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MermaidPaz

Dad Brought Home A Bag Of Wheat Gluten, Now I've Given Up.

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I live in a household with wheat eaters, and I'm struggling terribly.  I've tried to make them understand how important it is for me to avoid cross contamination of any sort as I am very sensitive.  At first they talked big about how they were going to cooperate with me in order for me to have a safe place to prepare my food.  Now they have completely forgotten about it or just don't care anymore.  Even the ice is unsafe in my house because there are open boxes of chocolate cake being tossed around in the freezer.  In fact, my dad just brought home a bag of wheat gluten yesterday.  I have given up on trying to force their cooperation because it falls on deaf ears, but the fact remains that I cannot support myself financially enough to be on my own and I can't continue to starve or be sick as I have been.  I spent seven years violently throwing up and after going gluten free, that stopped.  The concerning part is that the puking has started again.  I am getting constant exposures at this point, and I have no energy to fight for myself anymore.  This is compounded by the fact that when I get exposed to wheat, I become incredibly confused and cannot make good decisions for myself anymore.

I feel hopeless and beaten.  I feel like I'm being poisoned intentionally at this point because I have tried so many times to tell the people in my house how sick wheat makes me.  I have no support system, not one actual person, so I have great difficulty trying to do everything on my own in the state of disrepair that I am in.  I even hesitate to ask for support or advice on this forum because some responses are often chastising or rude.  Some people here feel like they need to educate and rebuke me.  I am dealing with enough psychological stress from being poisoned regularly, I don't need someone blaming me for things that I can't change.  And yet here I am, asking for encouragement and advice.  It's a big gamble, I know.

I've considered options inside my house, like making a makeshift tiny kitchen in a safe area of my house, but the resources just aren't there.  I keep all of my dry food and dedicated dishes in my own room because there is nowhere else where they will be safe.  I eat pre-packaged foods a lot which have ingredients that aren't optimal for me but it is preferable to wheat contamination.  My salads are more and more consisting of me eating dry leaves of lettuce straight out of my garden because trying to clear out a space and make an actual salad that won't kill me would require a full decontamination and energy that I do not have.  You start to not even feel like a real person when you don't have hot meals anymore.  I don't want to have to eat lettuce straight like a rabbit every day until I die.  I don't want to eat pre-packaged garbage food just because I know it won't put me in a wheat coma.  Most of all, I'm just so tired of having to try and fight with people to convince them that this is a serious problem for me, and I'm tired of having to do it all alone.  It's incredibly depressing and isolating.

It does help to know that I'm not the only person dealing with this, even though I am still alone.  I'm thankful for the support and advice that I have received from some helpful people in this forum, and am continually grateful for further help.

 

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Wow!  Can't they see how sick you are?  Of course they can and they don't care?  Well, we can't pick our family not force them to change their behaviors in their own house if they don't' care.  I have found that people like this would be jerks about something else if Celiac isn't the issue.

 

So some practical things until you can find a way to get your own place:

 

Can you find a small fridge for your room?  Might find one on Craigs list for cheap.  If you live in a college town - there are always some around.  Might need a bit of cleaning with some white vinegar and then bleach.

 

Clear a space on your desk or dresser and make that your food prep station.  You can cut on your plates or get these flat cutting mats.  They are good for using as a place mat and food prep area cover, too.  They have some at the Dollar store.  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Color-Flexible-Cutting-Mat/20531370

 

Fresh (clean) towels are good to cover a dirty counter.

 

You can use the oven or microwave.  You might just want to cover your food.   Foil in the oven.  A plate or microwaveable paper plate over a bowl in the microwave.

 

You can cover a baking sheet or questionable baking dish with 2 layers of foil.

 

It might seem gross but, if the kitchen sink is too dirty to wash your dishes in, use the bathroom sink.  It is unlikely to have a lot of bread crumbs and such in it.  Bleach is cheap and you could bleach it before washing your fruit or dishes.

 

You could even get paper plates and plastic utensils & throw away.  If you lived near me I would give you all the assorted left-over Super Bowl party/Christmas plates and napkins I have.

 

You might look at Walmart for a crockpot.  There are usually some around $15.  You can cook all kinds of things in them.  Even just warm up a can of beans or some frozen veggies.  This would be cheaper than a gluten-free frozen meal.  

 

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-Beach-5-Quart-Portable-Slow-Cooker/15229926

 

I'll think and maybe add some more.  I'm not much for the "poor baby" stuff, but I am all about the practical.

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I'm sorry.  What a situation!  I get confused too when I'm glutened and make poor choices.

 

Can you afford a hot plate for your room?  Your can get one for under $20.  A small fridge?  Under $100.  A microwave? Under $60.  I think that's your best bet.  There aren't enough calories in lettuce to survive.

 

Do you have any farmer's markets in your area?  You can often get cheap safe produce there.

 

I see Kareng added a reply.  I hope you get some ideas that work and feel better.

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I'm sorry.  What a situation!  I get confused too when I'm glutened and make poor choices.

