Christmas Family Event. Beyond Frustrated
Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:23 AM
My husband's family and us are taking a trip to the mountains the day after Christmas. Well a 'girlfriend' with children in the family has been less than accommodating with the preparation of meals. Everyone wanted everyone to eat the same meals together instead of different families making their own. My husband and 9 year old son have celiac disease and everyone was ' oh we can get together and figure it out so everyone is able to eat it. Well that was until my fake sister in law realized that she would have to do some work to make sure it was gluten free. She basically said that this trip wasn't about them and that everyone has medical issues and they would just have to learn to adjust and make some different for themselves if they couldn't eat what she made. She actually compared the situation to making her Spanish children eat something that isn't Spanish.
I don't know. I was fine with making our own meals but no one wanted to do that. Now I am the bad guy either way. If I say no we will just make our own I'm the bad guy ( I am trying not to let the parents know of this discussion) and if I go along I am going to look bad because it will look like I didn't discuss what was okay or not with her ( and guys. What I am talking about is a simple as what brand of hotdogs and what brand/ flavor of chips we will have- that is it. I will be buying my own butter mayo bread snacks and whatever... That is it but apparently that is centering the world around only them.). Now I have to spend four days with someone making cookies and all sorts of other things ( probably on purpose because that is her attitude) and my nine year old will just have to sit and watch ( I will have snacks and such for him but they will be nothing compared to what she may make). Any ideas advice or whatever to help me deal with the four days I will have to spend with her. If my son and hubs don't end up glutened I'll be surprised- there will be 13 other people there). I am sure they will hate it if my son and hubs always get to go through first. And will think we are over exaggerating when we have our own toaster, mayo, butter, and so forth.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:56 AM
Start baking now. You have cookies to make, freeze, and pack.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:54 AM
This is simple. If you go, take your own safe gluten free food and prepare it, including treats, so your family isn't deprived or left out. It can be eaten at the same time with others. If this bothers other people, it is their problem, not yours. I wouldn't even bother to "discuss" it. This is a feature of your family, that you bring and prepare your own food. That's the way it is. End of discussion. If they tried to make an "issue" of it at the table, they would do it only once and never again, because they are going to get their drama- queen routine crimped pretty badly by the time you are done with them. After all, you are saving them work and the embarrassment of making their beloved relatives ill.. You're not there for their gluten food. Bless their hearts. And be sure to let everyone KNOW in the loop that you will bring your own food and be preparing it, as a short circuit around the drama- queens who have nothing better to do that to whine about somebody else's cooking.
Start baking now. You have cookies to make, freeze, and pack.
gluten-free since June, 2011
Can't eat soy, corn, or foods high in salicylates.
Nightshades now seem to bother me too.
BUT I CAN STILL PLAY MY GUITAR AND THAT"S ALL THAT MATTERS!
Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:36 PM
Try not to "engage" with your fake sister-in-law about this issue and remain strong in telling her that you're responsible for keeping your husband and son safe, and their health is more important than anything else she might have planned.
Good luck! I think you'll end up having a fun time...
Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:43 PM
*sweet, understanding smile*
oh, well, I talked to Maria about how to keep your brother from getting sick, and she didn't feel she could, so we agreed that I should make all the meals for our family. Maybe next year we can plan an activity that makes it easier for everyone. *still smiling* *kiss the 13 yo* don't worry honey, I made sure to buy the <brand> potato chips.
- James Watson
My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.
- Ashleigh Brilliant
Leap, and the net will appear.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:36 PM
It sounds like your husband's family is not really aware of what celiac is at all. It does sound crazy if you're hearing about it for the first time -- I think we all were like, "What can kill you? Wheat?!" when we first heard it, too. They don't seem to be aware that we're talking about something that can kill you and your children here. It's OK -- they aren't doctors, you can't sue them for malpractice.
Normally, I'd just roll my eyes after a conversation with someone like that, but it sounds like you just need to very kindly have a private conversation with the whole adult side of the family -- in person, if possible -- and read to them some basic literature printed out from celiac centers, which you also give to them to read over later.
Sounds tricky with the bad blood already around, but if they're drinkers then a glass of wine or two may help out (with you, too -- I know it would help me).
But there is a lot of Spanish (hispanic?) gluten-free food. Spanish tortilla, for example -- totally gluten-free, totally delicious. And rice flour works even better than wheat flour as a thickener.
live in Okinawa, Japan; hope to resume training for ultra-marathon soon
casein-free, legume-free; 99% fructose-free
I cope by drinking artisanal teas, hand-picked in Taiwan, all gluten-free
Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:51 PM
If it were my son and hubby being put at risk, I'd be a snarky b!tch and let everyone know how inconsiderate and rude her behaviour is. And how she clearly doesn't care about the health and well being of the family. I'd ask if she would insist on bringing peanut butter even if a child going was allergic to peanuts. "Because she couldn't do without" or some such nonsense. If the answer is yes, clearly she doesn't give a d@mn about the health and well being of others. If not (because that allergy is "serious"), I'd make it clear that what she really doesn't give a d@mn about is the health of your hubs and DS. And I'd be sure to share that with everyone attending.
