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I Don't Want To Go!


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23 replies to this topic

#1 zus888

 
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Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:30 PM

DH's boss really wants to show his appreciation by hosting a dinner at his home for his employees and their families. I do not want to go. I think it is very thoughtful and kind of him to want to make a special gluten-free meal for everyone just so I can come, but, honestly, I'm going to be freakin' paranoid the entire time. He's come up with a gluten free meal idea. He wants to make chicken parmesan, but the chicken will be grilled (not breaded), the tomato sauce homemade, and have it served over quinoa. Um, am I the only one who thinks this meal sounds pretty awful?? Who makes chicken parm unbreaded and over quinoa??? I don't want him serving a meal that no one will like (including me) just to make it gluten free. Plus, there's so many other BETTER choices out there!! Additionally, despite the meal ingredients being gluten free, it's the cross contamination that's freaking me out. I can't imagine I will enjoy myself because I'll be spending the whole time worried about whether I'm getting glutened, and watching their every move around the food. Just doesn't sound like a good time to me AT ALL.

My friend says I'm not being supportive and my DH isn't all that happy with the idea of me staying home, but it's not HIS HEALTH on the line. KWIM? I think it's admirable that someone would want to learn and go to such lengths to be able to include me, but I really don't think people really "get" the risk of cross contamination: things like condiments and butter or pasta strainers. There's only a very few people who I would trust to serve me, but they've gone through great lengths to learn about celiac and cross contamination.

I KNOW some of you are going to say that I should just bring a meal of my own. But I'm just not emotionally "there" yet. I just started the diet in March, and I'm still at a point of feeling very limited and "without." I hate bringing food of my own and watching others eat my favorite foods that I can no longer have. I have avoided picnics all summer because of this. It's just not worth the bad mood it will put me in for days. And the binging that will likely follow. I'd much rather just not go and focus on what I CAN have instead of having my nose rubbed in what I CANNOT have. For me, it's very isolating having to bring my own meal to something like that.

I've also heard the theory that it's really about socializing and not the food. But it's NEVER been that way for me. It's ALWAYS about the food. It was a running joke in my office about how I'd push old ladies, children, and pregnant women out of my way in order to be the first in line at a buffet. I freakin' LOVE that food!!! So, maybe to other's it's about socializing, but not for me. Socializing is secondary to enjoying the good eats.

I realize I have a long way to go in my attitude toward food. But, right now, this is where I am and I feel like I need to honor my limitations and work within them for now.

So, what am I to do. The guy is sort of desperate to have me there (for reasons I don't understand). He just wants to include everyone. But I just don't trust eating at people's houses, especially those I don't know well. And DH is obviously not pleased with the idea of me staying home. Why don't they get it??
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#2 love2travel

 
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Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:56 PM

What a conundrum! My reaction would be the same as yours. I would be grateful for the kind thought and willingness to make things gluten-free for my sake, yet at the same time how on earth could you trust it? Can you say cross contamination? I am one of those people who live to eat, not eat to live, so truly understand how hard it would be to take your own food along and watch others eat. That would not be an option for me at this point. My husband is to see his family in a couple of weeks and I am not going - how do I avoid CC over the duration of 8 meals when they have no clue how to prepare properly and so on? Thankfully DH gets it and explained it very well to his family.

I hear ya on the chicken parm on the quinoa when there are billions of other yummy options! But at least the boss is making every effort.

Socializing to me is secondary as well - food rules! If I were to be placed in a situation like that I would go with the wrong attitude as I just know that I would sit there inwardly fuming and unable to concentrate on other things. Food is that important to me. Sometimes I wish it was not but alas...it is. Always has been and probably always will be!

I'm afraid I cannot offer any advice as I feel the same way. To me the CC is just not worth the risk. Sorry you are in such a pickle! See? Everything I talk about has to come back to food.
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<p>Confirmed celiac disease February 2011 from biopsies. Strictly gluten free March 18 2011.Diagnosed with fibromyalgia April 13 2011.3 herniated discs, myofascial pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, 2 rotator cuff injuries - from an accident Dec. 07 - resulting in chronic pain ever since. Degenerative disc disease.Osteoarthritis in back and hips.Chronic insomnia mostly due to chronic pain.Aspartame free May 2011.

When our lives are squeezed by pressure and pain, what comes out is what is inside.

