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: Those who continue to focus on the food they are losing instead of their health they are gaining.
I’ve always said that dealing with celiac is so much about your attitude. It’s quite easy to fall into the “I can’t eat that…this sucks” trap.
And while it’s ok in the beginning to mourn the loss of your old life (because it IS a big change), the best thing any newly diagnosed celiac can do is mourn then move on. The quicker the better.
I use the phrase “positive energy” with my kids a lot. I’m a big believer that positive energy brings positive results.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…IT’S ONLY FOOD. At the end of the day, if you have to choose between a slice of pizza and feeling groovy, I’ll take groovy every single time.
Here’s a great email I received from someone who lost her childhood due to undiagnosed gluten issues and has turned her life completely around. And she wants absolutely no pity from anybody.
It’s a beautiful thing.
First of all, reading this blog has confirmed for me that I am not crazy. Gluten caused me to miss out on my childhood, because I didn’t even find out that I was allergic until I was twenty. The damage had already been done. Elementary school through high school was full of seizures, countless doctor visits and an extreme case of ADD. My immune system wasn’t working and I was highly malnutrition-ed. I had teachers who were convinced that I was anorexic. Graduating from high school was seriously a miracle. I have had every test done at the hospital, I was even in the hospital on 9/11/01 (an EEG test). They found nothing. I didn’t have a brain tumor and they couldn’t diagnose me with epilepsy. I was just a chronic sick kid with no hope.
…then one day a real miracle happened. I stopped taking my meds and turned my back on doctors. I went to a nutritionist who told me that it was all related to my allergy to gluten and dairy. So you know what I did? What any desperate person would do…I gave up gluten that day and never turned back. Everyone thought I was crazy and that it all had to be in my head…but after three months of detoxing the poison I had been eating my whole life, I finally found out what it felt like to not be sick. It was amazing.
Then I went for a month without being sick…and then two… and then three. I didn’t have anymore seizures. I went back to college and actually succeeded! I was able to focus. My life did a complete 180. Finding out that I was allergic to gluten was the biggest blessing I could think of. It knocks taking 13 pills every morning out of the water.
It is because of this wild journey that I get upset when people tell me my life must suck because I can’t eat this and that…and oh goodness…you can’t eat cheese cake? Yes…well, but I can function now! Take that!
Sure I don’t eat out as much anymore (and dinner dates are ALWAYS a bad idea)… but I have become a killer cook and I can make gluten free deserts that my friends think are actually better than the “real thing”.
I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, I want them to be happy for me. I can finally live my life now… and it is a beautiful thing. I am a Celiac, not a freak 🙂
44 thoughts on “I am a Celiac, Not a Freak, So Don't Feel Sorry for Me”
Absolutely Groovily Marvelous!
I LOVE THIS. Great attitude and outlook. I choose to think and feel this way too. Good for you! Glad you’re feeling better. The best is ahead!
Thats just how I feel at the moment.
Good girl, enjoy life now that you have one!
So many great comments in this letter. Perhaps none more significant than the statement about learning to cook! If there is one thing every CD can do to better their lives it is to learn to cook or hire a personal chef who has CD. esp. Love the part where friends and family comment on how something tastes better than the real thing, LOL, it is the real thing! Just a different recipe, just a different recipe:)
It’s like the old saying goes – life is 1% what happens to you and 99% about how you deal with what happens to you. Great attitude and great post! 🙂
Very true & dealing with this with my family for the first time. Traveling home for the first time since “I got this” & mom with “need to buy groceries what can you eat” was actually kind of funny.
Mom its simple anything that’s baked, has flour or package says flour or wheat are completely out. To stock up: baked potato, apples, peanut butter, refried beans, salad kit without croutons & that’s pretty much It till I get there. I can for sure get by on all those things & can find places once i get there. I hear this big sigh…”I know where to find all those things” is what I hear.
Yeah mom I eat real food found in the real store, its easier than my brother or family holidays “ma I got this”. 🙂 🙂 how nice is it to be able to say that?
