I’ve been diagnosed coeliac for a few years now, so in honor of that (and coeliac awareness week), I figured it was an ideal time to share the 5 things I wish I was told in the first weeks of my diagnosis
1. Join coeliac UK
If there is one thing I’d recommend to ANY newly diagnosed coeliac it would be to join this yesterday! The resources that become available to you by paying your annual subscription are HUGE – honestly they have been life savers and anxiety reducers
The value for money is great simply for the peace of mind they give you in social situations. I’ve blogged previously about the anxiety I developed after being diagnosed (especially when food shopping), their app’s have been brilliant tools to reduce this and make life easier. If you do one thing in your first week this would be it!!
2. Stop Apologising – You are medically ill, not an inconvenience
This is one I’m still working on. We’ve all heard the typical waiter joke when you say ‘Hi, I’m gluten-free’ ‘Hi I’m [insert-name] pleased to meet you’ – pause for laughter
Don’t feel guilty or like you’re being difficult – you are just like any other customer, they know if they can or can’t cater for you. And let’s be honest, you already know – you checked their menu online 60 times before you even went for food.
Checking this for a final time is you using one last check that you aren’t going to be contaminated – never feel bad for that.
3. You will be accidentally glutened
This is a hard to accept fact I but a truth. You will, for all of your checks and confirmations inevitably be glutened – cross-contamination will occur. We don’t live in a bubble, we live in a big wide world filled with gluten. Accept it will happen and put steps in place to deal with it.
Track your symptoms, figure out what works, forgive the people who cause it. I promise it wasn’t intentional.
4. Your friends will mock you – but they also won’t ostracise you.
It’s hard, they’ve not experienced dealing with someone with an autoimmune condition, neither have you. They only make jokes because they love you – and you can guarantee in 99.9% of situations they will check the location can cater for you too.
You won’t be forgotten or left out, and in that 0.01% of times be accepting that they didn’t do it intentionally. Sometimes big event organisers are just Dicks and don’t bite when their response to asking if they’ll have gluten-free options is simply Gin.
5. You WILL NEVER stop missing real bread
#FACT French bread, Tiger bread, Brioche buns, croissants, toastie loaf, hotdog buns, sourdough, fresh bread counters, heck even squishy generic (crap) off the shelf bread….
You will never get over the loss – you will find alternatives, almost as good as. But none of it will ever really be the same.