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Bobbijo6681

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Good Afternoon All!!!

I just spoke with my mother yesterday and confirmed that they are moving back to Iowa from Arizona at the end of July...I am not close to my mother, and this thought STRESSES me out!

My mother is very set in her ways, and I am sure she will not understand nor be willing to comply with my new dietary restrictions. I am finally on the road to feeling better and I am not sure that I am going to be able to handle dealing with my family yet. They were not here to see me at my worst, and although they know what was going on, it is not the same as seeing it and dealing with it. I am very very worried that she will insist on having dinners at her house (and she has NEVER been to my house to eat a meal since I moved out on my own) and I do not think that she will be able to handle CC issues. If I refuse to eat I am afraid of making an already volitale situation even worse, and am not sure that Mom would take that well. We were raised that we didn't back talk and didn't argue with an elder, so I am not sure how to handle her.

I have finally gotten brave enough to try eating out, but only at places that I can research in advance and know what I can eat safely. I am the only person that cooks for me except my boyfriend who has been through this every step of the way with me, and honestly he is better at checking labels sometimes than I am. ( there are times that I ASSUME that something should be safe and have learned the hard way that I can NEVER ASSUME!! But when one of those instances arrises he is right there checking the label at the check out line) Also I eat at his parents house, but his mother is in healthcare and called me the first time I was going there to ask all of the right questions, so I feel very comfortable eating there, and so far have had no problems.

Do you have any suggestions that I can hand over to my mother/siblings before they get back, so that they will be prepared to deal with me? I am going to insist that they visit this site and read up as much as possible, but I didn't know if there were any other ideas that you guys could offer.

I have been gluten-free since January, and so far have only had a couple possible glutenings. And that includes a work trip out of town, and a vacation. I feel that I am doing great on this diet and although my family doesn't doubt my diagnosis, I am just unsure of how much they will be willing to work with me after being away for so long.

And although my mother denies having celiac (she had vocal cord cancer and her GI dr said that she didn't have it after my diagnosis, but who knows if they checked for it, or not) my mother was able to confirm that my great grandmother passed away from stomach cancer....of course this was years ago, so who knows what could have caused it, but it really opened my mom's eyes when I told her that Celiac can lead to stomach cancer, especially if left untreated. She finally realized that it was possible that I got it from her side of the family. Prior to that she insisted that I must have gotten it from my dad's family. Although my dad hasn't gotten tested either, with the history of stomach issues on my mothers side it makes me wonder where it did come from. Of course I am sure that if that is what my great grandmother had they didn't have testing for it back then, or possibly didn't even know what it was.

Sorry if I am rambling....just trying to prepare myself for what is sure to be a long agonizing month of me dreading the worst.

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When I had to go to another relative's house, I brought twice baked potatoes that I reheated in the microwave. That way I knew I would have something that would fill me up and I love them. I brought 2 containers, the one with most of them in it and a spare to heat up part way through the meal if we needed more. That way, I could get seconds that people hadn't touched yet with the hamburger bun crumbed fingers.

In my case, my side of the family always comes to my house as it's bigger and that helps. However, my mom who couldn't cook anything because her hip had her too crippled up, has had it fixed. She will be going home soon and is talking about the things she wants to eat. She keeps asking if I can have various ingredients and she's going to make something for me (I had been bringing them food). Hate to tell her I can't eat it cause it was cooked in old pans, chopped on old cutting boards, etc. She won't go ballistic though, just disappointed. Might take my pans, etc to her house to cook with her. She would like that.

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Just tell you family that you will only eat food that you bring. End of speech. They do not have to like it, believe it or want to accept it. This is what you will do for the rest of your life. Make it plain and simple. You can not make them accept what they do not want to believe. Just stick to being gluten free and talk about how good you feel. You are a grown up. You can state what you are doing. This is not talking back, it's being an adult.

I personally do not care if anyone I know likes that I am gluten free. I just tell them I will not eat anything that I do not bring. And I serve my food right onto my plate as I set it out---first. I am not going to get sick because some one stuck a glutened spoon in the dish I set out. I usually bring some type of salad or a meat dish and a dessert.