Gluten Dude, you know, if celiac didn’t suck there’d be no need for a blog like this, or support networks, or bakeries run by your friends, or gluten awareness functions, etc.
i am very happy for those who just turn that frown upside down and make the best of having to separate themselves from friends and family and just about every possible social function and work gathering. way to make GF lemonade from gluten-y lemons! i’m thrilled you’ve adjusted to it all so well.
not all of us do.
but ignoring the very real struggle so many of us go through and pooh-poohing anyone who isn’t singing “happy” every day is insulting, polarizing and incredibly unsupportive. you’ve taken on the role of community leader, yet you want to imply that anyone who isn’t embracing the joys of GF living is doing it MORALLY wrong, or is somehow a fundamentally lesser person. people who are struggling are the ones who MOST need community support – not shame and subtle insults and an us vs them mentality. (like we don’t already have that on pizza day at work, or at every family gathering, or at community potlucks, or at holidays gatherings, etc.)
so kudos, GD, for yet another holier-than-thou dig at the struggling celiacs. i’m sure your cheerleaders will chime in right behind you with more shame and insults. meanwhile, the people who are struggling will still struggle, and have yet another avenue of potential support closed to them because they dare to acknowledge that yes, celiac really does suck – because it’s way more than “just food.”
Yikes…if you think this is a “celiac is great” blog, then you must be new here. My gosh, I even have an entire section devoted to celiac rants. http://glutendude.com/category/celiac-rant/
I’ve said over and over again how much this disease sucks.
I do my best to keep it balanced. If I harp on the negative too much, I get hell. If I focus on the positive, I get hell.
What’s a Dude to do?
My best…like I always have and always will.
But honestly…you have me pegged wrong.
Ok justagirl hands on your head & step away from the gluten rage…this too shall pass.
No one is selling lemonade & that’s certainly not disney birds that fly out our butts. Several of us have been on this journey a lot longer. Small victories like my mother not being a drama queen making this disease all about her & my business trip where i get to see her A LOT more stressful is a victory worth celebrating.
In the beginning small victories like only visiting the toilet 10 times is a big deal. Finding your decadence (mine has always been chocolate) that’s safe is worthy of a little store asile dance the first time. This is a process & takes time. In a year you will find more humor in your own statements than you do now…stay the course this does get better!!
Before I sign off for the day and take my Dad to his eye dr appt., I had to tell you how much your spunk reminds me of one of my best friend’s “pistol packing momma/grandma” who at 89 has not lost any of her spunk mostly because of spending her life in between Houston and Dallas.
Most grown men are afraid (and should be) of her still today.
It must be something in the water (or I guess could be in the tequila – not to offend you) in Texas. You made me laugh before and you did again today.
GD knows how much it sucks. He has repeatedly said that on this blog. But sometimes you really do have to be appreciative of the fact that as persons with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity, we can really make a difference in our health.
Trust me, I travel a lot, and it would be so very much easier to just drive through and eat while moving than to get out the cooler, grab something I have to sit still to eat with a fork and then force myself to move on… but I’m able to do so because I’m not in the bathroom for half the day.
And yes, four years later, I do still want those Twizzlers. Every time I see them. I just know better than to give in to that desire. (And yes, I DO still sniff the baked goods. (Call me a bad Celiac – go ahead.)
I’m sorry you are still suffering so much. I really am. I wish I could make it easier for you. But this blog has sometimes been the only bright spot in my day. And yes, there are times when I skip and scroll… the subject matter either doesn’t apply, or annoys the hell out of me. But don’t we all have to do that sometimes?
“This blog has sometimes been the only bright spot in my day. And yes, there are times when I skip and scroll… the subject matter either doesn’t apply, or annoys the hell out of me.”
Pretty much sums up the blog 😉
I hadn’t planned on commenting again today until I read your comments. However I needed to comment to support you and GDude.
I said “Absolutely Groovily Marvelous!” above because we need to rejoice some to give us strength to endure the feelings and emotions Celiac is attacking you with today. We are each in different places from time to time and we are here to experience the comfort of friends trudging through the same old slog together, to learn and to have an outlet. Celiac is a brutal disease – never in my wildest dreams did I believe something could make me be disappointed I woke up alive in the morning – but Celiac makes me feel that way more than I care to admit. It is really a brutal disease.
