Denial, or Why I Ate That Damn Pizza

I never eat something I know I shouldn’t.

This, folks, is called being in denial. Denial is when you pretend something that happened didn’t really happen.

Since my gut sprang a leak–make that lots of leaks–and I developed food allergies to many, many foods, I have sometimes been in denial. Okay, the truth is I was in denial a lot after I was diagnosed.

I do not have celiac disease and allergies; it’s just a little indigestion.

The lab must have gotten my blood mixed up with someone else’s– I CANNOT be allergic to that many foods!

I am not allergic to corn. I am not allergic to corn. I am not allergic to corn.

I can eat a tiny bit of soy.

When the little voice in my  head made these statements, I believed them to be real–as real as the pain in my gut.

Denial runs in my family. My mother doesn’t go to the doctor because she doesn’t want to find out she has cancer. My college son didn’t want to admit he’d inherited celiac disease. After all, he’d taken a blood test and it had come back negative. The constant gut ache after eating, the lethargy, the weight loss must be from something else. What college sophomore wants to admit he has to give up beer and pizza?

Who wants to spend their college years in the dorm bathroom either?

Eventually acceptance comes. If you’re new to this, you may not be there quite yet, but you will be.  You’ll decide you really can’t eat those cookies without developing an ugly rash all over your body. You’ll discover almond milk and Bard’s beer aren’t so bad. You’ll start focusing more on what foods you can eat, rather than all the foods you cannot eat. You’ll learn how to grocery shop, cook and eat out.

You’ll accept life is different now, and that’s okay because you feel so much better.

Still, every once in a while, you may slip back to that old frame of mind and that tiny voice in your  head will say, “You haven’t eaten _________ (fill in the blank) in a long time, so how do you know you’re still allergic? Maybe, just maybe, your non-anaphalatic allergies have magically disappeared.”

See this pizza?

Denial and Food Allergies

 

The other night I decided I could eat it (and unfortunately blasted this photo on Instagram). I’d read all about how Mellow Mushroom had taken great strides to ensure their kitchens were clean enough to produce gluten-free pizza crust. (Kudos to Mellow Mushroom!) I’d done my pre-dining out homework.

Check.

I told the server I had celiac and wasn’t just on some fad diet.

Check.

I ordered veggies as toppings to avoid any possible soy, corn, or gluten.

Check.

I asked for Daiya nondairy cheese.

Check.

I ordered a gluten-free New Planet beer.

Double check.

BUT I “FORGOT” TO ASK WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS WERE IN THE CRUST!!!!!

How stupid was that? I think I just wanted to eat pizza and have a beer and watch basketball like all the “normal” people sitting around me at the bar were doing. I told myself I’d be safe with the gluten-free crust. If there was a little bit of egg or corn in the crust, I minimized what it would do to me.

Good old denial.

Later that night, as I doubled over in pain, I looked up the crust ingredients on the company website. Oddly I found listings of ingredients in several places, but they were all different. However, it’s pretty likely I ate soybean oil, cornstarch, and egg–a hattrick of allergens.

Guess I needed a little reminder that denying my food allergies only makes for a really bad night.

P.S. If you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, the Mellow Mushroom crust was delicious. Please note though that they cannot guarantee any menu item can be completely allergen-free due to possible cross-contamination.

Denial, or Why I Ate That Damn Pizza originally appeared at Adventures of an Allergic Foodie.

15 thoughts on “Denial, or Why I Ate That Damn Pizza

  1. Well actually, I wouldn’t say you were in denial. You did your homework as best you can. But sometimes it gets exhaustive asking all the questions and we can get a little flustered, especially when hungry. I consider myself an expert on asking all the right questions when I go out to eat – I’ve been doing it for years now. In fact, if the Chef doesn’t come out to talk to me at a restaurant, my 4 year old daughter asks what happened to the Chef! But even still, I mess up sometimes. Luckily, my husband knows my questions, too, and will help me if I forget… but from salad dressings to pizza crust and everything in between, there’s bound to be some mishaps. I just hope you’re not feeling too badly today. 🙂

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  2. I don’t have Celiac so I don’t have 1st hand experience, but isn’t it true that after (possibly a lot) of time passes and your GI tract is given the chance to heal, SOME of the multiple food allergies could lessen/disappear altogether? Also, I don’t think you’re crazy for trying it. Not at all. Sorry you got sick though 😦

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    • Hi, Robyn. Celiac is not curable, unfortunately. I’m not a medical professional, but in regards to my leaky gut, I am no longer developing new food allergies (knock on wood), but my old allergies aren’t letting up one bit. I was told by doctors most of my allergies should go away once my gut healed, but that hasn’t happened. sadly. Thanks for reading!

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    • Deanne says:

      I test out food every once in a while, and sometimes get sick and sometimes not, but i don’t like to make a habit out of it. might as well have eaten a regular pizza!

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  3. Great post, Kathryn! I do not have celiac disease/food allergies (that I know of), but as a fellow human being, I definitely have my moments of denial! We’ve all been there at one time or another, but to your credit, you did check things out pretty carefully. I was wondering how educated your server was about your condition. Do you find many of them to be aware of celiac disease? xoxo 🙂

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  4. Hi,Danica. This is Amy who wrote the post. Waitstaff varies on the knowledge of celiac disease; that’s why it’s important for those with cd to advocate for ourselves. I really don’t “cheat” and eat gluten because celiac is so serious, but I do stick my head in the sand in regards to my less serious food allergies–and then I pay for it! Thanks for asking!

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    • Hi Amy, sorry for not addressing you…clearly I’m in need of a vacation…LOL! Anyway, I really did enjoy this post…thank you for taking the time to educate others with posts like this one. And by the way, it’s nice to meet you…I’m clicking the Follow button right now! xoxo 🙂

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  5. Hi Amy — don’t be so hard on yourself! You did your homework! Maybe it’s time to make or get yourself a stack of allergy cards. I have multiple food allergies as well and give them out whenever I eat and every (well, almost every) restaurant has given me kudos for making it easier for them to ensure my safety. Not a day goes by when I want a peanut butter cup, or a salty potato chip, or Asian food … but I can’t bring myself to do it. Does this mean a “positive outcome” of anaphylaxis is that it cures you of denial??!?!? 😉 LOL [there I go again with my sarcasm as a coping mechanism…]

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  6. There are times that I think having abdominal pain would be preferable to acting drunk. In my early teen years whenever I drank cherry soda, I got drunk. None of my friends noticed anything because we were all having a good time, but I knew I felt funny and stopped drinking it. After developing an allergy to Pepsi, I started researching food allergies. It seems most of the allergies are caused by food colorants. I have to take my chances with what I eat since most everything has some colorant in it. It seems I’m bothered mostly by whatever is used in fizzy beverages since I’ve rarely (once actually) had any symptoms after eating food.
    Only a few months ago, my husband and I had lunch out then went to Lowe’s. I did’t have anything different for lunch than I’ve eaten before, but that day something set me off. I bought a curtain rod and by the time we reached check-out, I was shooting people with the rod. I knew what was happening, but could not stop myself. Even my poor husband did not recognize I was in trouble.

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