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bakergirl90

Don't Know If I Should Leave My Job Or Not!

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So I just recently have been diagnosed with celiac disease, it has been about a month. I have been pretty strict with the gluten free diet, but of course I have been making the occasional mistake because it's all new to me still. 

 

My dilemma is that I am a baker, I have loved baking my entire life, it is my passion and one of the things that truly gives me joy in this world. I have been very depressed because telling a baker that she no longer can eat or taste anything with regular flour is very disheartening, I have removed everything with gluten from my kitchen and cleaned EVERYTHING! 

But the real question here is whether or not it is safe for me to work at my job.. I work at a cupcake shop as the head baker and I am constantly exposed to the mix we use to make the cupcakes. the second ingredient on the bag is wheat gluten. I am pretty much breathing it in all day. And then I have to pull them out of the oven and handle all the cupcakes throughout the day (frosting them and what not) If I cannot have it in my own kitchen, would that mean I cannot work around it at all?

I have been feeling quite a bit better from eating gluten free and sticking to it...but every time I go into work I start to feel light headed and just a bit off after I start baking. I don't know if it is because I am healing and moving around a lot is just making me tired or somehow I am ingesting small amounts of gluten by breathing it in?? 

I just don't know if it is keeping me sick or if I am fine?? 

Should I quit my job or take a leave of absence and see if it makes me feel even better?? 

 

I go to see a GI specialist doctor in a week and a half, do any of you think he will be able to answer my question?

I just don't want to have to quit so suddenly. I need the money and I just feel so lost.

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So I just recently have been diagnosed with celiac disease, it has been about a month. I have been pretty strict with the gluten free diet, but of course I have been making the occasional mistake because it's all new to me still. 

 

My dilemma is that I am a baker, I have loved baking my entire life, it is my passion and one of the things that truly gives me joy in this world. I have been very depressed because telling a baker that she no longer can eat or taste anything with regular flour is very disheartening, I have removed everything with gluten from my kitchen and cleaned EVERYTHING! 

But the real question here is whether or not it is safe for me to work at my job.. I work at a cupcake shop as the head baker and I am constantly exposed to the mix we use to make the cupcakes. the second ingredient on the bag is wheat gluten. I am pretty much breathing it in all day. And then I have to pull them out of the oven and handle all the cupcakes throughout the day (frosting them and what not) If I cannot have it in my own kitchen, would that mean I cannot work around it at all?

I have been feeling quite a bit better from eating gluten free and sticking to it...but every time I go into work I start to feel light headed and just a bit off after I start baking. I don't know if it is because I am healing and moving around a lot is just making me tired or somehow I am ingesting small amounts of gluten by breathing it in?? 

I just don't know if it is keeping me sick or if I am fine?? 

Should I quit my job or take a leave of absence and see if it makes me feel even better?? 

 

I go to see a GI specialist doctor in a week and a half, do any of you think he will be able to answer my question?

I just don't want to have to quit so suddenly. I need the money and I just feel so lost.

 

Oh that is awful! But all of us celiac people would love it if you'd quit your job and dedicate yourself to creating beautiful gluten-free baked goods just for us! The selfish part of me says quit!

 

Seriously though, if you feel it is making you sick, then they may be legally obligated to help you avoid ingesting the flour - be it better ventilation, or even just a dust mask to use. I'd try to reduce your exposure and see how you react before you quit.

 

Some people here are super sensitive and get sick from things like gluten containing shampoos, others of us might not notice a symptom even from contaminated items.

 

I'd read over the newbie thread, as others will advise you. You might get worse before you get better on the gluten-free diet, and it might have nothing to do with your job, or everything. Only experimentation will tell you, so keep a journal of what you eat, your symptoms, and whether or not you worked that day and see if you can see a trend.

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Airborne flour gets breathed in. It gets to the back of your throat where you swallow it. I hate to say it, but I think you should quit.

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I don't think a mask is going to be enough. Plus having worn them myself at times they are uncomfortable and unless they are respirators air does leak around them. I baked for a living for a short time and know that you are likely covered in flour by the end of the day. If you really love baking and there isn't a gluten free bakery that is hiring near you perhaps you could start one up. Depending on your city's codes you might even be able to do it out of your house or a converted garage. 

I am sorry you are being put in such a tough spot. I hope you can come up with a good resolution to this problem.

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For a lot of people, outright quitting a job just isn't a possibility without first finding other work, no matter the risks involved. If this is the situation you find yourself in, wearing a mask until you can find other work would be a good step to help reduce exposure. The amount of flour in the air that you must be breathing in that is getting into your throat, and therefore swallowed must be insane in a bakery. Anything you can do to reduce that is a plus, even if it's a mask on the cheaper side it is certainly better than nothing at all. And since you love baking, I agree that looking for something in a gluten free bakery would be a great idea. It would let you continue doing what you love but without the health risk.

