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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Awkward Dinner Moments
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12 posts in this topic

So my husband and I are out of town for his 40-year high school reunion. We went to a gathering last night which worked out fine, they had gluten-free beer at the grill/pub and we avoided eating any of the appetizers provided. It was fun and not bad.

Until one of the classmates (and spouse) mentioned how hungry they were, since they didn't eat dinner before the get-together. They really wanted to go to a nearby Chinese restaurant where we all went to get our Chinese food when we were growing up, sounded like fun, but my husband asked me if I'd be okay there and it was kind of embarrassing having everyone's attention turned to my diet.

I said "shh...it's okay...I'll find something I can eat..." thinking most Chinese restaurants have some American food on the menu and i'd stick to a plain chicken or hamburger/no bun kind of deal. Or a salad.

None of that on the menu, and the server did not speak good English so could not answer my questions with enough confidence to make me feel safe.

I was finally able to deflect some of it, but didn't like having to deal with that.

I'm perfectly okay not finding things on the menu, I'm NOT perfectly okay having a bunch of people make a big deal about my diet! I guess I will have to coach my husband, bless his heart, so he won't worry about it and say things that cause this to happen! ;)

How do you all cope with spontaneity, with being made the center of attention, and just wanting to be part of a group without them thinking something is terrible about me choosing not to eat?

Now nervously awaiting the buffet dinner tonight. One more minefield to get through! At least people won't be watching me. I can load up my plate, and push it around with my fork, and not eat if I am unsure about it!

Arrgghhh!

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I'm so sorry beachbirdie! I really can't give you any advice but I wish I could. You & I are different in that I don't feel awkward like that. I just plain come out & say it. I can't eat gluten. I dislike saying the word disease though because of what it implies to most people so I term it where I say I am a celiac. But I know there are tons of people out there who feel just like you do. I can only say that having celiac disease is nothing to be ashamed of & therefore I'm not.

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Your husband is to be commended for trying to take care of your health. I think guys just don't understand how sensitive we women are about the perception of others.

But I'd be willing to bet there are others in your class who have either celiac or other food sensitivities/allergies.

I guess I have a thicker skin than most. Something like that wouldn't bother me at all. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with you for feeling the way you do, but for me, I'd just tell them the truth, then change the subject. I might make a joke about getting old, but that would be it. There may be folks there with diabetes or heart trouble, and if they aren't self conscious about being on special diets, why should I be?

I would bring my own food to the buffet. You know as well as I do that even if there are gluten-free items on the buffet, the chances of CC are great when people are serving themselves like that. Better to answer a few questions about celiac than to spend the evening and next day being sick.

Go and enjoy your friends. A class reunion should be fun. Don't let this get you down. Go and laugh at how people haven't turned out the way you thought they would - when I went to my 30th, only the women who hadn't gained weight showed up and most of them looked fabulous. But I didn't even recognize a lot of the guys. Back in '72, all the guys had long hair. Now they are all bald! :lol:

I hope you have a great time!!

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I'm so sorry beachbirdie! I really can't give you any advice but I wish I could. You & I are different in that I don't feel awkward like that. I just plain come out & say it. I can't eat gluten. I dislike saying the word disease though because of what it implies to most people so I term it where I say I am a celiac. But I know there are tons of people out there who feel just like you do. I can only say that having celiac disease is nothing to be ashamed of & therefore I'm not.

[/quo'te]

Thanks, squirmingitch! I'm not ashamed of being celiac, I just don't like for others to feel like they have to go out of their way for me. They are all feeling badly that there's nothing on the menu for me to eat, and I'm happy just to be socializing and not worrying about the food. I am fine telling people straight up that I can't eat gluten, and touched that they would think of going out of their way to find someplace else, but I know there isn't a place withing walking distance that would be any safer especially at that time of night! It was hard to put them at ease. :)

I probably would have done better had we not just driven 600 miles, leaving me too tired to think fast on my feet, LOL. And I've never liked being the center of attention! Maybe I'll have my husband add a few jokes to his repertoire (he's quite the standup comedian) and together we can make people laugh and move on!

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Ahhhh, I misunderstood then. Well, you know what to do --- pack something to eat in your purse & just say lightly something like, "Oh! It's fine! I always carry food & I'm quite used to it so let's all go to the Chinese place. I do this kind of thing all the time!" with a nice laugh. And then link arms with someone & say, "last one out the door is a rotten egg!" "Let's go! We're wasting time & I'm starving!" That's also a good idea with your hubs adding some jokes to his repertoire.smile.gif

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I understand. I hate being the center of attention too! If totaly totaly stuck I order a glass of wine... That's a tough spot to find yourself in.

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Yeah, I'm worried I'll stop receiving invitations out to eat because of the difficulty (both real and perceived) of finding safe restaurant food options. I don't like having to be the Special Case, or having to explain to people who are trying to be helpful that taking the meat out of the bun isn't good enough, etc. I just want people to eat what they want and leave it to me to worry about my own needs, with neither of us feeling self-conscious.

