Celiac Rant: I’m Not a Celiac Bitch. I’m Just a Parent.

parent of a celiac child

Some rants need no introduction. Take it away GF Mama.

Dear Gluten Dude,

I love your site; informative with lots of humor.

Most days I have tons of patience and I’m eager to share my Celiac knowledge with the brain-dead know-it-all population, but today isn’t one of those days. You see I’ve spent my morning at school trying to deal with Celiac issues. I feel like a wear a cape that is visible to everyone else with a big “MB” on it for “Mega-Bitch” or maybe it should be “CB” for “Celiac Bitch”. I’m not asking for much, just a little notice and some help in setting up a safe environment at school for my child who has a life long disease that is managed by food avoidance. You help the diabetic parents. Couldn’t you be a little bit supportive for the Celiac parents? Couldn’t you be a little empathetic towards a child that’s struggling to fit in with a disease that will always make her stand out?

[Dude note: I LOVE that last line.]

I can’t understand why people think it’s ok to look at a child who they’ve just met or just found out has Celiac disease and say “OMG, I’d die without pasta and bread!” My response: “Funny enough, she’d feel like death if she ate any regular breads and pasta.” But I’m the one who is being mean and bitchy.

Or the other famous comment…“I’ve heard the bread tastes like card board?”. Yes that’s a lovely thing to say to a young teen who was diagnosed as a toddler and has no idea what “regular” food tastes like. Thanks lady. That’s really helping this kid deal with peer pressure and wanting to fit in. Way to make her feel like a freak.

Thankfully my kid has a quick retort of “God no! Why would I eat something that tastes like crap?” But she comes home and is very sad about the comment and really just wants to try regular pizza, regular cookies, and regular cake. It doesn’t matter that her friends beg me to make gluten free treats for them all to eat because the treats are amazing.

And the one from family that I’ll just never understand…“But I only gave her a little bit of my food to taste, so that’s fine.” Me: “Nope it’s not fine. She’s a Celiac and you know that. Why don’t you just eat a little poison? I’m sure you’ll be fine; after all it’s just a little bit.” You guessed it, I’m the one who crossed the line. I’m the one that should apologize. Should but can’t and won’t.

Some days I wonder what it’s like to send you kid off to school, friends houses, relatives houses and not have to pack a cooler, not have to give a list of safe foods. I wonder what it’s like to not spend the entire time worrying that something is going to go wrong and someone is actually going to think that I’d make my kid apologize for speaking up and keeping herself safe. (She’s never rude, but she doesn’t tolerate the brain-dead know-it-all idiots.)

– Another GF Mama

Well done GF Mama. Your child is in damn good hands. One of my favorite quotes is “You can’t control other people. You can only control your reactions to them.” Ignorance abounds in our world. Always has. Always will. You can either let it drag you down or you can rise above it. Or you can send me your rant, let out your frustration and move on. Like I said…well done GF Mama.

Need to Vent?

I hate celiac. You hate celiac. We all hate celiac. With all that pent up anger, people need a place to vent.

Well…I invite you to lie on the Dude’s couch (figuratively speaking) and spew away. There’s just one rule: Once you’re done venting, you need to move forward and put the negative vibes on the back burner.
Positive energy brings positive results.

Email me your anonymous rant.

Don’t you feel better already??

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15 thoughts on “Celiac Rant: I’m Not a Celiac Bitch. I’m Just a Parent.”

  1. Being a “CB…Celiac Bitch” is great because you are showing your daughter that 1. sticking to the diet is very, very important; 2. you can find ways to still be apart of “normal” activities for the most part; and 3. (and my favorite) that she has to be her own advocate for her health. Many of us (no matter the disorder) don’t learn that until later in life. So I applaud your “CB” status! Way to go! You’re going to raise a strong, confident daughter.

  2. Good for you. My family must be used to my natural sassiness, none of them are remotely interested in challenging my GF status. Or maybe they’re not assholes. Either way, this post reminds me how lucky I am.
    The wider community though…. Eeh, I think I offended someone who made me special GF cookies for a craft group I go to today.
    When she wouldn’t tell me what flour she used, well, I figured the rest of the conversation wasn’t going to be worth while, so I didn’t eat her cookies. You know, the ones she made in her super gluten filled kitchen that she regularly bakes in. Rude, right? Nah. I don’t think so and I don’t care. I’m less than 6 months since diagnosis. I don’t need that crap.

  3. Awesome job standing up for your daughter!!! I feel the same way at times standing up for myself, but I’m an adult, not a kid facing the ignorance. It sounds like your daughter does a great job standing up for herself, too. You go, GF Mama!!!

  4. Gluten and products that are Gluten free are not going to go away! Its a multi billion dollar business with continual growth. Why is it that so many people act as if it “was a diet invented last hear” therefore its just a phase and the world will get over it real soon! Why is it that all food handlers and food industry workers are not schooled for, I don’t know – at the least 5 to 10 minutes on what it is they must do upon hearing the words “I’m a Celiac and must eat gluten free, for life, not as a fad diet.”. Why is it we must literally go into survival mode for ourselves or our loved ones when it comes to food being made for, cooked for, given to us with the notion from the giver that only a little gluten won’t hurt, right? Seriously? Only a small peanut won’t hurt, right? Only a bit of e-coli in the fresh spinach won’t hurt, right? You go CB! We’re all right there with you!

  5. I love the daughter’s response to comments about the taste of gluten free food! I’ll have to use that one myself one day. At a restaurant last night I asked for a salad without Caesar dressing and croutons and the waitress’ response was “do you actually like eating like that?” Safely? Why yes, I do.