So I fully understand how you feel; however, I can’t encourage your words that are simply not true like your last 2 paragraphs today. Your words are not true regarding GDude or the others in this community. I have only been here since February and I have not come close to reading all of the insightful and encouraging info here even as much time as I have spent on this website. It is full of gold and you really should keep mining here as much as your time permits.
I am a GDude cheerleader because of how GDude and this website and our fellow celiac/NCGI community treat us and support us here. As I’ve said many times since I found this site in February, the support and encouragement here means more than I can put into words.
I hope you can work past your emotions today and I encourage you to give it your best efforts. We really do care, and although we’re mostly GDude cheerleaders here, we certainly will not “chime in with shame and insults” against a fellow sufferer.
I really enjoyed the positive post today after trying to defend GDude this weekend against serious wrongful allegations made against GDude. Not that GDude needs me to defend him, but it is helpful sometimes to have someone other than yourself or your family defend you against wrongful attacks you don’t deserve. It was worth my time because GDude and this community have helped me so very much.
Celiac and your emotions will get better and GDude and this community are here to help if you let us.
Thanks Hap 🙂
Justagirl, I can relate to your comment, being a Celiac who definitely isn’t “all better” sans gluten. Celiac has left a ton of damage in its wake. But you do have GD pegged wrong, he definitely has his dark days with this disease. My hope for you is that you would begin to hit some less cloudy days yourself. CD can suck and finds its way to remind us of that daily. I totally relate to that feeling of “everyone else gets better, I am worse” stuff. But I agree with whoever commented before that just stay the course… I always say that I am married to Celiac and while it’s never a honeymoon, it isn’t always a death needs to part us marriage either. Again, hoping that you get some cloud clearance soon.
Beautifully stated Kara…thanks.
well, I can only speak for myself here, but what I have found is a place where I can get real life help in dealing with this. Stressing the positive? you betcha! and I need to hear that to remind me that not everyone is a total a** about this issue out there 🙂
I personally have been slammed in restaurants, slammed by my family, told that I am nuts and following a fad blah blah blah ad nauseam (no one actually listens to the fact that I was diagnosed by biopsy after most of a lifetime of gastric hell not to mention the other cute little effects of the disease that I have/had) (In fact the odd person who has been witness to the she’s nuts but we try our best to indulge her scenario that I am in with some family members has just about fallen out of their chair in surprise when I mention the biopsy results – and you can see the wheels turning as they reassesss the bunch of idiots I am surrounded with at times – interesting when that happens alright 🙂 )
I need the positive reinforcement and the “unicorn and rainbows” attitude that some of GD’s posts provide to remember that there are people who understand out there, and that positivity is one of the important survival tools in your warchest because a lot of the time you are just drowning in negativity out there and need every lifeline you can get.
Overall he is a realist, and a terrific resource for the personal journey we all have to make. He and I have disagreed on more than one thing and never have I felt disrespected or bad in any way about having a different opinion which I have no qualms about stating.
Oh, and the friend with the bakery that he promotes, well, if you look into it a bit further that woman had her life as she knew it destroyed by celiac, and from the ashes is building this – a great example to follow. A good reminder that good can come of this for yourself and others. Maybe we can’t all do it on her scale, but we can all improve our little corner of the world.
I need the reminder that some days you just plaster that smile on your face and get out there! and the help in finding the strength to do it! I find that here, and I suspect that many others do too. This blog is a gift, and we all take what we need from here and I (and I suspect that I have a lot of company) thank him immensely for doing it.
Thanks GD for being you, and being balanced in what you are putting out there. Helps a lot of us find ours. 🙂
Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, etc.etc.!!!
Well dang Joanna, that just brought a tear to my eye. Giving you a big virtual hug.
