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Friends Purposely Glutening Me!
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So I have some friends, who don't quite understand Celiac. The other day they were eating cake for a party and one of my friends said " If I were you, I would break eating gluten free just to eat this cake." I said, "NO you wouldnt', if you had celiac, you would understand the consequences of eating that piece of cake!". My other friend said "Yeah, right, you've probably eaten gluten recently and not even known you did!" At this point I just walked away. The second friend has been saying that a lot lately. "I bet you have eaten gluten lately.", while giving strange looks to my other friends and winking. I've heard her talking about putting gluten in my food. I have been gluten free for over a year but still don't feel much better and lately my symptoms have started becoming almost exactly like before I started eating gluten. I am afraid that my friends or atleast one of them has done something to my food on a trip ( I go on many trips with my friends because we are in the same youth group at church). I have a trip coming up this weekend, and it's 10 day trip to Canada. I'm so scared that they are going to do something to my food. I am preparing all of my food ahead of time and putting it in containers to freeze, and reheat whenever I need to for the trip. They could easily open up one of my containers and do something when I'm not there! They seem like they just have to prove they are right that I am making up Celiac and that even if they believe I have Celiac, that I am exaggerating it. I am NOT exaggerating! Obviously I have very ignorant friends or else they wouldn't tell me I should eat a piece of cake!! AHHHH! Why are people in this world so ignorant?!?! Anyway, I have explained it to them multiple times, about cross-contaminatin, what happens to me if I eat gluten, how easily I can get glutened....but they don't believe me! I've printed out information and given it to them, given them as many examples as I could! Sometimes I feel like I want to ditch my friends and find new ones, except I'm stuck with these people and have to get along with them somehow. But I'm doing all I can! I don't bring it up unless someone offers me glutenous food and I have to decline. Or unless I'm eating and someone says my chicken looks like dog turds or my cookies taste like dirt. And then I defend myself and my food. lol....but seriously, how do you handle friends like this? And how can I make sure they don't gluten me on this trip? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

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Your a teenager, right? Have you told your parents or the leaders of this youth group? These are not your friends, they are criminals who are assaulting you. I know you want to go but if you cannot go safely, you shouldn't go. If you knew they might be putting arsenic in your food, would you say nothing and go? If you have one of those peanut allergies where you could die within minutes of eating peanuts, & they were going to put peanut in your food, would you go? Would your parents allow this?

Didn't you come on here about this before? Or was this happening to another girl? If you came on before, why haven't the youth leaders or your parents put a stop to this?

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Yes, I'm a teenager! I did post about my friends being rude to me about celiac before, it was actually about this same trip last year. But they have never actually threatened or talked about putting gluten in my food! I am scared. But it's my last year to be able to go and I have a friend who said she'll watch out for me to make sure noone will do it. But of course, I'm still scared, I can't puppyguard the fridge all week. Yes, I talked to my youth pastor. It has gotten slightly better. But also as you can see, in some ways worse. :P Also the same friend who said she'd watch out for me said some things today......another girl in my church has a video of me doing something embarrassing....not bad at all, just embarrassing. And she threatened to post it on Google plus. I told her not to. And this friend who said she will protect me said "Send me the video, (to the girl who took the video) what is she going to do , smother you with whole wheat bread? Oh, yeah, that kind of torture only works on her! ha ha ha" I stood up for myself and everyone was like freaking out on me....whatever...all im saying is these people one time say "Ill help you" but then they are ignorant enough to confuse the fact that whole wheat bread has just as much gluten as regular bread,when they are trying to insult me. They apologized but even though I forgave them I can't help but worry about what people really think and are going to do, if they tell me something different!

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Talk to the PARENTS of these kids. Explain that if they do this you will have them ARRESTED for attempted poisoning. And that after that you will be talking to a LAWYER. Mention this to your youth pastor too - it is HIS responsibility to keep you safe on this trip and if you have to threaten HIM with a lawyer too, well so be it.

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You really need to talk to your youth group leaders -- are they aware of your dietary restrictions?

