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Visiting family

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How do you feel (especially those of you who (still) don't have children/family of your own, so your parents' house still feels like THE home in a way) when visiting your parents/family? For me this was one of the most upsetting things after the diagnosis. The feeling that I am not safe in my "safe haven" where I used to go to rest, regroup, feel at home, be loved. My apartment is gluten free, but of course I can't ask this of my parents too, when I visit them once in 2 months or so. My Mom is also knowledgeable about celiac and precoutions I need to take (she went through the whole de-glutening process with me in my own apartment). She bought a new set of pans, dishes, etc. and everything needed to make safe food for me and God bless her heart she tries so hard when I am there. But their kitchen is really, really tiny (like 2x3 m2), and my Dad is a big bread eater, so gluten traces are everywhere. And I think in the end we are all stressed out, me by being afraid, and they by having to be extra careful (which they don't mind!). Before, when I was on vacation, I would spend a week or so there, but now I only go for an afternoon. I still eat lunch that my Mom prepares for me (if my antibodies don't go down at first follow up I will stop that). But the feeling of a cozy home is somehow gone. Many celiacs said they cried when they went to the groceries the first time after diagnosis, upon seeing all the food now off their limits, but I went to Lidl to get away from my parents for a momet and cry (behind a mask luckily!) about this feeling of losing my "carefree" home. Did anyone else have such a feeling or am I exaggerating? :)

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Many people like me who have a spouse or children who are not gluten-free (my wife and son are not gluten-free, and my son now goes to college in a different state) have to deal with this feeling from time to time. Feeling safe is a huge part of what your home should be about, and if you can't feel safe, especially in your childhood home with your parents, it is difficult.

I am lucky that my wife really gets it and does a wonderful job of making mostly gluten-free dishes for our family (my daughter and I are the gluten-free ones), but since her and my son (when he visits us) do still eat gluten we're not in a 100% gluten-free house, so there are occasional moments of stress that are created by various situations that are probably very similar to those that you have now when you visit your parents.

I would try not to let it become a wedge between you and your parents, and perhaps the best thing to do is to talk with them about it. One thing I've done to deal with possible cross-contamination is to take GliadinX (disclosure, they are a sponsor here but don't pay me to post for them!), which can break down small amounts of gluten in the stomach. Perhaps a combination of something like that, combined with you helping them prepare meals for you when you are visiting, would allow you to stay with them longer and still feel safe?

Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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