Justagirl, I can guarantee you that we are all struggling with this on a daily basis and have no intention of shaming you. There’s not one of us here who hasn’t thought, felt, or said everything you expressed in your post about this disease. If you take nothing else away from what I’m saying, please take this – you can’t let it steal all your joy! If it does, there’s no point in staying on the diet and fighting to stay healthy.
I still feel like crap a lot of the time, but I’m at least healthy enough now to take care of my two little munchkins and I get to watch them grow and thrive every day. When everything else is crashing down on me, I try to remember that and I refuse to let this disease steal these memories from me or them. Not to mention that I also have an awesome and supportive husband who goes above and beyond to make sure I stay healthy and helps out so much with the kids when I don’t feel well. I owe it to them as well as myself to stay positive and keep going. I’m not going to tell you it’s easy to stay positive, but you’re only hurting yourself if you don’t try.
You really do have GD and this community all wrong. We know it’s not easy and are here to support each other however we can. If you can’t see that and choose not to stick around, then I sincerely hope you do find the kind of support you’re looking for.
Justagirl You must not read his posts because everyone talks about how having celiac sucks on this site, including GD. But the one contant componant is always the same theme….I used to be sick…and now I’m well. This letter writer is focusing on that one point and it is a lesson we can all learn from. Her celiac still sucks, but her attitude doesn’t.
I’m sorry you’re going through a rough period. I am, too. Some days it is “just food” and other days it’s completely not. I’m struggling so much lately that I”m going to a support group this week. First time.
You’re not alone, not by a long stretch.
Justagirl – I’m sorry you are having a really hard time right now. We have all been there too. After my diagnosis I had a difficult time adjusting. I didn’t feel better, my “friends” were convinced it was a convenient excuse for anorexia, I was in a small town with no resources available to me (the nutritionist told me it was okay to cheat), and I was mad, angry, livid. It took a full year for me to actually feel somewhat better and a decade later, it’s still really tough. There’s time every single day where I think about the injustice of the disease and I wish bad things upon my gut. But it doesn’t make anything better.
There are people who follow GD who are also mad at the world and he gives them an outlet but he also wants people to make the best of their situation. We have a sucky disease. But it’s not going to define who we are unless you let it. GD makes a good punching bag but your anger isn’t directed at the right person. We are all here to help each other, cry on each other’s cyber shoulders, and debate the injustices we wrongly face.
If you feel like he’s harsh on the cheaters, it’s because they really do make it that much harder. Even a crumb of gluten gives me unbelievable diarrhea while more than a crumb makes me projectile vomit. When celiacs/NCGS people don’t take their health seriously, neither will anyone else. So he might be harsh but it’s only because he wants you to be healthy!
Sorry for the long rambling… Hope this helps someone 🙂
My saying is “I am making lemonade!” Celiac is the lemons, so sour. Choosing best of it can make it sweet. I have to carry food around all the time – sour. Recently on a trip we had to wait forever at a restaurant and eventually left there without eating. Everyone else was starving and grumpy and I just dug into my handy food bag. SWEET! (I had plenty of snacks and did offer to share but they all kept refusing.). Yesterday instead of lemonade I made these which ROCKED!!!! mywholefoodlife.com/2014/04/27/flourless-salted-caramel-chocolate-chip-cookies/#more-8376
I know I keep sharing this site I promise I am not affiliated in any way. I just want you all to make loaned with me!
sometimes I feel like celebrating that this disease has a cure, albiet it sometimes difficult to implement and sometimes I feel like,whining about it. That’s life.
Great rant/post. I think JAG (justagirl) needs to focus on having a diagnosis so that she can live her life. Albeit, yeah it sucks but it is liveable. It’s doable. Note to JAG, I am not exactly the cheerleader type but I do champion someone who can take their disease and make the best of it. Maybe you should try it.
“You got to live with what you can’t rise above. ”
One of my favorite BS quotes…
Yes! I really needed to read this injection of positivity today. I’m in my 40s, recently diagnosed, and still mourning my childhood & young adulthood for everything I lost from being so sick. “Let go or be dragged” as the saying goes.
