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mimette

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I've been symptomatic for 3 years and I've been gluten-free/dairy-free/soy-free for almost a whole year now. My symptoms have gone away but they tend to sneak up on me sometimes when I go out to eat. As a result I am afraid of going out and having fun with my friends and family because I'm afraid of getting sick. I missed last Thanksgiving because of it and it hurts me because that was the last Thanksgiving I could have spent with my grandmother who has recently died.

Things with my current boyfriend are sort of rocky. He recently revealed to me that we don't do anything fun because I don't go out. I agree that I don't like going far for food, I fear getting sick on the road back home where bathrooms may be scarce. He says he doesn't want to sound like a jerk but he doesn't like to see me sick and he gets stressed out having to worry about me when I am. I told him that I would try and get over my fear of being sick but I feel that whenever I'm out and my friends are all enjoying themselves I can only worry about my stomach and bowels. What normal person worries about their bowels at a party?

And this isn't the first time it's affected a relationship. When I was with my last boyfriend, I didn't know why I was sick. I always got sick after going out to eat with him so I started saying I didn't like going out to eat. This was hard for him since he is a professional chef and as a result he broke up with me. I was with him for 5 years and he thought I just didn't want to be around him and that I didn't share his interests so he ended it. And it's all because of food.

I hate food. It used to be a nice thing to do with friends and family but now it's ruining my life. I never thought that a small thing like food could affect my life this way. I hate this disease. What can I do to be more socially acceptable?

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I was divorced over food. He was tired of me being sick all the time and he and the Dr.'s decided it was in my head, so I lived in no man's land until I found Celiac.com. Since the divorce and 7 months of recovery, I have dated some, but I don't like going out to eat and that is always what they want to do. I try to tell them to go ahead and eat, I'll just have something to drink, but that doesn't work very well because it isn't socially acceptable to not eat. I just want to be the girl who doesn't eat. I am realizing how much of our relationship lives are food related. If I do eat out and don't get sick, it is a huge relief to me but then I don't want to chance it again for a long time, and they think since it went well I should be able to do it again or on a regular basis. It is too stressful for me. I need to find a Celiac guy. Until that happens....I completely understand your obsessing about your health when you are eating out. It is awful to be sick for days just because of careless cross contamination. I wish I had some good advice for you. I will be watching what others have to say about this. I appreciated your post because I am in the same boat.

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I don't have any advice to give, but just wanted to say that don't dispair, there are patient and understanding guys out there. My boyfriend isn't celiac, but he puts up with it all (including our 100% gluten free house). We had only just started dating when I first got sick (and then diagnosed 2 months later) - he had the chance to run away but didn't. Be patient - you'll find the right one!

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Girl you can't let this disease control your life! To a certain extent it does dictate your choices of where to go and who to hang out with but you can do lots of thigns to make it better. Why don't you suggest some dates that don't revolve around food? Or dates where you can take your own food and not be weird? Make up a little picnic basket full of gluten-free stuff that your boyfriend will like too and take him to the park. Or do things that don't involve food directly but where you can take your own food with you in a small cooler--go roller blading, skiing, ice skating, swimming (can't eat and swim!), rock climbing, hiking, biking, get a movie and make some gluten-free popcorn or go to the movies--most of the popcorn there is safe I've heard! Go to an art museum, science museum, history museum, tour historic monuments, go to the mountains (take your picnic lunch), the beach, a roadside scenic view, white rive raftign, canoeing, surfing, boating, camping, go to the opera, a musical, an ochestra, a play (check you local schools for inexpensive and sometiems even free shows). You get the idea, to all these thigns take a little portable bag of food. I have a little cooler that looks like a purse that I take everywhere--it always has some shelf stable stuff in ti liek Lara bars, gluten-free pretzels and almonds. i add fresh stuff, a drink and an ice pack if I plan to be out during a meal time. Even if I don't plan to be gone long I take my little emergency food bag because there have been times when I had car problems or got stuck in traffic becaus eof a car accident up a ahead or just took longer at the store than I planned and I had to have somethign to eat.

I'm super-sensitive (plus I have a bunch of life-threatening food allergies) and so I rarely eat out, but I can't let that keep me home all the time. Yes there have been some thigns I have had to turn down and it stinks. I can't go meet the girls at Panera Bread because I get sick just walking into the place. But every place that I can go I take my little food bag. I'm still adjusting to holidays but I really think it is doable if you bring your own meal. I managed to eat safely for thanksgivign by brinign my own main course and a salad. I helped prepare some veggies and saw that they were safe for me to eat so I had one other side which I got before anyone else had a chance to switch up the spoons and cc it. I had a major setback this past Easter when I started havign a milk allergy and I was freakign out about eating Easter dinner in an environemnt that would be a dairy and gluten landmine. So i skipped it. Everyoen was sad and I was sad too but I wasn't ready. But you can bet I'm goign to be ready next year to try an extended family meal again.

