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Family Doesn't Seem To Care Much
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Is it appropriate to constantly (average 3X/day) be cleaning up after other's gluten crumbs on the counter? I am in a situation where I lost my home and job, then hit head on 4 months later, and am forced to live at home with my father and step mother who, despite having friends also with celiac, do not clean up after themselves leaving gluten-y crumbs on the counter every single time they prepare food, and are seemingly uncaring when I nicely ask for their concern and awareness for my health. I have explained that I am 400X more likely to develop certain types of cancer if I don't stay away from the stuff, as well as the other issues it brings on. We actually watched my dear oldest sister Kathy die from breast cancer at home with the help of hospice (bless their souls!!!) over the course of 13 years just over 3 years ago. I am doing everything I can to get myself back to a place where I can afford my own rent, have gone back to school to broaden my 'marketability' (several years before living at home and am on the verge of being done with my degree), etc., so I can again have my own kitchen, but am stuck for now. I have tried to leave easy to read literature on the table, but they are not really too interested, TV is more entertaining. They don't deny my having celiac, they just don't seem to care to be inconvenienced. I am desperate for advice and/or support or even just plain old understanding after the conversation I just had with my father who basically told me I just need to deal with it.

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Welcome!

I certainly understand your frustration. I wish I had some magical words of wisdom that would change your family's level of care with regard to gluten cross-contamination. Sadly, I have none.

If you have tried repeatedly, it is time to drop it and do whatever is needed to keep yourself safe. Clean counters, keep your own cutting board/cookware/utensils in your room, etc. You are likely to encounter this situation again with roommates, in a common office kitchen or while visiting friends/other family members. It can take a very long time for family to understand the level of care needed to stay healthy - for now that responsibility is yours alone.

Hang in there, concentrate your energies on your studies and do what is needed to be safe.

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Sigh! :unsure: an electric skillet can be used on a table outside of the kitchen. A little refrigerator may be able to hold food for one. Yeah, it will be nice when you have your own place. Do what you can.

Get well,

Diana

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I deal with it every time i go home. I prepare everyhting on a clean plate and stay the living heck away from the counter that has it.

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My husband and 2 small kids still eat gluten. I have my prep spaces, but still end up cleaning 'their' bit of the kitchen and the dining table.

I have different cloths for each area, and a big box of disposable gloves and a lot of paper towels.

I'm not saying I like it, but I am ok so far.

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I have a somewhat close situation to your.

Hy hubs has always been the cook in our home. I always clean up. So now, as he sends gluten over the kitchen. I wait a bit for the dust to settle. I go in. all dishes, pots. Silver go straight to dishwasher. Then out come the papertowels. Wipe everything down cupboards,counters,appliances, lower cupboards, walls and floor.

Then the sponge with dish liquid comes out to clean the counters again. Not a problem for us. It's not perfect but perfect for us

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We are gluten free at my house, and my spouse actually cooks a great deal, but..... I still am amazed at the "counter- blindness" I see with regards to crumbs, dust, and grease. It's a small kitchen and it's aggravating. He claims he wipes up, but it seems like I am always doing the same thing. He also uses a coffee maker that the only thing I do with it is to wipe the surface constantly where the spilt coffee has dried on it. :blink: And I'm not even a "neat freak" type of person. I do the gluten-free baking, but geez, at least I wipe up afterwards and wash my bowls, cups, etc. But he does load and unload the dishwasher, so that's a trade off.

Paper towels Are Your Friend. So is a squirt spray bottle of water mixed with whatever you use to clean with, like some vinegar and perhaps some gluten-free alcohol type thing to cut the grease.

Always lay paper towels down on your work surface, before starting.

I would seriously consider getting your own prep surface to use, either a small portable rolling kitchen aisle counter, or a small table, and that is "yours" and they don't touch it. In fact, you could cover it with a cloth or towel when not in use. And you can keep your own "must not touch" stuff in your room if you have to, like a small cutting board, colander, etc.

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Thank you so much all for your responses. I just got chewed out again, foul language, shouting and all, for even asking for awareness earlier.

