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StephanieM

Resources For Family Members To Understand X-contamination?

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Point well put! I haven't read the quote yet (just read the two posts), am going to read it now, but I agree with what you say.. I don't expect others to be gluten free, in fact I don't even expect them to cook gluten free for me.. I offer to bring my food EVERYWHERE, and I don't have a problem with that.. My sole challenge was that hubbies parents take offense when I bring my own food, yet get me sick every single time without exception. I've tried comparing to anaphylaxis, I've tried educating, I"m calm, I'm understanding, i explain that I am trying to make it easier for them so they don't worry about me, but they still take it that 'thier food isn't good enough for me'... That's my only challenge,, I don't expect anyone else to go gluten free for me.. But I do think it's fair to expect others to respect that it makes me seriously ill, and I can't continue to appease them at the expense of my health..

Im going to read that link now, as you've got me curious!

Steph

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Point well put! I haven't read the quote yet (just read the two posts), am going to read it now, but I agree with what you say.. I don't expect others to be gluten free, in fact I don't even expect them to cook gluten free for me.. I offer to bring my food EVERYWHERE, and I don't have a problem with that.. My sole challenge was that hubbies parents take offense when I bring my own food, yet get me sick every single time without exception. I've tried comparing to anaphylaxis, I've tried educating, I"m calm, I'm understanding, i explain that I am trying to make it easier for them so they don't worry about me, but they still take it that 'thier food isn't good enough for me'... That's my only challenge,, I don't expect anyone else to go gluten free for me.. But I do think it's fair to expect others to respect that it makes me seriously ill, and I can't continue to appease them at the expense of my health..

Im going to read that link now, as you've got me curious!

Steph

I'm totally with you. I think it's lunatic if people take offense to you bringing your own food. I don't expect people to cook gluten free for me either (even if they try, if they haven't gone to great lengths to research what that really means, it can end in failure and them feeling bad anyway, you know?). I tell people I'm bringing my own food to things, and I'm extremely fortunate that my fiance's parents (and my own) are awesome people in that way. Actually, the only person who gives me any trouble with this is my graduate adviser. He prides himself on his cooking, and insists on cooking for me and his other advisee sometimes. It's nerve-wracking, but he has yet to gluten me, so I shouldn't complain, I suppose.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about the other post! It's not all bad, I just think he goes too far. People have to do what works for them.

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I have to admit I find it impossible to understand why they would begrudge you bringing you own food. How does that impose on them in any way? I agree with a previous poster. Just stick by your guns and eat your own food each and every time. No exceptions. Don't even explain it to them anymore. Eventually it will become the norm that you eat your own food, period.

Over time they will probably stop making a big issue out of it. I am sure you will always hear random "cracks" about it, but that is a small price to pay. It sounds as though you have explained it so many times. If they do not get it now, they never will. You can't choose your family, you just have to try to work around them as best you can. There is no point blaming them or harboring bad feelings. If you take the high road and remain pleasant, eventually it may take their "fun" out of making an issue of it.

Someone on this forum posted the following explanation. I cannot remember who it was, but it is one of the best ways I have seen to explain cross contamination.

"If someone put a dog turd on the salad and then removed it, would you still eat the salad?"

Just because you remove something from the food, does not mean there is no residue remaining.

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OMG, you've given me the perfect analogy to use tonight!! I will take it one step further, and ask them if they cooked dog turd on the BBQ, would they use the same tongs to touch their food, and use the grill without washing it?? LOVE IT!

Thank you everyone for your input and support and advice! IT means so much to me as that is what I lack in my family and friends!! And it makes me know that I'm not crazy and my issues with CC are not in my head!!

Steph

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Steph,

Once again I have to ask, where was your husband when his family members were making snide remarks to you? He needs to defend your position. He needs to tell them that he remarked to you that it's always something that you are always sick. You came back and pointed out that it never happens when you eat at home. That got him thinking and he realized you were right. You are sick whenever you eat at family gatherings. Obviously you are not able to tolerate food prepared with a gluten household like their's. He needs to point out (in private) to them that remarks like that aren't helpful. It's hard enough for you to have to eat differently than everyone else without making you feel bad about it. If it will be an issue every time you come, he may decide not to come as often.

