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I... But... Look, Can Someone Tell Me If This Is A Lot?

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 06:54 PM

Oh... crapmuffins.

I had a thing, shall we say with my mother in law last night, and after stewing all day I thought I'd ask you smart people and see if I'm being an idiot (entirely possible - I'm more than willing to cop to that) or if I'm right in being a bit peeved.

First off, I should say, my husband has been epic level amazing over my celiac diagnosis. HE is the one who purged the house, HE is the one that said simply "Okay, so what do we need to do to keep you healthy?" and HE is the one that decided that, at home at least, he eats gluten-free too. And often out of the home as well, since I pack his lunch. HE is a paragon of virtue and a joy forever... shame his mother is a twit. (Luckily, he ALSO thinks she is a twit. His reaction last night after dropping her off was to say, as he walked in the door "Honey, my mother is an idiot. We both know this. Do you want to buy some yarn? - I'm a knitter, he has been trained to think "Pissy wife, yarn fix.")

It was.... a night. First there was the fun interlude at PF Changs where she decided to announce all of my pathetic failings to the waitress, in detail, saying over and over again how she and her husband had "warned him about marrying a sick woman. It really doesn't work out. It's such a shame that I'm willing to ruin family time to together over this celiac nonsense" and so on. You know it's bad when the waitress brings you a cranberry and vodka - free - because she feels bad for you. I know where that complaint is coming from - I no longer am willing to give up 5 nights a week going out to restaurants with her anymore. I hated it BEFORE I was diagnosed, and was thrilled to find another reason to say "Sorry, nope."

Than on the ride home.... out of the back comes "I have to say, I've been speaking with all my friends and the rest of the family, and we all are very concerned about how much money you are wasting on this weird diet. Are you going to get the spending under control soon, or are you continuing on with just tossing all this money?"

I... Bu.... I...

I buy local, grassfed meats, mostly local and organic produce when I can. I cook 99% of the meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks) for both my husband and myself - from scratch - that we eat... and I'm spending on average about $55. (Cat food, litter, and cleaning supplies come out of a different budget)

I thought I was actually doing pretty good, really. And yes, she has been talking to everyone in their side of the family - just not telling them the truth. I NOW understand why the last time I ran into an aunt of my husband's at the grocery store she made such a fuss over the contents of my cart.

But IS this a lot? Am I being wasteful? Seriously here folks - I'm working myself into a tizzy. I wouldn't know where to cut in the budget really - I mean, yeah, I could buy cheaper meat... but I'd rather eat less of the good stuff. Since going gluten free... how much are YOU spending?
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Diagnosed with celiac in the summer of 09 - after being sick since I was a teen with no answers. I miss "real" pasta - but its a fair trade off for getting my life BACK.

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:07 PM

Wow- we are a family of 3 and I never spend less than $200 a week on groceries. I do buy a large amount organic and lots of fruits and veg. But seriously, it is none of her freakin' business how much money you spend on food. WHAT?
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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:25 PM

Are you able to have a frank discussion with her? Is she trying to sabotage your marriage? Could your husband talk to her and set her straight? It sounds like you have a doctors diagnosis and even if you don't you don't have to explain things to her. My MIL doesn't get it either, but she does not make comments like that, because she knows my husband would rip into her. It sounds like you are being frugal with what you are buying. Let's face it, the stuff you are buying to make you healthier is going to be more expensive, but it is worth it if you are getting well. It's your money so she needs to mind her own buisness. You are spending way less than I am. I don't want to even think what I am spending a month on the grocery budget. Before gluten free I allowed $500/month and sometimes often would go over. I know I spend much more than that now. However, I have a household of four that includes my husband and two boys ages 5 and 9. I just had a talk with my MIL and I was dreading it, but it actually turned out to be a good thing on both our parts. I told her I didn't want her to try to accomidate me anymore with food, that I would be responsible for fixing my food and feeding myself. She was estatic with the notion. Some part of me thinks that she thinks I'm being fanatic but she does not come out and say it. It doesn't matter what she thinks, because I don't care. Yesterday I found out I still have esophagitis and was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer and duodenitis. I also discovered by accident yesterday that all this time dairy has been causing me problems. I am awaiting biopsies of my esophagus, stomach and duodenum. So it was a matter of I had to talk to her, it couln't wait any longer. Good luck with it.
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Celiac disease(positive blood work/biopsy- 10/2008), gluten free oat intolerent, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis/Disease, Raynaud's Disease

DS2(age 9):
celiac disease(positive IgA tTG, no biopsy- 11/2010)

DS1(age 13):
repeated negative bloodwork and negative EGD/biopsy. Started on a gluten free trial(8/2011). He has decided to stay gluten free due to all of the improvements he has experienced on the diet.