#3 11475

 
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Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:11 PM

I can understand and appreciate everything you are feeling. :(

Just wanted to make two suggestions, which may or may not give you, or others reading this, something to think about.

1) There is a possibility that you could use this as an opportunity to bring up the fact that being gluten free means controlling for things like cc, and provide some education to your husband's boss (since he seems to keen to provide for you).

2) There is another poster (kareng, possibly?) who has written a few times previously that she will call ahead and find out what a host is planning to prepare, then make an individual serving of that same meal, but gluten free, for herself. I know you said you don't feel up to bringing your own meal, and oh, yes, it is difficult sometimes sitting there watching others eat foods you can't eat while you eat something from home. But - if this were an option for you (and you could convince DH's boss to make a more appealing meal for his guests..), it would mean that at least you'd be eating 'the same' food as everyone else. You might even be able to slip into the kitchen and arrange for yours to be brought out with the other meals so as not to make a big deal of yours being different.

Just some ideas. Good luck - I sympathise, because my first reaction would be to not want to go either. Hopefully you can find a solution that suits everyone and does not compromise your health.
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#4 annegirl

 
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Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:43 PM

I totally understand the freaking out, and not wanting to eat something different. I have several other intolerances on top of gluten that make it very difficult, if not impossible, to eat what others do.

I really honestly hope this doesn't come across as harsh or mean. I come from a more tough love family so take this with all the love in the world, because I know what you're going through.

I have a degree in Culinary Arts. Family get togethers (at least once a week) are always centered around food. I have had to "suck it up" and find ways to eat enjoyable everything free food. We got dealt a hand that makes life a little different, but it could be worse! It could be cancer, heart disease or a variety of other diseases that require multiple hospital visits and lots of medication. You have the opportunity to stay healthy by "only" changing your diet. I have a friend with lupus that wishes her lot was as "easy" as ours.

As you work through your grieving process you're going to have to tell your sad feelings to put on their big girl underwear and "take it like a man" (say it to myself all the time). ;) It's time to go find some "happy thought" food that you enjoy. Try new recipes, try new ingredients. Definitely if you haven't already, read Gluten Free Girl and Gluten Free Girl and the Chef. She has an extremely positive attitude and some great recipes!

As far as this activity, I would tell the boss to go ahead and make normal chicken parmesan. I don't see any reason (unless you have other food allergies....sorry if you do!) that you can't make a GREAT gluten free version. Corn pasta I found to be much yummier than even wheat pasta (before I couldn't eat corn), I've heard Udi's bread is ok (can't because of corn and I think soy), you can use that for the crumbs. This way you're not eating anything "different" but you have the peace of mind that you won't get sick.

Just remind yourself every time you start getting sad that at least YOU have CONTROL over what you feel like. You could totally go back to the old way, feel like crud and wonder what was wrong with you. Every day you get to wake up and make decisions that directly impact your well being!

Again, take this with all the love and understanding in the world. I can't eat hardly any gluten free goods because of my other intolerances. I travel for business. I LOVE LOVE LOVE food and cooking. My family is all about food. Oh, and I can't drink the nectar of life COKE! :) But still, I feel great. Life is good. I'm alive. :)

Hang in there! I hope it goes well for you. :)
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#5 kareng

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:08 AM

2) There is another poster (kareng, possibly?) who has written a few times previously that she will call ahead and find out what a host is planning to prepare, then make an individual serving of that same meal, but gluten free, for herself.



:wub: It warms my heart to see someone is listening to me!

I have a slightly different take on this, this time. I think it is wrong of a company or a boss to insist that spouses must come to an event. I am not the employee. What I eat or how I talk or look or think, should not effect my husband's job performance. Very few jobs really need a spouse's participation (maybe President of the US). I attend things occassionally, it I want to. Even before gluten-free, I rarely went to these "command performances". Yes, the boss says it is to "reward the employees for thier hard work, and the spouses for putting up with the long hours". I don't find sitting eating with people I barely know and have little in commmon with, a reward.

Buffets or cocktail type things are easier to negotiate than a sit down dinner. If everyone is eating at once, its obvious you aren't. When everyone is milling about, who knows if you ate 5 minutes ago.

