Gluten Dude

This is utter bullshit.

Once again, money and power rule over common sense, common courtesy and common decency.

And this time…it’s personal.

Jennifer Esposito has celiac disease.

To say she “has” celiac disease is an understatement.

Due to years of crappy doctors and misdiagnoses, she “suffers greatly” from celiac disease.

We’ve talked about it here and she did a wonderful interview with me here.

Mrs. Dude and I met with her this past weekend and her celiac story is nothing short of amazing and heartbreaking.

Jennifer is also an actress and a star of the CBS show Blue Bloods.

Until now.

Here’s the story:

Jennifer was hired for Blue Bloods to be a part-timer.

With her condition, she knew that is all she would be able to handle and she was totally cool with that; as was CBS.

But because Jennifer is a kick-ass actress and an engaging personality, her role grew as her popularity increased.

She eventually found herself working full-time on the show (with CBS naturally continuing to only pay her part-time salary.)

Jennifer’s health would simply not allow her to work this much.

The asshats at CBS told her she had to.

Eventually, Jennifer collapsed on the set and things came to a boiling point.

CBS is now kicking her off the show.

That’s bad enough…but here is the most vulgar part.

They are spreading lies about her, they are not paying her AND they are blocking her from working elsewhere since she is under contract.

Have I told you how much I hate suits?

Now here is what CBS is saying about the whole incident:

“Jennifer informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.”

And here is Jennifer’s response:

“CBS put me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac. CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off, my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was not truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise! It’s been almost two months without bringing me back to work + keeping me from working anywhere else! Absolutely shameful behavior.”

That’s right. CBS said she was not truly ill. As in, celiac is not truly a disease.

You want to know what’s truly ill (besides the actions of CBS)? Some people’s comments online about the situation. Here are some samples:

“Tell you what Jennifer, put the bagel down and pick up a steak and you’ll be fine.”

“I’m not following her story here – why did she need a reduced schedule due to celiac disease? It’s not like she had cancer or something. All she has to do is avoid dealing with gluten and she’ll be fine.”

“If she is dealing with her celiac the right way (avoiding glutenous foods and maintaining her health), there is no reason she shouldn’t be able to maintain her career!”

“Elisabeth Hasselbeck has it, and she manages to work five days a week on The View, as well as doing work on other shows such as Good Morning, America.”

(Dude note: Please don’t compare the common celiac to Ms. Hasselbeck. She is all about the FOOD and not about the disease.)

“Unless her bowels have rotted out from celiac, I don’t see any reason she shouldn’t be able to maintain her career. Otherwise, there is no reason she can’t be living her life normally!”

Ahhh…the ignorance in our world never ceases to amaze me.

And this is why Jennifer is putting her energy into being the best celiac advocate possible and it’s why I am right beside her.

We need to get the truth out there about our disease.

And perhaps the injustice that Jennifer is experiencing at the hands of CBS will actually help get our message across.

Celiac is real. Celiac is brutal. Celiac sucks.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE CAUSE…

  • Leave a comment below and I’ll forward all comments to the good folks at CBS.
  • If you are on Twitter, tweet your complaints to @BlueBloods_CBS
  • If you are on Facebook, post your complaints at http://www.facebook.com/CBSBlueBloods.
  • Tell them how you feel on the CBS website: http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.php
  • Write CBS at 51 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019-6188
  • Heck, pick up the phone, call them at 212-975-4321 and give CBS a verbal thrashing.
  • Stop watching the show and stop supporting the show’s advertisers. Hit em where it hurts.

Jennifer, the celiac community is behind you 100%!

72 thoughts on “Fellow Celiac Jennifer Esposito Gets Railroaded by Cold-Blooded Suits

  1. My brother has lived with Crohn’s Disease for more than 25 years, so I can attest to the issues someone with an autoimmune disease deals with daily.

    I am disgusted but not surprised by the actions of CBS. The company is run by a mysoginist who continues to coddle his male employees while treating the females like garbage.

    I find it interesting that they were willing to have Alex O’Loughlin take time away from his show to kick his narcotic habit; they tolerated Charlie Sheen’s drug-induced behavior for years; and no punishment was given to David Letterman for sexually harassing half his staff.

    Now when a female actress needs some accomodation, CBS once again shows their true colors.

    As an avid watcher of Blue Bloods, The Mentalist, The Good Wife and Person of Interest, leaving CBS won’t be easy for me. But consider me an ex-audience member. Good riddance.

  2. I will not watch this show anymore. The way you treated Jennifer Esposito is shameful and borderline encroaches on a voilation of the Americans With Disabilites Act. Celiac is a real disease and a real disability.

  3. I do like her as an actress and her role on the show and feel terrible she is being treated like this. But this puzzles me – it makes me wonder what kind of work hours was she working, does she have another condition? I am someone with additional multiple conditions who often works 60+ hr weeks – granted after a few weeks of that I can barely function and need to rest but so would anyone else I am sure. If she is still struggling to get back to good/stable health after being misdiagnosed for years then some time off caring for herself would be best just too bad CBS had to treat her this way.