Part of my concern is the emotional aspect, but the larger part is wondering if it's even safe for someone with celiac to constantly clean up gluten. I found out I had celiac from a DH rash that wouldn't stop for several years, that went away instantly upon eliminating gluten from my diet.

The same father who yells at me also suffers from psoriasis, which I recently read there is a link to celiac. So whammies on all levels. Sadly no room for extra tables or food in my room.

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Dad may be suffering from a gluten rage himself, and also a rage of de Nile (denial :) ) I am a psoriasis sufferer myself and that too can drive you mad :D

My first reaction when I read your post was that someone with celiac should not be running around cleaning up after people dropping gluten crumbs everywhere, so no, I don't think your kitchen is a safe environment. If you don't have separate places to keep your utensils, your foods (pantry and refrigerator) and forbid all gluten flour from the house -- it floats in the air and settles in everything -- and separatate jars of spreads, mayo, etc., it is not safe for you. You also need separate toaster, colander, wooden and plastic utensils, cutting board.... something has to give in that kitchen and you are doing what you can, I am sure B)

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If he has been told or read of the genetic link - perhaps he has made the connection that you could have inherited Celiac Disease from him and is fearful that he should be living gluten-free too :blink:

De Nile is not just a river in Egypt ;)

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As bad as it is to be surrounded by gluten crumbs, I think being surrounded by gluten crumbs (the human kind) must be even worse. When the people who are supposed to love us show such a total lack of caring it is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to you. It sounds like your life hasn't been easy lately (understatement), and your family is making it worse.

Hang in there and try not to let it get you down. You are obviously a very strong person, and I hope that strength will carry you through this emotional kick in the teeth. WE care about you. ((((HUGS))))

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Everyone hates when someone +1 ups your concerns or issues with an: " I completely understand why you feel that way." Most of the time, people have no clue. I think I might be able to relate - in some sense - to the pain you might be going through; aside from your daily symptoms.

My family refuses to believe that there is anything wrong with me; apparently I am totally making up the fact that I suffer - like all of us do - from a myriad of symptoms. The funny thing is: I don't think they'd care either way and would find any opportunity to downplay my daily pain. In this process I have suffered financially. I lost my job and my condo; I am unemployed and living out of my car. I am going to get back into school somehow - I'd give anything to go right now, if finances weren't as bad as they are.

The only way to get through the: family NOT caring or showing the least bit of consideration part - is to stop caring what they think; and stop trying to sell them on how horrible this condition is. I had to do this for my own sanity. Either way, they see me as a lazy person. I don't care what anyone thinks anymore. I'm tired of arguing and fighting, when that energy could be focused on recovery. :)

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I'm so glad I'm not alone on this one! Well, that sounded bad because I wish it weren't the case for you, but knowing I'm not the only one dealing with those conditions at least makes me have a better sense of how big the problem is.

Yesterday I got home from work and had forgotten to take my vitamins that morning. I took my keys, wallet and other things out of my pockets and put them in my kitchen drawer where those things are always kept. I then got my daily vitamin container (day of the week) and emptied the contents for yesterday onto what I thought was a clean counter. Huge mistake. I picked up the first one, a gel omega-3/6/9 pill, and right on it was a crumb of something. I am so fortunate I saw it on the first pill and not the last. I looked closer and the pattern of the Corian countertop was hiding the crumbs so they blended in. I scooped up all the vitamins and immediatly threw them away. Better to lose 1 day's serving of vitamins than suffer a glutening (again).

I clean the kitchen often. My wife is very busy and I help wherever I can with cleaning, laundry, etc. I seem to constantly be wiping crumbs from the counter, which are never mine, just to have it sterile. I clean it off, then clean it with a disinfectant wipe or household cleaner. Then I wash my hands thoroughly. It's painstaking to do it all the time and nobody realizes how easy it would be to touch those crumbs, then forget and touch my mouth without thinking. I try to be vigilant, but we all get distracted and it could be at the wrong time.

I hope your family can come around and realize just how dangerous those crumbs are for you. I have the same battle to fight at home and I have 4 kids who, like most kids, just don't clean after themselves well. Plus dinner preparations don't always include all gluten-free ingredients, but my wife is great about helping keep me safe as well. Best of luck and please let us know if you find a way to sway them that makes a positive change.

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