(Also, doesn't it seems like a lot of people think life ends without gluteny carbs? I don't want to have to bring up my new dietary limitations because I'm already tired of hearing about how everyone would just diiiiiiiieeee without bread...)

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Your husband is to be commended for trying to take care of your health. I think guys just don't understand how sensitive we women are about the perception of others.

But I'd be willing to bet there are others in your class who have either celiac or other food sensitivities/allergies.

But I didn't even recognize a lot of the guys. Back in '72, all the guys had long hair. Now they are all bald! :lol:

I hope you have a great time!!

Thanks a bunch! I see you are the same year as we are! Yep, at our age we probably ALL have something...in fact, they played a "musical chair" game in which during each round, participants had to run to the audience to collect an item...one was "medication". It was hilarious how many prescription bottles came out of pockets and purses!

I didn't go the the same school as hubs, but did graduate the same year. It was fun meeting all the people he's talked about all these years, and wonderful to see what a cohesive bunch of people they are. A large number of them grew up in the same neighborhood and have known each other since kindergarten!

Yes, I didn't think my hubby was going to be good at being the celiac's spouse, but he's catching on and starting to be very watchful. He's a good guy!

Ahhhh, I misunderstood then. Well, you know what to do --- pack something to eat in your purse & just say lightly something like, "Oh! It's fine! I always carry food & I'm quite used to it so let's all go to the Chinese place. I do this kind of thing all the time!" with a nice laugh. And then link arms with someone & say, "last one out the door is a rotten egg!" "Let's go! We're wasting time & I'm starving!" That's also a good idea with your hubs adding some jokes to his repertoire.smile.gif

LOL, yeah, that will work most of the time! And my dear hubs is fast on his feet, I think he's going to get good at it. We are known to do team comedy at parties and grocery checkouts and places like that. I'm his "straight man".

I understand. I hate being the center of attention too! If totaly totaly stuck I order a glass of wine... That's a tough spot to find yourself in.

If I'd been thinking I could have had the throw some steamed chicken or steamed shrimp into the rice with green onion. I do that at my local chinese restaurant and it always works fine. I was waaaay too tired!

(Also, doesn't it seems like a lot of people think life ends without gluteny carbs? I don't want to have to bring up my new dietary limitations because I'm already tired of hearing about how everyone would just diiiiiiiieeee without bread...)

Yes, it is funny how dependent people are on their refined carbs! We are skipping grains more and more, and learning it is possible to live very happily without bread. Weellll, most of the time anyway. I think I will always have that soft place in my heart for homemade sourdough {sigh}.

Thanks everyone, for your ideas and thoughts. We had a fabulous time, I met a lot of great people (it was my DH's reunion, I didn't go to his school) and I was able to navigate the buffet pretty easily. There was a lot of distance between the pasta and the rice, there was a lovely sliced beef dish with NO gluten, and a big pan of perfectly steamed, unseasoned vegetables. The evening was over way too soon. Can't wait till the 50th. Hope I can still walk without a cane...we all agreed we'd get together, oxygen tanks and all...

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Sooooo glad to hear you had a great time!!!! Sounds like your hubs is the best support you could ever have. You're a lucky girl & he's a lucky guy!

What luck at the buffet eh? Steamed, unseasoned veggies??? And the beef dish with no gluten????? WOW. Sounds like whoever was on the planning committee for the food portion had people's health & food limitations in mind!!!!

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Sooooo glad to hear you had a great time!!!! Sounds like your hubs is the best support you could ever have. You're a lucky girl & he's a lucky guy!

What luck at the buffet eh? Steamed, unseasoned veggies??? And the beef dish with no gluten????? WOW. Sounds like whoever was on the planning committee for the food portion had people's health & food limitations in mind!!!!

It sure looked like they were thinking about our age and all our possible conditions, LOL. And yes, after getting off to a rough start with this, he's really getting on board! He's always been my dearest, best friend.

So, I made it through the parties, and on the long drive home we had to make an emergency pit stop in a fast food joint to use the facilities. We stopped in Taco Bell, and were pretty hungry, so I thought I could find something "safe".

I chose their nachos; big mistake. By midnight I had that "glass in the belly" feeling and guessed I'd chosen poorly. :P

If I had any doubt that gluten was a problem for me, I think I've put it to rest. My daughters and I are going to do one more test at her wedding, we are going to eat wedding cake.

I've never been really sure I "have it", not having had the scope and having only the TtG IgG elevated. Guess I should stop doubting {sigh}.

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I'd say you have your final answer.

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I'd say you have your final answer.

Funny how I've told so many people that very thing and not taken it to heart for myself. :ph34r:

If it walks like a duck...

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