  4. I have Celiac Disease and I am Unable to Work at All because of it ! and all the other hosts of Health issues that come along with it.I am 40 years old and went undiagnosed for approx.13 years with the Disease and just got a proper diagnosis Finally 5 and half years ago as Doctors seem to pass it off as Other things and YES you can PASS out from it by being Malnourished,Dehydrated,Diarhea, Deficiencies of vitamin low,my blood pressure drops if I get Cross conatminated with the slightest amount of Gluten and I am keeled over in bed for Days with Headaches and between the bathroom as well if not there the ER and or admitted to the Hospital ! Brush Up America it is More than Staying Away from BREAD ,Grains ,(Gluten = Wheat barley Rye Oats Flour) Some are also Allergic to Corn,Rice,Lactose Intolerant,Fructose Intolerant,Pork,So DON’T Judge Miss Jennifer here and CELIAC DISEASE it is a DISEASE Not a DIET or a TREND to follow !!!! Damn you IGNORANT ASS CBS

    • I was just put on FMLA leave from Hobby Looby Monday because I asked for a modified schedule (only 8 hour shifts not past 6pm)
      Did you get on disability? I have about a month of pay to live on them I’m. On my own.

  5. (I may have gotten a little bit angry… this is what I posted on the Facebook wall)

    Shame on you, CBS! And shame on everyone on the show who isn’t standing up for Jennifer. Celiac Disease is a “real” illness, an autoimmune disease and as such it is a life-long, life altering disease. It isn’t “playing sick” or malingering, or whatever those in charge at your network are trying to call it. The lady’s doctor told her she could work part time and maintain a reasonable amount of health. You agreed to that when you hired her. Live up to your end of the agreement and she will be able to live up to her end. Oh, and before you start whining about “well so-and-so can do it”, please remember that everyone’s experience with Celiac Disease is different – the immune system is an individual thing. Just as some of us are allergic to antibiotics and some of us aren’t, Celiac Disease hits each individual in a different way. Lots of us have other complications that go along with the gut issues. Don’t judge anyone on the results another has had with his or her treatment. Just as not everyone who undergoes chemotherapy survives cancer, not everyone who goes gluten free for Celiac Disease is immediately and completely cured.

    Again, CBS… you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  6. Dude, All I have to say is “WOW”!!!!!!!!!! It doesn’t surprise me a bit, but wow nonetheless!!!!!! I have posted on Facebook/Blue Blood. Let’s hope that our collective voices are heard!

  7. Is this even legal? CBS, you’ve made a huge mistake in punishing a great actress because she’s struggling with an illness beyond her control. The fallout from loss of viewership will be huge, at least that is my hope. Add me to the list of those who will no longer watch anything on CBS nor support any company who advertisers on your station.

    • This is terrible!!!!! I myself have issues with getting sick after eating and I have no diagnosis. As a teacher, I get railed all the time by my bosses. However, I do think that CBS is legally allowed to do this. But, only part of it…. the part where she doesn’t get paid on leave. It is unfortunate! Actors don’t have a salary, they get paid by the project/episode. She wasn’t airing episodes because she was sick. It is like me having an on-call/ part time job. I get paid for the hours I work. I don’t get paid for the hours I don’t work. They also pay for their own health insurance and disability insurance. It isn’t a company. Therefore, they don’t have the same “luxaries” that I would as an employee of the state. It really does suck and she should be allowed to have her recovery time, and be allowed to do her job as an actress without the pressures and over-demanding hours. They have a union and should be allowed to use it. The union should be fighting for mandatory hours. If they are over working her then CBS is in violation. As an extra in a television show, the actors were not allowed to be on set for more than 8 hours whether they were the star or just a minor role. I hope they come up with a compromise and apologize for discrimination against her.

  8. This is utterly shameful. First, she was upfront at the beginning about the hours she could do and obviously did a marvelous job since they wanted her on the set more. Second, she COLLAPSED ON SET. You can’t fake that! Firing someone for needing the reduced schedule that she was hired at from the start?! B.S.

    I’m very glad Mrs. Hassleback is able to function so well, but as another poster said, that doesn’t represent anyone more than herself. I know that my immune system has been shot. I recently had to be put on steroids and an inhaler and take a week off work due to crushing allergies that I never had before. Its not solely gut issues nor do you always get it fixed right after diagnosis Shame on CBS!

  9. I think this is a huge fear for many of us – being discriminated against due to a disease we have little control over. This allows us to be ashamed of who we are. How pathetic that we have to hide how much pain we are in because of stuff like this! I’m terrified of losing jobs because I’m always at doctor appointments. What if they let me go or won’t promote me because I can’t eat at business lunches with clients at unsafe restaurants?!? It’s horrifying to see it happen to celebrities. But I think it’s a reflection of the world today. We can’t be taken seriously and it has this Celiac up in arms. I’m not a Nielson family, so my ratings don’t count, but I will be anti-CBS until this gets resolved!