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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:37 PM

Don't even buy in to the question of is it too much - that's not really the issue. It's about respect, and her outburst in the restaurant clearly shows she is lacking in it. Your spending is a matter for you and your husband, he is the only person whose concerns I would listen to.

Mind you, going out 5 nights a week to eat doen't sound like a budget-conscious choice, so I would wonder how much you would have spent before on eating out with your mother in law?

I don't pretend to know exactly how to deal with this as I'm not in your situation, but she sounds like a highly unpleasant person. Saying that, you will have to deal with her in some way, so you need to find a way to have some contact with her without it getting to you too much. As much as I'm sure you would love not to have any contact, you don't want to be the cause of any rifts.

As much as I love her, my grandmother (on my fathers side) is a very difficult person, and I know my mother had to deal with quite a bit to keep the relationship going. Saying that I am very glad that she did, as my grandmother hasn't had an easy life and has distanced most people. She managed to strike a balance where she kept boundaries about certain unacceptable behaviours - not taking the blame for things and not accepting any abuse - while still having a relationship where she could happily be in our house. I've come to realise how much work this has been as i've got older.

It may be that you end up simply saying to your mother in law... Thanks for your concern. My diet is important for my health, and I take advice from doctors and health professionals seriously. Until you qualify as a gastroentorologist or dietician, I will continue to take their advice over yours.

You know you are doing the right thing, don't let her ignorance affect how you see your decisions.

Good luck :)
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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:26 PM

OMG. You poor girl. Your MIL is an idiot. I truly hope that your husband will stand up to her and let her know that if she wants to have a relationship with him, then she'd better get her sh*t together and start acting like a caring compassionate person. That is the most disgusting thing I have heard in a very long time. She's obviously a very angry person who doesn't think anyone will ever be good enough for her little boy.
It sounds like your husband is a gem. I hope he does the right thing.
Sheesh, I am so mad at her right now, and I've not met her. You are a saint and an angel for having put up with her for this long.
Maybe you can both move far away? :D
Gosh I hope you all can find a happy medium.

And BTW, I spend at least $1000 per month :ph34r: for the three of us- all gluten free- me and a 13 and 10 yr old boy. $50 per week for two is positively thrifty~
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Gluten free is not so bad! If you are new, hang it there, it gets easier!




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Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:03 PM

Your mother-in-law is not a twit, she is rude and obnoxious. Sorry but there is no other way of putting it. Can your husband just tell her to MHOB? In a nice way, of course :D Yep, when even the waitress feels sorry for you, you know the problem is not yours :rolleyes:

And I don't know how you exist on $55, and for some of us organic meats are important, and on and on and on....I am practically speechless. You poor, poor dear. Hang in there and "don't let the turkeys get you down" :)
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"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

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Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:18 PM

when even the waitress feels sorry for you, you know the problem is not yours :rolleyes:

Exactly! What you have is a narcissistic momster in law!

The problem here is not the cost of the diet. The problem is your MIL is not respecting your boundaries. She's being rude to you and to her son, humiliating you in the restaurant, commenting on the fate of your marriage, and discussing your diet and budget with other family members. None of it is any of her damn business. Sounds like she has a hard time not being queen bee and she feels second fiddle to your celiac which is her problem, not yours.

There are just two of us and we spend about $100+ a week on groceries. $55 is miraculous! Going out to eat several nights a week would cost more than that so her logic is faulty. Never mind that eating out that much is super unhealthy. Your health is what matters so if it cost $200 a week wouldn't you do it? We're lucky in that we can manage the celiac/gluten via diet. No expensive meds with side effects. I often equate celiac to diabetes in that we have to stick to a specific diet otherwise there are short and long term health consequences. This diet is medically necessary, not a frivolous fad.

Hugs to you!!
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40 year old former foodie on a quest to feel better!

