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Extended Family -- What If They Refuse To Adjust?
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I am sure all of you will get this one. On Christmas day, I have to have dinner with in laws. My husband is celiac and we are at his sister's house, whom I think has undiagnosed celiac and refuses to get tested, anyway, she's peeling potates and at the same time eating Italian bread with butter; getting bread crumbs in the butter dish and there are bread crumbs strewn all over the table and where she's peeling potatoes. She says she's so hungry and had to eat something. That's when we arrived. Our eyes were popped open in shock and dismay! The crumbs are in the area of the peeled and sliced potatoes! So my husband, carefully says, my food can't be near those crumbs and they are on the potatoes. She replies angrily: Well they'll cook off when they are in the pot!

I think family members are the worst to get to understand what is and is not acceptable. We've always presented to her in a nice way how gluten cannot be around the gluten-free foods and no mixing and matching of utensils, etc. She seems to think that the gluten will go away by magic. I think friends understand and want to comply better than family. When we tell her the "rules" she feels we are being bossy and she gets her back up (she's really not accepting of cricitism in any form as she has no humility, but that's got nothing to do with celiac). She's his only sister and only relative so there's no getting out of going there for Christmas. We would have gotten there sooner & I would have peeled, but a pipe in our kitchen burst and it took up all of our time that morning. I cringe to think of all the times we weren't at her house and what the heck she did to the gluten-free food...

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Donna, I feel your pain. My four year old was just diagnosed with celiac disease through Enteroloab with the gene and stool test. Not only do I have the extended family not willing to admit the diagnosis, they feed her gluten and casein products just to spite me. My daughter comes home and the last time it took seven laxatives to make her go to the bathroom. (and days of sitting on the potty with severe cramps) If that is not enough, the pediatritian who is good friends with my ex and has misdiagnosed my childs breakouts as eczema since the time she was born, refuses to admit his mistake. The two hang together and do dinners while my daughter suffers in pain. Talk about being flushed down the toilet. I don't think it is possible to get any more frusterated. BUT I AM NOT GIVING UP.

Cheryl

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Cheryl

If they are doing that on purpose to spite you they are sick people.

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Hi, guys. It's Donna again. I started this post in a fit of frustration one day. I must admit that I have truly enjoyed the bantering back and forth on the topic. While I am not always feeling well enough to answer, I have checked in regularly.

I had a much better Christmas this year. I suppose after seeing what can happen with one meal that is cross-contaminated (August 16...weeks of gastro symptoms, 3 hospital visits, another round of specialists, and now more neurological damage to recover from), my family at long last suggested that I might be safer to bring my own food than to trust their ability to feed me. When I voiced my concern over possibly angering my hosts (like that should be a problem), I was told not to worry about that...they had rather never see me go through this again. My daughter even went to the grandparents and was not fed biscuits and gravy. She has had only mild symptoms since returning home. Maybe, just maybe, they are finally convinced that she won't ever get as sick as I am if she learns to take care of her diet.

You know, those of you who have doctors who don't believe it are in the extreme, but my endocrinologist and neurologist are somewhat frustrated that many primary care doctors and gastro docs don't believe it is "celiac" until the damage is already done. When they see the symptoms building over several years, why wait for the biopsy to show that you are damaged and miserable. Humm...several family members with celiac, you have vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stools...why on earth would you wait for a biopsy to become positive before you considered celiac and a gluten free diet??????? If the diet doesn't help, you have at least eliminated the most likely cause and can realistically look for others.

By the way, to the one with the ex and the pediatrician: I would be seeking a doctor who would pay attention to me and those lab results. Find someone who will be supportive. Doctors are not usually like family members that you cannot control.

I'll just bet that there are some folks on this site who might make a suggestion for a physician in your area.

Donna

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By the way, if your four year old has a significant new breakout, consider taking him to a dermatologist to check for DH. Just make sure they know what you want to check before you get there since they often have to have either special equipment or have a special lab pickup for it. You shouldn't hurt anybody's feelings by taking a child with a skin rash to a dermatologist! The DH breakouts "itch" intensely. I put that in quotes because it is not a traditional itch like a mosquito bite, but more of a prickly needles attacking you from under your skin itch. I have had both a DH outbreak and poison ivy at the same time. Believe me, I'd take the poison ivy any day if given a choice.

Donna

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    • Welcome!   You were smart to think about cross contamination.  Although it is great that there are so many gluten-free options out there, in the beginning it is best to try a whole foods diet, until your son feels a bit better.  The learning curve for the gluten-free diet is steep.  It is better for you to get everything down before letting others feed him.   When I was diagnosed, my hubby had been gluten free for 12 years.  I thought I knew the drill and converted right over to those gluten-free goodies I baked him.  Turned out, like many of us, I had some food inolerances not related to gluten but as a result of gut damage.  So, additives like Xantham gum made me think I was getting glutened, but I was not.  So, again, try to stick to naturally gluten free foods that are less processed for a while.  When you do venture out, I use "find me gluten free" and read the reviews from celiacs (not a person who thinks gluten-free is a way to lose weight! )   Here are some great tips from out Newbie 101 thread:  
    • I have the same problem. Was told it was psoriasis but no treatments worked even injections. I was daignosed celiac in may, and noticed a year ago the palm of my hand would itch intensely then get small blisters. I believe they are both dh. Have been gluten-free since diagnosis but still have issues with both areas. Thankful digestive issues cleared but would love to know how long before they clear up? I hope we both get feed back and best wishes to you!
    • Yes it most certainly could be a false negative, and I would bet you a dozen donuts that it is (gluten free, of course.   )  At the very least you can be sure it is related to gluten.  These gluten rashes take forever to clear up.  I don't know about you, but whenever I start to doubt my gluten intolerance, I just look at my skin, and the old blood stains on my sheets, and I am reassured that it's not all in my head, and I need to avoid gluten as if it were a bucket of battery acid.
    • Hello, My fiance and I are going to Singapore for our honeymoon next year and I was wondering if anyone knew any cafes/restaurants etc that have gluten-free dishes? We previously went two years ago and enjoyed ourselves so much that we definitely wanted to go back our our honeymoon. Catch is I got diagnosed as being gluten intolerant a few months ago, negative for Coeliac though. If I eat gluten I have bad nausea, bloating, diarrhea etc. Not pretty for a honeymoon :-) I am more than happy to eat fruit at breakfast and make do with steamed rice at dinner etc but if anyone has any ideas on anywhere I can safely eat that would be much appreciated. I don't care how much it costs! Also is it possible for me to bring packaged gluten-free food into Singapore from Australia? I am not sure on the rules. Thank you!!
    • Went in and talked to the manager of our pm and asked about the gluten free pizza, and he told me he can't guarantee its 100% gluten free because of the flour in the air from the other crusts being made.  I value the honesty.   The other employee also mentioned changing gloves.   I was thinking wow great, until I walked out and got to thinking about cross contamination from everyone grabbing the toppings out of the same bins and spreading the sauce with the same utensils.    My son was just diagnosed this week so we are new to the whole lifestyle.   So any help or info is greatly appreciated.    Thanks  
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