  10. I’d be really curious if she has a case under ADA. Good luck to her – I hope she sues, wins, and gets another avenue for explaining celiac to the world!

  11. I found that article yesterday and was appalled by some of the reader comments. My coffee cup lid accidently fell in a spot on the counter where blueberry muffins previously sat and even after washing it off I ended up seriously sick from gluten cross-contamination. (I knew I should have put it in the sanitizing dishwasher, but I was careless – my bad.) My family is very supportive of my needs, but still enjoy the occasionally gluten-filled treats. We are very careful in my house and I rarely get sick, but I did this weekend which made reading the comments so much harder to swallow. Celiac disease is real and it isn’t always as simple as “just don’t eat gluten”. Even invisible amounts of gluten can make a person sick for days. I wish it was easier to explain to people that it is real even though they can’t see it. CBS should be ashamed of themselves for the punishment they handed down to someone who clearly had a doctor’s note explaining her condition and needs. I choose to vote with my tv clicker and will watch another channel from this point forward. I can not and will not support this behavior from CBS.

  12. WOW! Ironic that I read this today. It’s 10:30 my time. It took me 3 hours to get ready today because I feel so horrible. In fact, on my way to work I was contemplating going home and just trying to work from home. My next thoughts were “I am tired of being sick and tired. I wonder how long before my boss gets tired of this horrible schedule I’m keeping and lets me go” I am so sorry for Jennifer. If you have the energy, fight for what is right.

  13. The medical community is just learning about this disorder. From the experience of my husband who’s been gluten free for four years I know it’s not as simple as just not eating gluten. It’s systemic, autoimmune, and unpredictable. CBS, you look insensitive and it would serve your PR goals to learn what celiac disease really is. You could do a lot of good.

  14. My Dad suffers with the same condition and it took over 30 years for him to be diagnosed. Celiac effects everyone in different ways for the ignorant out there Celiacs goes on to cause cancer if you are not treated and is often too late for some by the time they find out they do have it.

    I am surprised that someone can be discriminated in this way, as I am not American I do not know if there are any laws in place to stop people from being treated in such a way. I’m British and there are laws to protect people from this happening.

    I wish Jennifer all the best in her suit, it just a shame that it takes someone to be treated in such a shameful way to raise awareness.

  15. I just emailed CBS and posted to their Blue Bloods FB the following: “If the media storm about Jennifer Esposito and CBS’s treatment of her while she deals with severe sickness as a result of celiac disease is accurate, I am offended by CBS’s discrimination and appalling behavior. I have celiac disease also. It is a horrendous disease which has impact on daily life. It is debilitating. It is awful. If Jennifer needs to go back to her originally agreed upon part time schedule she cannot be discriminated against for doing so. I hope she takes her advocacy of this disease to even higher levels as a result. This station should be nervous that they will be sued and will pay the price for their actions.”

    Thanks, Gluten Dude for advocating on Jennifer’s behalf. We must all have each other’s backs…

  16. Does anyone have a list of advertisers of the show? I think we should write them as well. Surely, they have pull with CBS and can encourage them to do the right thing. They definitely do not want to feel the backlash. I think we should also leave opinions on their FB pages… No more Blue Bloods for me.

  17. I am right with you GlutenDude – Unacceptable actions on the part of the CBS-Suits.. No compassion, no caring. I am just shocked. Total C-BS. I hope the awareness continues. I do not have celiac’s but am gluten sensitive. Just that ‘little sensitivity’ is sometimes a huge thing to deal with, nothing fake about it. CBS idiots at the top, care about numbers, ratings and money.. not health of their employees/actors/people.
    I hope we -the fans- and supporters of Jennifer bring this fight to the tops of CBS, uncalled for actions.
    Instead of helping, caring, accommodating, they put her character on the shelf. I am a huge fan of the show, I mean I was.

  18. Ten minutes with Google and anyone can find out that celiac disease is an autoimmune condition with life changing consequences.

    But you have to be bothered to want to find out.

    So sorry to Jennifer that you are going through this. Thanks for standing up for us.

    CBS appears to have made a big mistake here. I hope someone there can be big enough to sort it out and to apologize.

  19. When the media prints something like this to explain what Celiac Disease is, no wonder people DON’T GET IT!!

    “The National Center for Biotechnology Information describes celiac disease as “a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.”

    They go on to say that it is extremely rare to experience long term damage of the intestines if a gluten-free (or wheat-free) diet is followed.”

    WTF??? This is not an accurate explanation of CD!! What about the myriad of complications and associated autoimmune problems that arise from being undiagnosed for most of your life?
    Ignorance abounds. If she had a DX of cancer and was treated this way by the network, there would be an uproar from Hollywood to New York.

