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Newly Diagnosed Baker
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I'm new to this...I've been gluten-free for a couple of weeks now...I've noticed the "pity parties" and other posts like that and I want to jump into the pity party bus tonight. I admit that after being gluten-free for only a short time, I feel better than I have been. Diarrhea after nearly every meal I ate and headaches, nausea, feeling exhausted, forgetful and worst of all GROUCHY beyond normal GROUCHY...my kids have other names for it, but we'll leave it at that. Bread is my favorite food, however I'm not much of a "food" person anyway. Because most meals made me sick, I had lots of trouble even deciding on food. It just doesn't excite me much. I ate to live, yet am still overweight. I get what I'm being told and I accept it, though grudgingly. I know it will make things a lot better, but here's the thing...

Last spring, I opened a bakery in our little town. Cupcakes, cakes, cake pops...you name it. All my own creations or things my children and husband and friends helped me come up with. I had the absolute best job in the world. Who gets to go to a job every day that they love?! I will be 40 this year and it took me this long to go for my dream and it has now been thrown out the window because of all of this. I have had issues for years with my voice off and on, headaches, the diarrhea and other stuff was all the time. My thyroid has nodules that were too many to count, though thankfully was not cancerous. This led my PCP to think about a gluten issue. I got lucky, I suppose; he himself suffers from it and knows the signs, having researched for several years to become a bonafide expert on the subject.

Anyway, my voice disappeared a month after my bakery opened. It came back, but is husky and a lot of times not much more than a whisper. I was exhausted, from what I THOUGHT was long hours, but was really because I was seriously ill. I got headaches that were blinding, but I pressed on because I was doing what I loved and I couldn't afford to hire help yet...I finally was able to get an appointment with this doc who immediately started checking things out and actually LISTENED to everything I complained about even though none of my issues were even remotely related to each other...or so I thought. I was so tired and so sick that I was told that I needed to find someone to run the shop if I was to get better... that wasn't possible for me; I wasn't even paying ME yet. So in the end, I had to close up in early December so that I could get myself better. Fast forward to today when my doc sat down with me and discussed how important it is that I take this very seriously and completely cut it out. He said that I was slowing committing suicide doing what I love most in the world to do. No more baking items that contain gluten until he and I work together to find a way to make it okay...but he has his doubts that it will ever happen to the extent that I can do it professionally again. I did make gluten-free items, but never really understood how important it was to keep things totally separate until now. I'm not mad that I can't EAT them; I'm mad because I can't MAKE them.

I'm going back and forth between "Thank God I know what it is now and it's something that can be 'fixed' over time!" and "What kind of sick cruel joke is God playing to take away something like this from me?!"

And I KNOW there are lots of things I can still eat. I really do. I didn't eat a lot of cupcakes myself; I just loved to make them for others to enjoy. That being said, I have still had the thought that I'm going to starve to death before I figure this all out. Especially the cross-contamination thing...I have a husband and 4 children as I said, so I'm finding it really hard to figure out how to organize my kitchen and supplies to avoid hurting myself while still giving them what they love to eat.

I've reread this and see how unorganized it is, but I guess that's just me. I realize I'm whining too, so I apologize. I guess I just need someone else who understands. My family is being super supportive, but I don't want my issue to be a burden to them. In other news, I've LOST 12 pounds in the two weeks, but my doc says this is normal. I'm good with that. :) Oh, and after 2 weeks gluten-free, no diarrhea! I still have headaches everyday, but I think there's a difference the last couple of days now. My voice...there's a difference. He seems to think it will come back on it's own.

I wonder if anyone else has the issue I have...not being able to do what they did professionally before their dx? Do I really need a back-up plan? Does anyone have any tips on eliminating CC with a houseful of teenagers who are into everything in the kitchen and a husband who cooks the most delicious foods, but makes the biggest messes in the process, lol?

Thanks for "listening".

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Unless you could turn it into a gluten free bakery, i don't see how you could keep working in one. Flying flour and all that jazz (more spacific reason: you inhale the flour via air, it gets in your nose, and down the throat it goes).

Make a spot in the kitchen yours and designate it as such. No gluten in this area. Get your own cutting board/plastic things.

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Unless you could turn it into a gluten free bakery, i don't see how you could keep working in one. Flying flour and all that jazz (more spacific reason: you inhale the flour via air, it gets in your nose, and down the throat it goes).

Surgical mask or similar, is what comes to mind. It may be possible, but it sounds complicated, unpleasant and unfair.

Sorry to hear life threw you this curveball, Maggie.

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First things First! Have your children been screened/tested for Celiac/Gluten Issues???

