In honor of today being Mrs. Gluten Dude’s birthday, I thought I’d write about the importance of spousal support for those with celiac disease.
I belong to several celiac forums and help people out where I can. I cannot tell you the number of people who do not get support from their spouses when they get diagnosed with celiac disease. It is so sad. Here are some of the complaints I hear:
“My husband says I can have a little gluten…it’s no big deal.”
“My husband constantly contaminates my gluten-free butter.”
“My husband says celiac is a media created disease.”
So two questions:
1) Why does it always seem to be the husband who lacks the compassion? Actually, don’t answer that…or if you do, be gentle.
2) What the #$%$%# are these people thinking??
Do the words “in sickness and in health” ring a bell??
When you first get the dreaded celiac diagnosis, it is absolutely overwhelming. You feel like your entire life has been overturned. And in a way, it has. Nothing will be like it once was. I still remember going grocery shopping the day after my diagnosis and all I kept thinking as I was going up and down the aisles was “I can’t have that. I can’t have that. I can’t have that. I can’t have that.” It really sux.
But if I had to do it without Mrs. Dude’s support? I cannot even imagine. Immediately, she immersed herself in education about the disease. She went out and bought separate utensils and pots and pans. She made part of the kitchen off limits to everyone but me. She labeled all of the drawers, counters, etc. “gluten free” to remind the kids and our guests. But more than anything else, she just made me feel like I was not in this alone. And because of this, it’s five years later, I’m (somewhat) healthy, I’ve never cheated and living gluten free just feels “normal” now.
But this post is not about me. It’s about YOU.
You need this type of support. If your spouse is not behind you 100%, dig deep and figure out why. It is a tough journey having celiac disease and it’s one nobody should go through alone. But to go through it while somebody in your own home is fighting it? Total BS. No, I’m not really advocating leaving your spouse. Suggesting? Maybe. But advocating…no.
But if your spouse is indeed in denial, you need to find another support system. The celiac community is indeed a wonderful group of people. Immerse yourself with them and all of the sudden, you won’t feel so alone.
Join Twitter and hashtag gluten and celiac.
Register with celiac.com and engage yourself in their forums.
Find a celiac support group in your area.
And by all means, feel free to ping me whenever you want.
I may not be your spouse, but I’m not half bad.