If you were my daughter and we had already talked with the leaders and you still wanted to go on the trip - I would use a food sealer to seal your previously prepared meals -- seal broken -- don't eat it.

This really is a clear case of bullying...I'd bet there are some in your group that understand what you are telling them about the harm gluten can cause you, but are going along with the bully?

I know it is hard to let go of people that have been in your life for a long time, but you need to stop calling them your friends. Friends do not hurt each other for laughs.

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DO your parents know? Maybe if the parents insist to the youth leaders, they will be more watchful.

Here's what I would do if I were you and determined to go. Make sure you have some safe & filling things in your purse or suitcase. Packets of nuts, packets of peanut butter, Lara bars, fruit snacks, etc. Things that can't be tampered with or if they are, you would know someone opened them. A jar of nuts doesn't work because it will be open in your suitcase. Make sense? I found these little "lunchable" type meals called Go Picnic & you would know if someone opens the box if you can find them.

Then, the food you are bringing: I would get some stickers or tape. You will have to try at home a few days ahead to make sure the stickers stay stuck to the food containers for a few days. Might have to try a few different kinds. The point is to put many stickers or wrap duct tape around and around really tight across the seal of the food so that you will see if the plastic container is opened. Or you could find someone with one of those "seal-a-meal" things. You put your sandwich or chili in the plastic and it vacuum seals it. It has to be cut to open. Wrap cheese or sandwich very neatly in foil, then wrap duct tape around it 3 times. If you have whole fruits or carrot sticks, rinse them good firts or put in a baggie & give it the tape treatment.

See where I'm going with this? If we can't trust anyone, we will at least know when they tried to open the food. there are some really fun duct tape out there like leopard print & hot pink!

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That's a good idea! How do you seal your food? :) And thank you Bartfull. :) You're right, I shouldn't be calling them my friends. I have one friend who always sticks up for me, always tries my food and says good things about it, she doesn't make fun of me. I have one other friend who believes me and understands. The rest, you're right, they kind of follow this one person who leads this. They tell me to "Lighten up" when I get upset about the things they say. They tell me I need to stop being so edgy. I told them, they can't use the excuse that I overreact or need to lighten up, just to make fun of me! (by the way i don't overreact i usually laugh it off. might i say the person who leads this has healthproblems of her own but i have never made fun of her for how she looks because of it)

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A food sealer is like this. You were posting while I was. I think if you wrap duct tape around several times really tight, they can't tamper with it without you knowing. Duct tape sticks to my frozen plastic containers.

http://www.bing.com/shopping/mfg-co-vacuum-food-sealer/p/B59A7C1484A1B2516BAF?q=food+saver+bags+walmart&lpq=food%20saver%20bags%20walmart&FORM=HURE

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leads this has healthproblems of her own but i have never made fun of her for how she looks because of it)

Maybe you should pull her aside without all the others. Ask why she makes fun of your health problems when you don't make fun of hers? Or if you are a bit afraid of that, I guess you could ask the youth counselor to be there to.

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There is a kitchen appliance that has plastic bags that vacuum seal...but I like KarenG's idea of getting some fun duct tape -- Just put whatever meal in a ziplock and then put an extra seal of fun duct tape -- I've seen the patterns like zebra or cheetah or bright colors at craft stores as well as home improvement stores...the tape seems like the simplest route...especially because you can carry it in your bag to seal something on the road...like if you buy a bag of gluten-free snacks and eat part, just tape it up again...seal tampered with -- don't eat it.

The bully will tire of messing with your food if it is difficult to get to and move on.

I know it is difficult -- but if the topic of gluten free comes up around these "friends" try changing the subject or directing the conversation away from gluten-free...this is old news guys -- I can only eat gluten-free and I'm done talking about it...let's talk about something else then make a nice comment about one of your friends...you like their haircut -- heard they were doing well in sports, etc. Again...takes practice to change the subject away from yourself, but it is a great skill to develop as a young person.

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might i say the person who leads this has healthproblems of her own but i have never made fun of her for how she looks because of it)

She wouldn't be bullying you if she didn't have problems of her own that made her feel bad about herself. She wants to mask her problems, and being hard on others is how she copes. I'm not defending her but explaining what pushes her to be a bully.

