Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • Join Our Community!

    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

olalisa

So Frustrated! Help Me! Please!

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

So for mother's day today my father-in-law (sweet, sweet man) wanted to take me and my family out to dinner at a seafood restaurant near his house. I've been diagnosed/gluten free for only 3 weeks, so eating out is VERY stressful still, esp with an "audience" so to speak. I tried to suggest chains that I know are celiac friendly, but he assured me that he'd checked with the folks at the fish place and didn't want to drive so far to another restaurant. so.....

I show my triumph dining card, ask the server a few questions, and ask her to show the card to the "chef" and I use that term generously here. She suggests something broiled so I ask for broiled fish, prepared on it's own little plate, with salt, pepper and some old bay. Also ordered a salad (brought my own dressing) and a baked potato. asked for no croutons, crackers, bread, etc....trying not to be overly dramatic with my in-laws present....

salad comes out with the captain's wafer crackers on it. Since they're wrapped, I try to grin and bear it. just remove them and give them to my daughter, but I know I'm in trouble. When my fish comes out, it is "dry broiled with salt and pepper only and COVERED WITH HUSHPUPPIES!!!! I calmly told the waitress that I couldn't eat it because of the hushpuppies and to please have them prepare another one and not to let anything like that near it. CLEARLY no one read the card. OR listened to what I said. While everyone ate I waited for my new dish. Came out dry, tasteless, and I was frankly afraid to eat it, but didn't want to insult my dad-in-law, so I ate a little. I feel icky and rumbly and my tummy hurts now.

So how do you handle these situations? I couldn't stuff myself before we went b/c we'd travelled and then went to a service and then straight to eat. How do I be assertive without seeming overly dramatic to those who don't "get it?"

Yeah...I heard the waitress asking my dad-in-law, when he was trying to explain how serious it is..."what, does she break out or something?"

HELP!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find educating the willfully ignorant very annoying, so in a case like this I would've done exactly what you did - smile nervously and carefully pick through the gluten mindfield in front of me. :unsure:

Really, it sounds like you did everything right. Don't beat yourself up about this.

Do mention to your relatives that you reacted to that meal! They need to know this is no game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah definitely let your family know! That way they might be more willing the next time to make the extra effort to go to a place that is familiar with gluten free.

Sorry you got sick. :( I know it's hard to be assertive about your diet in the beginning . :) I don't eat out at all becuase frankly it's too much of a risk that I would even enjoy it, and I don't want to pay or have anyone else pay for a meal that I won't enjoy and that might make me sick. But it sounds to me like you did everything right, it was just not a safe restaurant for you.

I always always have something to eat with me nowadays, and if I'm away from home and my supplies run out I go to a supermarket and by some fruit and sometimes a jar of baby food if necessary. :D:D And I've trained most of my friends and family to be ok with me just sitting with them in a restaurant, with a drink. :) But you don't necessarily have to go to that extreme.

Pauliina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest nini

I completely understand, and yes absolutely let your in laws know that you DID react to the meal and that it IS that serious. Hopefully they will be more willing next time to go to a more celiac friendly establishment. Dining out is always a risk, but we can't stop living our lives just because of this, you did everything right, it isn't your fault at all, just learn from this experience and move on.

It took me a little while to convince my husband that his fave Mexican restaurant was a gluten minefield to me and our daughter. They fry the chimichanga's (wheat flour tortillas) in the same oil as the chips and taco shells, so there is absolutely NOTHING safe to eat there. He says "well it's just made of corn what's the big deal?" the big deal is cross contamination, and when all it takes is a molecule of gluten to set us off, we do need to be that careful. I just stopped going there plain and simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry--you'll get the hang of it! And remember, this isn't about your family, your father in law, but about you. So put your fears of offending others aside. There is a way to present your situation to a restaurant in a serious and professional type of manner. Ask your server for a manager and tell the manager that you have serious food allergies (if you don't want to explain Celiac) and that you can not eat any gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats), and that your food must also be cooked on clean pans, grills etc.--that if your food comes in contact with the aforementioned gluten you will get very sick. This usually will make them take you seriously. You will get the hang of it over time! Safer bets are usually plain meats, steamed, sautéed veggies, baked potatoes… I was with a friend once who didn't and just picked the croutons off her salad, definitely not safe. I know you don't want to, but it is not your problem if someone is offended at what it takes for you to get a safe meal...and you'll have to get used to operating in that kind of mindframe. The consquences of not eating a safe meal are far worse than possibly offending someone. And you might be surprised--if you explain the situation to your fam/friends and make sure they understand, most likely they won't...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you want to get sick often, or never eat out, you have to be more assertive, to the point of saying, in that case, "Please take this card back and have the chef read it again, because it is obvious from this plate that he did not. This will make me very sick, and could have been easily avoided had he simply read the card." You don't have to say it loudly, or in a rude or condescending voice, just in a voice of firmness. It is your health.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, your story is so reminiscent of the many times I struggled in restaurants, in the beginning of dealing with Celiac. After many years (I am now 61) I have learned to always carry my own food and drink (I even have a special plastic-lined purse in case of accidental spills, and now I carry an abundance of food for my 3 year old grandson as well, since he stays with me 3 days a week.

It sounds as though you had terrific restraint and patience where that darn old restaurant was concerned, and I think you should give yourself a big pat on the back! It will get easier. The hard part is that we're usually hungry when we get there, so when the food comes to us wrong, our blood sugar level is low, and we feel like crying. I have cried before, and it was usually croutons or cheese on salads that did it.

In general, are you noticing a big difference after 3 weeks on the diet? Believe me, more and more people are learning that they have Celiac, and in just the past 5 years or so I have seen so many more aware people than in the past. My sister, cousin, and grandson have been diagnosed just in the past 3 years.

Hang in there! It will get better. Welda Lou

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much to everyone for your input and stories! I feel the love :) ! I know I'll have to get used to being more assertive, which is funny, b/c I'm usually assertive, but about this, I'm having a hard time! OY! I'm still feeling the meal I had last night, though, so that will help me to realize how important it is....you guys are so right about that...

In reply to the question of how am I feeling after 3 weeks gluten free? WOW, so much better already! Thanks for asking. My edema (legs, ankles, and feet) is resloving, my energy level is better day by day (unless I'm glutened), my tummy is so much happier (I don't feel "pukey" all the time) and my experiences in the bathroom are much better :). After soooo many years of symptoms (I'm 44) I had come to know how I felt as normal--I can't wait to see how much better I feel 6 months or a year from now!

Bless you all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my family or friends or anyone for that matter cannot seem to comprehend the severity of this disease I just ask them if they would take someone with lung cancer to a smoke filled bar, someone with gastric bypass to an all you can eat buffet or someone who had a bad heart on a roller coaster ride. Sounds rough, I know, but this is our health. No one is going to jump in the coffin with you. Take care of yourself first and foremost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...