You can do this.

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Just tell you family that you will only eat food that you bring. End of speech. They do not have to like it, believe it or want to accept it. This is what you will do for the rest of your life. Make it plain and simple. You can not make them accept what they do not want to believe. Just stick to being gluten free and talk about how good you feel. You are a grown up. You can state what you are doing. This is not talking back, it's being an adult.

I've had to draw lines in the sand with a parent about various issues. I've got a very stubborn, sometimes controlling family member but in the end, I have my own life now and have to take care of myself first. I had to learn this because I am a parent and I have to take care of the next generation so that they don't suffer the way previous ones have. Family is VERY important to me but there comes a point where you have to weigh the cost of making everyone happy and sometimes it just isn't worth the price to try to do so. Sometimes what is right does not follow the traditional path and we have to sacrifice in one way or the other for the greater good-sometimes we have to live with a relationship that is not as close/amicable as we would like. In my experience, in the end, it all works out ok, for both sides. Sorry for the generalizations but take this as encouragement to stand up for yourself and your needs.

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Thanks for the thoughts guys!!! I am not sure that telling them I will only eat what I bring is the right answer though, I would like to teach them how to cook for me. It would be different if I visited them out of state, I would just cook verything for myself during my vacation. But with them living nearby, I am sure that will be many get together situations that I want to know will be OK. I am hoping EDUCTION EDUCTION EDUCTION, will be the trick.

Is that to high of an expectation?

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Thanks for the thoughts guys!!! I am not sure that telling them I will only eat what I bring is the right answer though, I would like to teach them how to cook for me. It would be different if I visited them out of state, I would just cook verything for myself during my vacation. But with them living nearby, I am sure that will be many get together situations that I want to know will be OK. I am hoping EDUCTION EDUCTION EDUCTION, will be the trick.

Is that to high of an expectation?

I'd start small. I think after a few visits of you eating your own food and feeling AWESOME afterwards, your mother might reconsider this "diet" thing and might even offer to learn more about it from you. If she points out it's silly, just remind her that you're really proud to be able to stick to the diet, and that the consequences of eating gluten can put you out of commission for days, if not weeks (basically, shift the blame to her, so it doesn't have to be about you refusing to eat her food, but about whether or not she wants you to feel healthy and happy).

I expected my mom would be very skeptical about the whole thing, but she's actually trying to rid herself of gluten as well. She typically does not cook with gluten (or bake) but at restaurants she has gluten (and all three diverticulitis hospitalizations she's had, we can link to a heavily glutened meal). Last week she was feeling great and went to Carl's Jr, forgetting about the bun (let alone CC) and only realized what she'd done the next day when she had a headache out of nowhere.

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Thanks for the thoughts guys!!! I am not sure that telling them I will only eat what I bring is the right answer though, I would like to teach them how to cook for me. It would be different if I visited them out of state, I would just cook verything for myself during my vacation. But with them living nearby, I am sure that will be many get together situations that I want to know will be OK. I am hoping EDUCTION EDUCTION EDUCTION, will be the trick.

Is that to high of an expectation?

It could be. All of their pots will have cooked regular pasta. They will use cutting boards they cut bread on, wooden spoons they stirred pasta with, etc. Even if they are cooking something gluten free, these could be issues. For example, my mom wants to make me potato salad. Nothing in it is not gluten-free (at least her recipe). She will boil the potatoes in the same 30 year old pot she has cooked pasta in, use the same pasta colander to drain them, chop the pickles, eggs, potatoes and celery on the same wooden cutting board she has cut bread and put cookies on to cool. Making myself want some potato salad! :)

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Thanks for the thoughts guys!!! I am not sure that telling them I will only eat what I bring is the right answer though, I would like to teach them how to cook for me. It would be different if I visited them out of state, I would just cook verything for myself during my vacation. But with them living nearby, I am sure that will be many get together situations that I want to know will be OK. I am hoping EDUCTION EDUCTION EDUCTION, will be the trick.

Is that to high of an expectation?

