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124chicksinger

Not Sure What Happened To Me....bm Story; Beware

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I have been diligent for 2 days shy of 5 weeks.  Yesterday, not wanting to rock the boat, I went along with my family to a Cuban restaurant (after having visited a relative in the hospital) knowing I'd have limited choices.  Rather than focusing on what I could not have, I had a salad with o&v, grilled shrimp, white rice and red beans.  I know how I make my beans at home - no flour.  I assumed there would likely be a marinade on the grilled shrimp, but not flour.

 

When it arrived, I nonchalantly inspected the shrimp, trying not to call attention to myself.  I didn't want to be a spoil sport.  It looked like there might be a "dusting" of spices on the shrimp, but it did not look like bread crumbs - it really could have been spices. Then again, it could have been flour.

 

It takes 25 minutes to get home from there; and my stomach was churning as we left.  Having not had a BM the day before, I thought this maybe was the new normal...and when we got home, I did indeed have what I'd call a semi normal BM.  10 minutes later, explosive D, and 15 minutes after that, again, and in the bowl were bits of lettuce from my meal.

 

There was no rice, bean or shrimp in the bowl at any time; just the lettuce.  I don't know how the lettuce bits get past everything else, but this it happens, right?  I didn't have to "go" anymore last night, but I did have to go lay down; I fell asleep for 2 hours.

 

So my initial thought is there was wheat - on the shrimp.  Then I thought, maybe the beans were thickened with flour.  Then I thought, maybe its a new sensitivity to shrimp.  Then I thought perhaps it is the rice (which came out as positive on skin prick testing) but I have continued to eat rice and I don't think it ever caused me D.

 

So, I don't know what it was, and I doubt it was the shrimp themselves, or the rice, so its the beans or the shrimp's added spices.

 

Until yesterday, while monitoring and logging every BM for the past 5 weeks, I had not had such a reaction to having eaten anything that was so like before avoiding gluten.  One might have something to do with the other, or it could have been coincidence, but of course I will never call the restaurant and ask what is on the shrimp or in the beans.  

 

Perhaps this was an unintended gluten test, but honestly not knowing, I'll never know.  Maybe in a few more weeks, I'll eat something gluten-y on purpose, and I'll know.

 

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I'm sorry :(. I've learned more about how I operate socially than I ever wanted to know in dealing with this. It's not a bad thing to care about others and not want to be the hitch in the giddy up. In fact, it's nice, however, I discovered I had to erect new boundaries. I've been glutened a few times because I didn't want to rock the boat. My boat then rocks on long after everyone else has forgotten about the meal and moved forward with life. As time passes and my experiences add up, I become more solid on my stance and am able to find ways to accommodate others without taking risks with my own health. I'm still figuring it all out but I've become quite agitated with myself those times that I take everyone into consideration but me. For the most part, have food, will travel. Be prepared and always have something to eat on hand. That way, at least you don't also have hunger beating at your door and keeping you from making healthy choices in the face of social mores.

My symptoms change over time. I'm intolerant to a lot of different foods and recently had an awful reaction to dairy that I would have thought was gluten when I first started down this road. It is difficult to tell exactly what is making me sick sometimes. Usually, by the third day, I know if it was gluten because it takes a different course.

I'm sorry you are having tummy troubles. I KNOW you are just weary and not really considering purposefully eating gluten! You will know soon enough what it's like. You may want to start a food diary. Unless it's a crouton or a piece of bread, I've been unsuccessful in identifying gluten by sight.

Take care of yourself!

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Gluten doesn't have to be in the actual recipe!  It just takes the salad guy to refill the bread drawer and then go back fixing the salads without washing his/her hands.  Those who prepare salads are typically one of  the lowest paid kitchen employee, right with the dishwasher!  The cook could have been preparing a gluten dish and then used the same spoon to stir or scoop the beans after dropping is spoon on the floor. People make mistakes!  Corn chips are fried with burritos or flautas.  Even those with dedicated fryers have stupid employees who decide to fry their bread in the french fryer as a joke! 

 

Go back behind the scenes.  I went into the kitchen and saw how one restaurant prepared gluten free foods safely away from their other foods.  I always talk to the manager or the head chef every single time.  I typically select higher quality restaurants because they have a better chance of being educated in celiac disease.  If I get the "deer-in-the-headlights" look, I do not order!  I also pick places that have been reviewed by someone with celiac disease.  

 

I am so sorry that you got glutened.  It's what I miss the most -- eating out easily!  

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Gluten doesn't have to be in the actual recipe!  It just takes the salad guy to refill the bread drawer and then go back fixing the salads without washing his/her hands.  Those who prepare salads are typically one of  the lowest paid kitchen employee, right with the dishwasher!  The cook could have been preparing a gluten dish and then used the same spoon to stir or scoop the beans after dropping is spoon on the floor. People make mistakes!  Corn chips are fried with burritos or flautas.  Even those with dedicated fryers have stupid employees who decide to fry their bread in the french fryer as a joke! 

 

Go back behind the scenes.  I went into the kitchen and saw how one restaurant prepared gluten free foods safely away from their other foods.  I always talk to the manager or the head chef every single time.  I typically select higher quality restaurants because they have a better chance of being educated in celiac disease.  If I get the "deer-in-the-headlights" look, I do not order!  I also pick places that have been reviewed by someone with celiac disease.  

 

I am so sorry that you got glutened.  It's what I miss the most -- eating out easily!  

...but the thing is... my blood and scopes were negative for celiac.  I know that doesn't mean I am excluded of being gluten intolerant, but I never expected to have such a D reaction that I didn't provoke. Based on conditions that could be caused by gluten, and other issues I have, I was eliminating gluten but intended to test it by choosing an obvious offender (although at this point, I have no desire to eat a sandwich or a lasagna, etc.)  I never entertained the idea that I could be so sensitive, even to a light cross contamination, so I really don't know if it was gluten or the shrimp or the rice.  I know it wasn't a stomach bug, and it was definitely cause (the food) and effect (the explosive urgent D).

 

I think I am back to square one.  I monitor, I log, I journal, I keep score of everything that goes in my mouth, and comes out the other end.  In June,  I return to my GP for blood work.  I am hoping my thyroid, and liver enzymes, and AC1 are improved.  Maybe that will be some "proof" that the gluten made me sick to begin with.  I just don't know.

 

I avoided a retirement at work today because I didn't want to see cake.  It wasn't so much that I'd want it, it was more like seeing it would feel nauseating, believing a piece would cause a sick reaction.

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