I would guess that a little talk with his family will do a lot to overcome the hurtful way they are treating you. He needs to tell them that he also notices how sick you are and he just wants you to be well. Maybe if they tried to eat the way you have to for a week, they would be more empethetic.

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Thanks so much for your message...

Maybe that's just it, get hubbie to talk to them when I am not there. I am much more outspoken than him, so he tends to sit back while I defend myself alone... We went there yesterday, as we do every SUnday, once again I brought my own food. However, they didn't know I had my own food.

On the BBQ, they cooked the meat, veggies, and while it was all still in the bbq, my FIL put a French Bread right on the grill to heat it up. Then, he took it out and placed it directly on top of the veggies in the tray.. They then asked why I couldn't have any. So, really by now, they just will never get it.. They think I just can't eat 'bread', but regardless of me telling them, they don't get the whole deal that my immune system detects minute amounts, regardless of whether I can see it or taste it.. I, once again, probably for the 5th time, compared it to their grandson's fish allergy, which they take seriously. They even told me stories that he can't eat in restaurants where fish is fried in the same oil as the fries, etc.. I explained that it's the same for gluten, and that, in fact I have gotten sick numerous times from fries in restaurants before another celiac told me that there is gluten CC in the oil.. I explained that by bringing my own food, all I am trying to do is make their life easier so they don't have to worry.. I even put my arm on my father in law, and pleaded with him that I just want things to be easier for all, and this is a good solution. THen, he turns it around and says "what, are you going to bring your own plates next time too?"..

So really, it's pointless. We came home and I told my husband, that I guess it's easier for them emphasize with kids than adults. If one of my children was Celiac, i GUARANTEE they would steer clear of gluten, just as they do with the nuts/fish for their other grandson.. So, I think it's because, as an adult, my suffering does not seem to really hit home for them. They really think it's in my head.. FIL putting that bread directly on the BBQ yesterday just reinforced that I am wasting any efforts trying to educate him. I have been gluten-free for almost two years now, and he still doesn't know not to do that.. I dono't know, it's almost depressing at this point that people honestly still think it's in our heads.. I already 'gave up' with the inlaws, but each time we go, I get that little bit of hope that this time they will get it, and I trick myself into believing that this time it will be different.. but I think i'm wasting my effort...

Steph

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I can relate. You've done such a wonderful job being patient. It's really easy to just get angry in a situation like that. I'm sure your husband is supportive, so maybe he can help.

For months my wife thought CC was just in my head too. However, knowing how sick I was getting from CC, then seeing my horrible symptons go away (quickly) when I started making my own food on my own pots/pans, using only disposable plates and silverware, she started reading on her own.

If she and I were in the same position as you, she would intervene, and let family know it wasn't safe for "us" to go to their house anymore, till they became more understanding. Family would learn pretty quick. Blood is thicker than water. It's the spouses job to interface with his/her parents in sticky situations like this. I hope your husband realizes this on his own, even if he is more soft spoken.

Hope all goes well for you, and I'm sure it will.

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Hello. I visit my inlaws every Sunday (family tradition).. and I get sick every Sunday. They are aware that I have Celiac Disease, and tell me when to bring my own food. Problem is, when they tell me that they have stuff for me, inevitably, I get sick... I am tired of a 5 day reaction because they aren't careful.. They'll make, for instance, stuffed zucchini, and have a few for me in the exact same bakingn pan, that "don't have any breadcrumbs".. I've tried to explain to them, that it's like their grandchild's nut allergy.. The immune system responds to the tiniest amount, even undetectable to our eye/stomache.. They understand anaphylaxis but they don't understand Celiac.. I'm frustrated beyond belief because I am constantly sick from eating there. Does anyone know of any resources I can print that talk about crosscontamination and how to prevent it, so that they will realize it's not in my head? They don't believe me when I talk about having gotten sick off their bbq because they can't put my gluten-free food next to the 'glutened' stuff and use the same tongs.. They really don't get it... Please help if you know of any online stuff I can print..

