In a word? UGLY.
A little background first for those new to the blog. I got diagnosed about four years ago with severe celiac disease. On day 1 of my diagnosis, I went gluten-free and never looked back. Actually, that’s not true. I looked back a lot; but never gave in to temptation.
Fast forward 3.5 years. I am out with Mrs. Gluten Dude at a sushi restaurant to remain nameless. (But if I were to give it a name, I would call it A-1 Sushi in Langhorne PA.)
Now as most of you celiacs know, going to a new restaurant is an adventure in fear and anxiety. Really takes about half the fun out of eating out. So I walk in and go through my usual spiel with the manager.
“Are you familiar with gluten?” (Blank stare…not a good sign.)
“Is the sushi rice cooked with soy sauce or just vinegar?”
“Any chance of cross-contamination in the kitchen?”
Blah, blah, blah, blah…
It all seems safe. So I order my usual dish: three salmon and avocado rolls. I ask for the spicy mayo sauce on the side and again ask about the sauce to make sure it is ok. I am assured it is.
We eat. We enjoy.
As I take my last bite, the manager comes over and informs us there’s been a mistake. The spicy mayo sauce does have gluten in it. Our jaws hit the floor. “You’re telling me now??????”
Guess what the manager did next? Let’s play multiple choice:
Did the manager
a) give us the check, charging us full price for both of our meals?
b) charge me a dollar extra for my poisoned sauce?
c) both of the above?
If you guessed C, pat yourself on the back.
Now this is the first time I had ever known that I had gotten glutened so I had no idea what to expect. Would I start projectile vomiting on the table? Would I die a slow, tortuous death? Would I spend the next 5 days in the bathroom?
So what happened? Well, at first…nothing. That night…nothing. The next day…nothing. Was my GI doctor wrong? Maybe I don’t have celiac and it’s all been a big mistake.
And then on the second day…BAM! Like a ton of gluten free bricks. Pure exhaustion. Stomach pains. Anxious. Just a mess. I was a physical and emotional wreck. Lack of focus. Lack of patience. Couldn’t sleep enough. And it lasted for SIX MONTHS. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
So if you have celiac and you’re tempted to just have a little gluten, please don’t. And if you’re in Langhorne PA looking for sushi…well…don’t say I didn’t warn you.