Gluten-Free Simplicity

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Way #32: Gracefully Accept the Shortcomings of Others Regarding Gluten Sensitivity and/or Celiac Disease on the Way to Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 25, 2008

Way #32: Gracefully Accept the Shortcomings of Others Regarding Gluten Sensitivity and/or Celiac Disease on the Way to Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Going through life with any illness, much less one as unpopular as Gluten-Sensitivity or Celiac Disease can be difficult.  One is bound to run into people who are either ignorant and mean no harm or are insensitive and mean no harm by the things they do (or do not do) and say regarding such maladies.  Hopefully, one will only encounter very few who actually mean harm.

  Unfortunately, with a disease such as Celiac or something else that includes Gluten-Sensitivity, people doing things that some consider “normal” can produce results that are simply unbearable.  And this can come through 100% innocent intentions and effort.

  Consider these examples of innocent, but unfortunate actions:

  1. The doctor prescribes a medication for you that contains gluten.
  2. A friend or family member surprises you with a wheat-filled birthday cake.
  3. The Boss orders pizza for the entire staff as a way of showing appreciation.
  4. A fast-food service person cannot figure out how one would possibly serve a hamburger without the bun.
  5. As guests at a friend’s house, the main dish and others are filled with gluten.
  6. Asking a bartender to give you a gluten-free beer, she/he laughs and poors freely regardless of gluten contents.
  7. An ultra religious person of the pre-enlightenment persuasion proclaims confidently that your Gluten-Allergy is God’s way of righting the wrongs you have done in your life but you thought would never be found out.
  8. The manager at your favorite store is either unable or unwilling to stock more Gluten-Free products.
  9. A well-meaning manufacturer of a Cross-Contaminated product takes considerable time to retool and the provide rice wihtout Gluten, but at a significantly higher price.
  10. A sibling proclaims that the Gluten allergy problem is a matter of choice for people who never grew up and are still choosy eaters.
  11. A stranger standing in line near you makes a seemingly disparaging and discriminatory remark about people with chronic health problems.
  12. A well-meaning friend outs you to others by telling them all about the Gluten-Issue.
  13. A progressive restaurant that everyone really loves has not even a clue of a Gluten-Free Menu.
  14. Your partner makes you a special Gluten-Free dish but unknowingly cross-contaminates it with Gluten.
  15. A busy cook in one of her/his moods at your favorite diner cannot do a special meal for you by simply leaving off Gluten-Containing items.

  Any one of these situations could make a person with Gluten-Sensitivity frustrated.  And I would be less than truthful if I said I had never (over)reacted to such.  I cannot blame them for that.But in the long run from a larger perspective, it is clear that much of this type of behavior — while often harmful to self and/or others — comes from an innocent place.  

  Many of these things happen simply due to otherwise benevolent others simply NOT knowing. 

  In no way could I begin to agree with some of the false logic, the insensitivity, or the ignorance that underlies some of these items.  But we are to some extent, a product of our environment .  In many cases we can provide some information which might help enlighten them.  In other cases, we have to just move on with Grace.


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