tia,

Stephanie

Hi Stephanie,

I recently found these things because my daughter's teacher wants to try to bake gluten-free foods at school. My daughter decided it made her too nervous, so I told them today that she will only eat things from home.

http://www.celiac.ca/EnglishCCA/egfdiet3.html#gfmeal

http://www.brighthub.com/health/diet-nutri...cles/48085.aspx

http://www.theglutenfreefoodlist.com/site/...7&Itemid=57

I especially like the graphic from the Living without article. Maybe that will help. My daughter is having a hard time with people who want to feed her things they make too. She feels like she has plenty at home that she loves and doesn't want to risk getting sick and possibly missing a soccer game or something else fun just to be polite, but somehow it makes others super uncomfortable and I am not sure why. She's 11 so I am trying to let her have as much control as possible.

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Thank you so very much for these links. These are great! I really hope others see these links as they will help my cause... Right now, they think, when I explain the very same things, that it is just me.. So if I show them that this is standard Celiac info, perhaps it will be more effective!

Thank you again,

Stephanie

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My husband's sister doesn't "get it" either. We no longer eat over her place (she lives in an apt. over her mother's apartment). This is why we don't eat there any longer and boy am I happy about it :D - I got so sick and tired of having to to MIL's every Friday after work when I really wanted to go OUT to dinner or go HOME and eat my own food:

After explaining to in laws on numerous occasions, last time we were there my sister in law was peeling potatoes to make mashed potatoes. She had the peeled potatoes on a papertowel, but was also vigorously eating Italian bread, ripping pieces off of the bread while she was peeling the potatoes. Crumbs were all over the table and over the peeled potatoes, a butter knife and butter with bread crumbs.

I walked in on this and freaked out in my head first but casually mentioned to her that the bread crumbs on the peeled potatoes were a problem. She "poo-poo'd" me by saying, "Don't worry, when I rinse the potatoes off, the crumbs will run out with the rinse water." EEEEEK! This was the last time we ate there for dinner. My husband, who has celiac, knowingly ate the mashed potatoes anyway and didn't get a reaction, but I found her attittude to be careless , inconsiderate, selfish, mean and witchy (use the b word).

My opinion: She did it deliberately so that we'd never eat over again as she hates to cook (she actually rarely cooks anyway for herself and her husband and mother as she is a Princess ;) ). She buys a lot of "take out" from the local Italian restaurant and buys pre-cooked meats to serve for dinner for her and her husband. My MIL no longer eats solid foods, so SIL feeds her baby foods and that too is pre-made.

She knew that we'd stop going there for dinner if she threw around the Italian bread during the preparation process.

(My mother in law lives below her in her own apt., and for years prior to celiac diagnosis we had Friday night dinner with my MIL and FIL; then FIL passed away. So MIL cooked Friday night dinner for us & her daugher & son in law, even after my husband's celiac diagnosis. Remember daughter hates to cook & was glad that mother was still cooking for them. Eventually, when MIL got too old to cook, MIL still however still wanted us all over for dinner on Friday nights (deep sigh) and MIL insisted that her daughter now do the cooking on Friday nights. SIL never worked, nor had children, has good health, so she's home all day, and I guess the mother figured her daughter would WANT to do it.

So MIL must have really badgered her daughter into doing the Friday night cooking; and SIL really didn't want to do it, but did not want to disappoint her mother. So, what's the best way to get rid of an unwanted Guest? Make them feel unwelcome...And what's the best way to get out of doing something you don't really want to do? Passive/aggressive behavior and/or act like you don't know how to do it...And besides, I did not want to go there anymore anyway, but my husband wanted to.....so in a way I'd like to thank her for getting me out of doing something I didn't want to do either....

My advice for original poster: take your own food to these get togethers because it's not getting any better for you. Have husband explain to them that your special "allergy" diet compells you to do it this way, for now. When you are feeling better, you'll go back to eating their food (yeah, yeah, sure) and then never go back to eating their food again if you don't want to. This way their feelings aren't hurt (which is stupid to think of like that) and you get to be with all of them and stay healthy.

Passive/aggressive can work for the positive too :P

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