    I am more appalled by fellow celiacs who posted to various blogs saying: “well, I go to work every day with celiac, so what’s her problem?”. I blasted one of them and said “Lucky you! what did you have—- a few tummy ouchies? Shame on you for not ADVOCATING on behalf of a fellow celiac instead of beating her up.

    Citing Elizabeth Hasselbeck as an example of a “working celiac” is ridiculous. That woman did not have major complications; she had some diarrhea and gas. Big damn deal.

    Most of us had devastating consequences from UnDXed CD and had to stop working. Some of us lost years of our lives.
    Just because you “cut out gluten”, all those complications do not just disappear

    I am sorry to see this has happened to Jennifer and I will no longer watch the show.

  20. One more thing.

    All I can think of is those PR commercials they run where they conclude with the smarmy quote:

    “CBS Cares”

    No, they don’t.

  21. CBS should be ashamed of themselves! In this day and age of bullying, CBS should be setting a better example. They should be more tolerant of her condition and work with her instead of against her. We as viewers have been watching Jackie for two years. I have no desire to see Danny with another partner and will not watch Blue Bloods as long as this is the case.

  22. I will no longer be watching anything on CBS until they fix this , what’s more sick are the comments people made ! Just sick .

  23. Based on your comments about “suits” you may not want to hear this, but what she really needs is an employment lawyer or screen actors guild rep. Presumably she also has an agent who should be able to bring some influence to bear. Unless there is more to the story, this should be relatively easy to resolve. She is asking for a reasonable accommodation for a disability and unless they can show an undue hardship they are required to give it to her. Hopefully this will be resolved quickly and reasonably!

  24. I hate to sound callous but long schedules and very strict deadlines are a big part of filming. If she can’t do it, she can’t do it.

    I have a feeling we are not hearing the entire story.

  25. Ridiculous. That’s really all I can think of that hasn’t already been said. Sending out positive vibes for Jennifer – stupid crap like this is EXACTLY why folks like her (and you, Dude) need to keep on fighting the good fight.

  26. I am one of the ignorant, so I cannot speak on behalf of the disease. What I can say is if a doctor orders something, it has to be met. In Canada where I am from, it is law.
    I have a friend who’s sister broke her foot. The insurance company pressured her to go ack to work and it was to early. She died from a blood clot directly caused by being to active on her injury. Point being if a simple tiny broken bone can lead to loss of life, we absolutely have to meet the requests of doctors.

  27. As a woman who works in Human Resources AND has Celiac disease, this offends me in so many ways! Not only is it shoddy HR practices, but it also speaks to the kind of microinequities that many employees face as a result of chronic medical conditions.

    It’s hard enough to be in the workplace when you have debilitating symptoms from Celiac (one’s that DON’T go away after you are gluten-free), but to then be concerned for your job safety on top of it? What ever happened to a responsible and concerned employer who supports their employees’ health and well being?

    Whether someone is actively employed and suffering with Celiac, have needed to stop working because of their disease, or WISH they could stop working, but can not afford the financial hardship, they deserve a certain amount respect and dignity from an employer.

    I won’t be watching CBS in the future. If this is how they treat their actors, what about their writers, producers, admins, and other emnployees and/or contractors? It is difficult enough to make a living in the creative arts. Why make it even more so?

    And, CBS, while you’re at it…why don’t you check out your Kraft Services table…any chance things are labeled “Gluten-Free”?

    Very disappointing.

  28. CBS, oh you bunch of jerks.
    Don’t you see how this works?
    Karma will get you, yes it will.
    Maybe you’ll be the one that’s ill.
    There will be a lack of your shows,
    well there will for me,
    And even more people,
    just wait and see.
    What you did to Jenn is totally wrong,
    and you don’t need that in a song.
    Count your blessings every day
    you’ll get this one back, some how some way.

    JENN ROCKS!!!!

      • I totally understand what it’s like to be diagnosed with something that people don’t really believe. Ya know, if it doesn’t come up on an xray or a CAT Scan, it doesn’t exist, right? Keep on kicking ass Gluten Dude :)

      • Congrats to you on your weight loss and your great health. Although I have to admit that I am surprised at how surprised you sound when you blog. After all, that diet is basically a healthier version of the Adkins diet. Not shocked at the progress you’ve made.
        As for this Actress and the mess with CBS. What is wrong with everybody. Are you all either socialist or just from California? She signed a contract to be fulltime and since she can not do that for whatever the reason, she should be let go. Sad but it is a business. When did CBS become DNA. She didn’t get this disease from that company so why should they have to pay for her illness? If she can’t cut the mustard, I’d ask her to get out of my kitchen too! The only wrong doing I can see is that they have not let her put of her contract. The other side of that is that because she has made this her own “pity party” ( yes I did, I said it) so now who is gonna want to hire her In this condition? I’m just saying!
        I do have celiac disease, single parent that works two jobs. It is sad but it too is life. If I can’t do my job I’m not gonna expect people to pay me for being unable to do my job just cause I’m sick.

