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Mac20elle

Disease Making Me Feel Isolated

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I was diagnosed with celiac disease September of last year. Just coping with the holiday's was hard enough. I honestly don't think "reality" started to set in until recently. I am beginning to feel more and more isolated by the disease. Friends don't even ask me to go to lunch with them anymore and I never get to participate in the many lunches and celebrations in the office. Of course I can participate, but that leads to disappointment about not being able to eat all the good smelling food or frustration about having to explain why I am eating something different or not eating at all to 10 or 15 people. I don't know anyone else with the disease who lives nearby and although my family is supportive (my sister also has the disease) I don't live near any family. I hope some of you understand when I say I sometimes feel like a "freak." Last problem, I am fairly recently divorced and although I am not yet ready to date again I can't imagine having to explain why I can't go here or there to various restaurants to someone new, talk about a turn off.

I don't want the disease to make me scared to live a normal life.

ANY ADVICE, THOUGHTS, COMMENTS WOULD BE HELPFUL!!

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Sorry to hear all this. I will say a prayer for you. I think a lot of people have found out that even though society has taught us differently..social things don't have to be all about food. Many people are on special diets.

I an new to all of this and many food allergies and just rescently have become super proactive about an elimination diet and figuring things out. I don't consume much of a variety right now. Most people don't even know. I just eat what I can and blend in.

How come friends aren't asking you to go to lunch anymore? Is it because you were getting sick while eating out or you couldn't find anything to eat..so you didn't and this made them feel weird?

I have had numerous operations these past few years and been really sick off and on. You find out fast who your REAL friends and 'family' are and who really cares and who is going to REALLY be there for you no matter what.

Is the office things hard because the food just smells to good and tempting or is there nothing you can eat? Is it something where everyone brings something where what you bring is something you could eat.

I have rescently cold turkey given up many things that I love that I thought I could never live within. But as I begin to enjoy not having the side affects from them..it's a miracle how fast I don't even care about them anymore.

When you find someone to date who reacts well to all of this..that will be a good sign of their character as a whole.

Something else I have always tried to do no matter how sick I have been over the years is to realize that there is always someone in worse situation than me and someone out there who is a lot sicker than me.

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I was diagnosed with celiac disease September of last year. Just coping with the holiday's was hard enough. I honestly don't think "reality" started to set in until recently. I am beginning to feel more and more isolated by the disease. Friends don't even ask me to go to lunch with them anymore and I never get to participate in the many lunches and celebrations in the office. Of course I can participate, but that leads to disappointment about not being able to eat all the good smelling food or frustration about having to explain why I am eating something different or not eating at all to 10 or 15 people. I don't know anyone else with the disease who lives nearby and although my family is supportive (my sister also has the disease) I don't live near any family. I hope some of you understand when I say I sometimes feel like a "freak." Last problem, I am fairly recently divorced and although I am not yet ready to date again I can't imagine having to explain why I can't go here or there to various restaurants to someone new, talk about a turn off.

I don't want the disease to make me scared to live a normal life.

ANY ADVICE, THOUGHTS, COMMENTS WOULD BE HELPFUL!!

I can't offer much more than my understanding of what you are going through. I go through the same thing at the office. I didn't eat out much for lunch before, so that's not a problem, but having to explain my disease to a room full of people every time there is a birthday or lunch is really wearing on me. Sometimes I'm fine with it, but most of the time I just don't want to talk about it. I get tired of answering all of the questions. People expect me to know everything. I'm not a doctor! I just try to change the subject and talk about how I have really enjoyed learning to bake gluten free and how it's not so bad. Most of the time though, I'll leave the room as the cake is cut or just not go at all. It certainly does change things. Sometimes when I'm tired or just not feeling chipper, people automatically assume I got glutened. Can't I just be a tired/cranky person once and awhile without it relating to my disease? I have come to really not even like to hear the word gluten anymore!

