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Everyone Eats While I Watch: Your Honesty Needed, Please


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37 replies to this topic

#1 Lynayah

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:25 PM

I need everyone to be very honest with me. I need to know if the way I am feeling right now is selfish of me or not . . .

My husband and I are going on vacation to be with our daughter. Today, hubby told me that he and our daughter might want to go to a very special restaurant where I can eat nothing safely.

I told him that it would be wonderful if they go -- that they should go and enjoy themselves! I asked for his understanding if I did not go with, and he said I was being very selfish.

I responded that I disagreed. I felt I was being empathetic. I explained that, if he couldn't eat gluten, it would kill me to go to a restaurant and eat all kinds of wonderful, highly-rated, much-craved food while he sat and watched and ate nothing . . . even if he were being a great sport about the whole thing. I explained that I am asking to sit out because it would allow them to have a good time without having to think about my sitting there . . . which I really understand. It is not a problem!

He disagrees. He feels I should go and sit there and be the higher person, and that I am being extremely selfish if I do not do it.

Perhaps he is right.

Augh . . . thank goodness for this group! I am really on the fence here. I am honestly am not sure how I should process or react to this.

I am also feeling a bit hurt by his reaction . . . I want him to understand how difficult it would be for me to go and just watch them eat while I drink water . . . but perhaps I am being unreasonable?

We belong to a non-profit organization where I have to bring my own food to the meetings. Why shouldn't I also be able to be the bigger person when it comes to my family . . . and either just drink water and enjoy their company or bring my own food and shut-up about the whole thing?

My husband is a very kind and caring person, as is my daughter.
Your thoughts?
  • 0
Gluten Intolerant with double HLA-DQ6. Pre-diagnosis: Weight gain, swelling, diarrhea, mouth sores, back pain, body aches, fatigue, muscle weakness, BRAIN FOG, runny nose, recurrent sinus infections, bruising, low white cell count (whole life), and more. My feet were so bad, I could hardly walk. Toward the end: Chronic Vit. D deficiency (almost no D in my body despite a quality multi-vit. each day).

There is hope! Gluten-free since Sept. '09, and I have my life back - I feel better than in many, many years!

Favorite quotation: "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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#2 Jestgar

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:40 PM

Don't go. It will be a wonderful Father-Daughter thing, and it would ultimately be spoiled by them realizing the full impact of what they had done to you. There's no 'bigger person' involved here, it's you appreciating that your husband wants to do something special for his daughter.
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#3 Roda

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:09 PM

I don't think you are being selfish just the opposite. This is an opportunity for him and your daughter to have a nice outing the two of them. Maybe after that you and her can do something special. I wouldn't want to sit there and not be able to safely eat anything either. Sure you could bring something to eat, but if you really don't want to go I don't see what the problem is.
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Me:
Celiac disease(positive blood work/biopsy- 10/2008), gluten free oat intolerent, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis/Disease, Raynaud's Disease


DS2(age 9):
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DS1(age 13):
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#4 luvs2eat

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:19 PM

I think there's selfishness going on... but it's not yours! Why would your husband choose a restaurant knowing that you'd be able to eat nothing and then call you selfish for not wanting to go and drink only water? I think you're telling him to go w/o guilt and have a great time w/ your daughter is very selfless rather than selfish!!
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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!!

#5 Ahorsesoul

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:28 PM

I can't believe this place can't fix a gluten free meal. If you haven't called the place you need to give them a call. I just had dinner at an Italian place whose speciality is of course pasta. My meal was gluten free.

I think one could go both ways on this. It would be nice as a father-daughter night out. I could go, not eat and enjoy myself but not everyone could do this. I'd be taking photos the whole time to document the dinner. If both of them want you to go I suggest you go or it will be remembered by your daughter as the night Mom refused to go to dinner with me.

I do vote your husband as being rather selfish on this matter.
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1960s-had symptoms-could have been before but don't remember
1970s-told had colitis or nervous stomach-was given phenobarbital, felt great but still had symptoms
Me, dd and ds diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance
2000-osteopenia
2001-had stroke because of medications I was given
June 2003-saw Chiropractor who specialized in nutrition: Celiac Disease not Lactose Intolerance, went gluten free with once in awhile cheating, off soy and dairy for about 6 months
June 2003-found excellent doctor for fibromyalgia (who has found out she has Celiac Disease)
May 2006-went gluten free with NO cheating-excellent! Made all the difference in the world

#6 RoseTapper

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:28 PM

Do you want the honest truth? I would be extremely hurt if my husband and daughter chose a special restaurant knowing full well that I couldn't eat there safely. If they really want to eat at that particular restaurant, I agree with the others that they should go alone and spend time together. It would be hurtful and degrading to require you to sit there and "suck it up" while they got to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

You say very positive things about your husband, but I think he needs to empathize more with your condition. I honestly don't think he'd feel comfortable if the situation were reversed. Personally, I know my husband and daughter would NEVER choose a restaurant where all three of us couldn't eat, but that doesn't mean that they don't enjoy going to restaurants without me so that they can enjoy pizza or Japanese food. In fact, they're so worried about my feelings being hurt, they usually don't even tell me when they've gone out together to enjoy these types of meals. They have pizza delivered only on evenings when I'm working late so that I don't have to smell it (it was my favorite food before being diagnosed, and the gluten-free pizza shops are located too far away for delivery).