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Welcome. You never, ever have to apologize for venting or 'whining' here. We do understand how hard this is. Do read the Celiac 101 or Newbie thread as that will explain a lot about what you need to do to keep yourself safe. Please do have your children tested as celiac is strongly genetic. Do that even if they don't seem to have symptoms.

Perhaps when you are healed and feeling better you could consider creating yummy gluten free baked goods. There is a demand for them and while you may not be able to open a shop in the near future you could sell them at your local stores or perhaps even on line. For now though concentrate on getting well.

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I don't know much about the community that you live in but you may be surprised at the response you would get by having and advertising a gluten free bakery on twitter and facebook in your area. I know some people that even keep odd hours and run their bakery on the side part-time completing orders and then work another job concomitantly. I should think it would be difficult to sling flour around all day and not ingest some of it, sorry. You WILL eventually adjust to the new norm. In my industry I am constantly catering lunches and doing dinners so it was quite an adjustment initially. Once the routine gets established, you'll be fine. :-)

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Gluten-free shared meals only, keep a totally gluten free square of counter, get all your own dishes. I'm not much help, my home is gluten free.

But what captaincrab said definitely, get your kids tested. Total randomness gives them a min 1/10 chance of being a celiac. Got to be a higher chance if you include gluten intolerance. If they aren't celiacs now, get them tested periodically and/or if they show any signs of anything odd with their health.

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(hugs) You've been dealt a bad hand. :( I would complain loudly myself. I'm glad you are feeling better and losing weight. Congrats. You must be doing something right. You'll have to be extra careful with so many factors working against you.... but you know that. Kudos to you for doing it. I made my whole house gluten-free partially because the hassle was driving me crazy.lol

Best wishes to you.

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I am so sorry. I met a lady who was diagnosed celiac after her and her husband bought a pizza parlor! She now offers gluten free crusts. She makes them at home and then takes them to the restaurant to prevent cross contamination. (Not sure if that is FDA allowed but I trust that more than making them there!)

Children with autism are often on a gluten free/dairy free diet. You could make cupcakes and birthday cakes for them in addition to celiacs. I had a friend this week complain that no one made dairy free cakes! You may could just adjust your specialty. There is a gluten-free bakery that will ship to your house. You could be one of those, too! Celiacs would love a totally dedicated gluten free bakery! I'd love for you to come to my town!

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Hi Maggiemc

I am a little late arriving here but just to support what everyone else has said really.

I have had some similar issues as I cook for my living too (guest accommodation at home). Evening dinners presented an immediate problem - how can you taste anything to check seasoning, etc if there's gluten in it  :o ! It's been a learning curve for me but our guests get 95% gluten free - that's soups/starters, mains and pudding/desserts and they don't even know it  :ph34r: !!! I no longer make bread rolls, I buy all bread in now from a good bakery  and it has it's own area and hubs does the cutting of it. Breakfast toast as well. In spite of these measures I obviously have cc issues during our summer season but I am getting better at dealing with it - quite a challenge!

 

You have certainly had a lot to deal with and just for the record, I think stress seems to aggravate celiac (starting up a business).

As others have said, a gluten free cake business might be a very good thing - especially supplying to other outlets.

 

I know how you feel though - I don't miss eating gluten but can feel disappointed that I can't produce some of the food that I used to - like you i love feeding people and animals too (mine are gluten free - except the hens) 

babbling ......

going now :ph34r: .........

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Thirteen years into being gluten and milk & dairy free, I also had to stop all foods except fruits and vegetables because of asthma, gout & rheumatoid arthritis.  This morning I took my grandson to a fairly new bakery in Escondido, CA, 30 miles north of San Diego.  All the pastries contained milk, so those were out, but they offered breads that were acceptable.  It is called, "Gluten Not Included," on Centre City Parkway in Escondido.  Maybe the lady would be a resource you'd like to contact.

 

I've found that if you just switch your entire household over to gluten free, it saves so much grief.  As a previous person who posted said, make sure you check them too.  I ordered tests from Enterolab on the internet.  i offer you my condolences on this "change of direction" in your life, and since I once worked at a bakery during the day, and an ice cream parlor at night, and couldn't eat any of the products, I do appreciate how satisfying it was to see the smiles on the faces of those enjoying the foods and the experience.  I know I would have a huge smile on my face if someone offered pastries and bakery items that we could eat.  I think that sometimes those "changes of direction" work out just as they're meant to.  I hope you have smooth sailing during this transition time.  Please email me at welda@att.net if I can offer brands of foods that work, or even encouragement.  Best wishes, Welda

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Maybe you don't have to give up your dream, perhaps wear masks and food gloves in your bakery? I bake A LOT for my kids but I don't eat it myself of course. I've also been having a lot of fun experimenting with coconut flour. I wish you the best of luck!

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    • Another link: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/7351/PDF
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