I'm sorry to hear about your divorce. It is certainly difficult to go out to eat and of course that's what you do when you date. Nothing would be worse than getting sick while on a date (maybe drinks, movies, mini golf instead?). I think with the right guy, it won't be a problem to talk about though. If the guy thinks you're odd due to having celiac, then he's not worth it in the first place in my opinion. On the upside, it could be a good screening tool for you! ;)

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Of course I can participate, but that leads to disappointment about not being able to eat all the good smelling food or frustration about having to explain why I am eating something different or not eating at all to 10 or 15 people.

Part of coping with this, imho, is the attitude adjustment that comes with changing your expectations. It takes time, but if you don't *EXPECT* eating to be a part of socializing, it becomes easier to let go of the disappointment. (Really, that "lower your expectations" advice I got from my boss at work years ago applies in so many places. :D)

And you only have to explain as much as you want. "I have a number of food intolerances," said appropriately, and followed by a change in conversation (and even the "I'm tired of talking about it at the moment, it gets tedious" if necessary) can nip the repetitious explaining in the bud.

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Sorry to hear all this. I will say a prayer for you. I think a lot of people have found out that even though society has taught us differently..social things don't have to be all about food. Many people are on special diets.

I an new to all of this and many food allergies and just rescently have become super proactive about an elimination diet and figuring things out. I don't consume much of a variety right now. Most people don't even know. I just eat what I can and blend in.

How come friends aren't asking you to go to lunch anymore? Is it because you were getting sick while eating out or you couldn't find anything to eat..so you didn't and this made them feel weird?

I have had numerous operations these past few years and been really sick off and on. You find out fast who your REAL friends and 'family' are and who really cares and who is going to REALLY be there for you no matter what.

Is the office things hard because the food just smells to good and tempting or is there nothing you can eat? Is it something where everyone brings something where what you bring is something you could eat.

I have rescently cold turkey given up many things that I love that I thought I could never live within. But as I begin to enjoy not having the side affects from them..it's a miracle how fast I don't even care about them anymore.

When you find someone to date who reacts well to all of this..that will be a good sign of their character as a whole.

Something else I have always tried to do no matter how sick I have been over the years is to realize that there is always someone in worse situation than me and someone out there who is a lot sicker than me.

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My response is from the perspective of almost 30 years gluten free:

1) Everything will get easier overtime as you incorporate coping strategies into your life.

2) I disassociate food from social interaction. I simply make the necessary arrangements so I am fed. Example: I attended the Christmas Potluck for the company. I brought my own food.

3) Let your friends know you would like to join them for their company and make your own arrangements for eating. I also let them know I am comfortable with these arrangements so they will feel at ease with them.

4) My basic explantion for eating differently or not eating at all is "I am on a medically restricted diet and can not eat wheat, oats rye or barley."

Hope everything looks brighter for you.

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You are very right, I totally agree there are many things worse than celiac. As far as your questions, yes about my not finding many or any things on the menu that I could eat at restaurants. Also, I'm intimidated during the "lunch rush" to be trying to explain my needs and yes I do think it makes my lunch companions uncomfortable sometimes, which of course makes me feel uncomfortable. Some/most of my friends have tried to be supportive, but that actually only seemed to last for the first few weeks or so and then I started getting the "it can't be that big of a deal attitude." Or we don't know why you feel akward...which I feel akward because I can't participate as I used to in many functions. As for the office functions with food, around here it is normally food ordered in, and the favorites are Mexican food and Barbeque (sauce already on), and then there are dessert contests. I could participate with the desserts, but I really don't like cooking at all and when I can't eat the food I'm not too motivated to cook. I appreciate all your thoughts, and I could use the prayers.