I for one was happy to read a positive post today. Not having a great few days myself, this put a spring in my mental step. I don’t especially have a support group or a significant other, and am incredibly grateful to have found GDudes blog…you do an awesome job covering so many topics! and this community. Don’t know how I was doing it all without you for so long and I still consider myself a newbie here even though I’ve read so much trying to catch up. So many good points above with a special shout out to Hap, Kara, Joanna, Jersey Girl..perfect Springsteen quote, and Musicmidget, what a good reminder about Life, 1%…and 99%. It applies to many other areas beyond CD. Juniper…Let go or be dragged, so relevant again not only to CD but other things as well. Justagirl, there are “those days” that happen to us all. Give the site a chance and check out how much is available. You’ve definitely got GD pegged wrong. Don’t know if I can attach this video but my son sent it to me when he knew I was going through a rough time. I had already listened to it twice today before I read this post..in between running in and out of the bathroom. http://youtu.be/MqFn0-9b-lg
Mary, I hope things continue to look up for you. Glad we can be a support system. 🙂
Thanks Music 🙂
Here is the only quirk. A dietitian cannot diagnose it. A gastroenterologist, a surgeon, hell probably your primary could. If your tests were all normal and then one day someone just puts wording out there contradicting the physical findings. Doesn’t mean anything. My tests were always negative to. (And) until they finally came out positive, we kept on pushing along. I could say your psycho, but that doesn’t mean its true. You may not even have true celiac sprue disease. You might just have “allergies”. A weak immune system. Just my input. But, good for you. It took 30 + years for me to be diagnosed. I think your making it sound a lot easier than it is. Celiac isn’t something to celebrate. To me, it means you did something wrong in life (or) god just doesn’t like you. No one deserves it (or) should have to just up and change their life. It ruins lives. It ruins marriages and relationships period. But. Please enjoy giving up the cheesecake and being different from everyone else. my hope in life, is to one day be the same as everyone else and be normal. Sounds to me w/out either a real diagnosis or just in attitude. Your wanting to not fit in and be different. I w/ rather die happy and normal. Being like everyone else, than die different, and depressed because I had to give up my life and all that I knew.
My heart is broken for you that you had to give up your life and all that you knew. After 30 yrs of law practice, I understand your misery. I could share many similar situations endured by many wonderful people during the course of my practice. The quality of the person is not determined by the harshness of their circumstances in life.
This is not a “religious” site and I don’t want to impose my beliefs upon you or anyone else here; however, I could not ignore your plight. The gentleman who left an indelible mark on my life died after enduring liver cancer for 18 yrs. One particular day, he was so very sick that he had to rest his forehead on the kitchen table while he told me what I needed to do to help him. His last comment was that he wanted to make sure he glorified Christ with his actions. Let me tell you, he not only glorified Christ with his life but also in his death. I’ll never forget him and the mark he left on my life as long as I live.
Celiac is not your punishment for doing something wrong in life and it certainly is not an indication that God does not like you. The verse that immediately jumps out to me was written by Peter, the disciple who publicly denied Jesus 3 times and then was charged by Jesus with a responsibility tremendously important to the establishment of the eternal destinations of innumerable people:
1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Based on your comments, I would encourage you to “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you” as soon as possible. You will most likely be very surprised with the results. If you don’t know how to do this or don’t have someone in your hometown who can help you, please let me know and I will try to help you if I can.
My schedule is pretty overwhelmed as it is, but I will trust we can find a way to help you if necessary. After my retina surgery today, I’m typing this with one eye squinted shut and I can barely see out of my “good” eye so I must stop now, but if I’m able, I’ll check back tomorrow. My torn retina and surgery today was not punishment for anything, our physical limitations are just the results of our current physical bodies that are finite. However, our spirits are infinite and God has specifically detailed His plans for our futures, if we are interested enough to cast our cares on Him.
I hope you can find some relief soon.
PS GDude, this is your website and I will respect your wishes. If my comments cause you any problems, please let me know and I will stop immediately.
