Hi folks. Before we kick off today’s post, a few quick Dude notes.
– Writing a blog post takes time and my time seems to be at a premium right now. So bear with me (or bare with me…which could also be fun) while my blogging pace and commenting has slowed down.
– I’m pretty active on Facebook and sometimes it can be a quick and dirty way for me to connect with the community. If you are not following me, please give it some thought. Here I am.
– I want to give a huge shout out to one of Mrs. Dude’s friends from childhood (you know who you are). She reached out to Vitamix, told them the health history of both Mrs. Dude and I and especially what Mrs. Dude is going through now, and Vitamix actually sent us one of their mixers. I am beyond grateful and I look forward to many frozen margaritas….I mean healthy smoothies and soups.
Ok…on to today’s post.
I got a great question yesterday that really got me thinking.
But in the celiac world, so many seem to talk about degrees (I guess they are talking about symptoms – ?).
Why does one celiac tell me that it’s not a big deal to eat at a buffet when the chef has said no flour was used — and all current literature says to take no such risks. Fear? Avoiding reality? Laziness??
We take no risks. Fair to say “old school” celiacs (?) seem to think that’s extreme? Would love your thoughts.
Well…I’m as old school as they come now. But let me take you back to the day I was first diagnosed, before I knew anything about the disease, except that I had it.
I remember distinctly telling Mrs. Dude that I cannot promise that I will never cheat. And boy do I remember distinctly the (well-deserved) evil eye she gave me. I had lost 15 pounds the previous year and wasn’t well and now I’m telling her I still may have gluten?? Yeah…I don’t think so.
And no…I have never cheated once.
But here’s the deal. Many people don’t have a Mrs. Dude in their lives. They don’t have a support system which I find so important with this disease because celiac is with you every second of every day. Every choice you make about what food you put into your body now dictates your health.
And when you are first diagnosed…it’s life altering. You start to think about all of the things you can no longer have. How your life is going to be so inconvenienced now. How you are losing so much freedom to just “be”.
And even though there is a ton of information out there about celiac (in addition to a ton of bad information out there…yes I’m looking at you Gluten Free Society), denial is a powerful thing.
And sadly…I believe many celiacs never get past that stage. Whether it’s a lack of discipline, a lack of a good support system or simply a lack of caring about themselves, they will fudge things.
They will drink an Omission Beer, even though there are now a handful of amazing gluten-free (not gluten-removed) beers on the market now.
They’ll harass a waiter or waitress all night long about needing to be gluten-free and then for dessert, they’ll have a gluten-filled piece of cake “just this once”.
Honestly, I have a pretty low tolerance for these kind of people. Like second hand smoke, they are not only affecting their own health, but the health of the entire celiac community, who will get taken less seriously, which increases the chance of getting glutened, which increases the chance of a lot of other health issues as well.
So in answer to your question “Why is the celiac community divided?”, it’s because people come in all shapes and sizes. Most will give the disease the respect it deserves and some won’t. It’s really just a microcosm of the society at large.
It would be so awesome if all celiacs were on the same page so I don’t have to hear comments like “My friend has celiac, but she doesn’t have it as bad as you so she cheats sometimes.” as I bang my head against the wall.
But that’s not reality. All we can do is take care of ourselves and do our best to educate those around us.
Hopefully I’ve done a bit of that today.