Way #23: Becoming the one Noted “Special” Person in a crowd does NOT Necessarily help one Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.
Posted by nepeht on December 18, 2008
23. Becoming the one noted “Special” Person in a crowd does NOT necessarily help one Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.
Be careful NOT to ALWAYS become a “special” person in crowds due to your need to be Gluten-Free. One might want to only consider doing so in “SAFE” circumstances.
While it is important that commercial vendors disclose to potential customers whether or not their products contain certain common allergens; it is not necessarily important for a person with a Gluten-Related Health Condition to disclose such with anyone in particular, unless there is a “need-to-know” in that situation.
If one looks, one can see the anger around such issues within our culture. For example, in a situation where a very large commercial vendor failed to do so, they were then frustrated by a subsequent lawsuit. Afterwards, in a blog, a third-party person expressed anger at the plaintiffs seemingly thinking that Gluten-Related Allergies are a chosen condition. This blogger actually wrote that it was the fault of the consumer who was exposed to gluten. And then finally, another blogger slammed back at the former blogger in defense of his family member who has a Gluten-Allergy.
It is fascinating to me (not necessarily in a good way) how Americans (and probably many others) seem to be so insensitive toward people with very real medical conditions. In 1994, there was an article in The “Humanist” Journal titled, “Hating the sick; health chauvinism and its cure“. In this article there are examples of how people with medical conditions are discriminated against and even suffer violent attacks in supposedly otherwise civilized societies around the Globe.
It is largely for this reason that one should be very careful NOT to disclose things about her or his health to just anyone. It is probably best to avoid having ones health condition(s) verbalized to a crowd. There are lots of other reasons also, largely having to do with often benevolent prejudices persons (even family) might form about persons with certain illnesses…. or certain needs.
I am not saying, “TRUST NOBODY!!!” NO!!! That’s not it. I am saying be careful.
And one way to live carefully would be to avoid becoming that “Special” person in a crowd with the “Gluten allergy.” Yes, of course one needs to eat safely and avoid Gluten. But there are many ways of doing that without having it become common knowledge.
Now, that’s one side of the story. The other point I am trying to make here is that sometimes knowledge about ones health condition or allergy can become a burden to self and others. There are many cases where one can eat happily and safely without anyone around them having to know about the Gluten thing. This is where is might help one to develop some skill.
Who can one tell? Who should one not tell?
These are questions best answered by each of us individually. There may be great risks involved. And these include both negatively-motivated risks such as anger or discrimination against a person for having an illness. Or this could include positively-motivated risks such as good friends and loved ones bending over backwards to serve a gluten-free meal only to find it is much much much much much more difficult than presumed and then feeling guilty that they could not pull it off.
Another type of risk here is when a loved one — like a life partner modifies and self-educates in order to help you be Gluten-Free, but then their heart is broken the day that you got weak and had a Gluten-Relapse right in front of them.
In no way could I suggest that ones Gluten-Related needs should stay a secret. It is just that these are very serious needs and this condition effects the whole person — including the biological, psychological , social, economic, vocational and perhaps even the spiritual parts of us.
With a condition that serious, every person in a crowd does not need to be involved. Only those who need-to-know, really need to be involved. And hopefully, among those who need-to-know will be very special people who are either professionally capable of dealing effectively with the situation or they are persons whose fondness and maturity is such that they both put effort in that they feel like contributing; while also they can have patience and humility enough to understand that Gluten-Related conditions such as Celiac Disease are all too often really really really big in a given lifetime and while the effects of caring can be miraculously wonderful; they can also seem to be nil. And this is because like everyone else, we have good days and we have bad days.