        • Hi Ms P. The issue is not that they are letting her go. Both myself and Jennifer have stated clearly they have every right to do so.

          But they are keeping her under contract, NOT paying her and NOT allowing her to work anywhere else?

          Do you still think that’s fair?

  29. So many celebrities are claiming there celiac or allergic to gluten.There not underweight or failing to thrive.There not short stature or flat chested.They don’t have a rash.There faking it or self diagnosed it.

    • You are just posting here to incite trouble, aren’t you?

      How do I know? That’s easy.

      You are you saying that someone cannot have Celiac because:

      “There not underweight or failing to thrive.There not short stature or flat chested.They don’t have a rash.There faking it or self diagnosed it.”

      Oh man, where do I start?

      You have no real understanding of Celiac Disease. So let me set you straight.

      First of all, Celiac Disease is not an “allergy”. This is a misnomer (look that up in the dictionary, please)

      It is a life-threatening autoimmune disease. I would not wish it on anyone. It is not for sissies.

      Secondly,
      I have Celiac and
      I am not underweight, except for when I plummeted 90 lbs.
      and looked skeletal and almost died

      I am 5’4″ which is average for most women
      and….

      I have big boobs.

      And finally, how the hell do you “fake” malabsorption, anemia, hair loss, muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, liver and kidney disease, paresthesia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, hypocalcemia, ataxia, miscarriages, etc. that accompany this disease?

      You don’t.

      (Granted this may be too many big words for you, sorry :( )

      You do not know what you are talking about.

      No one will take you seriously because you spout inaccurate information and you are ungrammatical and you called Celiac an “allergy”. IT”S NOT AN ALLERGY.

      And here is your free grammar lesson for today:

      They’re—means “they are”
      There— means a location or place.
      Their— is the plural possessive.

      Got it? You’re welcome.

      If you do not know what Celiac Disease really involves,
      please, just shut up.

      • Thank you, IrishHeart! I’m overweight, your height and I, too, have big boobs. I also have liver disease, thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, hypoglycemia and osteoporosis along with my Celiac Disease.

        Nineteen years between onset of symptoms and diagnosis will do that for you. (although the thyroid, anemia and fertility issues began long before the onset of symptoms.)

        Someone once said “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. That pretty much describes what happens when you have an autoimmune disease (or many of them, as some of us do.) Oh, you don’t *look* sick, so I can ignore your problems (or blame you for them).

        Gee, I guess I’m still a bit upset.

        Again, thank you for expressing so well (and so often) just exactly what I’m feeling.

        • The length of time it takes to get a diagnosis of Celiac is a tragedy.

          My heart goes out to you, Ellen
          and to Jennifer and to so many others I have met who suffered needlessly for years (as I did) simply because the medical community fails to see this thing for what it is. A killer.

          The most difficult posts I have read on celiac.com are those that detail the lengthy list of other health problems people have acquired. Some people are in wheelchairs,others have irreversible brain damage, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, or they had multiple miscarriages and no children as a result. Years spent in pain and misery. My own laundry list of symptoms is four pages long. If it had not happened to me, I might not have believed it possible either.

          Some lost their jobs, their spouses and the custody of their children because they did not know why they were so ill and incapacitated. Some spent time in mental health wards because they were so depressed and drugs provided no help. How could they? It was from malabsorption of nutrients, not a psychiatric problem! Many have lymphoma and other forms of cancer and have had their stomachs removed. Thyroids and gall bladders are yanked out at an alarming rate–because they are malfunctioning —when all along, the underlying cause is overlooked. Celiac. Gluten.

          There is no question in my mind that many of those other conditions may well have been avoided had there been an early diagnosis.

          Sorry to get so passionate about it everybody, but if we don’t –who will?

          I hope you continue to heal and feel better and better, Ellen!
          All the best,
          IH

          • IrishHeart: I am so very glad to read your posts. I was only recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and that was after a VERY long period of illness. I now believe, as I am getting my doctor to realize, that it has been my problem my entire life. Thinking back, it must have all started when I was very young (teenage years) always being extremely thin, having irritable bowel, chronic illnesses, and eventually resulting in Graves Disease and having my Thyroid shut down with Radioactive Iodine, my Gall Bladder removed, appendix removed, continual infections and chronic illness that no one could find a reason for. Everyone must have been thinking I was a hypochondriac. Oh, I also suffer from hypoglycemia, and in the end – about a year ago in April 2013 – I was so violently ill that my entire system almost began to shut down. I finally went to a “new” Endocrinologist and after 5 minutes of speaking with me, looking at my blood work, seeing that I had lost 18 pounds and was down to a whopping 82 pounds soaking wet said “Dear you have Celiac Disease”. I was SO malnourished that I was told if they hadn’t realized that it was Celiac Disease my organs would have begun shutting down. Oh, I also forgot, I had 4 miscarriages and finally had one daughter successfully after 3 months of fertility treatment and then an emergency C-Section with her ending up at 3 lbs. 9 oz. The list goes on and on. I have now been COMPELTELY Gluten Free since September or October 2013 and feel AWESOME. I gained 20 pounds and the only chronic illness that continues to plague me are sinus infections. But it took 61 YEARS for them to diagnose me. I was always a sickly child, was made fun of because I was so very thin, and was always so self-conscious of my thin frail body that I felt completely out of place and alone. I now know differently, feel great about myself and just wish that we were not discriminated against because of this disease. It is also discriminatory to charge EXTRA for gluten free foods. I am on a fixed income and have trouble keeping up with food bills. I just hope that some day someone will start making gluten free products the same price as regular food (one box of Matzo was $8.99 and regular Matzo is $5.99 for 6 boxes – HOW WRONG IS THAT?) I am glad to know there is a place to come and talk about this now. I do not feel so alone anymore!!!!