 

Can you afford a hot plate for your room?  Your can get one for under $20.  A small fridge?  Under $100.  A microwave? Under $60.  I think that's your best bet.  There aren't enough calories in lettuce to survive.

 

Do you have any farmer's markets in your area?  You can often get cheap safe produce there.

 

I see Kareng added a reply.  I hope you get some ideas that work and feel better.

 

 

I keep forgetting  about hot plates.  And my hub keeps wanting to buy me one for travelling!

 

Let's see :

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Oster-Single-Burner-Black/24183268   I like that there is a bit of a non-burner edge on this one.  Some look like you might burn yourself on the burner in a small space.

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Hi Mermaid.

 

You are definitely going through a difficult period right now.  A couple thoughts come to mind.  For the practical issues, how about an electric griddle, a crock pot and a toaster to keep in your room.  A toaster is about 10 bucks.  A griddle and crock pot can be purchased second hand since they can be easily cleaned.  Goodwill stores and Salvation Army Stores usually have these items available.  You could then get some hot meals with many more options.  Do you have "marked" gluten-free condiments in the fridge?  If your frozen items are packaged you don't have to worry about CC.  If the outer package has crumbs on it from the freezer then rinse it under water before opening it.  There are more things you can do, just give some specifics and we can brainstorm for you.

 

Now for the Family.  I'm assuming you are living with your parents, brothers/sisters?  I'm also assuming you are an adult?  Ok, think about this.  Call a family meeting.  Let them get a good look at you and how your fairing.  Tell them you are getting seriously sick again.  Tell them how it effects you mentally and emotionally.  Tell them how you feel they don't care about your well being.  Tell them you need some support at this time in your life.  Tell them everything bottled up inside.  Cry, yell, rage, plead, whatever you are feeling.  Ask them if THEY have any suggestions to help with CC.  

 

Lastly, you can't give up.  Seriously, it's not an option.  If there was ever a time in your life to advocate for yourself, it's now.  I know the feelings you are feeling.  It's very hard, yes.  You can get through this.  If you don't have your health you have nothing, trust me on this.  We can all help you with individual situations but your the one who has to do the work.  We are all in this Celiac thing together!

 

Colleen

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Ahhh, such great advice, I feel better already.  I just have to think about it differently.  It will be like camping....in my room....everyday!  Interestingly enough, I stayed by myself in an RV when I was first starting off gluten free and that was the easiest I had it.  It was a teeny kitchen but I didn't have to worry about crumbs or anyone getting in my food and CCing it. Looking back on it and having that experience I should have thought of some of these things, but then again it's almost impossible for me to think.  I'm glad I have you guys to point me in the right direction.  It's definitely going to be difficult to get the funds together to buy some of the things I will need, since I have enough of a hard time getting money for food, but I think my parents may help if they feel like they don't have to change anything in their kitchen (since they weren't going to anyway).  Looks like I'm going to have to do some Craigslisting.

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I just went and looked at crockpots on Craig's list.  They want $20 for a used one.  You can get a nice 4 quart Rival brand (the best brand) at Walmart for $17.  No going across town to a sketchy neighborhood.  I think a 4 qt is the size you would want.  There is a 2 Quart, but that really will be too small by the time you put in a pound of chicken thighs, 2 cans of beans, 1 can tomatoes and some frozen veggies & pasta or rice.  You want left-overs to microwave.  

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It's yard sale season. If you can't afford to buy all of the things folks have suggested, see if you can find a hot plate/burner at a yard sale. You might be able to get one for five bucks or so. Just ask them if you can plug it in first to make sure it works, and examine the cord to make sure there is no fraying.

 

With that alone and a pan to cook in, you can make yourself some nice meals. If you can find a double burner that would be even better. Meat in one pan, some rice in another. Add some veggies to the rice and they will heat up nicely. Keep your food and condiments in a plastic tote in the communal fridge. Put your name on it so no one will get into it.

 

I'm sorry you are going through this. (((((HUGS))))) to you.

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Dear MermaidPaz,

 

I don't have any suggestions for you, but I just want to say how very sorry I am that you are going through this. I can't imagine how difficult that must be for you!

 

Please hang in there! Discouragement can definitely seem overwhelming at times, but I've found that it is not often permanent. I hope and pray that you will soon find solutions that will work for you and your family.

 

((((((hugs)))))))

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I totally hear you about some people here on the forum being too judgmental or caught up in their own desire to be right. I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with that. 

Yeah, family can suck pretty badly and I can't even imagine having to share a kitchen. I suppose the only thing you can do is give them the benefit of the doubt that it isn't that they don't care, but simply can't relate.

I think the personal fridge and microwave are great ideas for creating your own space that you know is safe. I'd also look for a large cutting board that is thin enough to roll up and tuck away in a safe area. That way, you might be able to create a safe space in the kitchen simply by putting down a couple sheets of newspaper, and then laying out your cutting mat. 

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I am sorry to hear you are going through all this.  Have you tried to maybe take one of your parents to a doctors appointment with you?  Maybe explain to the doctor before hand the troubles you are having at home, some people just don't want to believe things unless they hear from someone of authority.