If this were me, my hub would probably tell them I had something with the kids but he would attend. If its too late for that, He needs to tell him that you are very sensitive to gluten. Eating, even a gluten-free meal, at another's house won't work. Even an errant crumb will make you sick. (tricky because people will think you are saying they don't wash dishes well) Your doctor has advised you not to eat at other peoples houses because gluten is a sneaky little ba$#%%#.

Good luck.
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#6 luvs2eat

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:33 AM

I really like the idea of saying your doctor said... whatever... Telling them that you're fairly new to the diet/lifestyle and that your doctor strongly recommends not eating at other's homes for a (long) while is brilliant!

I think telling the boss to make chicken parm like he always would and bringing your own gluten-free portion is a great idea too!

One of my daughters and I attended a wedding shower at a fancy tea house where they served tiny delicate tea sandwiches on beautiful tiered serving plates. I brought tiny egg salad and tuna salad tea sandwiches for DD and me and we fit right in! It was great!
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#7 sreese68

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:03 AM

I have a slightly different take on this, this time. I think it is wrong of a company or a boss to insist that spouses must come to an event. I am not the employee. What I eat or how I talk or look or think, should not effect my husband's job performance. Very few jobs really need a spouse's participation (maybe President of the US). I attend things occassionally, it I want to. Even before gluten-free, I rarely went to these "command performances". Yes, the boss says it is to "reward the employees for thier hard work, and the spouses for putting up with the long hours". I don't find sitting eating with people I barely know and have little in commmon with, a reward.


I agree with this. However, I also think you should take your husband's feelings into consideration. Is this event really important to him? Does he want you to meet the people he spends all day with? Does he want to show you off (I mean that in a flattering way)? If it means a lot to him, you should just go. Sometimes we have to do things we don't like for our loved ones. If it isn't a big deal to your husband, then find a way to bow out gracefully.
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#8 kellynolan82

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:11 AM

Anthony Demetre had some good tips when it comes to Quinoa! Might want to look him up. Though I believe he's a coeliac who decides to eat as much pasta and pizza as he can get a hold of for 2 weeks after being gluten free for 3 months. :rolleyes:
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#9 Darn210

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:27 AM

OK . . . so I'm all about the details.

When is this event and how many people are invited? Is this something that he could have catered/brought in? Say PF Changs (where you can get gluten free)? Is this something that could be turned into a pitch-in dinner where he provides the main (glutenous) dish but other people bring in the sides/dessert (easier to bring in some safe food). How do you feel about cooking? Would he buy the ingredients and you cook for all and serve at his house? . . . This all depends on how many people and the relationship the your husband has with his boss. I would explain (or have your husband explain) that there is a lot more that goes into it besides gluten free ingredients and it's difficult for someone that hasn't lived the lifestyle to know/understand all the nuances of safe gluten free cooking in a house that is not strictly gluten free. (Also deeply express your appreciation that he even wants to try.)
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#10 love2travel

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:14 AM

:wub: It warms my heart to see someone is listening to me!

I have a slightly different take on this, this time. I think it is wrong of a company or a boss to insist that spouses must come to an event. I am not the employee. What I eat or how I talk or look or think, should not effect my husband's job performance. Very few jobs really need a spouse's participation (maybe President of the US). I attend things occassionally, it I want to. Even before gluten-free, I rarely went to these "command performances". Yes, the boss says it is to "reward the employees for thier hard work, and the spouses for putting up with the long hours". I don't find sitting eating with people I barely know and have little in commmon with, a reward.

I know what you mean about the company insisting that spouses attend events. However, there are some events that my husband's firm requires spouses to attend that I do not really mind such as flying to London, Paris, San Francisco, Prague, etc. for their AGMs. We get S P O I L E D to bits. Everything is paid for and we go to the best restaurants and see the best sights/sites on the planet. But even still it is very nearly impossible for me to travel due to pain...sigh...but before my pain it was so fabulous! Next year the AGM is in Paris and spouses are required to attend as a reward, as you mentioned, for putting up with our spouses' long hours (80-100 per week).
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<p>Confirmed celiac disease February 2011 from biopsies. Strictly gluten free March 18 2011.Diagnosed with fibromyalgia April 13 2011.3 herniated discs, myofascial pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, 2 rotator cuff injuries - from an accident Dec. 07 - resulting in chronic pain ever since. Degenerative disc disease.Osteoarthritis in back and hips.Chronic insomnia mostly due to chronic pain.Aspartame free May 2011.