Perhaps but you never know unless you try. If she has a computer bring her here or sit her down at yours. If you were diagnosed by your doctor take her to a serious sit down with the doctor and let him/her talk to her, if the doctor is knowledgeable themselves. If she is unwilling to learn there is nothing you can do but protect yourself by bringing safe things to eat with you or bringing your own cooking utensils etc and watching her every move. It unfortunately is not unheard of for people who don't believe the diagnosis to try and 'prove to you' that it was wrong or that you are not as sensitive as you think you are by intentionally glutening someone. Since the symptoms are usually not immediate they can think they are right that you are overreacting since you don't 'drop dead' on the spot.

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Thanks for the thoughts guys!!! I am not sure that telling them I will only eat what I bring is the right answer though, I would like to teach them how to cook for me. It would be different if I visited them out of state, I would just cook verything for myself during my vacation. But with them living nearby, I am sure that will be many get together situations that I want to know will be OK. I am hoping EDUCTION EDUCTION EDUCTION, will be the trick.

Is that to high of an expectation?

Bobbi, you have to set the expectations higher. It sounds like you have a problem with adult boundaries, so this may be hard for you. You need to make sure that you only eat food you have prepared and brought for some time. Use that as an opener to discuss the problems you face in figuring out how to make _________ (cookies, cakes, etc, etc). If you come in and they feel you want to make them change, they will resist. Present yourself and your bringing food as a, "No, really, it's OK, Mom, I know how hard it can be to cook they way I need so I'm not sick and I don't want you to put yourself out of your way. Really, I'm fine!" Stick with this, and probably one of three things will happen: 1) They will eventually accept that you bring your own food - stress point removed, no guilt or hard feelings; 2) They will really, genuinely surprise you, and want to learn how to cook for you; 3) They will feel inconvenienced and get huffy and not want to have you over for meals or events.

You say you really don't get along well with your mother, so #3 may not be the worst result. But you have to set the boundaries. Your life is YOURS to live, not theirs, and you need to care enough for yourself to set proper boundaries. You are the only one that can set those but you have to have enough respect for your own health and well-being to want to do it. I would also suggest you find a GiG or Celiac support group, even if it is a goodly drive. You need flesh and blood support for this. Family can be rough. :)

I will keep you on my prayer list.

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Yeah, I spent a few days at an aunt's house and ended up mildly sick from some sort of contamination even though I was cooking pretty carefully without using wood or non-stick. Just having that much flour/cereal/bread around can be a problem.

Take your own food. Teach them to cook in your kitchen if you want to feel like they are taking care of you by feeding you. Go shopping together, and then cook with your gluten-free stuff.

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I'd bring my own food every time you get together... w/o fail. The risk of CC and loving good intentions are just too great. Just practice saying, "I'm so glad we can all be together and I don't have to bother anyone or worry about getting sick because I bring my own food." Say it over and over again to them.

Maybe they will embrace your challenge (and even find out it's their challenge too), but it seems like a lot of people here who post about family who doesn't or won't understand end up sick and unhappy. Don't give that scenerio a chance... just keep repeating, "I'm so glad........"

Good luck!!

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Thanks for all the help guys!!! I guess I have lots to do before they get back!

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You say that you know they won't be supportive and won't understand, then ask if it's expecting too much that they will accomodate you. Apparently, according to you, it is too much to expect. I certainly wouldn't expect it for a while. Ahorsesoul is SPOT ON. She cannot make you do anything (unless she is tying you down and forcefeeding you, and that's illegal). If you CHOOSE to eat her food, knowing that she doesn't support you in the diet, you are CHOOSING not only to appease her desires over your health, but also CHOOSING to risk getting sick and deal with all the repercussions of continuing to eat gluten.

You decide what is best for YOU, not her.

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others have touched on this.....there is MUCH more going on here than your diet issues. Frankly i would recommend some counseling in how to set limits and deal with your family (i have some experience with a parent like this!) you are no longer a child, and must no longer act the part. They (she) will treat you like one as long as YOU tolerate it! Good luck!

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