 

About all the suggestions, they are good.  I know Walgreens usually has the mini items. I bought a little electric skillet there, makes an egg or two in it.  They also have the smaller crock pots, and smaller food processors.  You might just need to make your own kitchen.  They have smaller grills, big enough to make a burger or a small steak and easy enough to clean.  Dollar stores have pretty good deals on utensils that you would need.  You can buy totes there also that you could use to wash your dishes in if you don't want to take them in the kitchen and would also work well to store all your gadgets in. 

 

Maybe if your family sees all you have to do to make it so you are healthy, they will learn to understand. Maybe you could sit them down and say something along the lines of.... I know completely making this kitchen gluten free for me is obviously too big of a hassle but would you guys be willing to help me out a little financially so I might get some things for my room so I can have a healthy, safe meal?  Shop around before hand so you have an idea of what everything that you want will cost and how much you will need.  Or you could make a point and just sprinkle rat poison on the counter and ask them if they feel safe to eat there.  That is pretty much what gluten does to you.

 

Other than that, you might need to resort to having a bunch of us come and school your parents.  Maybe seeing some seriously sick people after years of gluten exposure might change their minds :)  I hope it all works out for you, it really is no fun being sick all the time.

Edited by beth01

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Building on the slow cooker/mini fridge idea, if you get the stuff together to do it you could cook in large batches and keep it in the fridge/freezer to reheat later. My deal with my mum is that I have the kitchen on Sunday afternoons and cook three meals in three-portion sizes then eat these during the week to avoid trying to cook separate meals on weeknights (which was causing tension). Obviously you need safe equipment and uncontaminated food for this but it was a compromise that worked for us (she is very territorial!). Good luck!

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OP, is your family vegetarian? I remember in my pre-gluten-free days, making gluten (seitan) "steaks." Vital gluten flour is a common vegetarian staple so that's the first thing that I thought of when you said that your dad brought home a bag of wheat gluten.

 

 

Can I suggest a rice cooker? That has been such a helpful tool for me! They not only make rice, but also other grains like millet, quinoa, and gluten-free oatmeal, and they are portable, easy to use, and fast.

 

One favorite of mine is Spanish rice with pinto beans. It cooks up so fast and is yummy!

 

I'm sorry that you're going through this and I hope that you find a solution that works and that keeps you sane and healthy. 

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My family is no longer primarily vegetarian, but we used to eat our fair share of fake "meat".  He bought the bag of gluten to make gluten "steaks", which is very similar to seitan but different flavorings.  My dad has made gluten in the past quite a few times, and it was always tasty.  In fact, I went to a boarding school for three years that served gluten every Friday for lunch.  Needless to say that I no longer eat wheat so something that's almost 90 percent wheat protein is right out.  I also no longer eat soy or most legumes so just about every vegetarian meat substitute is off limits for me now.

Luckily with all the great advice and support, I did some window shopping for the things I need to get together to make a safe food space.  I've also decided that I'm going to have to find or build a little rolling island or cart for storage of my things.  I did look on Craigslist and people are indeed ridiculously overpricing their filthy fridges and microwaves too.  And they are absolutely filthy in the pictures.  I bet they never get responses to their ads.  :/  Even my local Wal-Mart had only two too-small mini fridges that had badly beaten boxes.  I may have to drag my folks to an actual appliance place to buy one that will last more than 6 months, but I think they will be willing.  Pretty much everything else was cheap and available at Wally World.  Hopefully I can start buying things within the week.

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My family is no longer primarily vegetarian, but we used to eat our fair share of fake "meat".  He bought the bag of gluten to make gluten "steaks", which is very similar to seitan but different flavorings.  My dad has made gluten in the past quite a few times, and it was always tasty.  In fact, I went to a boarding school for three years that served gluten every Friday for lunch.  Needless to say that I no longer eat wheat so something that's almost 90 percent wheat protein is right out.  I also no longer eat soy or most legumes so just about every vegetarian meat substitute is off limits for me now.

Luckily with all the great advice and support, I did some window shopping for the things I need to get together to make a safe food space.  I've also decided that I'm going to have to find or build a little rolling island or cart for storage of my things.  I did look on Craigslist and people are indeed ridiculously overpricing their filthy fridges and microwaves too.  And they are absolutely filthy in the pictures.  I bet they never get responses to their ads.  :/  Even my local Wal-Mart had only two too-small mini fridges that had badly beaten boxes.  I may have to drag my folks to an actual appliance place to buy one that will last more than 6 months, but I think they will be willing.  Pretty much everything else was cheap and available at Wally World.  Hopefully I can start buying things within the week.

 

 

great.

 

You can order on-line from Walmart.  Its free shipping to pick it up at a store.  That is usually your biggest election of mini fridges & colors for crockpots.  Don't count on the freezers in most of them.  There are a few with a separate outside freezer door and those are supposed to have good freezers.

 

 

This type:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Igloo-3.2-cu.-ft.-2-Door-Refrigerator-and-Freezer-Stainless-Steel/15162474

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