        • Mrs. D

          I know what a devoted spouse of a celiac deals with on a daily basis.
          I know he felt helpless as he watched me suffering
          and I know how overjoyed he is to see me healing.

          I know what it means to have someone stand by me IN SICKNESS
          and in health, never wavering in his faith that I would find an answer , start to heal and “be me” again.

          And I know you did all this, too.

          So, in truth, hon—YOU ROCK! ;)

  30. You can never know what someone is going through unless you go through it yourself. People shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

    Everyone has different levels of celiac disease and the symptoms are so varied. It’s not easy to pretend that the symptoms are not unbearble and don’t get you down. :(

    It’s sad that people are so ignorant especially about things they dont know about. And all those comments are extremely hurtful to anyone who has celiac disease.

    Good luck to Jennifer in being a celiac advocate and trying to enlighten people about this disease. People will always be arrogrant and opinionated but you have to stand up to them. And be proud to be gluten free and HEALTHY :) .

  31. Dear Gluten Dude:

    I follow this blog regularly, but I’ve only ever posted once before — I contributed the “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to gluten me, aren’t you?” movie reference a few months back :) But this particular post really got to me, and the next thing you know, here I am at the keyboard, banging out a reply.

    Bless you, Gluten Dude for all your work on behalf of all of us with Celiac disease. Thank you for standing behind Jennifer Esposito and helping to combat the disbelief, prejudice, and skepticism all of us with Celiac and gluten intolerance face on a daily basis by ignorant people who don’t take the time to educate themselves about what an autoimmune disorder really is. The only positive thing out of this debacle with CBS is that maybe . . . just maybe . . . the public will learn a thing or two about Celiac. Maybe . . . just maybe . . . the next time some of us speak up about not being able to eat pizza or birthday cake or beer, etc., at the next office party, celebration, public event, etc., by saying, “Sorry, I can’t eat anything containing gluten because I have Celiac disease,” someone will nod their head and say, “Oh, yeah! I heard about that. Doesn’t Jennifer Esposito from “Blue Bloods” have that? Gee, I’m sorry for you. That must suck.” Maybe . . . just maybe . . . we’ll begin to experience broader public understanding and acceptance, instead of getting that same ‘ol blank, deer-in-the-headlights stare (or incredulous expression) we have all gotten accustomed to when we turn down people’s gluten-filled culinary creations. Sigh. My sympathies to Ms. Esposito. I hope she’s got a good lawyer!

    Laura

    P.S. IrishHeart, you rock! As a professional writer and editor, your grammar lesson above warmed the cockles of my heart! :) Aside from that, I just love reading your posts in general — I’ve learned tons from you!!

    • Dear Laura,

      You rock yourself – that Mrs. Robinson quote was hysterical!.

      I usually keep my mouth shut regarding the grammar and spelling of others (as it makes me sound like a condescending prig :) ) But, in this case, I felt it was necessary.

      Like me, you are an eternal optimist. We think that someday, there will be a greater awareness of Celiac Disease. We can educate and illuminate, but it will take us awhile. I never stop trying.

      What happened to JE and how long it took her to get diagnosed is so similar to my own path that my heart just aches for her. I loathe to think this girl has to fight for what’s right. Stress creates pro-inflammatory cytokines and is detrimental to those of us with AI diseases. She does not need this crap.

      Here is an opportunity for some people with clout to get involved on Jennifer’s behalf. Let’s see if any of these Hollywood types have the
      stones to speak up. They do it for other AI diseases. Why not this one?

      I agree with you and I told the Dude the same thing on email, but it bears repeating: Thank you, G Dude, for standing with Jennifer!!
      I hope it gives her some encouragement to know we are all standing with her, too.

