I don't really know the best answer to my dilemma. I brought it up in therapy once, and my therapist responded, "Why do you have to visit them?" A good question. If only our kids weren't tangled up in the whole mess, it would be a whole lot easier to declare that we will visit only on the condition that I be able eat gluten-free meals (whose preparation is either done or supervised by me), without any derogatory comments (blatant or subtle).
Sigh. I wish I had an answer for you--or for me!
gluten-free since November 1, 2003
Posted 22 October 2004 - 11:32 AM
I will give my husband credit. He tries. He has made lots of trips to their home to specifically discuss it. Bringing food to their home is not an option. She said that is "insulting - I just need to learn to deal with it".
I think we will just stick with the avoidance, until they someday (hopefully) learn.
Posted 22 October 2004 - 06:06 PM
Posted 23 October 2004 - 07:47 AM
Oops, sorry about the rant.
Posted 23 October 2004 - 12:46 PM
Long Island, NY
Double DQ1, subtype 6
We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!
"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!
Posted 23 October 2004 - 03:13 PM
Posted 24 October 2004 - 05:44 AM
Mother and two sisters with Celiacs also
Posted 26 October 2004 - 05:00 PM
If someone said that to me, I would respond "Yeah, you're right about that. But the difference between me and everyone else is that I am committed to getting and staying healthy, and the only way I can accomplish that is by staying totally gluten-free. It's not particularly convenient, but my health is the most important thing to me!"
Maybe you could fire off a similar retort?
gluten-free since November 1, 2003
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