In this instance, I believe your husband is being selfish....but you may not wish to mention this particular opinion to him because this might cause an even bigger tiff. I believe, though, that he needs to be a LOT more understanding of your illness. It IS a disease that not only affects us physically--it affects us socially and emotionally. Perhaps an experiment is in order! Of course, he'll have to be willing to play along....but if you were to meet up with him at his all-time favorite restaurant when he was especially hungry and then explained to him that the rules would be that you would eat a meal in front of him without his ordering anything and without your sharing even a morsel of what you were eating--how do you think he'd feel? You and I know exactly how he'd feel, because we've had to do this very same thing time and time again. I guess you could call this tough love, but he might "get" it.

Good luck!
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#7 tictax707

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:08 PM

I agree with the general consensus so far as well. Just recently I have decided to quit going places where I can't eat and watching people eat just to be social. It sucks. I don't think you are being selfish at all, and I am sorry that your family chose a restaurant you can't eat at, and still expect you to go! That seems a bit unreasonable really. If they really want you to go, then it needs to be someplace that you can eat. If they really like the restaurant and really want to go (which I can also understand), then they just need to respect your wishes to bow out this time.

But on the other hand, are you SURE you can't eat there? Have you called and talked to the chef or the manager? There may still be hope. Maybe you could get a salad with oil and vinegar or something...?

I wish you the best in sorting this out. I'd be interested to know how this story ends!
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Diagnosed celiac 2002
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#8 K8ling

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:13 PM

Don't go. You'll end up depressed and resentful, they'll feel bad and it will ruin an otherwise special night. I definitely agree with the "Father Daughter" thing. Hopefully they'll jump on board!! Good luck :)
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Diagnosed with Gluten Allergy April 2010. Family history of Celiac disease and bowel cancers. Already feeling a billion times better since going gluten free.

#9 afreeclimber74

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:08 PM

I need everyone to be very honest with me. I need to know if the way I am feeling right now is selfish of me or not . . .

My husband and I are going on vacation to be with our daughter. Today, hubby told me that he and our daughter might want to go to a very special restaurant where I can eat nothing safely.

I told him that it would be wonderful if they go -- that they should go and enjoy themselves! I asked for his understanding if I did not go with, and he said I was being very selfish.

I responded that I disagreed. I felt I was being empathetic. I explained that, if he couldn't eat gluten, it would kill me to go to a restaurant and eat all kinds of wonderful, highly-rated, much-craved food while he sat and watched and ate nothing . . . even if he were being a great sport about the whole thing. I explained that I am asking to sit out because it would allow them to have a good time without having to think about my sitting there . . . which I really understand. It is not a problem!

He disagrees. He feels I should go and sit there and be the higher person, and that I am being extremely selfish if I do not do it.

Perhaps he is right.

Augh . . . thank goodness for this group! I am really on the fence here. I am honestly am not sure how I should process or react to this.

I am also feeling a bit hurt by his reaction . . . I want him to understand how difficult it would be for me to go and just watch them eat while I drink water . . . but perhaps I am being unreasonable?

We belong to a non-profit organization where I have to bring my own food to the meetings. Why shouldn't I also be able to be the bigger person when it comes to my family . . . and either just drink water and enjoy their company or bring my own food and shut-up about the whole thing?

My husband is a very kind and caring person, as is my daughter.
Your thoughts?

It sounds like your family wants to spend time with you.
Don't bow out because you think you'd be doing them a favor. If hubby is upset about your intended absence, then why would you think you're doing the right thing?
Bring some food in your purse and order an empty plate.
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#10 gary'sgirl

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:21 PM

Oh! It makes me so sad to think of all the extra difficulties that we have to go through with this disease. It not only affects our physical life and social life, but it also affects our emotional life and our relationships.

Lynayah,I definitely don't think you are being selfish and if your husband could really understand where you are coming from I don't think he would ask you to go somewhere that you can't eat with your family. I just don't think that people who don't experience this exact thing can completely understand. It is selfish in a way, but I don't think that he can understand that completely. Of course our loved ones can come very close to understanding, but I truly believe that unless you have walked in someones shoes you can't completely understand where they are coming from.

I have been hurt by my friends and family and their apparent lack of understanding, but one day I realized that no one that doesn't have this disease, or something just like it, will ever be able to completely understand, and may at times inadvertently hurt or disappoint us. But, although I wish I had someone to talk with that would truly get where I'm coming from (that's what you all are there for - right? ;) ), I'm thankful that the ones I care for don't have to go through this - it's really hard and I don't wish it on anyone. I am sure you have already been to this point, but I thought I would just share it anyway.

