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October3

Traveling Away From Gluten-Free Kid In Early Weeks

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We are awaiting a diagnosis for my 7-yr-old son any day now. The GI nurse told us to expect a call Wed. At this point I'm expecting either a full-blown Celiac diagnosis or a recommendation to do a gluten-free trial. We've waited a year for this diagnosis - his scope was last Jan. And he's had unexplained symptoms practically since birth. So, as you might imagine, I am anxious to get working on a real solution finally. In the past we have done some short term gluten-free trials and have learned that my son does not react obviously to gluten. I'm having some anxiety about how we will know that what we are doing is good enough to allow for healing. I'm thinking we might need to be overly dilligent especially at first in order to make sure things are going in the right direction.

So all of that is where my head is right now. Enter real life....

My mom would like for me to join her on a weekend trip later in February so we could see a play written and directed by my distant cousin who I'm not sure I've ever met. In theory and under other circumstances it sounds like it would be a neat weekend - chance to meet some family, see an interesting play, have a "girls weekend". We need to buy tickets ASAP - they are almost sold out. My mom reluctantly allowed me to think about it until tomorrow.

Going to the play means re-arranging my work schedule for the week so that I can be off Friday which would mean having my kids watched by grandparents or go to friends houses 2 afternoons that week (1 day earlier in the week and then Friday) and then leaving my husband in charge of managing the weekend by himself - something I'm sure he's capable of doing but early on in the diet I'm thinking anyone is liable to make mistakes and it would be easier to catch those mistakes if there were 2 of us. Also I think my son is going to have a hard time with it and I'm expecting some acting out behaviorally.

Whew, sorry this is so long.. So the question is, am I being too much of a control freak to be worried about these things. Should I just say okay to the play and let things play out as they will? Or, for those who have been through it, is it likely to be a stressful and difficult month and better to minimize distractions?

FWIW, we actually will be traveling out of town the previous weekend as a family bringing its own challenges I'm sure but that is for something not as easy to say no to.

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Go on your trip! Your husband will do his best and it will be fine. :)

People like to look at going gluten free as a sharp boundary, but for most of us it's not. The diet is a learning process. It took me a year to get all the little ins and outs - you can't put your life on hold while you are learning the diet. Thing is, even with a few mistakes you son will still be much, much better off than he was eating a normal diet. Your husband won't do anything silly like give your son bread and I assume he can handle a little acting out should it come to that.

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Well if you must be a "control freak" go all out. :)

Make all the gluten free meals and snacks with a list of when to eat them. ;)

I understand you want to be there for your child to help soften the blow. You are still going to live your own life too. Do what you think will be best, and remember to allow yourself some free time. :D

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I know the feeling! I never want to leave my kids and fear for them when I'm away (or they are). When we started making our changes it was especially hard because they were going back and forth to their dad's house, and I had to trust him.

But I say go on your trip! If you are looking for an excuse not to go, then by all means this is a fine excuse. But if you'll be able to have a good time, do it. His first weekend off gluten is not something that's likely to cause him big problems. If he was starting a gluten challenge and may end up in the hospital or something, my advice would be different. Since he's cutting it out and you've tried it before, and he has a competent daddy - let daddy be in charge.

I'm in an unusual position, because not only am I mama, but I also have a female partner who has been primarily in charge of our dietary changes for the past year. So I know what it's like both to be the "mom" AND what it's like to be the "useless husband." So many husbands get stuck in this pattern of not being the primary caretaker and so not being fully up to speed on how to take care of the kids. The other day I overheard a mom telling her partner all the details of how to put their baby to bed, where the binky was, all that. It made me sad! When my partner's grandpa died and I had to suddenly take over everything while she traveled, then I drove up with the kids after her, believe me, she was scared I wouldn't be able to handle it. But I did!!!

The weekend will be a great chance for your husband to have some awesome daddy-kid bonding time and to take care of things on his own. I say let him do it!

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Another go!

When DS went gluten-free we did it over a few weeks. He was asymptomatic though so that had something to do with our process. I found 2-3 "replacements" a week for the big food items he ate. After about 3 weeks he was fully "weaned" onto a totally FG diet. If it's taken a year to get the dx, I am sure your are wanting to jump right in and get going but a weekend away isn't going to destroy what you've started.

If it makes it easier (as a PP mentioned) make and list the "safe" foods for DH. We have a sticker system here for gluten-free and food allergies. The kids can ONLY have things with green stickers. Unless your DH is color blind, maybe something like that would work and make you feel more comfortable? Also, if you do that explain that it is to make YOU comfortable, not that you don't think he can do it on his own. I find my DH tried to pawn off some of the responsibility because I was....a little controlling of things. He felt useless and I didn't help. He needs to be able to feed the kids too so we worked together on setting up a system so he knows what's up and the kids are all safe too!

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I am with Skylark. I had to do the exact same thing for a business trip the weekend after we went gluten free.

I have made a cupboard gluten free and all snacks and supplies are in there. I also have two gluten-free shelves in the freezer with stuff for smoothies, Udi's pizza crust, etc.

I then made a list of what goes in the lunch box. Then I made another list of gluten free foods for breakfast and lunches over the weekend. Then I planned the dinners and shopped for them. My husband will cook if I either give him an easy recipe or make it a grilled food. My kids love BBQd chicken (gluten-free bbq sauce of course).

My husband texted me during my trip and said he was so appreciative of the lists and prep. I think he was pretty proud of himself too. :D

Make sure you have food planned for when the grandparents watch him.

Snyder's makes the most amazing gluten free pretzels, BTW. My daughter's friends are asking their mom's to buy them. :P

Go, be free and enjoy the weekend.

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Thanks all. I appreciate the reality check. :D

I'm not really concerned about my husband's ability to manage. He's been the primary cook in our family for years now and been able to successfully navigate many, many changing elimination diets. It just seems the cross contamination issue is so much of a problem with gluten compared to the other things we've eliminated before.

The leaving him with friends or grandparents stresses me out. I love my in-laws, but we have had several food wars in the past. Sending food for him won't work. I expect they will stock up on gluten free junk food - if there is a gluten free pop tart to be found they will find it. Better than a lot of people have to deal with I know but if we're working on healing a damaged gut pop tarts (gluten free or not) in mass quantities seems like a bad idea. Plus cross contamination issues - unless you've really researched it you just wouldn't think about some of the ways you can gluten someone.

I think also I'm just generally overwhelmed by the volume of things that seem like they need to be done - deep cleaning the house, shopping, researching lunch ideas, educating teachers, coaches, and friends, researching where to eat while we're out of town the previous weekend, etc.

But, having said all that, I think you all are right and I should take some time to get away from it. Its easy to get bogged down in the details of life and forget about the point which is enjoying it, right? ;)

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