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Alot of my socializing does revolve around food. My food. If there is a party (I'm not working now but this is what I used to do) I offer to make a main or a dessert (or sometimes both if I want both). I have an amazing group of friends who go out of their way to accomodate my needs (I know I'm very lucky) but because I love to cook and also love to eat I am the supplier of gluten free food. My friends have learned that gluten free does not have to mean boring food. On the contrary. This weekend I went to two soccer windup parties. My gluten free brownies at the first party were considered the best food at the party. The second party I hosted so I made a nice chocolate cake, ponzu shrimp, endive salad cups and cheese balls (room temp goat cheese wrapped around grapes and rolled in toasted nuts). Others brought dips, pita, chickpea salad, pasta salad, vegies and edamame. I ate what I could and didn't eat the rest. Because I had supplied so much of the food I didn't feel deprived in the least.

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My response is from the perspective of almost 30 years gluten free:

1) Everything will get easier overtime as you incorporate coping strategies into your life.

2) I disassociate food from social interaction. I simply make the necessary arrangements so I am fed. Example: I attended the Christmas Potluck for the company. I brought my own food.

3) Let your friends know you would like to join them for their company and make your own arrangements for eating. I also let them know I am comfortable with these arrangements so they will feel at ease with them.

4) My basic explantion for eating differently or not eating at all is "I am on a medically restricted diet and can not eat wheat, oats rye or barley."

Hope everything looks brighter for you.

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Also, I'm intimidated during the "lunch rush" to be trying to explain my needs and yes I do think it makes my lunch companions uncomfortable sometimes, which of course makes me feel uncomfortable.

Make plans prior to the lunch rush if possible. Some of the options are:

1) Bring your own meal and order a drink. I usually bring a salad. I never bring anything that the restaurant has to hear for me. You can eat when everyone else does and you save a bunch of money. :D

2) Contact the restaurants everyone goes to on a regular basis and speak with the manager about the meal options and ordering instructions for future visits.

3) You can also contact the corporate headquarters via e-mail in advance. I have received lists of what is safe and how to order it from some of my inquiries. The printout is very helpful in dealing with the manager and server.

4) Contact the manager the day before in mid-afternoon or before the lunch rush when it is not busy and make the arrangements.

5) Steer your co-workers to places with gluten free menus.

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Also, I'm intimidated during the "lunch rush" to be trying to explain my needs and yes I do think it makes my lunch companions uncomfortable sometimes, which of course makes me feel uncomfortable. Some/most of my friends have tried to be supportive, but that actually only seemed to last for the first few weeks or so and then I started getting the "it can't be that big of a deal attitude." Or we don't know why you feel akward...which I feel akward because I can't participate as I used to in many functions.

Oh, I wouldn't go during lunch rush, unless it's to a place where I know what I'm going to order ahead of time and have been there before during a less busy time. Homework is now necessary. :) (Yeah, annoying, but doable.)

As for the "not that big of a deal" attitude... you can make it both important, and not a big deal at the same time. And ignore any attitude out of them you don't like. Eyerolls slide off you like water off a ducks back - that kind of thing. And if they encourage you to not feel awkward, take that as a positive sign that you SHOULD engage in those functions, and that it's NOT awkward for them - only you are feeling awkward, and you can, with time, unlearn that feeling. It's a good thing, really. :)

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I agree with the rest. Bring your own food to social events. Somehow bite the bullet and decide if you want to be part of the social thing maybe its worth doing a little baking etc. (or get someone else to do it for you?). Baking really isn't that hard. Be part of the committee that orders the food and maybe bring the (gluten free) cake? There's lots of gluten free mixes out there after all and its hard to even tell the difference between wheat cakes from gluten free ones.

As far as boyfriends, I am using a dating service and put right in there from the get go in my statement about myself that I have celiac and have to be gluten free. I probably get less potential dates that way but it nevertheless saves quite a bit of time. And yes I have found a number of guys who are interested. Going on a little picnic rather than to a restaurant is actually kind of charming...

