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BlessedMommy

Explaining The Need To Be Careful If You Don't Have Violent Reactions

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I've been gluten-free for over 4 years. Overall I've tried to be quite careful with my diet since the day I committed to it, but I've learned even more from this forum about preventing cross contamination.

 

At high levels of gluten, I get severe reactions. However, at low levels I do not. The most I get at low levels of gluten (say if I ate a bean tostada at Taco Bell that got CC'ed) is the start of an itchy skin rash or my skin burns and flames to the touch. (I don't eat at Taco Bell ever anymore, FTR)

 

Due to my history and symptoms, I think that it's highly likely that I have Dermetitis Herpetiformis, though unfortunately my dermatologist never thought to run a biopsy for DH.

 

My family and friends are overall quite supportive, but how should I approach them if I'm feeling the need to be more careful than before, though I've not gotten visibly ill from minute amounts of CC?

 

I was thinking something like this:

 

"You know, I didn't really know what I was doing when I started eating gluten-free. This whole process has been a learning experience. And I've recently learned that in order to prevent complications like villi damage and nutritional deficiencies I need to be even more careful than I've been. Even if my outward reaction isn't violent, the internal damage can still be done. So would it be okay with you if I leave a set of dedicated kitchen utensils at your house?"

 

(this would be directed to my MIL)

 

What do you think of this approach of explaining my new information that I've learned?

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Sounds like you have a good plan already. I might leave out the villi part and stick to something more general like internal damage or nutritional deficiencies. You can explain further if asked, but I don't think you have to unless you want to. Maybe your MIL is the nosy type I don't know.

 

I would say as little as possible. Something like, I found out that gluten exposure even in small amounts can cause internal damage, so I'm going to be more careful from now on about cc.

 

I don't think you should have to mention symptoms at all. You don't have to prove what you know to be true to anyone. If you want more back-up you can say it was your doctors idea to be more careful.

 

Good for you for taking such good care of yourself, and being so cautious about gluten. You're setting a good example :)

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"You know, I didn't really know what I was doing when I started eating gluten-free. This whole process has been a learning experience. And I've recently learned that in order to prevent complications like villi damage and nutritional deficiencies I need to be even more careful than I've been. Even if my outward reaction isn't violent, the internal damage can still be done. So would it be okay with you if I leave a set of dedicated kitchen utensils at your house?"

 

 

I think that all sounds really good except I don't see the need to leave a set of dedicated kitchen utensils at her home.  As long as utensils have been cleaned, there should be no issue at all.  If you are worried that she can't safely prepare food for you, it might be best just to bring your own food, or be there when she prepares the food so you can protect your food in a manner that you are sure is safe.  The second option has the added bonus that she will see /learn how to prepare food for you.

 

Good luck.. :)

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Though I'm sure that she's tried to be careful to wash things when making food for me, I'm sure that she's done stuff like use wooden utensils and use a cast iron pan for both gluten free and regular food.

 

And when I was dining when them at a church function, she was trying some of the gluten free lasagna that I had brought and stuck her glutenous fork into it to get a last bite. So I know that she's not as aware of CC as I would like. For now, I've been taking charge and preparing things myself. Lately the family gatherings (birthday parties) have been at my house and I've asked my inlaws to bring pretty generic things to them (like asking them to bring whole tomatoes and I will slice them myself on my dedicated cutting board).

 

My birthday party is on Sunday and we are having a pizza party. I've asked the IL's to bring gluten pizza and I'm making all the gluten-free myself.

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Happy Birthday!

 

It sounds to me like you have a really good plan.  When they bring the gluten pizza I would have a separate table - or a separate end of the table - for it and even say to them as they walk in the door... Please put that over here in the gluten area so that we don't cross-contaminate the gluten-free.  If they want to know what cross-contaminate means they'll ask - which will present a good opportunity for you to tell them about it.

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Thank you!

 

The birthday party went fairly well although I think that I looked a little paranoid when I asked people to remember to use the tongs for the chips. Next time I'll just portion out mine ahead of time and forget reminding people to use tongs.

 

My MIL told me that at the next birthday party, it will be a grilling party and they have an extra grill to use for gluten free only items. And I can put down aluminum foil on it to ensure that we're not CC'ed. Yay! 

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