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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Family Sometimes Makes Me Feel Bad...
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Today, my family and I were discussing what we would eat for Christmas Eve dinner... we decided on chicken and artichoke pasta, and my mom said that she would try to find a gluten-free cream of chicken soup mix, since I already had my own pasta and the cream of chicken was the only other questionable ingredient.

My dad said, "No, no, no, don't go changing the recipe to make it gluten free, it doesn't taste right to me."

I don't know why, but that really hit a nerve with me. It hurt my feelings so much, and I can't explain why. Maybe it was his insensitivity, or the fact that it just reminded me that I'll never really eat 'normally' again (FYI, I'm only 17 years old.) It's really only one small alteration, I don't see what's so bad about simply buying another brand of cream of chicken.

Are you sensitive to comments like these, or do you have any similar stories or suggestions on how I could've handled the situation?

I know I'm overreacting, and that there are way worse problems I could have. But, truth be told, the holidays aren't the easiest time for a Celiac!

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That was incredibly insensitive of him to say and I'm not someone who is overly affected by the thoughtless comments of others. I also understand why you were made to feel these things. But I'm not telling you this to commiserate, I'm wondering if this isn't a good time for you yourself to try preparing some special things just for YOU to eat. I'm no cook, but there are many on this forum who are, and I'll bet you can make sauce easy from scratch that may just be the envy of all who are eating the packaged stuff, which probably contains fake ingredients that aren't good for anyone. That would be a pretty satisfying moment.

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You can get cream of chicken soup brands that are gluten-free and it wouldn't really be a huge difference.

It's the stereotype that "fill-in-the-blank free" tastes bad because it's leaving something out.

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Your mom should just substitute the brand of soup and not even tell him. I make homemade cream of celery and mushroom soup for recipes(since I never can find a safe one in the store for me) and they taste so much better. My husband preferes the homemade now. I'm sorry that hurt your feelings. In time it will get easier.

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That would hurt my feelings and I would never do that to my child. We are doing Christmas eve dinner and everything is gluten free I want my little man completely included. Hang in there merry Christmas

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I would have come back with "That's right. Don't make it gluten free. I don't want to eat anyway; I'll just watch you guys enjoy a family meal while I have a glass of water."

Seriously, he was being a self-centered bore. He may well not have meant it, but sometimes you have to point it out to people who just aren't thinking. I'm with the others - she should do the subs and just not tell him.

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That was very insensitive and self centered of him. We're already battling limitations which is hard at holiday time especially.

I found Pacific brand organic cream of chicken or cream of mushroom at my local grocery store in the "health food" section. It's gluten and soy free. It costs a bit more than Campbell's..but it gives us back some of the dishes we used to have. Tell your Mom about it. Maybe she can substitute and not tell Dad?

I get rude comments from family membeers all the time. I don't think they realize that they're being hurtful? If they coul;d walk a mile in our shoes I'll bet things would be differnt?

(((hugs)))

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Went to my parent's house for Christmas Eve dinner and there was very little "safe" except for the chips and dip. Needless to say, I pigged out and now have I will be tooting all night long. Feel like such a cow! My family, especially my brother and my dad, doesn't understand this gluten problem and they swear up and down I don't have it. Yeah, I guess it's normal to have one disease after another, right? They just don't get it and so I have to suffer for their ignorance. Glad I am not the only one with a "bad" family.

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I understand your feeling hurt by that comment. I get that all the time from my Mother and Brother. They refuse to accept it or deal with it eat what we bring. sooooo my son and I skipped Christmas dinner with them and went to my aunt's instead...<evil grin>. My mother was put out when we stopped 'just to visit'... I told her that I love her company but I don't feel comfortable eating in a house where they refuse to deal with my food issues. She said "Oh but you'll go over there!"... (it's her sister that she doesn't like much) and I just said "I'm bringing some of the food and we've had long conversations about gluten free and they are interested in making a meal EVERYONE can enjoy and you're more than welcome to join us"... Response a grumpy no!! Oh well I had a great Christmas eve with a different part of the family that doesn't make me feel bad!!! I know you are only 17 so you can't do that but I just wanted to share so you don't feel alone!!

Merry Christmas

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Seriously, he was being a self-centered bore.

I think you mean boor. A self-centred BOOR. and boy, aren't there a lot of those around during the holidays?

I'm newly diagnosed (ish) and it took about three months + of intensely simple dieting (no herbs, no spices, etc) and living on my own before I got to the point where I can make Christmas dinner for myself and ONE friend that is gluten- dairy- and soya-free yet still tasty as heck. I can't imagine trying to do holidays at someone else's house where I don't control the food, ingredients, and utensils. this is my first gluten-free Christmas but it went off well since it's in my flat with my dishes etc. friend just brought veggies and alcohol :). Next year I will brave family with more courage...

God bless you for your troubles! I hope everything works out well! vent as much as you need to here, and if you need to confront anyone about hurtful things do so in a calm and sincere way... I'm sure they'll repent of it

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Went to my parent's house for Christmas Eve dinner and there was very little "safe" except for the chips and dip. Needless to say, I pigged out and now have I will be tooting all night long. Feel like such a cow! My family, especially my brother and my dad, doesn't understand this gluten problem and they swear up and down I don't have it. Yeah, I guess it's normal to have one disease after another, right? They just don't get it and so I have to suffer for their ignorance. Glad I am not the only one with a "bad" family.

I may have read this wrong, but it's hard for your family to take you seriously if you pig out on gluten in front of them.

If I read this wrong, I apologize.

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I may have read this wrong, but it's hard for your family to take you seriously if you pig out on gluten in front of them.

If I read this wrong, I apologize.