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In addition to what everybody else said, if there is a support group near where you live, go to the meetings. You may or may not meet anyone "interesting" but everyone there will understand your dietary restrictions and you will not have to explain anything to anybody! B)

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I really sympathize, as I'm also very new to this, and also newly single (divorce pending). My celiac mother had some good advice for me regarding social events, though. First off, if it's a catered event or restaurant, you can call way ahead of time to find out menu options from them

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Celiac and autism here. I've found an easy way to deal with it is through humor. At work the ongoing joke is that whenever someone brings in treats for us to have, everyone looks at me and says "None for you" or "You can't have any." It's all in good fun, and it makes it a lot easier. I have also explained the disease(and Autism) to everyone I work with in pretty good detail. I'm good at explaining things. Don't really have to worry about the social situations myself, as I tend to avoid them like the plague anyway.

I have noticed that it seems to bug my girlfriend's mother because she can never really have me over for dinner. We did it once and I ate lettuce while everyone else ate a full meal. Doesn't really bug me anymore.

I haven't been to a restaurant in years.

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I tell people I'm "grain challenged." It adds a bit of humor to dining with friends and it shows that I'm not embarrassed to talk about it. I find the lighter I am in my approach (without compromising my dietary needs) the easier it is to explain to folks. This does not go for wait-staff or cooks in a restaurant, however. I need to be much more "serious" when talking to them! I got the phrase from Jax Peters Lowell, who wrote "The Gluten-Free Bible" - quite a good book by the way! Deals with everything from food to social situations and more! You might want to check it out if you haven't read it. She's pretty funny - and it's nice to add some humor to an otherwise humorless situation!

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I'm feeling isolated right now too because I'm at school and my fellow celiac mother is at home. My roommate yelled at me the other day and called me ridiculous for throwing a dish towel that was only used once into the laundry. She also touches everything with gluten on her hands. In conclusion, my hands are extremely dry from washing them.

When I go places where I don't trust the food, I bring my own. Sometimes it's even better than what's being served like my gluten-free lasagna instead of some nasty pork chops. I'm scared of restaurants because I got glutened on Sunday at the one place I've always thought was safe. My advice for eating out is be loud and proud about your celiac disease, if you need to threaten them that they may need to clean their bathroom if they aren't careful then do it. I agree with whoever said that you find out who your real friends are. It may get tedious explaining why you can't have stuff but I think the more you educate those around you, the more aware they become and the safer that makes the food world for us. I can't wait for the day when I go into a restaurant and I don't have to be stressed about being contaminated.

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My response is from the perspective of almost 30 years gluten free:

1) Everything will get easier overtime as you incorporate coping strategies into your life.

2) I disassociate food from social interaction. I simply make the necessary arrangements so I am fed. Example: I attended the Christmas Potluck for the company. I brought my own food.

3) Let your friends know you would like to join them for their company and make your own arrangements for eating. I also let them know I am comfortable with these arrangements so they will feel at ease with them.

4) My basic explantion for eating differently or not eating at all is "I am on a medically restricted diet and can not eat wheat, oats rye or barley."

Hope everything looks brighter for you.

I have been going thru this for about a year now and I can tell you it still sucks! Work pot lucks and such really suck!!!! I am sick and tired of always bringing my own food! What fun is that! Why don't I just stay home! Thats it, I could become a hermit

and eat chicken, veggies, and rice every day for the rest of my life!!!!!!! It is hard, and I don't think it

gets easier, I just think you stop caring about it.

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Guest mjhere
I was diagnosed with celiac disease September of last year. Just coping with the holiday's was hard enough. I honestly don't think "reality" started to set in until recently. I am beginning to feel more and more isolated by the disease. Friends don't even ask me to go to lunch with them anymore and I never get to participate in the many lunches and celebrations in the office. Of course I can participate, but that leads to disappointment about not being able to eat all the good smelling food or frustration about having to explain why I am eating something different or not eating at all to 10 or 15 people. I don't know anyone else with the disease who lives nearby and although my family is supportive (my sister also has the disease) I don't live near any family. I hope some of you understand when I say I sometimes feel like a "freak." Last problem, I am fairly recently divorced and although I am not yet ready to date again I can't imagine having to explain why I can't go here or there to various restaurants to someone new, talk about a turn off.