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I was a line cook when I was diagnosed and had to quit my job because of celiac.  I found myself getting sick every day I worked.  Not matter how careful I was, it ended up happening. But I would also have flour on my shirts, in my hair, under my fingernails.  I would wash my hands OCD style, wear a mask ( which really isn't an easy feat in the kitchen with windows in the doors), customers really don't understand why the chef making their food is wearing a mask to protect me, not them.  It really is impossible to stay away from gluten in an environment like that.  Sorry :(

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I would agree--you probably need to find another job and I think a gluten-free bakery would be a HUGE hit--especially if you could connect with local restaurants and provide their gluten-free breads and bakery items.  One restaurant we ate at that was gluten-free buys all of their baked goods from a gluten-free bakery in town.  Obviously starting your own would be expensive and such but small business loans, possible investors looking to help, etc. would fund the costs.  The gluten-free industry is a BILLION dollar industry and growing!

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I understand how you feel here.   When I first left college I got a job that worked with animals. Unfortunately, I am allergic to most of them, and I had to leave that position.  With those types of allergies they eventually get worse and I was going into mild anaphylaxis so I had to get the heck out.  It is a hard and stressful step to make, but you just have to roll with it and try to make the best of it.  

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Thank you so much everyone for your insight! I have decided to purchase a mask for the time being until I find myself another job. Which I am doing ASAP. I really appreciate that you took the time out of your day to help me and give me advice. Your advice and understanding has made me feel so much better and less alone in this. All of you and Jennifer Esposito (author of Jennifer's way) have made this easier for me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

 

My plan is to open a Gluten free bakery right here in Middle Georgia where I live. Where I will also cater to diabetics, dairy free, soy free, etc whenever possible! I have loved baking my whole life and am determined to never give it up! I also want a place where all of you can come and enjoy cakes, cookies, bread and more and feel 100 percent safe there! I am dedicating my life to this, everyone deserves a delicious and beautiful cake dammit! 

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Best wishes to you in this.  I am so glad you have decided on a new job, but can still do what you love to do!  If I ever find a kind of bread like thing I can eat again, I would send you the recipe!  I use to work in a bakery right before I got Mono and my 30 years of celiac symptoms.   I currently don't know of a bread type that I can eat.  Maybe some vegetable could be ground?  I did sweet potato or pumpkin/squash flour for a while, which was promising until I reacted to pumpkin and tried SCD diet which cautioned about sweet potato until healing was complete.  My GI healing is now complete though, so maybe sweet potato can come back. 

 

I dried the sweet potato or squash in my food dehydrator and then ground it into flour.

 

Happy venture to you and I hope you will be able to find another job soon and it will help your health!

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Thank you so much everyone for your insight! I have decided to purchase a mask for the time being until I find myself another job. Which I am doing ASAP. I really appreciate that you took the time out of your day to help me and give me advice. Your advice and understanding has made me feel so much better and less alone in this. All of you and Jennifer Esposito (author of Jennifer's way) have made this easier for me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

 

My plan is to open a Gluten free bakery right here in Middle Georgia where I live. Where I will also cater to diabetics, dairy free, soy free, etc whenever possible! I have loved baking my whole life and am determined to never give it up! I also want a place where all of you can come and enjoy cakes, cookies, bread and more and feel 100 percent safe there! I am dedicating my life to this, everyone deserves a delicious and beautiful cake dammit! 

 

MUCH LOVE goes out to you for taking this extraordinarily brave step! Please post here when you open up the shop - I will be sure to stop in if I get down that way!

 

There are some great discussions/blogs out there on the web (look up gluten free ratio rally) for recipes/flour blends.

 

Just a side note, there are three different people in my area doing gluten-free products. One does a shared facility and focuses on cakes and sweets, the other two focus mainly on bread. From their experience, the bread gets the most sales - possibly because of the health trend, health conscious people might not want cakes - or maybe because the bread is so much harder to get right on your own, while cakes/cupcake mixes are pretty satisfactory.

 

I've spent hundreds on different flours, trying to perfect the bread. I've bought three different cookbooks, never liking their mixes. I keep getting |this close| to a perfect loaf, but can't achieve perfection. I got distracted from my whole grain attempts trying to make a suitable baguette. I had to give up for now because constant failure got to be too discouraging!

 

Best of luck to you and please - if you achieve perfection, share the recipe for those of us not in GA!

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