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theWiers

Getting The Hubby On Board

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I was finally diagnosed with Celiac's three weeks ago, after years of misdiagnosis. It's been both good and bad, as I am sure you all know, good to know what's causing all my pain and discomfort, not so easy adjusting and learning how to cope. My husband has been extremely suppportive, but sometimes I fear he doesn't take the diagnosis seriously enough. He was convinced we didn't need to buy a new toaster and tonight I had to remind him not to double dip his knife in the butter or use the same spatula when cooking his grilled cheese then touching the food I would be eating. I try to be open and share with him the things I have learned while I am learning them. I have encouraged him to read books and articles that I have read, which he says he will do, but I have not seen yet. Does anyone have any tips to get him on board a little more?

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First...it's a learning process and habit breaking process for all!

If you are going to toast, get a $15 one that looks different from the gluten one. Keep it in the cabinet or put a cover on it.

I have red cooking utensils. The gluten ones are black, maybe white. I get red duct tape or electrical tape to put on my margarine, PB, etc. No reminding the gluten eaters because ...if it's red - don't touch without asking. He will need to remember to grab his cheese and cold cuts before he gets the bread or have his own cheese & cold cuts.

You tell him that my kids were 16 and 13 when I had to go gluten-free & they can do it. The key is to make it as easy as possible to keep gluten & gluten-free apart. If he is making a gluten sandwich on his pan, he can't touch the one on your pan. It's easier at first to just let him make his first while you putz around in the kitchen ( keeping an eye on him). Then make your grilled cheeses on your pan.

We were having cheese and crackers night. My now 15 yr old didn't like my crackers but I said no to gluten ones. He ate more apples and carrots instead. He and hub said to tell them what is easier or what part of a process bothers me. I won't hurt their feelings. They don't want me sick.

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Maybe you could ask him to spend some time on this board? I've found this more enlightening than any book or other website that I've found.

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Mine is the same. When I first got the diagnosis she was all excited that finally I had an answer and I thought that meant he was onboard. Then when friends would ask HE would tell them that "we" weren't sure, that maybe the liver detox I did several months ago still had my system messed up. WHAT? I then just tell our friends that I was diagnosed with celiac and being on a gluten-free diet I am getting betetr. We have been married 19 years so I suppose after all this time together it is hard for him to think this is permanent. I get his gout is permanent and I don't doubt that one but oh well!

We've had the same issues in the house. I made some gluten-free cookies and there was only a couple left but husband put new gluten cookies right on top of my cookies, ugh. When I asked if he just did it, he said he never even thought. Cheese is another issue. He likes sliced cheese on his bread but always prepares the bread first which puts crumbs out and then he cuts the cheese on the counter so we had to figure out a system to change all that.

We were out to dinner this past weekend. I have been gluten free for 6 months. My meal arrives swimming in gravy, something that was not listed on the menu. I knew I couldn't eat it and we are taling about it. Husband kindly offers his meal BUT he ordered pasta. REALLY?

So you have to become the teacher and really all people can do is respect the rules you lay out for them but I am not sure they will ever totally get it unless they go thru it themselves.

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I think sometimes one of the problems can be trying to visualize what can cause a problem. One of the most important things to get our mother-in-law to realize was that this wasn't your typical 'intolerance.' A lot of people view celiac disease kind of like the gluten version of lactose intolerance, where a little bit is okay.

A good reminder is that this is an auto-immune disorder and involves our immune system, and that's set up to react to tiny, tiny things, not 'just a little bit.' That part of our body has to react to germs, to bacteria, to small particles of an allergen. And this is the part that we are keeping gluten away from, so we have to be very diligent about avoiding it.

My husband made an analogy that has worked well for us, too: treat gluten like you would raw meat. Any time we touch raw meat with an object or a utensil, we have to wash that before it touches anything else. Same for gluten. If we have dripped juice from raw meat on the counter or plate, we have to clean that up before we put other food on it. Same with gluten. If we touch raw meat and then touch something else, we have to clean that something else now (like a knife to use on the peanutbutter). Same with gluten.

It's a bit of a crude analogy, but it can help get your brain in that place of thinking about what gluten has touched, you know?

Oh, the one thing that doesn't hold up with the meat analogy? You're not going to be able to sterilize gluten so it's safe, because it's not alive like the bactria are. So sanitizers and regular high heat don't do diddly to gluten (just think of how high a temp it takes to cook bread, and THAT doesn't destroy the gluten, right?). It has to be washed away with soap and water, usually.

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Education is key. Make sure he knows how sick you can get if you have even the smallest bit of gluten. And it's not just a short-term thing. You are damaging your body, which could lead to cancer, etc. Sometimes celiac gets stuck with the "food allergy" label, even though we know it's not. Frustrating indeed.

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It takes time. Remember HE is adjusting too.

You should have seen my husband's face the first time I refused to kiss him after he ate gluten. How's THAT for messing up a romantic evening????

It will probably hit home the first time you get sick. When my husband saw how sick I got wine tasting (another topic, but be careful with alcohol now it can really sneak up on you), and then the blood sugar problems hit again this week (I evidently got glutened) he sure got more protective. He refused to let me go back to our old house (where I was glutened from construction materials) and went alone to do some dirty work.

He'll get there. My advice is to have a gluten-free household. I promise they'll live over it (and will appreciate not being told to wash their hands, etc. every 2 minutes).

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We are still learning here 3.5months into it. I dish my food up first from the stove and walk away while my hubby gets his bread and butter, etc.

I made breakfast for supper last night. I had sliced up an orange and had the plate sitting on the counter. Hubby made his toast and ended up with crumbs all over the oranges.

Once I had eaten my eggs I went out to get a couple of orange slices and saw all of the crumbs. I mentioned it and hubby came to see. He said he was sure he had been very careful, but there was the evidence.

He knows he has to be careful with his gluteny things, and clains he is, but it seems like every time I go into the kitchen I see a trail of crud he's left behind. Rather than just clean it up I call it to his attention so he learns to do better. With the orange incident he said "man you don't miss anything. I'm being really careful and I don't see these things you point out." I told him my life depends on me seeing the messes he makes!

It's a learning process. It takes time. So many things are done on "auto pilot" without thinking. When my hubby screws up I point it out, but not in a hostile way.

He told me he wishes there was a boot camp that families could go to to relearn how to do things.

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Have you considered preparing all of the food for a while and just cook gluten free? Or cooking together? When I first went gluten free either I cooked or my husband and I cooked together. For a while he did not cook on his own. Not until he was used to cooking gluten free. Would your husband be willing to make your house gluten free? That might be easiest for a while.

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Thanks everyone! I guess the biggest take away is that it is a learning process. I am still learning and have to remember he is too. Also that the learning curve is not as steep for him. I'm sure we'll get there!

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