-IgE to oats and rye
-Diagnosed with Colitis via endoscopy/colonoscopy Oct '10
-Following FODMAP diet since June '10, Positve SIBO test, July '10
-Diagnosed non-celiac gluten intolerant June '10 (celiac in March '10, endocsocopy in Oct '10 shows no signs of celiac)
-Osteopenia June '10
-Gluten free since July '09 & Soy free since December '09
-Dairy free since '06
-IBS & Sjogren's diagnosed '05
-RA diagnosed as a toddler



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Posted 07 April 2010 - 10:59 PM

Yowza, free cranberry and vodka courtesy of MIL! :) :)

55 bucks seems pretty cheap to me, especially for 2 peeps. At least she went to P.F Chang's with you. So maybe she isn't totally unwilling to learn.
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Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."
Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and hard work. have a good day! :-) Paul



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Posted 08 April 2010 - 02:00 AM

This is going to sound extreme but I would be looking to move as far away from this woman as is possible. She is rude and it sounds like if she has her way her 'baby boy' will be single again and forever. Your hubby sounds like a wonderful person but he needs to stand up to her. He should be coming to your defense. Where was he when she was going into her toxic tirade? Why didn't he grab your arm, say lets go now and walk out of the restaurant. You don't have to put up with her abuse and this surely wasn't the first instance. If you can get her to go to family counseling that might help but I doubt she will do it as she sounds like someone who makes everything someone else's fault. A bit of counseling with just you and your husband might help you both stand up to her or have the strength to limit her access to you.
It doesn't sound like you have children but if and when you do you can expect her to deal the same way with them. My children had to listen to my now ex husbands mother rant on about me with horrible lies and he never once stood up for me to her and it greatly damaged his relationship with them.
Your in a tough spot but you have to do one of two things, learn how to stand up to her or greatly limit the amount of time you spend with her. Going out to eat with her 5 times a week seems a bit excessive to me. She sounds a bit obsessive about her son and it is really time for him to cut the strings, become a man and stand up for the woman he loves. I don't mean he should cut her out of his life but that he should set boundaries and be firm that she can't abuse you or she will not be welcome in your home or your life.
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Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying
"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45
Blood tested and repeatedly negative
Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002
Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis
All bold resoved or went into remission with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002
Some residual nerve damage remains as of 2006- this has continued to resolve after eliminating soy in 2007

Mother died of celiac related cancer at 56
Twin brother died as a result of autoimmune liver destruction at age 15

Children 2 with Ulcers, GERD, Depression, , 1 with DH, 1 with severe growth stunting (male adult 5 feet)both finally diagnosed Celiac through blood testing and 1 with endo 6 months after Mom

Positive to Soy and Casien also Aug 2007

Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test Aug 2007
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)



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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:33 AM

Does your MIL have any health issues? If I ate out five nights a week, I'm sure I'd have a lot of health problems and probably weigh a ton! She should be grateful that you make her son happy, not to mention well-fed with healthy meals at home.

There's no excuse for her behavior and the woman obviously has many problems that have nothing to do with you.

Remember ... What goes around, comes around!!!
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Positive Celiac Blood Panel - Dec., 2009
Endoscopy with Positive Biopsy - April 9, 2010
Gluten Free - April 9, 2010



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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:49 AM

Would she begrudge you spending money on insulin if you were a diabetic? Or paying the cost of a really expensive prescription if your doctor said it would save your life? You're buying FOOD that happens to be the ONLY treatment for the condition you have! It doesn't matter WHAT it costs if it keeps you healthy and happy!

I think the best advice you've received here is to tell her that you will take your doctor's and dietician's advice, but I'd be sorely tempted to tell her exactly what she can do w/ HERS.

I survived a MIL from hell... even dead, she continues to affect my kids. Good luck w/ yours... her name doesn't happen to be Joni, does it??
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Living in the beautiful Ozark mountains in Arkansas
positive blood tests and later, positive biopsy
diagnosed 8/5/02, gluten-free (after lots of mistakes!) since that day
Dairy free since July 2010 and NOT happy about it!!



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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:55 AM

I don't think this has anything to do with your illness or howmuch money you spend. This woman would find something else to complain about. You & your husband need to greatly limit your exposure to her. She is just plain mean. Your husband needs to be the one to talk to her and tell her that her behavior is awful & he won't be around it. If you have kids, limit or don't even let them around her. Evil people are evil people even if we are related to them. If she wasn't related, you wouldn't want to be friends & go to dinner, etc. Only see her when you really have to & in a big group - like a family wedding. It will be easier to stay away from her. If Hub has a relationship with other members of his family, he might talk to 1 or 2 & explain this craziness. I'm sure they would spread the word. Good luck!
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Posted 08 April 2010 - 05:43 AM

IMVHO, your mil is a nut. I guess that if she rode to the restaurant with you, then you and your dh couldn't just walk out on her. But that is what she deserved.

A. No, you're not spending a lot of money on food. You would be horrified at how much I spend, and most of it isn't gluten free. I just have a big family.

