I just woke up from my Thanksgiving food coma. Let me know if I missed anything.
While I LOVE getting emails from all of my fellow celiacs, there’s something special about receiving one from someone who’s much younger than I am. It’s a reminder that this crappy disease affects people of all ages and it’s always enlightening to hear experiences and advice from young adults.
I received the following email from a young woman with a bright future ahead of her. While I never share names from those who email me, I am making an exception is this case. Her first name is Celiac and her last name begins with C. That’s right Celia C. You can’t make this stuff up.
Anyway, here’s some wonderful advice from an awesome celiac.
I’m 14 and your blog has been the most helpful Celiac resource for me since I was diagnosed in April of 2012. I underwent countless tests, and was turned away by countless doctors before somebody decided to give a darn about my problems. I was finally diagnosed with celiac, IBS, GERD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. All of these problems were the effect of constant misdiagnosis.
Despite being an on an extremely strict gluten free diet, I’ve suffered with symptoms far past diagnosis(warning: rant ahead).
I had an incident at Wendy’s just a few days ago. Generally, Wendy’s is my “safe” fast good place, as long as the workers change their gloves before handling my plain meat patty in a container (gourmet, right?) My brother explained this to the staff the other day as he ordered my usual for me.
What did we get? Well, the plain burger. On a bun. No gloves changed. My brother called them out and the incompetent worker went to her manager who, thinking we weren’t paying attention, TOOK THE BUN OFF THE PATTY, put it in a container, and gave it to me. My brother, needless to say, freaked out. And even after getting a replacement, my anxiety took over and I felt sick over eating it anyway.
Now, I’m already a teenager that seriously has the health of an old woman. I certainly don’t need a moron to mess up VERY specific directions and make me even more sick. I was angry, and mortified at the attention I had drawn.
I’m sorry if this has gone to a pity party, but I just want to warn the public to always keep a watchful eye. Some people are extremely ignorant to the struggles we face. It’s sad that people my age and younger have to think about cross contamination among other things. (For example, I want to work for the FBI when I’m older and it pains me to imagine how I could ever manage doing so in a health state like the one I’m in now).
I hope this can help someone, anyone. To realize that we are all in this one together, and that no matter what the age of the Celiac, our struggles are more similar than anything.
Thanks for listening to my rant. Hope all is well!
Such a great letter. Since you were so cool sharing your advice, I’ll share some of mine with you:
- Don’t give up on your dream of working for the FBI. The fact that you have a dream at your age is so friggin’ awesome. At 14, my dream consisted of talking to a girl without breaking into a cold sweat. I’d say you’re one step ahead of me.
- Smart move not eating the burger. It’s never worth it.
- We all need to be diligent no matter where we eat, but eating at a fast food joint is even more of a risk. Tread carefully.
- Very cool that your brother has your back like that. Give him a fist-bump for me.
- Keep spreading the celiac word. We need people like you in our community.
Happy Tuesday everyone!