Welcome to Episode 4 of Dear Gluten Dude where I answer emails sent to me from the gluten-free community regarding a whole range of topics. Today we’re talking about the frustration of a new celiac diagnoses, well meaning friends who say the wrong things and a future spouse who feels inconvenienced by his wife-to-be’s new disease.
As always, no sponsors here but I do have a mobile created specifically for the celiac community that I promise you will help you live a much better gluten-free life. Check it out at GlutenDude.app. Ok…on to the inbox.
“Thank you so much for the candid website. I am partially diagnosed, meaning my numbers were high but I have to wait four to eight weeks for the biopsy to come back, but they were high enough that the doctor said it’s most likely Celiac disease. I will only receive dietician support and resources once that comes back.
This journey has been so, so frustrating. Hearing well-meaning family members tell me “it’s healthier.” and “You’ll get super fit.” and “There’s plenty of GF options out there!” just adds on to the frustration.
Having a fiancé who is supportive until he HAS to cook dinner on his cooking nights, otherwise I’d have nothing to eat that’s safe the next day, is disheartening. While if he doesn’t cook, he can pick something up at any restaurant and eat pasta that will reheat the next day. Basically he’s supportive until it’s an inconvenience. I have felt incredibly alone, bitter and downright angry over this diagnosis.
Thank you SO much for this website. It’s refreshing to have someone finally state how I’ve been feeling. Yes, it’s great to have a diagnosis, but it’s overwhelming. Nobody in my life understands the frustration. I have ordered your book, and will continue to find support from this website.”
Wait a minute. You have to wait 4 to 8 weeks for your biopsy to come back? Did you get your biopsy taken on Mars? What in the world is wrong with our health care system?
Anyway, I hear you on the frustration and you are not alone. I have received tons of these types of emails over the years from people just like you. Getting diagnosed is an absolutely overwhelming experience and you have every right to feel the way you do. Your entire life has been uprooted. Not only do you have to watch every morsel of food that goes into your mouth, but there is the issue of cross-contamination, the lack of eating out spontaneously, the extra expenses…am I making you feel better yet?
My point is, while ALL these things get easier as you adapt to your new life (I swear they do), what you are feeling now is REAL. And it’s normal. You don’t need to explain it to people and you sure as hell don’t need to apologize for it.
I have a page on my glutendude.com website titled “Advice for the Newly Diagnosed” and it’s 36 pieces of amazing advice from 36 different people who have been in your shoes. It’s things that I wish I knew when I was diagnosed. It would have made my transition so much easier. I will leave the link in the transcript of this podcast on my site and it’s also one of the first sections of my book when you receive it.
As for your well meaning family and friends, I wouldn’t be too tough on them. They honestly have no idea what you are going through with your new diagnosis and my guess is that their just TRYING to say the right things. And failing may I add, but at least they’re trying. But boy do we all know that going 100% gluten-free has NOTHING to do with “getting fit” or “losing weight”. I gained 15 pounds my first year of celiac. Why? Because my intestines were finally absorbing nutrients and I wasn’t slowly starving my body. That and the fact that I ate all of the crappy replacement foods in the beginning; gluten free pizza, gluten free bread, gluten free cookies. You get the picture and that is a podcast for another day.
Now…I don’t wanna play marriage counselor here, especially since you’re not even married yet, and this is absolutely none of my business, but I see a big old red flag with your fiancée, who already feels your very serious autoimmune disease is an inconvenience. You are going to have this disease for life. I know…it sucks. But choose your partner wisely. And that goes for everyone who is listening out there.
I’m not sure what I would’ve done without Mrs. Dude. The day of my diagnosis, she was more on board than even I was. She immediately scoured the kitchen, purchased new kitchen items for me, created a completely gluten-free zone that was off limits to my kids, who were 12 and 9 at the time and then gave me the death stare when, after being sick for over a year before my diagnosis, I said I couldn’t guarantee that I will stay on the diet 100% of the time. Yeah…not smart. And as a side note, no I’ve never cheated.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery.”
Wishing you a healthy and wonderful celiac journey. Any questions, you know where to find me.
And that’s a wrap of Episode 4 of Dear Gluten Dude and I thank you for listening. If you’ve got questions about living with celiac disease, send me an email and I’m more than happy to help. Just head on over to glutendude.com and send me a message and who knows it may even become its own podcast episode. And please do not forget to check out my mobile app over at glutendude.app. Eat safely. Save money online. Find gluten-free beer. Connect with others. If you’ve got celiac disease, this app will make your life better. I promise.
Til next time my gluten-free friends.