B. Your husband needs to tell this woman that you could suffer from repeated miscarriages if you go off the diet. That might shut her up. (Of course this assuming that she is normal enough to want grandchildren - she may not be)

C. You need to limit your time with her as much as possible.

Just because somebody is a relative doesn't mean that you have to spend lots of time with them.

Also, the rest of the family knows that she's a gossip and a jerk, so don't waste your time worrying about what they think.

I"ve got to run, so I don't have time to expound on evil mother-in-laws.
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Posted 08 April 2010 - 06:01 AM

Your mother in law's behavior was way out of line! I don't know if I could've controlled myself I heard mine say something like that, to a waitress no less! I spend twice as much as you on groceries per week so I don't think you are overspending by any means, I think that lady is just crazy and wants to hold a grudge against you! Most the time dinner out costs us close to your weekly grocery budget so if anything dining out is the waste of money.
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Posted 08 April 2010 - 06:19 AM

Thanks all.

I should know by now to not let this... person get under my skin.

She is, well, impossible. Always has been, always will be. Before celiac there was still my shellfish allergy and it took three YEARS to get her to stop trying to shove shrimp onto my plate. The capping moment for THAT was when my husband found her rubbing lobster shell onto my plate while out at a restaurant to "Prove" I was just being difficult. A shouting fit from him explaining he had no problem having her charged with attempted murder finally stopped it.

It's... difficult. He's an only child AND adopted - and his parents are nits. He bought their house when he was 17 (Starting working like a dog when he was 15) and was always their personal slave. I don't think she expected ME to pop into his life. Suddenly - he had someone who thought he was wonderful, TOLD him he was wonderful, and was willing to work WITH him. Kinda crashed her little self-important world in on her. I'm not toeing the line to the little tyrant (Seriously, it's kinda funny when she tries. I'm 6'2 - she's 4'6. It's rather like being yelled at by a banty hen!) and she is running out of ways to try to exert control.

Celiac has become her new horse to whip. Constant comments of "Well, once you have kids you'll have to give up this nonsense" and "When the grandkids come to Grandma's what they eat is no one's business but mine" (starting to make me nervous - we're waiting until Christmas, but I DO want children.) and she tells EVERY SINGLE PERSON WE COME INTO CONTACT WITH about all my health "Flaws" and how big of a burden I am.

What really makes me nuts? First - as to HER budget. Even eating out with her husband 5 times a week - he spends about $250 a week on crap. (The woman lives on poptarts, cheesecrackers, and that jugged iced tea.) She does no cooking, and when she retired 7 years ago - she went to bed. She sleeps all day, watches tv all night, will go three days without bothering to brush her hair or teeth because she is bored. She only gets off her tuckus to go shopping or out to eat.

Her health? Let's see.... last two years she was dealing with anal cancer. And seriously... LOVED the colostomy bag, and made her husband deal with it "as it was too hard for her to be expected to manage". Got better (don't know how. I've lost family who fought like tigers - this woman skipped through it free and clear with no effort) than shattered her leg. Spent 4 weeks in a rehab center where we got taken aside and told "Look. We can't MAKE her get out of bed." and sent her home. No physical therapy, no work. Hernia surgery was the latest.... and I found nurses outside her room either crying or plotting murder because she was so terrible. She is on dozens on medications - including her favorite pain killers for a back issue from the late 60's.

As Ravenwoodglass suggested - at this point? I just want to MOVE. (We're 2.1 miles from them at the moment. Not that I measured it exactly, or anything! lol) It will be another 2 years before we can - but yeah. That's the plan.

Sorry to natter on and on. I'm usually able to handle her - it is rather like managing a violent and uncontrollable child that doesn't belong to you. I think my BIG shock came because I'd skipped the whole nonsense for almost a month (my husband has gotten his time with her down to one night a week he takes her out. To salve his conscious, make sure she DOES get dressed, and to give his dad a few hours off) and I suppose I'd gotten unused to how... insane the woman is. And it is always disconcerting to spend several hours with someone who views you as the sole reason for her misery and strife. (Sorry. I fell in love with her son. That was apparently an unforgivable crime. Luckily for me? He just thinks I'm extra special that I didn't run the other way screaming after I met his parents. I will grant... the fact he is adopted and there is no way for that genetic material to continue was something I was relieved about!)

One slightly insane Mother-In-Law, CHEAP! Any buyers?
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Diagnosed with celiac in the summer of 09 - after being sick since I was a teen with no answers. I miss "real" pasta - but its a fair trade off for getting my life BACK.

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