I don't want the disease to make me scared to live a normal life.

ANY ADVICE, THOUGHTS, COMMENTS WOULD BE HELPFUL!!

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Guest mjhere
:rolleyes: Hi, I have been on the celiac diet for 3 years. It is so very hard to try to explain to family and friends, makes you feel like a dork. Taking food with you where ever you go out is a hassle. Last April I was put on a liquid diet maybe forever, because my gut doesnt digest my food, I have a lot of water diahrea etc. I dont know which is harder, telling people I cant eat solid food, or cant have anything with gluten in it. They give you this weird look, or "just once wouldnt hurt".. I have got to the point where I can handle it, and learn to live with it if it makes me better, I just cannot handle peoples responce. I think thats why it if great that we can talk together, comfort each other. I hope this helps. It is devastating to have something that you will have forever, its hard enough to deal with, without the outside worlds input. BYE MARY

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Yes it is truly amazing at how much of our society and social functions revolve around food and we dont realize it til we cant participate in the way we used to. It seems impossible and depressing at times...depending on the way you look at it. There are always two sides to every coin.

For the inter-office parties I just found that is was less stressful and more fun to bring my own food or make a dish if its a potluck. This also helps with the questions as well because your food will always be new and different to them. This helps with explaining as well, they ask because they dont know and are interested. Spread the awarness :)

I go out to eat alot with my family and friends but i always bring my own food that way you can still eat with them and not have to suffer the agony and pain of being glutened later(and the months of healing :blink: ). After maybe doing this a couple of times they get used to it and your lunch problems will be a thing of the past!

As far as cooking....if you dont like to cook....well your just gonna have to get used to it...lol. This is who you are now so you might as well accept it...if you wanna eat you have to cook. There are alot of recipes out there that are simple and good to make. I have found that for every gluten food that I miss there is always a substititute or a loophole to turn it gluten free. It actually becomes a fun challenge after awhile. Another plus is that those cravings for gluten disappear fairly fast! :)

Last but not least....dating....eek! This was the greatest challenge for me because our average date is going out to eat! First off, what we typically do is degrade ourselves because we dont think a man would be willing to accept the gluten intolerance. This is because you view yourself with a disability...which is not true!!! Remember he is qualifying for your affections not the other way around :) What I found was the easiest way to date was going to an event like a fair or the movies and as you get to know him a little better...sight seeing accompanied by picnics there is always something to do, you just have to be creative sometimes. Dont be afraid to explain things and be open about them...and if he is a good guy this shouldnt be a problem. I met my husband this way, when we were dating he actually got really into creating recipes and meals that i could eat...and he voluntarily chose to go gluten free as well, which is something my own family wouldnt do! Just give it time and you will find the right one. :D

I hope this helps and you will be in my prayers as well. I wish you good luck and always stay positive, it only becomes as bad as you let it.

-Cheryl

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The disease and the diet can definitely make you feel like a 'freak' sometimes. Especially in the beginning when you still are feeling crummy most of the time and getting used to the diet. It all seems so overwhelming, that the additional struggle of trying to fit in and give an explanation for yourself can be burdensome. I found out only a few months before moving to a new state to go to grad school; I was still pretty sick and skinny (making me look a little sickly, too). I was sure everyone would view me as 'that sick girl,' but I think the problem for me was this is how I viewed myself. I was nervous about being 'too much trouble' or seeming whinny. I think as my view of my self from a sick person to someone who sometimes gets sick (which sounds like everyone I know) really caused me to be more comfortable with explaining myself. I think it takes time, and I do relapse and feel a bit sorry for myself (usually around a really severe glutening). I think it also helped me be more adventurous in my food choices (not risky, just trying new dishes that are naturally gluten free). I eat a lot of Thai and Indian food now, so my friends at work are alway jealous of my meals when they look at their boring sandwiches. Today I even believe that there can be good things about Celiac disease...I mean the diet cuts out most of the bad food people eat! It keeps my health on my mind, so I'm good about working out and staying healthy.