But this approach likely isn't for everyone. I personally wouldn't care what someone who cares so little about my family thinks about me.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:57 PM
Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:54 PM
Basically we are keeping it a ' secret' because my MIL has stage 4 melanoma and this is a trip she wanted to take. As I said before, we were more than happy to make our own food, but this is a very close knit family and they didn't like that some of us would be eating something different. When my husband brought it up again the other night ( because we has yet to hear from my BIL and his little biddy about what they planned for their meal), he insisted that we not make our own and that it would all work out. I am not about to tell her that the other part of the family thinks my ' obsessiveness" about the meals is 'ridiculous' and that my husband and son should not expect people to give up anything for them. If I do that I keep the pot stirred and she would be devastated and she is already very emotional. She wants this trip to be perfect and I will just do my best to deal with it so that she will have great memory. What is interesting is my MIL would totally disagree with the biddy. My husband has been a type 1 diabetic since he was 10 and she has always made meals that he could eat-- if there was dessert it was sugar free and if the brothers didn't like it... Well they just wouldn't have dessert. . Nothing separate of course this person doesn't know that because she has only been around for 2 years. So I know if she knew she would be very upset.... But I am not going to stoop so low to upset her by telling her.
I think she feels that by calling me and discussing brands and ingredients , she is asking my permission to cook something. She is very dominant so I can see that she would not like this. Or maybe she just doesn't like my cooking haha. She actually told me to cook all the meals for just my family and she would provide the food for the other 13 people for the two meals I am responsible for.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:03 PM
Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:02 PM
Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:57 PM
If you want to keep it quiet, I would recommend quietly bringing your own food and preparing your own meals. This woman is completely off her rocker and I wouldn't let my family eat anything she prepared, I wouldn't be surprised if you pissed her off enough at this point to make her do something on purpose to try to prove you're all hypochondriacs. I personally don't do quiet. Depending on the situation I choose between passive aggressive or just plain aggressive. I probably also qualify as snarky bitch.
In the end, I agree 110% that the health of your family is far more important than "a perfect time was had by all but the 2 celiacs fighting over who needed the bathroom more desperately." I'm sorry, but cancer doesn't make the world revolve around you and she can't expect her own son to spend the whole time sick and permanently risk his health just for a "perfect" time unless her definition of perfect is poisoning her own kid and grandkid.
Celiac DX December 2012
If you imagine the worst case scenario and it happens, you've lived it twice. --Michael J. Fox
Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:07 AM
If you get a chance to educate people a bit, great, otherwise keeping your family safe and happy is what matters. Maybe you could have some activities planned for when the others do baking, or use it as a chance to get out for a bit of fresh air.
I wish you a very happy trip. We'll all be behind you
- Elimination diet using Atkins, 2003 – excluded wheat, caffeine, quorn. 2005, excluded sesame, alcohol
- Started diagnosis route April 2012, blood tests, endoscopy – said negative, gluten challenge, clearly something very wrong, had to stop after 3 weeks.
- Gluten Free, August 2012, Corn Free, September 2012. Removed most processed gluten free foods.
- Genetic testing, December 2012 – negative – Diagnosis – Non Celiac Gluten Intolerance (NCGI)
- Elimination diet, January 2013 – all of the above plus dairy, legumes, all grains, sugar, additives, white potatoes, soy. Reintroducing sloooowly now. Health improving.
It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. ~Albert Einstein
Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:24 AM
Thank you all for the support! I will let everyone know how it ends up working out!
Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:12 AM
Luckily I was getting pretty good at the gluten free travel and family thing. So, I did insist on a place with a kitchen. I did pack my own food. I did find a Whole Foods with my WF app on my iphone and drove there straight away. Somewhere in the middle of the week I told my husband he better get me to a seafood restaurant because I was so dang hungry I was losing my mind. (This was the case even though we had some food in our kitchen. I just didn't buy enough to prepare a proper meal)
So...even if your fakey fake SIL was a sweetheart, you just have to do what you need to to protect your family.
OH...and I think people don't really understand what a celiac flare is. A little stomach ache and D? We all get that...what's the big deal? No...try 3 weeks of flu symptoms, or massive behavior problems (daughter), or rashes, or migraines?
I agree with talking and trying to educate your family members.
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