Eat, Drink and Be Weary

So I think I ate too much turkey and gluten-free pie over Thanksgiving because I can’t seem to snap out of this funk I’m in. Or maybe it’s because the season of holiday parties is upon us and I hate, hate, hate having to do the food two-step every time a well-meaning host offers me a plate of cheese . . . and then a plate of  sliders  . . . and then a plate of desserts.

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I usually love the holidays, but this year I want to hibernate in my Snuggly with my Netflix subscription until New Year’s Day.

I think I know why I’m feeling so blue. And it’s not just that I can’t bake cookies without buying a college education’s worth of allergy-friendly ingredients, or that Breakfast with Santa means no breakfast at all.

It’s because I’m tired of the people I love STILL NOT GETTING IT.

There. I said it. On the Internet. For everyone to read.

It’s been almost six years since I first learned the food I was eating was making me sick. Six years! I’ve had time to adjust. My loved ones have had time to adjust. Yet Dear Old Mom still reminds me how I ate everything and anything as a kid (yes, I was on the plump side). Is this her way of saying the numerous doctors I’ve consulted are all wrong about my dozen plus food allergies? Does she think my celiac disease–which was passed on by my parents’ genes!–is a figment of my imagination?

Then there’s Darling Husband, the Eater of Everything. Unlike Mom, he doesn’t dispute that my allergies and celiac are real and he supports my need for a special diet.

He just doesn’t want my restrictions to restrict him.

He still insists on eating at his favorite restaurants–including the ones that gluten or soy or dairy me every time I eat there. He loves Italian food, and he doesn’t understand–or want to try to understand–why I’m fearful of restaurants that can’t help having wheat flour floating in the air. Nor does he get how monotonous the plain salmon and spinach gets after eating it every Friday night year after year.

Recently, during a rather heated discussion about where to go for dinner, Darling Husband, Eater of Everything, said, “Can I  pick the restaurant this time?”  As if I’d been choosing the places to eat these last years for fun–not out of the need to stay healthy and keep breathing.

And then there are those “friends,” the ones who think it’s funny to mock my special food requests after I place an order.  It is not funny. It is annoying. It is hurtful.

A fellow allergic foodie recently expressed in an online support forum how upset she was when her family didn’t want to come for Thanksgiving because they didn’t like her allergy-free food. I’m pretty sure people have passed on dinner at my house for the same reason. But this was THANKSGIVING. A time for loved ones to come together and be thankful.  My heart broke for her.

The one present I would like this Christmas is for my family and friends to accept and respect my food restrictions.

Otherwise, just wrap up another Snugly.

Eat, Drink and Be Weary first appeared at Adventures of an Allergic Foodie.

4 thoughts on “Eat, Drink and Be Weary

  1. Well said.

    It is okay that people don’t accept or even believe I am chemically sensitive. It is not okay for them to not let me do (or not do) those things that protect my health. Go ahead, have a someplace I can’t be party, thank you for the invite, but I won’t be there.

    The greatest gift that someone could give us would be to acknowledge and respect our limitations.

    Like

  2. adeling says:

    I’m a little disgusted by your friends and family. My wife makes it a fun mission to find special food experiences for me when we travel, my colleague buys me expensive cakes, just for me when he gets a few cakes or cookies for everyone else (than you Muhammad – you’re so thoughtful).

    These people you describe need to read coeliac.org.uk and understand what it means. They need to give you time to be able to laugh at your less-exciting choices (I was diagnosed as a baby and so I just can’t imagine what it is like to lose foods as an adult or young person).

    Sometimes your diet needs to be restricted and sometimes that will put people out, but you should never have to know about it, or suspect they’re talking about it together – this is your life and they need to step up!

    Like

    • I do think it’s different when you are diagnosed as an adult and people remember you used to eat everything. It’s also hard when your family members live far away and don’t witness your daily struggles. I hear all the time from readers that they go home for a special occasion and there is no food for them to eat. Or the family chooses a restaurant that is not allergy-friendly. This bothers me because people get all types of illnesses, such as diabetes and Crohn’s disease, and family members adapt, right? Or maybe they don’t. The readers with multiple chemical sensitivity also struggle with people not getting it, so maybe it’s just people in general are self-centered and not empathetic.

      Liked by 1 person

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