Well, it’s official. I’ve been glutened. And I know for sure this time what got me and how. And it’s my own fault. And I’m pissed.
There have been a few times since I was diagnosed that I suspected a gluten reaction, but I could never prove it so I had to consider the fact that perhaps gluten wasn’t the culprit. I mean, all people get stomach aches. Even non-celiacs. So of course I could still feel sick for other reasons. And for nine months I was pregnant, so who was to say what was celiac and what was the changing body and growing baby of a pregnant lady. Well now I know. And I’m not impressed.
Last Thursday we ordered sushi. When I go to restaurants I am diligent about stating, “I have celiac disease and cannot have anything with gluten. Please let the kitchen know when placing my order.” At my ‘go-to’ restaurants this is always welcomed and responded to with great courtesy and respect for my food and my disease. But for some reason when I order over the phone, when I’m not looking someone in the eyes, this conversation feels less safe. And so I didn’t say anything. I just placed our group order.
BIG MISTAKE. HUGE MISTAKE.
I should have self advocated.
I should have stated my needs.
I should have requested the sushi to be made with clean gloves.
I should have asked for it to be cut with a clean knife.
I should have stated, “I have celiac disease.”
I should have….
But I didn’t. I sat down to my dinner and started to enjoy, when part way through I noticed it. A chunk of my friends tempura from her shrimp tempura roll was sitting hauntingly on my spicy tuna roll.
I stopped. I stared. I pouted. And I wondered what to do next. I’d already eaten some of it so I was going to get sick either way.
Or maybe I wouldn’t. I don’t know what my reaction is like. Maybe a little cross contamination isn’t enough to make me sick. Maybe I won’t get sick at all. I’ll just not eat the piece that touched the tempura. Everything else should be fine.
And now, four days later, I’m still sick.
So, people often ask – what happens when you eat gluten?
Within an hour my stomach started to hurt. Luckily I slept through the night o.k. but when I woke up I was still exhausted. The exhaustion continues, and the stomach ache got worse. A mix of nausea and straight up pain. Like knives moving around through my guts, stabbing and slicing as they go. I bloated like I’m 5 months pregnant again and am in and out of the washroom (I’ll leave those details out). And I got depressed. Irrationally cranky. Crying. A lot. Partially because I’m mad. Mad at myself, and mad at this disease. Mad that this can keep happening to me if/when I’m not careful. Mad that a little cross contamination does have major consequences. Mad that I was finally starting to relax and live normally again and now I’m terrified for the upcoming trips we have where I once again lose control of my food and am forced to play restaurant roulette with my guts. Again.
Oh. Did I mention this is the 3rd time I’ve been glutened in the past 6 weeks. Ya. Not impressed. Time to get vigilant again. And on that note, I should go research safe places to eat for next weekend…