Dude note: To help celebrate and promote Celiac Awareness Month, I will be writing 30 blog posts over 30 consecutive days (weekends excluded) with the theme “30 Days of Helping 30 Celiacs”. Each post will be aimed toward helping one specific person or group of people. If you or someone you know needs help, guidance, advice or a shoulder to cry on, please contact me and I will do what I can to help. On the 31st day, you’re on your own. Totally kidding.
Today’s 30 for 30 blog post is for: Everyone looking for compassion. It may not be easy to find, but it’s there.
First things first…today officially kicks off Celiac Awareness Month. Please, please, please do what you can to help raise awareness. I have seen serious strides in the past year but we have a long, long way to go.
Secondly…I’m stressed. How stressed you say? Last night, I had a recurring dream that my teeth were falling out. And then I kept waking up, in my dream, happy that it was just a dream and my teeth would fall out again. This happened ALL NIGHT LONG. I was never so happy to see the break of day today. I spent the first five minutes this morning licking my teeth.
So I’m going through my emails seeing who I should help today. I have about 200 currently in my inbox. As I’m reading them, there is a consistent theme of celiacs not being taken seriously.
There’s an email from someone whose husband thinks she’s making it up to get out of going to parties/dinner with him.
There’s a woman who posted on Facebook asking for gluten-free friendly places in San Diego for an upcoming trip and was presented with a barrage of ignorant remarks (“Find a steak house and don’t eat the bread…geez people.”)
And on and on it went. Damn depressing.
But then I came across one that put a smile on my face and that’s the one I want to share today. Because dang it, we all need to smile more (as long as our teeth haven’t fallen out).
Here it is…
I’ve had the standard, “oh you can eat a bit of gluten right/my friend has a bit of that disease/etc” which has been irritating. However, this is what I want to share.
Just prior to diagnosis I had arranged to visit a friend from uni. She got in touch a few weeks before the visit date to say she had been reading up on coeliac disease and had planned a menu for our meals over the weekend – all of them gluten free – and asked me if they were ok, if I wanted anything changed.
I was so touched that she had made the effort, and that she was doing the whole weekend GF for BOTH of us. She also said that she had decided to eat gluten free for the two weeks prior to my stay so that it would all be practiced and second nature. What an AMAZING friend!
I know it’s often super annoying when people just don’t get it, but it’s also so lovely when it feels like they do!
It’s sad when compassion stands out because it’s not the norm, but I’m still so delighted to hear stories like this. It gives me hope, and like I always say, hope is a good thing.
As we continue to raise awareness, let’s hope for more stories just like this one.
Happy Celiac Awareness Month.