Hey, y’all, can I vent for a moment? My kiddo got glutened last week at school. Lo and behold, he’s truly sick this week. It’s either the flu or strep; I’ll find out when he wakes up this morning.
Anyway, I know this is futile, BUT…. the problem with my son and gluten is that he has an autoimmune response to it. Meaning, if he ingests any, he’ll get sick. Most people look at my son and tell him, aww, we won’t tell your mom, you can sneak it this one time.
First of all, AHH! Second, I don’t shelter him from something, because I philosophically don’t believe in it, I shelter him bc it hurts him. Anyway, at this point he is a self advocate, because he understands this and will routinely refuse food that contains gluten. However, there are times that he just doesn’t know and he wants to be polite (and obviously, doesn’t want to be excluded). So, there it is; he gets glutened. And what happens? Nothing, according to the people and, more specifically, the adults around him. No puffy face, no trouble breathing, no vomiting, no nothing… EXCEPT there is a reaction, one they don’t see. The one when he comes home and uncontrollably sobs and has no idea why. The one where he BEGS me for tea and a heating pad to relieve some of the pain. Oh, and the one where he spends the entire evening in and out of the bathroom with diarrhea. The one with the itchy rash on his hands, the creases in his elbows/knees, and the bottoms of his feet. The one where he turns into the incredible hulk and he rages out for no apparent reason. Oh yeah, not to mention the bloating that won’t relieve itself for a week or so.
Now, that’s what just happens in response to a bit of gluten. While his body is clearly trying it’s hardest to fight the invasion, other germs are able to crash his party. Then he gets really sick, like with the flu or strep or a cold, etc.
So then the next hurdle begins, because I can’t just open up some saltines and a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup for him. I have to make him fresh soup and run to the store to buy another box of GF crackers. (Here’s a referral link to our favorite plain cracker.) Ugh, it’s not like it’s hard at this point, it’s just not as easy as it is for others.
I know people don’t have any clue and really don’t mean any harm. However, sometimes it would be nice, if people knew that gluten really can be harmful.
Thanks for letting me vent. I’ll leave you with this closing thought, if you are like me and trying to fight an invisible war. According to the Mayo Clinic article, titled “Celiac Disease: Symptoms & Conditions.” Left untreated, Celiac Disease can cause the following:
- Bone weakening
- Infertility and miscarriage
- Lactose intolerance
- Nervous system problems
While the fight is invisible, given the information above. it is still worth it!
To the moms of gluten free kids out there, keep fighting the invisible war!