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I am angry. So angry. This happened a little more than a year ago now (about two months after I was diagnosed). I moved to graduate school and they had a welcoming lunch for the new students. I asked them where they were getting their food from and what they were getting making it clear that I just wanted to check and see if any of the food would be safe for me to eat. But all I got was the run around on that they couldn't give me the information and it was too complicated for them to figure this out. I was then later told by my adviser that it was too hard for them to "figure out everyone's dietary needs." I really don't think that my request of where and what they were ordering was too much. I wasn't asking them to change anything they were ordering. Just to let me know. I didn't know how hard to push the issue as I didn't want to stand out as the one who wanted special treatment. I didn't register for disability services because I didn't want to piss off people in the department. Where then they would have to provide me food I could eat at department functions. But their response that I was acting inappropriately by asking these questions makes me furious. That they felt it was necessary to reference my anxiety about the whole 'food issue' in my yearly review and put it in my permanent record makes me even angrier.

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Celiac disease is covered under ADA and what they have done is illegal. You have a right to be angry. You need to go to the campus disability office and fight back. You do not have to request special food at departmental functions if you think it will cause concern, but they should be able to have the "food issue" removed from your permanent record.

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The problem was that it wasn't written up specifically as a food issue, but when I asked what they were referring to in one section, that was what they said they were referring to. Yes I was anxious when I was talking to them about it. It was the first time I had to ask about food. So I was nervous about asking. Every time it comes up it makes me angry all over again. I feel like I should be able to get over it, but I can't seem to. They did eventually tell me what and where they were ordering from, but they asked like I was being ridiculous to ask.

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You NEED to go to your disabilities office and tell them the whole story. What they have done to you is unfair and definitely illegal. If the folks in your disability office are any good, they'll run interference for you tactfully and get your record sorted out. I got great help from the disabilities office on my campus with the bipolar.

You seem upset at being angry but I think you're totally justified. Just use the anger to give you some energy and motivation to deal with the situation constructively and don't let it gnaw at you.

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I completely understand why you are so angry. I want you to take Skylark's advice and go to the Disabilities office. I believe that these things happen for a reason, and by stepping forward with this, you will be helping others who follow after you. Planting seeds today will raise awareness later.

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Yes, please fight to get this taken off your record. I was in grad school when my health started to decline. I told my advisor about my health issues (which were not yet diagnosed) and asked for some accommodation for doctors appointments and to do my research during the time of day when I was at my best (early morning I had less brain fog) etc. In my yearly review my advisor had negative remarks about my research performance that were directly related to me having to rearrange the lab schedule to work with my health problems. I was getting straight A's in my classes, had two publications my first year, and I was getting the lab work done (all this on top of being a TA to pay the bills) so there should not have been a reason for those comments. I took it to the department head and explained the situation. I was allowed to switch advisors and I believe he got a reprimand. I had to take a leave of absence the next year because I knew I couldn't keep it up for another year with failing health. But had I figured out the gluten thing earlier you can bet your butt they would have had to accommodate me.

Asking for food accommodation (or even just asking what food is being planned so you know if you have to bring your own) is hardly an inconvenience compared to asking for schedule changes, or other special things that disabled students are allowed to request. I taught college classes as a TA and had to make up special tests for people with vision problems or provide a separate testing places or additional time to allow students with concentration issues to have a fair shot at doing well. I had to allow students without the ability to write to record the lectures or to have a note taker with them. I once had a blind student that I had to test verbally during my office hours. These were all handled through the disabilities office. I had to write up reports on these students' progress and give account of what accommodations were being made. Never did I resent having to make these accommodations even in cases where it wasn't obvious what the disability was. It was just standard procedure to make the arrangements. The disabilities office was an advocate for them, however, making sure they got the right accommodations.


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

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Where on the ADA website can this be found? I did a search and nothing came up.

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The problem was that it wasn't written up specifically as a food issue, but when I asked what they were referring to in one section, that was what they said they were referring to. Yes I was anxious when I was talking to them about it. It was the first time I had to ask about food. So I was nervous about asking. Every time it comes up it makes me angry all over again. I feel like I should be able to get over it, but I can't seem to. They did eventually tell me what and where they were ordering from, but they asked like I was being ridiculous to ask.

___________

Look, this is a political issue / power trip that is played in academics.

You are a dweeb, as is every graduate student, and the professors/advisors want the students to acknowledge their power, so they'll play little games like this.

So you have to nip this behavior in the bud, right when it happens, or they'll continue to play head games with you just because that's how petty people get their power.