Bottom line is--you need to take charge and take care of your food so you don't have this anxiety about eating out. If you can invite your friends to your place for a gluten-free party--you provide all the food. make lots of yummy gluten-free apps and desserts to show them that gluten-free is not some scary thing. Explaint tha thtis is for medical reasons and it's not that yoru are on some fad diet tha tyour chose to do. Then when you go out to eat and you are not eating or you only get a drink and munch on some gluten-free pretzels from your food bag, they will understand more why. Real friends will stick by you and even ask if they can do anything--like go to places that have gluten-free menus.

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@GlutenFreeManna

Thanks for the help. I'm going to try and be more pro-active I just still haven't really gotten a hang of everything yet. The food bag is a good idea, I just need to pick food that doesn't taste strange. I still haven't found the winners in the gluten-free department at the store.

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@GlutenFreeManna

Thanks for the help. I'm going to try and be more pro-active I just still haven't really gotten a hang of everything yet. The food bag is a good idea, I just need to pick food that doesn't taste strange. I still haven't found the winners in the gluten-free department at the store.

Well, there are lots of normal everyday foods you can eat that are gluten-free naturally. I don't like much of the "gluten-free" stuff either. Some suggestions: Tortilla chips, potato chips, popcorn, nuts, rice cakes (flavored or plain with peanut butter), gluten-free pretzels are pretty good, dried fruit, Betty crocker fruit snacks, Nature Valley Almond nut bars (the ones that say gluten-free on the front), Lara bars, cheese stick, pepperoni sticks (Hormel brand is gluten-free), beef sticks (Old Wisconsin is gluten-free), cold cuts, grilled chicken (make at home in advance and eat cold over a salad for a lunch), apples, bananas, grapes, pretty much all fruit and veggies--try some new things, you might find some foods you never thought your would like or never would have tried if you hadn't gone gluten-free.

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@GlutenFreeManna

Thanks for the help. I'm going to try and be more pro-active I just still haven't really gotten a hang of everything yet. The food bag is a good idea, I just need to pick food that doesn't taste strange. I still haven't found the winners in the gluten-free department at the store.

If you are missing bread or pizza, Udi's is DELICIOUS! I hadn't had bread for two years, but then my sister told me about Udi's, which you can get online or at Whole Food's. Also, WalMart is starting to carry gluten-free noodles and cookies, beer, etc. At least it is here in Reno, which makes me think it's only a matter of time before it's everywhere. I like Glutino pretzels (closest thing I've found to a real pretzel) and Chex cereal is always pretty good.. their website always has some tasty recipes if you have a sweet tooth. :D

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I've been symptomatic for 3 years and I've been gluten-free/dairy-free/soy-free for almost a whole year now. My symptoms have gone away but they tend to sneak up on me sometimes when I go out to eat. As a result I am afraid of going out and having fun with my friends and family because I'm afraid of getting sick. I missed last Thanksgiving because of it and it hurts me because that was the last Thanksgiving I could have spent with my grandmother who has recently died.

Things with my current boyfriend are sort of rocky. He recently revealed to me that we don't do anything fun because I don't go out. I agree that I don't like going far for food, I fear getting sick on the road back home where bathrooms may be scarce. He says he doesn't want to sound like a jerk but he doesn't like to see me sick and he gets stressed out having to worry about me when I am. I told him that I would try and get over my fear of being sick but I feel that whenever I'm out and my friends are all enjoying themselves I can only worry about my stomach and bowels. What normal person worries about their bowels at a party?

And this isn't the first time it's affected a relationship. When I was with my last boyfriend, I didn't know why I was sick. I always got sick after going out to eat with him so I started saying I didn't like going out to eat. This was hard for him since he is a professional chef and as a result he broke up with me. I was with him for 5 years and he thought I just didn't want to be around him and that I didn't share his interests so he ended it. And it's all because of food.

I hate food. It used to be a nice thing to do with friends and family but now it's ruining my life. I never thought that a small thing like food could affect my life this way. I hate this disease. What can I do to be more socially acceptable?

Mimette, sorry to hear that you're struggling. I know the feeling when you don't want to eat out or get sick out. I think after you heal, it will get better. Some of the feelings caused by anxiety can be lessened as you get better (which could take another year) and then some could be helped by relaxation tapes or perhaps hypnosis or seeing a counselor or if all else fails anti-anxiety mediation. If you practice relaxation when you're not sick or out, your body will learn to do it when needed. The anxiety you have was learned (as mine was) during the undiagnosed years.

I hope your boyfriend cuts you some slack. I agree that it's not good to go out and not eat but that might be a compromise while you heal. Eat ahead of time (or, depending on the situation) bring food with you. Go out dancing, to the movies, to a bar and just have something to drink. Tell boyfriend ahead of time that you're not going to eat but that he shouldn't worry. In some states (like mine, Washington) it is illegal to bring your own food to a restaurant but I've brought tortilla chips to a mexican restaurant, for example, and not gotten any comments. Just pull your food out when no one's looking.