As for dating and meeting new people, I've found what others have said to be true- the more comfortable and confident you are with yourself, the more accepting new people will be. I actually tend to think that my friends I've made since being diagnosed are way more supportive than the ones that new me before because Celiac's has become just part of who I am to them and no big deal. When I'm at a restaurant and don't ask enough questions because I'm embarrassed, they'll jump in and make sure the waiter is accurately informed. As for friends you've had, if they saw you sick and then see you improving on the new diet and still can't accept it, then they are crazy. Anyone who has ever seen how sick I get from being glutened are sometimes more vigilant than even I am.

Good luck, and it will get easier and less tedious. :D

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The disease and the diet can definitely make you feel like a 'freak' sometimes. Especially in the beginning when you still are feeling crummy most of the time and getting used to the diet. It all seems so overwhelming, that the additional struggle of trying to fit in and give an explanation for yourself can be burdensome. I found out only a few months before moving to a new state to go to grad school; I was still pretty sick and skinny (making me look a little sickly, too). I was sure everyone would view me as 'that sick girl,' but I think the problem for me was this is how I viewed myself. I was nervous about being 'too much trouble' or seeming whinny. I think as my view of my self from a sick person to someone who sometimes gets sick (which sounds like everyone I know) really caused me to be more comfortable with explaining myself. I think it takes time, and I do relapse and feel a bit sorry for myself (usually around a really severe glutening). I think it also helped me be more adventurous in my food choices (not risky, just trying new dishes that are naturally gluten free). I eat a lot of Thai and Indian food now, so my friends at work are alway jealous of my meals when they look at their boring sandwiches. Today I even believe that there can be good things about Celiac disease...I mean the diet cuts out most of the bad food people eat! It keeps my health on my mind, so I'm good about working out and staying healthy.

As for dating and meeting new people, I've found what others have said to be true- the more comfortable and confident you are with yourself, the more accepting new people will be. I actually tend to think that my friends I've made since being diagnosed are way more supportive than the ones that new me before because Celiac's has become just part of who I am to them and no big deal. When I'm at a restaurant and don't ask enough questions because I'm embarrassed, they'll jump in and make sure the waiter is accurately informed. As for friends you've had, if they saw you sick and then see you improving on the new diet and still can't accept it, then they are crazy. Anyone who has ever seen how sick I get from being glutened are sometimes more vigilant than even I am.

Good luck, and it will get easier and less tedious. :D

Is Thai and Indian food actually gluten free? I went out to my mother's birthday party at a Thai restaurant and got glutened. Apparently I should have been more proactive though I hadn't had a problem with it previously. However previously I was still getting trace gluten with soaps and some supplements so that made me less reactive. Its worth getting my joints so they don't ache etc. so I want to be entirely gluten free despite my increased reactivity.

I got so sick from that above experience and a few others recently that I just don't want to chance it. Any advice from anyone on how to make the aftermath of chance glutenings less disastrous on one's health? I am thinking dandelion root or milk thistle, slippery elm and marshmallow root etc. but wonder if there are other favorite strategies as well.

And yeah, I think you are right about friends and lovers. With this you find out who is or isn't a real friend. I just take my own and if its a potluck other people usually love what I make. It also gives them a chance to see this gluten free diet can work. I now have a new beau who actually is experimenting with going wheat free and is noticing a positive difference. I still don't want to eat his food however until and unless he has stuff there I/we can cook with that doesn't have trace gluten. But at least I feel like its safe for me to kiss him!

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I don't think you can assume any sort of food in a restaurant is gluten-free until you discuss it with them. I have a local Thai place I go to and there are about 6 dishes I can eat and they now know me so I feel safe going in there.

