This is Tara’s Gluten-Free Love Story…
Hey Gluten Dude! Thanks for the opportunity to share with the gf world how truly special my non-gf spouse really is.
About 5 years ago, just a few months after Paul and I were married, I became extremely ill. I’d never been exactly hearty and hale, and had struggled with digestive issues for years, but things took a dramatic turn for the worse to the point where I could barely function anymore. My new husband was there for me through thick and thin, even turning his whole world upside down for me, leaving the city and his job to move out to the country, in hopes of reducing my stress and improving my condition.
After 2 years and endless doctors, we finally found someone who had a clue, diagnosed my very severe autoimmune thyroid condition and immediately took me off all gluten. Within a matter of weeks I had my life back. It’s still a daily challenge to keep everything in balance, but as long as I’m super careful about not getting glutened, I’m an actual, productive, functioning human being. My health practitioner says there’s a very high likelihood that I am also celiac, based on my symptoms, reactions, and health history, but I am unwilling to make myself deathly ill for 3 months and make my antibodies go insane, just to have a test that will tell me I have to be gluten free for life, which I am, anyway!
But back to the man of the hour…my husband went totally gf along with me for the first year or so, to help make the transition easier on me. After I got over the shock, I told him it was okay if he wanted to partake when we’re out and about. But he still eats and drinks gf the majority of the time, and if there’s something he’d reaaaaally like to have, he usually checks in with me to make sure it’s cool. As soon as we get home, he brushes his teeth to make sure I don’t get any unintended contamination in a romantic moment 😉
He is religious about keeping our house as totally gf as possible, and if my mother or grown daughter (who both just moved in with us!) brings something in, he gives them the lecture and keeps an eye out to make sure they follow the protocols, use the approved pots and pans, and clean up after themselves.
He gets as excited as I do about finding great new gf products and places. We recently spent a little time in Portland, Oregon (my first time there…gf heaven!). And we had a blast going to Groundbreaker Brewing for dinner (gf IPA nirvana) and Petunias for breakfast. He was positively giddy at all of the safe gf options.
He is very protective and much more aggressive than I when we go to restaurants. I do ask and inquire, but being a bit shy, I’m more on the trusting side and don’t push and investigate as much as I probably should. But he’ll get right in there and ask a thousand questions and talk to the chef to make sure I’m safe.
He keeps me in check, as well. There are times, especially when traveling in areas without good gf options, when I’m so tired of living on my energy bars and sunflower seeds, and I want to just take a chance that a meal will be safe. But he doesn’t let me get away with it and lovingly helps me remember the dire consequences.
And through it all he’s been an upbeat ray of sunshine. He’s never looked back, only forward at how we could make the best of our new life circumstances. He’s never groaned or griped about all we can’t have or do anymore (we used to practically live at craft beer festivals). I pretty much don’t have an iota of an idea how I would have made it through the last few years without his staunch support and loving loyalty. So here’s a toast (gf IPA, of course!) to Paul, my incredibly supportive gluten free pillar of strength!