      IH

      • Yup, IrishHeart, similar to my path, as well. Was diagnosed in March, after a lifetime (four decades) of suffering from the more “quiet,” yet just as deadly, variety of Celiac. Jennifer’s logo — the black-and-white childhood photo of herself — strikes such a chord within me, because I’ve got so many old photographs of myself as youngster with a big ol’ “Buddha belly”, that was, as we now know, inflammation, not “cute” baby fat. My diagnosis is so recent that I am still grieving for my innner child who felt like crap all the time and didn’t know how to explain it to the adults. I just learned to take it for granted that I never really felt healthy (not that I had anything to compare it to, except the energy and vitality I observed in other kids). Since the doctors couldn’t come up with anything definitive, and my first Celiac test results 6 years ago gave me a false-negative (argh!), I resigned myself to thinking that I was just biologically “defective.” Or a “dud.” How many of us out there, including Jennifer, grew up feeling not just physically uncomfortable, to say the least, but also “different” or somehow “inferior” that way? Tragic! Early detection should be mandatory!
        All right, time to get down from my soap box today :) . Thanks again for spreading your knowledge and sharing your wisdom, IrishHeart!

        • You’re not on a soapbox, hon. You’re just talking the truth.:)

          How many of us were told as children the pains in our legs were “growing pains”. :(

          How many are:
          Misdiagnosed with IBS, GERD, Fibromyalgia, gall bladder disease, among other “syndromes” that have no real , lasting treatment.
          Told there was no explanation for miscarriages and infertility and early menopause.
          Told to see a psychiatrist.
          Told it was “just menopause”.
          Told it was grief, stress, an inability to cope or any other term that suggests a failure on our part.
          Told to “work through the pain”.
          Blown off by doctors because tests are negative or “inconclusive”.

          Yes, we celiacs all fight for celiac awareness, but it has to start with awareness in the medical community.

          Early screening in children, as they do in Italy, is a first step. Imagine how much illness and pain could be avoided if a child starts off her long and happy life already successfully controlling this disease!

          I hope for this–for future generations. This thing is not going away and the medical community will no longer be able to say “it is a rare childhood disease”. As more and more people suffer from the consequences of celiac and gluten intolerance, they will come to see why none of us are really designed to digest this protein.

          But, there is no $$$$ to be made in having people well, now is there?
          All those empty waiting rooms….hmmm.

          Now, I’LL get off my soapbox. :)

          • Snort! Girl, let me tell you, I heard ALL of those things from people . . . even doctors. And even a couple more doozies. Things like “It’s all in your head. Just think positive thoughts!” and “You know what your problem is? You just need to [cover your eyes, faint-hearted readers] get laid! It’ll set you straight!” or “Oh, well, you just need to have a baby to get your mind off your own problems!” Riiiggghhhttt. As if thinking positive thoughts, getting laid, and/or having a baby would stop the physical and mental symptoms that made me feel like I was the living dead??? And, seriously, what kind of romantic partner or parent would I have made in the condition I was in? I guess one who looks, feels, and acts like a vampire’s victim! Ooh, real attractive, huh? Honestly, people! Jeesh. I just have to laugh at all that nonsense now, after the fact. If I had listened to other people’s opinions instead of literally trusting my own gut, I’d probably be dead by now. Thank God I finally figured it out. I can’t get those “lost years” back, but I do have a brighter future to look forward to. I nearly didn’t. Onward and upward!
            Have a great day! :)
            Laura

            • You wrote:
              “If I had listened to other people’s opinions instead of literally trusting my own gut, I’d probably be dead by now. Thank God I finally figured it out. I can’t get those “lost years” back, but I do have a brighter future to look forward to. I nearly didn’t”

              I have said nearly these exact same words more times than I can recall.

              Continued healing to you!
              Rock on, girl.

  32. THANK YOU for posting this. It does tell more of the story than some of the other online stories told. I am not happy with CBS, they have lost another viewer. I hope Jennifer takes this time and really advocates for those with celiac. I found her blog through this and think she is doing a great service for us!

  33. CBS Bring Jennier back. She is a bigger part of the show then you may realize. She has a lot of support not only in the celiac community but across all spectrums. My daughter and I both have gluten and dairy intollerances and let me tell you it’s not easy to deal with. Everyone has different reactions, even within the same family. I bet that more people on your staff have gluten intollerance or celiac disease but have gone undiagnosed. Do your research and get your head out of your A**$ and put her back on the show.

  34. This post is quite timely for me. I find myself stuck at home today because I failed to be vigilant at a work lunch yesterday and ate something I shouldn’t have. It is so difficult trying to explain to my colleagues (and management) how crippling Celiac’s can be. I’ve shared this post with some of my co-workers in the hope that they can gain a better understanding of my constant health-related struggles.

  35. This is unbelievable. I loved Jennifer when she was on the show “Samantha Who?” and think she’s a fantastic actress. Why should she be discriminated against for having a debilitating autoimmune disorder? I support her 100% and understand, as someone who also lives with the disease, that it’s not a trivial matter. I’ll follow her work, but I’m done with CBS.