When our lives are squeezed by pressure and pain, what comes out is what is inside.

#11 Takala

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:23 PM

My reaction - Who puts breading on perfectly good chicken, tomato sauce, and cheese ? But over quinoa... there is polenta, corn pasta, rice pasta, rice itself, risotto. Quinoa is getting written up a lot in the food sections of business papers. It's like broccoli, or cilantro, some people don't care for it.

They don't "get it" because they are not mind readers and you haven't told them yet.

This starts with Your Husband. He needs to be told that the appropriate response to this is: No Thank You, She Can't Eat Other People's Cooking. We will come, but don't worry about us, if we are coming, we will bring our own food. Thank you for being so considerate.

End of discussion.

That is really very sweet of them to respond by attempting to accommodate you, but of course, it won't work because they have not been taught about cross contamination issues. Even people that have been taught but who don't have to eat gluten free, frequently cannot concentrate enough and be aware of the ingredients and use clean surfaces, to actually do it properly. Case in point: my otherwise very cooperative spouse, who cooks, sometimes comes home with something that is not clearly labeled enough that I would touch it, and I'd better be checking the pantry when he does this. And while this is the ultimate fault of our country's lack of clear labeling laws which let manufacturers put any old garbage into "natural flavorings," this is still happening with somebody who is otherwise very celiac- savvy for a normal person. He also has actually caught a restaurant server giving us the wrong item... he will ask them out loud, "and that is the gluten free version, right ?" just as I start eyeballing the dish which does not seem to be the same as the last time.

It's really wonderful that they actually want to include everyone...

If you don't put your foot down now and lay down the rules, you can expect more of this nonsense. So- called "friends" should just shut up, and DH needs to be told in no uncertain terms that you can not just eat "casually," at other people's houses, ever. This means he also needs to be firm and polite.

If you want to salvage the event, tell them to make whatever, and you will bring your own so you can have a safe and enjoyable time. Plan also on bringing the best possible extra pan or dish of whatever gluten free item you are good at, or can purchase somewhere else, so you can offer it to share. I realize you said you aren't ready yet, but it is time for you to eventually learn to find enough of something you really do like to eat that is gluten free, and to not make yourself a hermit because of this. I have been packing meals all summer, and I'm not going to give up going anywhere just because I have to avoid one lousy grain protein.

If you want to hear about the latest didn't quite work as planned: got invited to event, I drove to the town, 2.5 hours record time, my spouse was not quite good with the navigating once there (grrrrrrrr ) and we had to backtrack and got stuck in traffic. Barely made the first part, then was supposed to admire the facility which was left open for us, then go to the restaurant reception - we knew this restaurant was going to be a disaster, so had made plans to eat somewhere else first, that was gluten free and highly rated, and had made a reservation... guess what, they didn't take the ^%$#(*&^% reservation we had made by phone. Oh, freaking great, now we're stuck in SF and I just have my cooler of quick gluten-free food, and I'm all dressed up. So we decided to check out a place we had eaten at before, it was really busy and the menu was not going to be good, strike two. The beachfront is about as cold and windy as it can get in the summer in SF, so much for the picnic with the food we brought, no way, even if I change clothes, the sand is literally blowing into our teeth. Okay, let's drive into the city further, and get some of that gluten free food at this other place that is supposed to be good per the reviews by gluten free eaters. Only we don't realize there is a massive city celebration going on this weekend, and this trip turns into the slowest possible crawl over about 2 miles and takes over an hour to go a few blocks... then we have to park somewhere.... OMG the $$$... finally, a parking garage.... we finally get to this little hole in the wall type place about dark. But the Venezuelan food is absolutely fantastic and it's all gluten free, and at least we're finally eating something. And there is no way we can get to the reception with the traffic, so may as well enjoy it. We got done eating about 11 pm and started the long drive back. But we had to tell them the truth later, we got stuck in traffic and never made it.

I can hardly wait to go back and eat there again, but you can bet I am really, really going to be checking out whatever else is supposed to be going on there during that time phase, because spending 8 hours total drive time for one restaurant meal is a bit irksome.

