In coeliac circles there is often quite a lot of frustration with people who just don’t get it. Don’t get that we can’t just cheat and have a cheeky bit of gluten. Don’t get that foods that are every day and even boring for others, such as bread and pasta, come with huge levels of anxiety (if they are ‘normal’ gluten-containing ones) for coeliacs. Don’t get that eating out really isn’t that attractive to me anymore because before even ordering I have to have a detailed discussion about whether the gluten-free options are gluten-free enough to be coeliac safe. Don’t get that obsessive label-reading and crumb-hating is not just being high-maintenance but is actually necessary and something I hate doing nearly as much as it may be annoying to watch.
But, I’d like to take a moment to think about the people in my life who do get it and are incredibly supportive. I am grateful for my husband who has supported and encouraged me as I adjusted to being gluten-free and then as we made the decision to make the whole family gluten-free at home. I’m grateful for my children, who check how I am doing when I am sick and vomiting after being accidentally glutened and who have accepted huge changes to their lives and diets since my diagnosis with little complaint. I’m grateful for the friend that got me to check every label as she was cooking as she didn’t want to make me sick. I’m grateful for another friend who invited me to get my food first at a shared lunch to ensure that what I ate wasn’t cross contaminated once everyone else started making sandwiches with glutenous bread. I’m grateful for the many people over the last few months who, in many ways, have done what they can to give me food that is safe to eat. Yes, along the way there have been accidental glutenings and there have been frustrating and isolating moments. But sometimes it is good to focus not on those who don’t get it, but on those who do and are cheering me on from the sidelines as I figure it all out – God has really blessed me through those people.