All that to say, I don't think that you are being selfish at all and I don't think that your husband is meaning to be either - I think that someday he will realize, one way or another, that asking you to do that is not just a decision of being mature, but it is actually a very emotionally hard thing to do. It is something that in one way or another we are bombarded with everyday - even when it gets easier - it's a life change that doesn't mesh with what most people live.

I hope you figure out what will work for you guys. :)

~Sarah
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#11 mushroom

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:52 PM

I'm so sorry about this situation. It is like your husband and your daughter are on one side of the valley, you on the other, and there is this wide river that divides you. I agree that it would be a wonderful father/daughter opportunity (I never had any one-on-one time with either of my parents), and it would be painful for you to have to sit there watching them eat a wonderful meal and enjoying themselves. Do not try and swim the river - sunbathe on the other bank and meet up with them later.
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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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"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

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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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#12 ravenwoodglass

 
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Posted 18 May 2010 - 04:52 AM

I would call the restaurant and ask to speak with the chef, they may need to call you back. They should be able to feed you something, a plain steak and baked potato or a salad and some steamed unseasoned veggies etc. If not then make a few calls to the better restaurants in the area and see if another might accomodate you.
My DD is getting married in the fall and when we discussed the reception dinner she just told me to bring my own food as the restaurant was doing something that would not accomodate me. Indeed their menus posted on line sure wouldn't. However I took it on myself to contact the person in charge at the restaurant. It turns out they do have the capacity to do gluten free food and I will be having plain turkey breast and steamed veggies. If I hadn't taken it on myself to contact I would be sitting and watching everyone else eat. Your family wants to spend time with you but also wants you to be safe and there should be a way to do so.
The alternative of bringing a little something in your purse, salad dressing for the salad or a salad from home etc might be something to do also but I think a couple phone calls might bring sucess with a nice restaurant.
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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)

#13 NorthernElf

 
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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:00 AM

Tough one - I either wouldn't go or I would pack my own food & go...and, yes, eat my own food at the restaurant and have a glass of wine or something (I have done this lots before).

I thought I could do this last Christmas - my brother took DH, myself, and my kids out to a pizza place. It offered nothing but pizza. I was choked that he would do that - we were on holiday and there were lots of restaurants we could go to but he had to take us to this one because it was "neat". So I bucked up, brought my lunch kit and we went. Basically, I just go pissed off. Everyone had pizza (smelled real good) and ice cream and I sat there with my wine and didn't even touch my food.

I won't do that again - told hubby that too. He said it was mostly for the kids (he doesn't like to eat out much, and no it wasn't a kids restaurant). I said I didn't care - I wouldn't take a vegetarian to a bbq steak house that didn't have any vegetarian options, so I won't go to a place that doesn't have any gluten-free ones either (potentially, even if it's just a salad).

Maybe suggest your DH go with your daughter, spend some time together. If he says you're being selfish, look him in the eye and say really ? I am ?
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#14 Northern Celiac

 
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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:35 AM

No you are not being selfish. Either you look after yourself or you don't
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#15 weluvgators

 
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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:15 AM

I think you are doing a fantastic job of honoring your needs. And, realistically, I understand how hard it can be for others to understand our needs. It wasn't all that long ago that I had no idea about most of the stuff that I now understand about gluten, gluten intolerance, celiac and cross contamination! I think about the craziest, most mundane, yet incredibly critical details now ALL the time. And I have definitely learned from past mistakes! :rolleyes:

I have tried similar scenarios in several different ways, but most importantly I tried to do what *I* wanted to do. I have gone to social functions and eaten nothing. I had my own food in the car, and I ate both before and after the function. My lesson learned there was NOT to talk with the big gluten eaters closely - one of them got my when she was talking closely to me while eating chex mix & pretzels. Not everyone is super sensitive to airborne exposure, but *I* am - so now I try to respect and plan for that better.

I have contacted restaurants before hand to decide if there is any way that they can feed me something safely. That has always worked out well. Sometimes, working out well is having a complete understanding that there truly is *nothing* that they can safely prepare for me. But if it is a "nice" restaurant, I would expect that the kitchen has a true appreciation for feeding people. I have been pleasantly surprised by some of my experiences and interactions with kitchen staff and managers. A GOOD kitchen staff can pretty easily wrap their head around cross contamination and understand if they can safely feed you. Being able to identify and explain your needs for being fed safely is very helpful. I have helped kitchen staff in the past to figure out *how* to safely feed me.

And, whatever you decide you *want* to do, I hope that you will first and foremost enjoy yourself! I feel that you are not in any way being selfish to decline an invitation that may ultimately exclude you and leave you feeling uncomfortable.

So, how are you handling your food needs while on vacation? I typically make myself a really nice meal before these occasions where I want to socialize with others that will be eating. I have to laugh remembering one of the events that I went to and didn't eat at the party full of eating people, as there was one gentleman that just did not understand *why* I wasn't eating anything. But out of a crowd of 100 people, only one person seemed to be bothered by my not eating . . . and it wasn't me! :lol:

Good luck figuring this out - there really is not anything easy about learning to navigate the many, many details of living gluten free!
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My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.




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