Seal your food like the others suggested, and don't let the bully's problem become yours. You know when a fly flies by we just wave at it so it would stop bothering us, but then completely forget that the fly ever existed, because who would spend time thinking about why the fly is buzzing around? These so called friends are just flies haha :-) You don't need to spend hours of your life thinking about them because then you'd be missing out on what you should really be doing, which is having a good time.

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I remember belatedly reading your last posts about this topic, and not liking it then. To see you coming back a year later with the problems getting worse rather than better is even more concerning.

Other posters have given you some really good advice about ways to protect your food, and techniques to deflect the uwanted attention, and I have nothing to add to them.

What I do wish to say is that as a mother who works in a school and with our local church group which also organises trips away, I am OUTRAGED that this behaviour and the pastor/organisors and your parents are not taking firm steps to put a permanent stop to this outright bullying.

If the behaviour has not stopped now and has indeed worsened, even after you have talked to the leaders previously, I would be seriously considering whether this is a group with which you wish to be involved. Of course, you may be living in a small community where there is not much choice available, in which case your choice is whether to continue to carry on with your church activities or not. You may also be attending the same school as these unpleasant people. This is a rock and a hard place, but life is sometimes like that. You may find however that there are nicer people elsewhere with whom to spend your time.

I advise having another talk with both your parents and the pastor/youth group leader prior to the trip. Ideally your parents should also attend the meeting with the pastor to support you, and also to emphasise the serious nature of the bad behaviour. It is bullying, and any tampering with your food is some form of criminal assault. The trip leader is legally responsible for your health and safety while you are in his/her care. If you are made sick during the trip by the actions of some of the other participants, and he/she was warned in advance that such behaviour was likely, then you or your parents could take some legal action against him/her or against the Church for negligence. Your parents could point this out to the leader in the meeting. Then, in a pre-trip briefing to the participants, the pastor should mention to all that you need to bring your own food with you for medical reasons, and that this food is not to be touched by anyone else. He does not need to make a song or dance about this, but it does put the others on notice that they cannot rely on leadership indifference to their behaviour.

What you are suffering is not normal behaviour and you really need to find some assistance in getting it stopped or getting away from it. I cannot tell you how upset I am at the situation find yourself in.

I wish you all the best, and would like to give you a big hug for moral support.

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This is awful! I can't believe they are doing this! You shouldn't have to think about how to make your food "friend proof" jeeez! Talk to your parents, talk to their parents and your youth leader, tell them your concerns and tell them what they have suggested doing and how it will effect you. It is not fair of you to go through this, and like you said your not making fun of her health concerns, because your not a bully! If they did succesfully gluten you, you have been poisoned by your so called friends, and i think that is the last straw! Tell them you will file a complaint against the people who poison you, get them kicked out of youth club for poisoning someone else... simple! Good luck sweetie.

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Your friends must know someone with a food allergy or they must have heard of a peanut allergy. Ask how they would feel if you snuck peanuts into the food of someone with this allergy.

Here is an analogy that also must help. Describe how a fish gets oxygen. Water passes through the gills and the fish gets oxygen from that water. What would happen if the gills lost surface area - you can mimic that by showing your fingers spread apart and then closing them back together. This is the same as the villi in your intestine flattening and losing surface area. Less food passes through and you can't absorb what you need and you get sick.

Don't know if this makes sense, but I hope it helps.

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What disturbs me the most is.... this is a RELIGIOUS youth group??

No evidence of "loving kindness for your neighbors" here :rolleyes:

You shouldn't feel scared to be with "friends". You shouldn't have to worry that they are poisoning you while you sleep. And you really shouldn't have to put your food under lock and key. That's just nuts.

Where is the youth minister in all this? :angry:

He should put a stop to this baloney right now.

And dismiss the bullies from the group.

Sorry, sweetie, but it seems to me that you need to find a better group of friends.

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I would also suggest asking your doctor to give you a blood test to see how you are doing on the diet. If your numbers are elevated, then you will know you have been getting gluten from somewhere. My son has very few symptoms so we rely on periodic blood tests to see if we are doing everything right.