You need to also stop displaying anxiety when you talk to people. Here's the other hint that I have picked up from being trained to ride horses. Be emotionally honest with yourself. Acknowledge that you feel uncomfortable or angry about certain topics. You have a right to that. BUT, when you talk and interact with others, get a grip on the behavior you outwardly display. For example, horses are experts at picking up emotions, especially if you attempt to hide it. So people who don't get along with them or can't interact with them, are not yet doing two things: acknowledging that sometimes they are deficit in reading what the horse is up to, being honest with the horse via their own emotions, and displaying that self control- what this means is that faced with a scary situation, they can say I'm nervous, but I will continue to think to breathe, to relax my muscles, to give accurate cues, to watch where I'm going, to pay attention to how the horse sees the terrain. The horse sees and feels the rider having that physical self control (they understand more than you think) and they are more relaxed this way because they feel the rider reacting correctly to accomplish the goal- a good ride. Horses get along better with people who are honest with them- even if they are imperfect.

This can be translated into human interactions. Usually it is nothing more than being mentally organized about how you intend to deal with a topic before engaging in it. You can even write an outline before. Then breathe, smile, make eye contact, and go after them to get to the point. It's like training in public speaking. If you know your topic, have it memorized, and have been taught to breathe and speak slowly and clearly and with confidence, you can pull it off.

You have a right to at least AVOID food that you can't eat because it makes you sick. Stop worrying about the symptoms. I think that is what bothers people. I get asked what the symptoms are, and since I get a neuro reaction and arthritic flares, or I get sleepy or very, very tired, I just tell them that. Anxiety is another medically recognized symptom.

So whoever was the person who put this on your permanent record was observing you for possible flaws so they could then put this down as something they could display a bit of leverage with later.

I don't eat at public functions unless I bring my own food or it's by some chance at a place whereby I've already checked it out and there is a guaranteed gluten free menu or something like a piece of fruit available. I drink something and talk, and I eat beforehand so I am not hungry and I don't care if other people are eating. It is NOT WORTH IT to be accidentally glutened, ever, if you don't want to be.

Now, if somebody was giving me a so- called welcome luncheon allegedly on my behalf, and then pulled this stunt they couldn't be bothered to say where the food was coming from, but was insisting I attend, I would tell them I have a severe food allergy (dweebles get this "allergy" concept better than the auto immune reaction saga, unless you are dealing with brighter or kinder peeps) and would not be eating it, merely attending for the speech, so don't charge me for it. I would also be doing an end run around the problem person, if necessary. You see, once you get farther up the food chain, the person actually MAKING the food in restaurant kitchens or school cafeterias (or they could be using an outside contractor vendor) might have an interest in being able to create a safe, gluten free option- there really are places like this where the chef thinks "oh, something out of the routine, I know all the ingredients and can do this" because they like to cook. But to not say where the food is coming from, because the source of food should be a mystery, frankly NOBODY should be eating it. You could contact the school's food service vendor yourself and ask if they are catering a certain event, and what's on the menu.

So now you just have to deal with the errant advisor who apparently is going for the Year 2010 Clueless and Venal Award. Allow me to snark for you so you can be politer when you re educate this fine example of a cafeteria raised academic-

__________

Dear Clueless Bureaucrat in Training,

Did you know that a large percentage of the population has some sort of allergy ? And sometimes that is a food allergy ? And that this is not done to be difficult ? It just happens ? But if you're going to prove your superior managerial skills, maybe you could pick another way other than harping when people ask what's on the menu, because the world already has enough people creating neuroses with the "clean your plate" syndrome ?

Hopefully you didn't select other health issues of your indentured servants to put in their permanent files, because the world doesn't need any more of this. For instance, is the use of the epi pen forbidden at school functions ? What about beathing inhalers ? Will you allow 9/11 calls or do the bodies lay where they fall ? We get it you're in charge. Even if you just proved you're dumber than a cocker spaniel.

Did you know that mocking people with medically diagnosed auto immune disease, trying to avoid an attack, is displaying a touch of sadism (btw, we're assuming your academic google is broken and you can't look up "celiac or gluten intolerant") and does not make you look really cool in the 21st century?

___________

Now you just have to go to the advisor- and I'd make sure that you took another person along, unannounced, because creeps like this like to privately be unreasonable- I bet this person is really "nice" in public, <_< and get this cleared up.

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Check out your University's Disabilities department on campus. It's probably easier to deal with it locally than nationally.


Celiac dx May, 2009 via bloodwork

Allergy testing done 10/7/10, responded to:

Beef, Chicken, Eggs (White & Yolk), Milk, Bananas, Carrots, Corn

I'm currently working on an elimination diet to figure out what are actually problems and in what amounts.

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You NEED to go to your disabilities office and tell them the whole story. What they have done to you is unfair and definitely illegal. If the folks in your disability office are any good, they'll run interference for you tactfully and get your record sorted out. I got great help from the disabilities office on my campus with the bipolar.