I just wish I could give everyone who’s having a bad day a gluten free dairy free bumpy cupcake (mini bumpy cake) from Rumi’s Passion GF bakery in the Detroit area. Some days when I’m buying my bread and piecrusts I just.have.to.have.one (especially when my kids are not with me to see Momma swoon over chocolate). It makes me feel like a regular person (b/c face it, we don’t eat out much anymore!), and Things are Good.
And I didn’t even have debilitating fibromyaglia before going gluten and dairy free 2 years ago. But I am thrilled enough at greatly minimizing my symptoms of 20 years that I’d never go back (husband was the first to notice my increased stamina). Can I explain it well enough for a medical journal? No, but I know it works, and I suppose it helps to have validation that I can figure my body out from my ENT/allergist (for my environmental allergies,mostly). When I wondered why I’d sometimes get an itchy eczema-like rash, he said I was having a delayed reaction to something. He agreed that it could be soy, and to let him know when I figured it out (it was).
I suppose life is often what you make of it. Hand over the (dairy free, dark, 70% cocoa) chocolate and no one gets hurt. St. John’s Wort doesn’t hurt, either!
…neither does Tito’s 😉
Thanks for reminding me of a great Tito memory. I just took my Dad for his retina appt and i ended up with laser surgery for retinal tear. Got to be a world record for retinal tear, self diagnosis, Dr diagnosis and laser repair. Doc said good I spoke up & good he agreed to see me. Amen to that. Celiac is bad enough, but not being able to see would add to the degree of difficulty. So if bad spelling it’s cause I can’t see from either eye much yet while I’m waiting on Mrs Hap to drive me home.
Last summer before I got pretty sick again while I was trying to recover from surgery, our fine Directir of the 19th Hole, Dr Shelby, concocted me one of his Tito Specials. I was striking it like Lee (Trevino), putting like Big Jack (Nicklaus) and drinking Tito by Dr Shelby. All 5 of us shot a 70! What a day! Hope those days return this year
Dude – take a sip of Tito for me please while I sit here waiting not able to see much.
Hap, hope you are okay. Your words ring still in my heart from a few days back. Take care, extra prayers for you now. Please be well. Your way of accepting all of this with such grace and humor never goes unnoticed.
Lighthouse – thanks so very much!
Did you see the very last comment that day, which I posted about your pistachio meal? I wondered if you saw it and if it made a difference for you.
Please let me know if you have time.
Hap, yes I took your advice and got almond meal and the cookies tasted even better! I was with docs since the last time. But getting the panics under control and GI doc in 2 days for more info and help. I will think of everyone here and especially your bravery and joy for life.
Very glad to hear and will keep prayers going for you.
Thanks, just can’t seem to get centered, in mind or body.
Lighthouse, I fully understand. 2 encouraging scriptures immediately come to mind:
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
I really can’t add any encouragement to those words except they sure do work for me and I’ve personally seen these words when taken to heart change lives in the most unbelievable ways.
I’m glad that the writer can see the positive in her diagnosis. I’m very thankful I’ve found the cause of the issues I’d been having and that for the most part, I’m doing much better. However, I agree with those who are having a tough time too and that it goes so much deeper than “just food”. Cross-contamination is what makes living this way a total nightmare for me. I sent this in an e-mail to a friend earlier today, and it was depressing reading back over it before I sent it.
“Mom called and said she’s fixing hot dogs and hamburgers for tonight. I probably won’t eat the hot dogs because I don’t know if the pot she cooked them in was thoroughly cleaned. She said she washed it in the sink with a clean rag, but I told her I’m not sure if that actually gets rid of all the gluten. She’s going to microwave the hamburgers on paper plates. I’ll probably eat a hamburger with some chips that haven’t been opened or touched yet. I have a banana at home I can eat afterwards. I just hope I can make it through unscathed.”
I went to my parents’ before church tonight, and I found out when I got there that everyone had already eaten. Mom helped me fix my plate, but I ate at the table by myself. I went home soon after so I could take care of some things before church. Later on, I started feeling a little “meh”, so I’m not sure if I might have been glutened or not. I don’t think I’ve quite worked out how I react to trace gluten yet. Heck, I could have eaten by myself at home and at least have had a safe meal. 🙁