If your numbers are up, that will back up your complaint to the youth leader.

I'm pretty sure I've read of local cases where kids have been prosecuted for knowingly tampering with an allergic classmates food - it is a big deal and more than just a prank.

Cara

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I have to make a confession. If I were you, after hearing all that from them, I would have taken a piece of cake. I'd have taken it and smushed it in one of their faces and walked off. But don't be like me. The last thing you want to do is sink to their level.

Keep your food safe, your friends close, and treat these people as what they are: your enemies. They are actively trying to hurt you. We're called to love our enemies, but we're not called to trust them.

Don't call them your friends. They aren't.

Perhaps you need to stop spending time with them. I mean, SERIOUS cold-shoulder. If they realise what absolute donkeys they are, they'll apologise and come back to you. If they don't, then you've relieved yourself of their company. win-win for you.

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I don't wish to leave my youth group, or get anyone kicked out or sue my youth pastor! Lol And I most definitely don't want to give Christians a bad name.....they aren't doing it because they are a Christian, they just happen to be Christians who are doing it....thank you all for your support and advice! To the peanut allergy thing....I actually have a friend who has a severe peanut allergy, she goes to a different church. Two friends at my church told me a couple months ago that they didn't believe her so they ate peanut butter and rubbed it on their hands then went over and shook her hand and never told her that they had peanuts. I thought that was absolutely cruel! I didn't hear what happened to her but I know she is allergic to peanuts so i know she must have had some kind of reaction....that started to scare me that someone would "poison" me and with all the comments now I'm starting to believe they would! I think with all of your advice about sealing, my food will be safe....also those 2 people who were cruel to the peanut allergic girl are not going in this trip so that comforts me a little. Like I said, I don't plan on getting anyone sued or kicked out but I will definitely talk to my youth pastor before we leave! :) thank you all for caring and being supportive!:)

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To be totally honest: you need to decide what it will take to keep your body safe from these people (who to talk to, not going, etc). Believe me, I am definitely someone that doesn't like to make a big fuss about things but this is a big deal! In the long run they don't matter, but your health does!

Have you tried asking them why they care? Have their lives reduced to making fun of someone with a serious autoimmune disease? These people don't deserve your patience or kindness.

~Laura :)

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they could have killed the peanut butter-allergic girl.

they could have been murderers.

kids. it's all fun and games till someone gets hurt...

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And I most definitely don't want to give Christians a bad name.....they aren't doing it because they are a Christian, they just happen to be Christians who are doing it....

Like I said, I don't plan on getting anyone sued or kicked out but I will definitely talk to my youth pastor before we leave! :) thank you all for caring and being supportive!:)

No one thinks you are "giving Christians a bad name", honey.

We are appalled that these young Christians are behaving in an un-Christ- like manner.

Messing around with someone's food and causing a life-threatening situation is serious. Making someone else feel threatened and bullied is not Christian in any sense of the word.

You and your parents ( and you do not answer us when we ask if your parents know about this, so I wonder if you have even told them) should talk to the the pastor NOW so he can inform the kids and the parents of these kids BEFORE the trip that he knows what they have been up to and that this behavior is not only dangerous, but cruel and will not be tolerated.

It is nice of you to not want to cause others any trouble, but to do this at your own expense is unwise.

Why make yourself sick with worry? Take care of it now.

IMHO

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Tonight at church I plan on talking to my youth pastor. I feel like I'm making a big deal out of nothing, what I'd they weren't really going to put gluten in my food but just talked about it?! I mean of course I can't know if they're serious or not. But if they aren't it's all going to fall back on me like " look there's victoria trying to get attention and exaggerate again" although I dont try to get attention or exaggerate....I'm just maybe too worried about what other people think. I get made fun of a lot. People say " oh sorry I was just joking" but I know they're not! The girl who is talking the most about glutening me isn't going on this trip but 2 of the people who talk about it with her are going! So anyways hope that all made sense!

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And I had talked to my parents before, they helped me take care of it. I haven't talked to them recently about the kids talking about glutening my food. Sorry I didn't intentionally ignore the question!