Good luck and hang in there!

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WalMart is starting to carry gluten-free noodles and cookies, beer, etc. At least it is here in Reno, which makes me think it's only a matter of time before it's everywhere.

Yep, I would say if they have it in Reno, the gluten capital of the country, they would have it pretty much everywhere (maybe not North Dakota???) :lol: Walmart in Indian Hills had zilch gluten free last year. :(

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Salad is your friend!

I have dry salad all the time now, no croutons. That is my stand-by.

Also, I've gotten really good at searching online for restaurants and which dishes are gluten-free. When you find a restaurant that has several good options, it's like heaven! To be able to eat somewhere & know what you can order.

Right now I know of ONE restaurant where I have NO options. That's it. It's an Asian fusion type restaurant that puts soy sauce on everything.

Everywhere else we regularly eat, I find that I have at least one option.

I take pride in being able to say, "I can eat anywhere" and not be a bother.

Go online RIGHT NOW and look up your boyfriend's and friends' favorite restaurants! You might be surprised how many of them will offer you a gluten free menu, or at least have a few options for you.

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I hate food. It used to be a nice thing to do with friends and family but now it's ruining my life. I never thought that a small thing like food could affect my life this way. I hate this disease. What can I do to be more socially acceptable?

I'm gluten, dairy, and soy free, and, yes, it has impacted my social life. I don't go out to eat with friends or family as much, but when I do, I either go to a place I know I can get something safe or bring something with me. For parties I bring my own party pack. Friends don't bat an eyelash now when I pull out my little meal. Sometimes they're a little jealous. Family still doesn't understand, but they're not around much as they're in other states. With friends I go do things that don't revolve around food. When work requires a meal at a particular place that may or may not have something safe, I bring my own or eat beforehand. If I look weird not eating, who cares. The boss likes that my hands are usually free to take notes at working meals (what a brownnoser B)) .

What about having friends and/or family over to your place for dinner or a party? That way you know everything is safe for you to eat. I recently threw a party at home. Every single dish was safe for me, and there was enough food to feed 15 hungry dancers fresh out of a 3 1/2 hour rehearsal--Vietnamese summer rolls, Thai-style pizza, sherried beef, frittatas, barbeque chicken, Thai chicken, cashew cheese with rice crackers, jicama cole slaw, olive tapenade, hummus and toasted Udi's bagel slices, peppermint fudge, raspberry almond bars, green tea mochi, and so much more. (No, dancers don't eat bird seed; we really can pack away.) They raved about the food, went back for seconds and thirds, and were amazed when they realized it was all gluten, dairy, and soy free. One lady who hates coconut couldn't believe I got her to eat and love coconut. Free food doesn't have to taste strange. Make your home happy with the warmth of friends!:D Invite them to be guinea pigs for culinary experimentation, whether at home, in the office, or just at random times while hanging out. Even if you're introverted (as I am) be the instigator for social situations rather than the hanger-on. Make food and life fun.

Cheers,

Katherine

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I don't have any advice to give, but just wanted to say that don't dispair, there are patient and understanding guys out there. My boyfriend isn't celiac, but he puts up with it all (including our 100% gluten free house). We had only just started dating when I first got sick (and then diagnosed 2 months later) - he had the chance to run away but didn't. Be patient - you'll find the right one!

Same here...diagnosed shortly after we started dating and he's still here. He's been a Godsend actually. Hang in there...there's someone out there for you! :)

And I do go out to eat...I stick to steak and a baked potato and have really good luck with that.

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Salad is your friend!

I have dry salad all the time now, no croutons. That is my stand-by.

Also, I've gotten really good at searching online for restaurants and which dishes are gluten-free. When you find a restaurant that has several good options, it's like heaven! To be able to eat somewhere & know what you can order.

Right now I know of ONE restaurant where I have NO options. That's it. It's an Asian fusion type restaurant that puts soy sauce on everything.

Everywhere else we regularly eat, I find that I have at least one option.

I take pride in being able to say, "I can eat anywhere" and not be a bother.

Go online RIGHT NOW and look up your boyfriend's and friends' favorite restaurants! You might be surprised how many of them will offer you a gluten free menu, or at least have a few options for you.

Maybe salad is an option, but besides that, I certainly do not feel safe ordering a gluten-free menu item in a mainly gluten restaurant. I get CC'ed from that all the time! Very frustrating, and I would think that's probably the OP's experience as well.

I recently was eating a kobe steak at a restaurant that I had explained my problem to and went to eat the vegetables that came on my plate with it... they were cooked with teriyaki! I mean, I only figured that out once I put the broccoli in my mouth of course. That was a $150 plate and they still glutened me, and blatantly! You can't trust restaurants.

But I agree there are so many other things to do with your boyfriend than sit around somewhere and eat food anyway :)

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