You seem upset at being angry but I think you're totally justified. Just use the anger to give you some energy and motivation to deal with the situation constructively and don't let it gnaw at you.

I totally agree with Skylark. You MUST report this to your disabilities office and get yourself set up with them. They will sort out your record. I deal with these same issues at my son's school and on a yearly basis...each school year we have to prep everyone and bring new teachers up to speed on his disability. I work with an advocacy agency in Houston called, Advocacy, Inc. They specialize in helping people navigate with disabilities in educational settings. You HAVE rights!!! Find your local advocacy agency and give them a call if you need backup. They are usually free!!! And, they normally just need to make one phone call, or send one letter to clear things up.

My son's school tried to say his "behavior" problems had nothing to do with his ADHD. Ummm, YES they do! Even a tree-swinging monkey knows that!

Believe me, when an attorney from an advocacy group calls your department head regarding the "anxiety", you will soon find your record clean. I hope this helps. Good luck and go see the disability office ASAP!!! :)


Diagnosed with Celiac Disease, July 2010, after 20 years of chronic low blood sugar and GI issues. I blame undiagnosed Celiac Disease for not becoming a professional marathon runner and being such a pathetic athlete in college. I was robbed :)

Gluten Free 04/2010

Dairy Free 06/2010

Soy Free 05/2010

Legume Free 05/2010

Caffeine Free 05/2007

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TO Skylark: I am interested in finding where on the ADA this is Listed as a disability. I am unable to find it. If you can copy and paste that would be great.

Thanks.

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TO Skylark: I am interested in finding where on the ADA this is Listed as a disability. I am unable to find it. If you can copy and paste that would be great.

Thanks.

For students, celiac falls under section 504 and Title II of the ADA legislation along with things like peanut allergies. Disabilities under Title II do not have to be explicitly named. "Learning" is defined as a major life activity, and a negative evaluation on a student's record because they are trying to follow a medically prescribed diet (gluten-free) is discriminatory. Colleges that receive no federal funding at all are very rare so Title II generally applies to colleges and universities as well as public schools.

http://americanceliac.org/for-families/at-school/

http://www.faiusa.org/?page=section_504_plans

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Omgosh. What if you had a peanut allergy? That can kill you on the spot (well I heard... I have a friend with a severe peanut allergy), What if you were diabetic and they offered sugar without telling anyone?

Our allergies are ours to control and you did that. You asked. What did they expect? You to poison yourself to keep the peace? I am very angry on your behalf for their treatment. I wonder how tables would be turned if the people who found it *too hard* had a serious allergy?


Started exhibiting symptoms 1979

DXed IBS 1987

Self Dx Gluten sensitive via elimination diet July 2010

Gluten free since July 12 2010

Carb&Sugar light August 2010

experimenting with being Grain light

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Your the bomb skylark.


Started exhibiting symptoms 1979

DXed IBS 1987

Self Dx Gluten sensitive via elimination diet July 2010

Gluten free since July 12 2010

Carb&Sugar light August 2010

experimenting with being Grain light

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You are a dweeb, as is every graduate student, and the professors/advisors want the students to acknowledge their power, so they'll play little games like this.

So you have to nip this behavior in the bud, right when it happens, or they'll continue to play head games with you just because that's how petty people get their power.

Organized hazing and head games are an integral part of graduate school, and if you aren't willing to be on the short end of the stick in some power games you won't get out. You have to learn where to draw the line in the sand, and it's usually where things cross the line into discrimination.

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Organized hazing and head games are an integral part of graduate school, and if you aren't willing to be on the short end of the stick in some power games you won't get out. You have to learn where to draw the line in the sand, and it's usually where things cross the line into discrimination.

My gosh I didn't experience anything like that in graduate school. That makes me shudder to think of it. I had such a great experience. I loved grad school. All my professors were pretty great except one and in the end she was alright.

Don't be anxious when you're getting your needs met. Be direct and ask simple, direct questions. Don't demand, but be persistent. Think of it as professional.

When I'm going to something and I need to ask questions or I'm at a restaurant I simply say "I'm allergic to gluten which is in wheat, barley and rye. I need you to help me figure out what I can eat." I use the word allergy even though it's a misnomer because it gets their attention better than any other word.

Definitely get that taken off your record. That's just plain abuse.


Lots of doctors diagnosed me with lots of things including IBS, lactose intolerance, wheat intolerance, and quite a few of them threw up their hands in total confusion.

Had GI symptoms, allergy symptoms and unexplained illness my whole life.

Jan. 2010 Diagnosed celiac at the age of 40.

Ready to get well and get on with my life!

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