Do you ever get bored with having celiac disease, and wish you could have a day off from it?
- Celiac Counsellor’s Corner* is a place where Sherry Scheideman, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor, responds to your questions about the emotional and social issues that celiacs face. Diagnosed with celiac disease herself in 2001 in Victoria, BC, Sherry draws upon personal experiences and a Master’s Degree in Counseling to support you in transcending this ‘life transition’ and turning it into an opportunity to live your best life – ever.
Do you ever get bored with having celiac disease, and wish you could have a day off from it? It’s easy enough to take a day off from explaining it to everyone if you just stay home. Going out, however, can feel like a never-ending explanation and struggle. Last weekend I was feeling bored with making a federal production out of the simple act of eating, but isolating myself at home was not an option because a friend’s potluck party was on the agenda. Here’s how I took a day off from the struggles and explanations of celiac disease, while also attending a potluck party.
In preparation for the party, I made a yummy gluten-free rice salad which contained everything I needed to be nourished for the day. I scooped out a generous serving for myself into an individual Tupperware, put the rest into a big bowl to share, and went to the party.
Upon arriving, I set my big bowl onto the table along with everyone else’s offerings. I hardly looked at the other food on the table because I had no intention of eating any of it, and I didn’t want to torment myself with what I couldn’t have. Other people were standing around the table commenting with interest on the various potluck options, and asking one another about what they had brought, but I just headed to the living room with the individual serving I had brought. (Conversation about eating gluten free – zero! Torment – minimal.)
At one point someone noticed that I didn’t have any of the samosas or potatoes that they were finding especially delicious and recommended that I get some. Rather than launching into an explanation of my gluten-free diet, which would probably have resulted in claims that the potatoes were definitely gluten-free, upon which I would have explained the cross-contamination issue, I simply said, “Mm, yeah, those samosas and potatoes look awesome.” And let it go. (Conversation about eating gluten free – zero! Torment – minimal.)
A little while later, the smell of those samosas (a food which I particularly miss) was feeding a sense of loss in me, so I pulled out my Emergency Kit – a bag of Kettle chips. I emptied the bag into my now-empty individual Tupperware to prevent anyone from reaching their bread-crumby fingers into what would have seemed like a community bag, and let the chips soothe my need for something yummy. (Conversation about eating GF – zero! Torment – appeased.)
As the party was shutting down, an acquaintance invited me to take advantage of my last chance to have some salad before she took the rest away with her. I simply declined! (Conversation about eating GF – zero! Torment – zero!)
Some of the rice salad I had set on the table to share was left over. I knew it was very probably contaminated with gluten, but rather than getting into that conversation with anybody, I simply packed it up and brought it home for my non-celiac partner to eat if they wanted. (Conversation about eating GF – zero! Torment – zero!)
It was a true day off from the tedium of celiac disease and the GF diet monopolizing the conversation – at a potluck!
What a triumph!
Sometimes, just saying, “No, thank you,” is all you need to do – and it can be easier than you expect.
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“Life happens! Why not love it?”
“Being diagnosed with celiac disease and going gluten-free has challenged me to develop inner resources that I never knew I had, and I’m grateful for that. As a counsellor, I love to help other celiacs find their own gifts within the challenges of the disease, and to facilitate healing. Why not let your celiac disease motivate you to be your best self?”
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- *Information and perspectives provided in Celiac Counsellor’s Corner are intended to provide general information, without independent verification on the part of The Celiac Scene for the accuracy of the information provided to it. The information is specifically not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by your physician or other health care professional. You should always consult your own physician or other health care professionals about any medical questions, diagnosis, or treatment, especially before trying any diet. The Celiac Counsellor’s Corner does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on any content contained herein.