  36. I love Blue Bloods and while my enjoyment of the program has much to do with the great cast as a whole, Jennifer is a vital component of that and it will not be the same without her. This is wrong… just plain wrong. CBS should reconsider and handle the situation in a way that will make fellow celiacs see CBS as supportive. We matter.

  37. I’ve been reading articles online and I get more annoyed with each article I read.

    More clueless comments from people who think they know what Celiac Disease is.

    “Celiac Disease is just a dietary issue. What’s the big deal?”

    “All she has to do is go Gluten free. it’s not cancer”

    “So what, you just don’t eat bread. Why is she making a big deal about it?”

    UGH.

    So hard for her to fight for her own justice while so many are ignorant.

    I wish her luck and stand in support. I most definitely feel her pain as I am in the middle of a “flare” myself right now. So, much for gluten free solving all my problems.

  38. What if Jennifer was diabetic working that day with low blood sugar and then collapsed? Is CBS going to give her grief about that?

    Big misconception about Celiac Disease is that its a simple health problem and just go gf and everything will be fine. Not so simple when you go undiagnosed for 10, 20, 30 some years. Not our fault.

    I echo everyone and their comments.

    CBS The Celiac Broadcasting System Think I’ll tweet that today.

    • hehe …

      The Celiac-unaware Broadcasting System
      :)
      The Compassionless…
      The Clueless…

      I do not tweet, but if I did, i’d have a blast today………

  39. Everyone has said everything to say and so much better than I can. I just wanted to post to add my support to Jennifer and to thank Gluten Dude and to make sure CBS gets it that we support each other and I won’t be watching Blue Bloods any longer!!!!

  40. i’m glad she’s off the show, she’s forgettable & Blue Blood is a great show w/c production might be affected by her trashy drama

    if her illness is truly a factor, she should have renegotiated her contract & take the appropriate pay cut proportionate to the desired work hours she’s able to commit instead of spewing drama all over the social network

    you’re the one who’s shameless, jennifer esposito, rest assured that no network would ever give you another great opportunity because of the selfish stunt that you’ve pulled

    • Greg…perhaps you did not read my post or understand the situation. She was hired for part-time work, as that is all she knew she could commit to because of her celiac. CBS is insisting she work full-time, but is still only paying her part-time. Now they are holding her to her contract, yet not paying her.

      And let’s keep personal name calling and insults out of this.

  41. Shame, I liked the show, I thought she was a great partner.

    I know how hard it is to do anything if you’ve got the celiac fatigue.
    It can be crippling. I know they won’t care about us, but to hell with the show after the sad handling and unfair treatment of Jennifer Esposito.

    Needless to say, I’m beyond done with that show now.
    CBS too.

  42. I was backwards and forwards to my GP for years with this and that. No pills or potions seemed to make any significant difference (and who wants to rattle when they walk?). Just over 4 years ago, I started losing weight – 15lb a month for 4 months. My GP insisted I had IBS, but fortunately I had a SUPPORTIVE EMPLOYER, who kept sending me back to the doctor, until I finally got diagnosed with CD.
    Once I started the GF diet, I felt better immediately; however, I think I’m probably not quite fully healed. So many of the niggling problems are solved or getting better, and every time I reflect on the matter I can think of something that no longer bothers me that was a problem a few months ago.
    If this actress’s doctor suggests a reduced schedule to give her chance to make a proper recovery and get used to the diet (and it does need a complete mind-shift) why can’t her employer accept this? Surely, her chance of a full recovery, and therefore a return to “normal” is made more likely if her employer supports her?
    And is it LEGAL in America to stop paying someone, and at the same time prevent them from finding alternative work?

  43. I was just diagnosed a little over a month ago, and was searching to see if a restaurant we’re attending in NYC for a friend’s bachelorette party had any specific gluten-free options, when I stumbled upon this blog. I was so sad when JE left the show, but I didn’t know why! This is absurd!

  44. It was obvious from the trend of the story that CBS was about to exploit her beauty by engaging her in an affair with her married partner, Danny Reagan. Then suddenly, her character is sick and Danny is making cracks about her flimsy digestive system. Her cheeks were flushed in that extreme blush most of us would recognize.

    I love that show but that is super cruddy of CBS. I hope she gets the justice and credit she deserves.

  45. Wow…didn’t realize I was ranting on and on….as for CBS, SHAME ON YOU! She should sue you for discrimination.

    No one has any idea what it is like to suffer from Celiac Disease unless you have it. My entire body aches ALL THE TIME. Besides all of my other ailments mentioned in my response to IrishHeart, it is so very difficult to just get through one day without feeling completely exhausted. Eating gluten free helps tremendously, but there is no substitute for good health.

    CBS should give her equal pay and rehire her – she is a fantastic actress…or at least release her from her contract so she can work elsewhere. I lost job after job for numerous health reasons as well as addiction due to depression, but very few people ever gave me second chances (except my family) like they did with Charlie Sheen, Gary Busey and many other “celebrities. CBS – GIVE HER A CHANCE!!!!!!

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