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Please don't let them make you feel like you are making a big deal out of nothing! It's not you, it's them. If they were put in your situation I'm sure they would feel very differently. The idea is that you cannot trust them even if they maybe decide not to tamper with your food/stuff. You need to be able to trust that your stuff will stay safe... especially since you are going on a trip away from home. There's got to be enough trust there to keep you safe.

If you feel comfortable maybe you could speak with your pastor and have him point blankly explain to these people how serious Celiac Disease is and can be. Talk to the pastor in private with your parents maybe?

Good luck

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What disturbs me the most is.... this is a RELIGIOUS youth group??

No evidence of "loving kindness for your neighbors" here :rolleyes:

You shouldn't feel scared to be with "friends". You shouldn't have to worry that they are poisoning you while you sleep. And you really shouldn't have to put your food under lock and key. That's just nuts.

Where is the youth minister in all this? :angry:

He should put a stop to this baloney right now.

And dismiss the bullies from the group.

Sorry, sweetie, but it seems to me that you need to find a better group of friends.

THANK YOU!! That's exactly what I was thinking. The youth pastor should be talking to the parents of the kids who are causing you trouble. Anyone causing trouble should not have the privilege of taking outings with a Christian-centered group. It's like rewarding bad behavior, especially when it continues after the youth pastor has talked to the offending group of kids.

When you seal your food, make sure your tape doesn't overlap perfectly. Then sign and date the tape over the overlap. If they manage to get the tape off, they won't be able to align the signature back up, and you will know if they messed with it. I am suggesting this because duct tape does actually come off pretty easy if you give it the right yank. And, you can use plastic containers with duct tape if you choose.