Yes, it is not quite "spontaneous" to have to keep re selecting options, but I keep reminding myself that my life is for living now, not in some imaginary future where everything goes perfectly - it never does, you just have to plan for the things that will go wrong anyways.
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#12 Kansas

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:36 PM

I would not let this disease rob you of anymore than what it already has! It has taken away your love for food, but I be darned if it would destroy my relationships with hubby or famiy, social situations. I just read another thread of how it has robbed a person of everything, so very sad. I am very sensitive, so I would not eat anyone's else dinner, but fix and take mine own. I have done this several times and no one has even noticed.
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#13 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:06 PM

So, what am I to do. The guy is sort of desperate to have me there (for reasons I don't understand). He just wants to include everyone. But I just don't trust eating at people's houses, especially those I don't know well. And DH is obviously not pleased with the idea of me staying home. Why don't they get it??


Why is he "desperate to have you there" ? What is the purpose of this dinner? Is it possible that your DH is getting a raise or a bonus or an award or something and his boss wants to make sure you are there to see it? Or have you just never met your husband's co-workers and they want to get to know you? I can totally understand where you are coming from on this. I have passed on a lot of dinners and events because I just wasn't in the mood to deal with being around people eating. Sometimes though you just have to suck it up to be there for someone you love. I don't know if this is a really important meal but it seems to be important to your DH and it seems to be important to your DH's boss that your come. If the reason is important enough than you should go but don't eat what they make. Tell them in advance in no uncertain terms that you will bring your own food or you won't come. Period. End of discussion. Then go and take your favorite gluten-free meal. Whatever that may be. It CAN still be about the food if you want it to. Take something that you really enjoy or at the very least have something you love waiting in the car. There MUST be something gluten-free that you love to eat.

And yes I really know how much it sucks to go to a party and not eat the food there. I went to a baby shower recently where I couldn't even drink the punch because it had cream in it and I'm allergic to milk! I drank water the whole time there and then when I left I went and bought a bag of Pamela's cookies and ate almost the whole bag in one sitting! That's probably what you are wanting to avoid but the good news is that I don't do that after every event with food. The more I go to the better I get with just dealig with it. As I'm complimenting the host on how pretty the cake looks I'm pretending that it is one of those fake cakes iced on styrofoam or that it has rat poison as an ingredient. Anything to make it less appealing in my mind. You don't have to go to everything you get invited to but you do need to find a way to go to some things eventually. You've got to take that first step sometime. Good luck, whatever you decide!
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#14 Katrala

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:32 PM

Life isn't fair.

Yeah, it sucks to have to bring your own food or worry about CC, but there are many more terrible things in the world.

Just go and enjoy yourself and if you're not comfortable with the food that is prepared, bring your own or eat beforehand. It doesn't have to be elaborate or fancy.

Ever since getting my diagnosis in April I've pretty much just brought my own food everywhere. I thought it would be awkward at first, but it wasn't. I tell people not to worry about me when trying to plan for whatever, that I'll participate and will take care of myself.

It'll all be OK. Just relax and don't stress out about it.
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#15 Marilyn R

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:13 PM

Just an FYI, I had a horrible reaction to quinoa shortly after going gluten-free. Haven't been willing to subject myself to it since then, and there's a very good chance I never will try it again. I say don't go if you aren't comfortable with it.

I remember that we share some of the same neuro and psych issues from being glutened, don't know if quinoa will be an issue for you or not, but I definiitely understand why you'd rather just stay home.

I'm bad, but I guess I'd agree to go then not feel very good at all a few hours before it was time to go, sending him off with the food I dutifully made. If you feel bad about this, I understand, but the most important thing is self preservation and healing, in mho. And it's better to have a prevented mishap than a real mishap.
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Positive improvement from elimination diet. Mother dx'd by Mayo Clinic in late 1980s. Negative blood tests and Upper & Lower GI biopsy. Parathyroidectomy 12/09. Recurring high calcium level 4/10. Gluten-free 4/10. Soy & Dairy Free 6/10. Corn free 7/10. Grain free except rice 8/10. Legume free 6/11. Fighting the battle of the battle within myself, and I'm going to win!

As of 2/12, tolerating dairy, corn, legumes and some soy, but I limit soy to tamari sauce or modest soy additives. Won't ever try quinoa again!

Discoid Lupus from skin biopsy 2011, discovered 2/12 when picking up medical records. Systemic Lupus Dx 6/12. Shingles 10/12.




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