I read it that she pigged out on the chips and dip. If I eat a large amount of French onion dip, I will be "tooting" away all day. :unsure:

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You certainly have a right to feel bad about this! People often don't think of how much their words can hurt - even when they are the ones that are closest to us.

Please have a talk with your parents (not at mealtime when everyone is hungry or irritable) at a time when your dad seems in a mood to receive what you have to say. Explain very matter of factly why your feelings were hurt when he said what he did. Explain that you know it is hard for them, it's hard for you too. Maybe he need to hear a little bit more about Celiac disease or spend some time on the "friends and family" sections of this website.

Also, since I imagine you'll be on your own in not too long, take the opportunity to learn to cook more things that YOU like. Then, even if dad is being selfish, you can have some great food, and when you get out on your own, you'll know what to do.

Best.

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I am so sorry that this happened to you, I had something happen too. I have been recently dx and have alot to learn myself. I went to my in laws house to eat breakfast, lunch, etc. on Christmas day. I had numerous conversations with my mother in law about celiac and what i could or could not eat. She was willing to change her recipes for me on her own will. I at no time expected anyone to "cater" to my celiac but she was willing and approached me. I figured she was going out of her way i should give her the benefit of the doubt....right? I was thinking she was going all out for me and if i brought my own food it would be rude....Well we all sat down to eat breakfast and she said oh sorry we couldnt find gluten-free cream soups so we just put in a little that should be ok right? Ah no, I told her a little is not ok and I wouldnt be able to eat it. So they were kinda irritated by that but I dont want to be sick either. So i sat at the table with nothing to eat and they never even offered me something else to eat. I would have brought my own if I would have known. I was really hurt. I guess i have a lot to learn.....

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I am so sorry that this happened to you, I had something happen too. I have been recently dx and have alot to learn myself. I went to my in laws house to eat breakfast, lunch, etc. on Christmas day. I had numerous conversations with my mother in law about celiac and what i could or could not eat. She was willing to change her recipes for me on her own will. I at no time expected anyone to "cater" to my celiac but she was willing and approached me. I figured she was going out of her way i should give her the benefit of the doubt....right? I was thinking she was going all out for me and if i brought my own food it would be rude....Well we all sat down to eat breakfast and she said oh sorry we couldnt find gluten-free cream soups so we just put in a little that should be ok right? Ah no, I told her a little is not ok and I wouldnt be able to eat it. So they were kinda irritated by that but I dont want to be sick either. So i sat at the table with nothing to eat and they never even offered me something else to eat. I would have brought my own if I would have known. I was really hurt. I guess i have a lot to learn.....

Your husband should have stepped in. He could have said, " let me get her a banana and some cheese.". His parents, he should definitely have done something. You could certainly have asked for a banana or apple, too.

I always have a bag of nuts or something with me, just in case.

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Your husband should have stepped in. He could have said, " let me get her a banana and some cheese.". His parents, he should definitely have done something. You could certainly have asked for a banana or apple, too.

I always have a bag of nuts or something with me, just in case.

Sorry. That came out sounding a bit abrupt.. My hub & dog were standing over me wanting me to take them on a walk.

What I meant was, because they are your hub's parents, he should have said something to them. I don't know whether they are always doing mean things or if this wasn't intended to be mean ( they just didn't understand). If they always try to be mean, he probably should have said "we are leaving.". If it was just a misunderstanding, he should still have stood up for his wife and asked for something safe you could eat. even just some fruit.

For me, the chance of cc or misunderstanding about how to make gluten-free food is too high. I would always bring my own food. It's good to always have a little pack of nuts or a Lara bar or something with you for emergencies.

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Your husband should have stepped in. He could have said, " let me get her a banana and some cheese.". His parents, he should definitely have done something. You could certainly have asked for a banana or apple, too.

I always have a bag of nuts or something with me, just in case.

I'm totally the "stand up for myself" type and my husband knows it, but I have to agree here.

If it's his family, he should try to do something. Just like I'd hope you do for him if the situation were reversed.

Our battles with social food events (which is pretty much every social event) is ongoing and while you'll learn to better navigate the longer you've had to do so, I doubt feelings of frustration and hurt will never creep back in.

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That sounds miserable. I can understand why you felt it was a good idea to go without food, but this is one of those unfortunate lessons we all get sooner or later.

Honestly you were probably better off not eating than you would have been eating her attempts at gluten-free cookIng which would almost certainly be cross contaminated.. She should have told you she wouldn't be making things gluten-free after all, however I bet she really did think a little would be ok and then didn't have anything gluten-free to offer or was afraid to.

I have a post called "going out to eat" and a post called "the holidays" on the blog linked from my profile that may help you in the future.

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I know exactly how you feel. People who can eat gluten sometimes do not understand how we may feel and that they are hurting our feelings. My brothers and father can sometimes be hurtful, but they are all coming around slowly thanks to the wonderful support of my mother and the tiny lectures she gives them all. We all think that my youngest brother has a gluten problem, but he will have to figure that out on his own, all we will do is anger him. Anyway, I don't think they really think about what it would be like to always be the outsider when it comes to eating food anywhere but home. My dad had a hissy fit because we were going to sub the couple of tablespoons of wheat flour with sweet rice flour in our Thanksgiving gravy, so we had to make two batches. I'm pretty sure that they both tasted the same. My brother had the same reaction when my mom asked him about our Christmas cheesecake, though I won there as I had made an amazing peanut butter cheesecake for birthdays last March that my mom had frozen. It was amazing! Anyway, make sure you sit down with them and tell them exactly how you feel when they do those things, or have your mom make the meals without announcing the substitutions or both. People do come around once they really understand what you are going through, it just takes a little bit of time. For now, just start learning how to cook delicious food you can eat and share it with others. Pretty soon, the fear that gluten free means not tasty will go away and people will start to accept the diet.

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