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Just seems to be one big list of illness all triggered from the same point One positive change I've noticed thus far since cutting out gluten is that bloating seems to have gone down and bowel movements are better. Still getting headaches and muscle twitching, which could be as much a withdrawal symptom from gluten as anything else.  Some sites were suggesting stopping exercise whilst withdrawing but I can't face that as it's the only thing keeping me going at present. Again will keep going as-was and see what happens. Then to top it off it sounds like the next step is the biopsy - I'm scared of being put out for the procedure as a member of family went into hospital a few years back for something supposedly routine and never came back out. From what I've been told it's important to have done though as it shows just how broken the villi are so another thing to worry about in the meantime. Social life Seems like despite there being some gluten free options in certain restaurants (granted better now than years ago) I'm going to be hugely limited in food options. Either sitting on the side looking on or just plain not able to go out much anymore. Already had the first hitting-home moment watching colleagues eating pastries that were brought in while I just have to look on... then it dawns that this is never going to get better... urghhh Family life I'm really struggling to accept this lifelong illness and loss of health and it's taking a toll on the people around me at the moment. They won't be going gluten-free so will have to take my chances with the mixed kitchen environment; already gone with split toasters etc. so can't do much more than that. Dating Basically seems game over on that front, unlike many who are diagnosed with understanding partners \ spouses I'm still in the dating game, which is judgemental enough as it is without all the complications that the gluten issues bring. I'm reading even kissing someone with lipstick \ make-up is apparently a big no-no... once any date hears that they won't be coming back... forever alone status confirmed is how it looks right now. Overall feelings I still can't quite figure out if this illness was in me all along and just hasn't flared up enough to notice until now or whether the extreme stress I've been under for the past year or so has triggered it. If the second scenario is correct I can't stop thinking about the events that all led up to this almost year-long bout of ill health and life-changing diagnosis. Can celiac be brought on by stress alone or realistically was I always a ticking timebomb just waiting to be set off? For every person I see that's had a positive change after cutting out gluten (and getting by with reasonably achievable adjustments) there seems to be 10 others with horrible side-effects and long-term complications. Right now the future feels rather bleak - like all hope just been taken away. Help???
    • It sounds like you're doing great. That's amazing that your anxiety has decreased like that. You're obviously doing something really good for your health. With the other things I'm sure they will get better in time. After I gave up gluten I had a bad year but overall it got better. Things like anxiety and insomnia massively improved over time with being gluten free. However, going Paleo (which you are on your way to with the no dairy too) really helped my anxiety, as did running and self-taught acupressure. In particular I found processed gluten free foods were awful for my mood. I know you have to find your own way but I really want to encourage you to see how you feel without that if you haven't already. I also can't afford therapy but when I did have it, that helped too but just being well, gives you the chance to sort your own thoughts and feelings out even without a therapist. Good luck
    • Thank you so much guys. Reading that last response and those from forum members who seemed to be mind-bogglingly sensitive to gluten at times helps me feel like less of a freak  Perhaps worse than the symptoms themselves was my fear that I'm the only person on earth who has gone through this and that if it continues, I will end up with all of my friends and family washing their hands of me because it would look to them like I'm the only one with this and so I must be crazy. It's really good to hear that the sensitivity can go down too. I've been holding onto this idea through the tough times, reminding myself that I also had really bad hayfever for a few years, and asthma at a different time and they both got better.  It has been a whole month since I had a bad reaction to gluten. It has also been two weeks since I even had a small reaction and I'm feeling SO much better. I'm still going to take every precaution I can but this feels worlds away from how it was. At my most risk averse, I had a day on holiday where I only ate bananas and avocados because I could eat them without them having been touched by human hands, even my own! (This was straight after getting sicker and sicker and hunting down what it was that made me ill. I found the refill bottles of soap in the house where I was staying and read that they had wheat in them - not an airborne reaction I imagine but when I washed my hands to prepare food it was probably contaminating my food. Plus because I didn't speak the language, I couldn't be sure the new soap I bought was gluten free.) Now, I am still avoiding environments with lots of gluten and staying clear of grains, but I have reintroduced rice using the food challenge method as directed by my dietician (since I understand that rice is, according to Dr Fasano, the lowest risk of gluten contamination of all the grains) and I am building my weight back up. My Paleo+Fasano diet has been assessed by a registered dietician to include every nutrient and micronutrient that I need so I guess having a really good diet is helping too. My husband has been able to see also that the last time he cooked gluten in the house was the last time I got ill. So it is reassuring for him to see that the sacrifice he is making is making such a difference to me. I also took the advice about new cooking utensils - thanks! I have my fingers crossed for me. I want this better health to continue but right now I'm happy to know that there is a break in the clouds and to know that I can feel like me again. A lot of the steps I have taken to avoid gluten would be seen by some as over the top but I can say that for me, when I introduced these steps, that's when I stopped getting reactions and it's all worth it. Good luck to everyone, sensitive or not, who gets into a bad place with managing their reactions. Hang on in there!        
    • Hello all  I have been living gluten free now for 6 months, as directed by my family doctor after a 6 week elimination diet revealed that I may be celiac or gluten sensitive. I was tested by blood work,  which showed nothing, and am awaiting a specialist to get a biopsy done. I am no where close to getting into see her as it is cased as a non emergency. I have been constantly having bowel problems, rashes all over my body, low iron, weight fluctuations, no energy, depression  and anxiety now for 6 years. Have been a huge nuisance(imo) to my doctor requiring constant antibiotics for this,  creams for this "mystery rash" and either laxatives for constipation that would sometimes go on for over a week to diarrhea that would keep my home- no in between . It hasn't been easy, especially whenever doctors are so quick to blame all symptoms as mental illness. Even though I have continuously told them I feel my issues are something simple...  not a mental illness. Anyways long story short, after going gluten free I have had somewhat Nnormal bowel functions, less rashes around my stomach, been able to cut back drastically on my depression medications and anxiety meds, and energy has taken a huge improvement  which all is great! But .... I am constantly HUngry have gained 20 lbs and can no longer fit into most of my clothes. This is really bothering me because I am afraid I am approaching a weight problem.  At only 5'5" weighing 165lbs is large to begin with. Especially whenever I have two children and have only EVER weighed this much while being pregnant with them. I am 26 years old and just tired of not being myself. I am physically healthy and just would like my body to act it. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I said I am only 6 months into my journey and have definitely re exposed myself to gluten (accidently) many times in between. Much love. 
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