But back to the actual topic, I don't really have anything new to add other then life is what you make it. I'm often times a bit surprised about how upset people seem to be over having to take wheat/gluten out of their diet (i can't have gluten, beans, squash, tomatoes and the list goes on, my 16 year old daughter has to be gluten-free and peanut and nut free so we are no strangers to alternative diets).

Maybe its my perspective of look back over 50 years of living that I know for sure adjusting how I eat to be healthy is NOTHING. Trust me when I say life is going to throw you way more curve balls than that one! But even my 16 year old daughter takes it in stride, it is what it is. She goes out with friends (just like I do) all the time and figures it out, she has had a couple of boyfriends and they are fine with it. I'm single and I've never had anyone really care about my eating issues in a negative way. I've had a few guys really seem not to care and of course they didn't last long. Most care and try and be careful with where we go.

Yes I've had a few down moments too (hey I'm human) I remember a neighborhood Christmas party, it was catered and before going I was sure there would be veggies or something I could eat there. There wasn't, it was fabulous food, smelled great and I couldn't eat any of it. All I did was have a couple of glasses of wine. And I did feel gypped about it. But we had a neighborhood bar-b-q this summer and I called the few people in my neighborhood who know about my gluten-free status and asked them if by chance they were making something I could eat. They did and so did I and it worked out.

Why don't you go to a few places near where you work, were you co workers lunch and speak to them, figure out what you can and can't eat in them. I eat a lot of salads in lunch places and I carry little packages of Annie's dressing in my purse. I also carry gluten-free soy sauce. I guess having food issues requires you to think ahead a bit.

For me, its been 6 years being gluten-free now, its just not a big deal. Again we can't always control what path our health takes (or even a lot of the other stuff that happens to us) but we can control how we react to it. I choose to have a blast.

Good luck,

Susan

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Yes it is truly amazing at how much of our society and social functions revolve around food and we dont realize it til we cant participate in the way we used to. It seems impossible and depressing at times...depending on the way you look at it. There are always two sides to every coin.

For the inter-office parties I just found that is was less stressful and more fun to bring my own food or make a dish if its a potluck. This also helps with the questions as well because your food will always be new and different to them. This helps with explaining as well, they ask because they dont know and are interested. Spread the awarness :)

I go out to eat alot with my family and friends but i always bring my own food that way you can still eat with them and not have to suffer the agony and pain of being glutened later(and the months of healing :blink: ). After maybe doing this a couple of times they get used to it and your lunch problems will be a thing of the past!

As far as cooking....if you dont like to cook....well your just gonna have to get used to it...lol. This is who you are now so you might as well accept it...if you wanna eat you have to cook. There are alot of recipes out there that are simple and good to make. I have found that for every gluten food that I miss there is always a substititute or a loophole to turn it gluten free. It actually becomes a fun challenge after awhile. Another plus is that those cravings for gluten disappear fairly fast! :)

Last but not least....dating....eek! This was the greatest challenge for me because our average date is going out to eat! First off, what we typically do is degrade ourselves because we dont think a man would be willing to accept the gluten intolerance. This is because you view yourself with a disability...which is not true!!! Remember he is qualifying for your affections not the other way around :) What I found was the easiest way to date was going to an event like a fair or the movies and as you get to know him a little better...sight seeing accompanied by picnics there is always something to do, you just have to be creative sometimes. Dont be afraid to explain things and be open about them...and if he is a good guy this shouldnt be a problem. I met my husband this way, when we were dating he actually got really into creating recipes and meals that i could eat...and he voluntarily chose to go gluten free as well, which is something my own family wouldnt do! Just give it time and you will find the right one. :D

I hope this helps and you will be in my prayers as well. I wish you good luck and always stay positive, it only becomes as bad as you let it.

-Cheryl

You've got yourself a keeper.

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