  6. I like to tell people to substitute rat poison for gluten in their ,mind when they are thinking if something is suitable for my daughter to eat. eg’ there are only a few crumbs of rat poison in the butter is it ok to eat?’ or ‘it is gluten free but it is cooked in the fryer with the rat poison – is that OK?’ it gives them a different perspective

    1. I usually save the rat poison analogy to drive home the point to the really stubborn teachers and family. You put a little rat poison on your dinner and we’ll put a little gluten in our gluten free food…then let’s see how everyone is feeling in a few days. Usually gets their attention and understanding.

  7. Miss CB, you are amazing. I went gluten free when I was 11 and there have been too many times in my life when I couldn’t eat anything at a party and instead of asking for an alternative I just didn’t eat, because I thought the adults around me would think I was faking it. (I’m 16 now and I speak from experience) having a supportive parent and somebody to back you up is the best gift you can be given. Your daughter is lucky to have such a proactive parent!

  8. This felt like reading myself speak!!! Thank you from one CB mom to another 🙂 if we don’t protect them no one else will !! Also I am one too so i know how bad my son feels when people disregard my telling them he can’t have things and give it to him any way aggrrhh and I am left to deal with the symptoms of a toddler who can’t express how bad he’s feeling.

  9. Good for you championing your child like that! People just “don’t get” this disease and you can never be too protective of your child.

    I always equate it to the flu-except in the end you die of cancer. Anything to drive home the seriousness of this disease.

  10. Ohhh I like the flu analogy. That’s one people can relate to.

    Well this CB mom is back in nearly full force dealing with the school again. I’m trying to educate the teachers politely, but I do blunt much better. If the child has a 504 and they know the food reward is not safe for her, you’d think they would contact me for safe options. Per the 504. Nope they give her the reward anyway, which becomes effectively a slap in the face for trying so hard. And could someone please help me understand why science labs are all food, which of course isn’t gluten free.

  11. I’m a teacher with Celiac. Teachers kept sending kids with bagels to my room until I had the wonderful school nurse remind admin that I need to go to the ER because one of my symptoms is severe asthma attacks, and they need to cover my room. Have your doctor write in that your daughter needs to be transported for fluids. Believe me, they care when it effects them.
    PS I was vocal about it, signs on my door, etc. You’d be surprised how many KIDS were happy to see an adult with food safety issues. Grown-ups, speak out, you are modelling advocacy when you least expect it

    1. Rojo, I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be a teacher and have food allergies or Celiac disease. Hopefully the school and parents are more supportive now.

  12. Well done GF mama. You’re not a bitch, you’re doing your job and you’re doing it great.

    I’m being tested for CD and if I get diagnosed all get my kids tested asap, especially my 4 yr old who has food triggered excema, gets tummy upsets and tells me his tummy and/or back hurts when he eats some foods (some days all he’ll eat is fruits), he’s also extremely skinny despite how much he eats (he’s just turned 4 and he wears the same trouser, waist, as his 2 yr old brother), but is very tall for his age and is always hungry (I mean always, within 30 mins of a meal he’ll be asking for more, he’s even taking to sneaking and hiding food, which was something I used to do as a kid). If he has Celiac then I would be just as vexed as you if someone gave him food that will hurt him.

    I remember when he was smaller, still in nappies, whenever he ate sweets or any kind of processed or fastfood he would get a horrid nappyrash that would look like someone had poured acid on his poor bum. I’d tell people not to give him anything processed or sweets, I’d say just give him fruit as he loves it. But family would still give him sweets, cakes, busicuits, etc. cos they felt ‘guilty’ not giving to him when their own kids were having some. They weren’t the ones to have to clean and care for his bleeding and blistered bottom the following day. So one time we stayed with family for a weekend, on the first night I let them give him a small amount of processed foods and then I made sure that they all saw his bum the next day and heard him crying (hell, he was screaming and it wasn’t even his worse rash) when I cleaned him up. They’ve never repeated it since. I felt horrid letting my lad get hurt again, but I knew it would happen anyway (cos they used to give him stuffs when I wasn’t in the room, like I was just being a meanmum or something), better to make sure it was a small amount and that they saw why I was serious. It’s not been repeated and no one has given my 2nd born this issue either.

    I’d rather be a bitch mum and keep my kids healthy, then let them grow up to have my problems. I love them too much for that and as mums its our jobs to protect them from anything, even food, that might hurt them.

  13. I see this post was from a while ago… but honestly, amen sister. You said it. It is so infuriating feeling like you are the only one who understands the importance of your child’s dietary needs. I worked at a school where i would witness them constantly over looking those needs. Even my own GF dietary needs were scoffed and made fun of. People have absolutely no empathy. I have friends who say I ‘obsess’ over this subject a little ‘too’ much, yet they clearly don’t understand the impact it can have on me if I screw up even the tiniest, because it’s not just gluten, I’m sensitive to many things as a result. It’s totally bogus. My father always thought I was just a lazy kid. My friends think I talk too much about it, and others think “ok… cool. So you have celiacs, just move on with your life”- Because obviously it’s that easy. I’m tempted to homeschool my child, because I have no faith in the public schools anymore, and I have no support from anyone outside of my daughter and her father, who both know that I have tried very hard to make this connection and to figure this out. As such I feel as though I am truly walking this path alone. This journey is difficult with no other celiacs to share it with, and the folks who I’m convinced have celiacs, refuse to consider getting tested. Loved the rant. Can totally relate.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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