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Nlcurl

Events Following My Diagnosis Now Shattered

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New here, diagnosed 2 days ago.

I had mostly removed gluten from my diet prior to my diagnosis so at home the jump into a gluten-free lifestyle hasn't been devastating.....yet

But yesterday I walked into work (I am a teacher) and they were setting up a teacher appreciation lunch. One of my coworkers who has a celiac son assured me I could make a salad and eat the pulled pork but I was literally already feeling better and didn't want to risk it.

All bundled up in the weekend following my diagnosis I have a graduation party and a beef and beer I've been looking forward to for weeks. I was talking to someone associated with the beef and beer about my fear and disappointment and her response was "well there's no gluten in meats"

I love eating and I love eating out, that's where the gluten-free knife is really stabbing me

I can't even begin to ask how do I navigate this for life, I'm just trying to navigate this first weekend. :(

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I wouldn't trust the " no gluten in meats". They could have been marinated in beer or a soy sauce containing stuff.

For this weekend, if you don't want to watch people eating, one option is to not go. I don't think that should be your strategy for your whole life, but maybe just for a few days. Tell people you aren't feeling well.

One thing I do if I know I am going to be pissed about not eating is - I eat something extra good & indulgent before I go. A burger and oven fries, chili cheese fries, nachos, pizza, ice cream, etc. I might take something in my purse ( my purses have gotten larger) that is a treat - Fritos, chocolate, my own cookies, jelly bellies.

You will learn to judge what is safe. I went to a grad party last night and had watermelon. There was no gluten on the table near it. Really hardly any gluten at this whole party. I probably could have eaten more but I didn't know and ate some pizza at home first.

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Many of us eat out less now. It is just more practical to gather to do other things instead. When I do go out to eat at someone's house, I always bring food and snacks just to be safe. I find going out requires more effort than it used to but it is so much better than feeling sick.

 

Hang in there.  And welcome to the boards. :)

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We all struggle with these things at first. Worst for me used to be the holidays and events at work, which always focus on high gluten items. The food was never the hard part but the social issue, seeming like a drama queen because I had to refuse anything. Never went into any detail of why until people insisted, then explained.

On the other hand, it did wind up distributing a lot of information and more people became aware of the issue. It has become much less a social stigma not than years ago.

Caution is necessary but businesses are much more amenable, helpful and knowledgable today. If you have doubts, ask a manager and don't be shy. Individuals, on the other hand, should not be counted on unless they are also celiac.

The upside of eating out less is that you save money and will soon find other interests in which to invest and reward yourself.

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I agree that the more removed you are from the cooking, the riskier it is to eat it. And I know I felt really deprived early on. Being reminded that you can't participate in what others are enjoying does suck big time. But remind yourself that it isn't a matter of not being able to have something, just losing the convenience of having others prepare it for you. You can still eat 99% of the foods out there if they are prepared properly.

You will get good at bringing your own, making enough to share with others, and/or slipping away to do your own thing. Of course, whether or not you can bring your own could vary according to where you are so talking to a manager ahead of time could mean more flexibility, and they might even be able to chill or serve your gluten-free food or beer for you if you pay a plating fee. 

Coolers will become your best friend. I have small- and medium-sized soft-sided coolers that work well with little ice packs, and I keep my larger cooler handy, especially in the summer and at the holidays. I have been known to sneak out to my car in order to get something to eat - much better than getting crabby.

But I also tend to do fewer of the things that have more restrictions and more of the ones that allow me to bring a dish to share or have access to fridges and microwaves. Picnics, visiting friends and family in their homes, or having company come to you become the easy ways to socialize where meeting at a restaurant used to be the norm. 

I do recommend finding a grocery store that carries a wide variety of gluten-free foods right away. Either WholeFoods or my local organic grocery chain have everything I need, including gluten-free beers. Knowing you have options is incredibly helpful at the beginning. Granted, until you find your favorites, you will be running into some gluten-free items that really do taste awful, but you'll eventually find the good ones, make your own, or replace with something else. It is going to take months rather than weeks, but you will eventually get good at it.

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Thanks for all of the responses... I took a trip to the grocery store- more specifically the gluten free aisle to prepare for some of the upcoming events, though right now I feel like I'm just throwing it all together and flying by the seat of pants. I feel like I'm relying heavily on packaged deals because they say gluten free (pizzas, ect) and I can take that without question (I know I have many other options but reading labels is overwhelming right now... How will I know if that 13 syllable word is code for gluten or not?!?! I can't even say it!) but I guess all things come with time

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