disapproving kitty

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Didn't Think it was a Real Thing, Either.

Clearly I'm failing at writing in here every day, or even every month.  Year?  Could this be a yearly blog?  I could probably manage that.

Then again, maybe not.

I have this mental list of all the things I *could* write about, but I discard about 90% of them as "too weird,"  "too personal" or both.  I know it seems odd to have a personal blog and then declare that I don't want to put anything overly personal on it, but there it is.  I wouldn't say that I'm all that discreet* in general, but you gotta start somewhere.

One idea of the remaining 10% is the idea of writing about being gluten-free. I really don't want to be one of the gf blogs because honestly, there are a lot of really good ones out there, and I'd probably just be duplicating a lot of things.  Also, there's no aspect of gf living that I'm *really* into, like baking or eating out or alternative medicines and such.  A friend of mine is very much into gf baking, to the point where she's needing to have sensitive scales and is consulting chemistry books to figure out how different ingredients are going to go together.  She could write a very cool blog about all the experimental baking she's doing.   I, on the other hand, play it pretty fast and loose with the ingredients in the kitchen, and I never write anything down (as witnessed by the lack of entries here.)

I will say, though, that I know that many people still don't believe that eating gluten free is all that important for people.  It looks like a fad, and I think, for many people, it is.  It's a way to lose weight (cutting out anything made with flour really does restrict your diet until you find work-arounds) and it's trendy right now.  I'm glad for that, because a LOT more food is getting labeled as gluten-free, or conversely, with a gluten-allergen warning.  Many more gf products are on the market.  So I'm fine with people who've gone gluten-free for fad/trendy reasons or whatever the hell their reasons are.

However, just because some people have gone gluten free who aren't really sensitive to it, or intolerant or allergic doesn't mean that all of us are that way.  I live in terror of accidentally ingesting gluten.  I've had nightmares about it.  (This isn't all that unusual.  I have intense dreams all the time, but that's another topic.)  I get really sick from gluten.  Only, if you feed me gluten "just to see" you won't see anything.  I get really sick four hours later.  After I've gone home.  Or left the restaurant.  Or am at the movie theater.  And it's really unpleasant.

Some times are worse than others, and the worst times are when I'm near to losing consciousness from the pain or this weird form of internal pressure that can cause fainting (along with sweating, shakes and nausea.)  It's not fun.  And I'm not going to go into any more detail than that except to say that when I'm suffering, my family suffers, to because it's hard to be in the same room with me and heaven forbid we're stuck in a car together.

I have a variety of odd theories about why there are people like me, and many who have it much, much worse.  There isn't, as far as I know, any kind of known cause for the intolerance, just lots of other vague theories.  And no way to get rid of it.  I've consulted a variety of doctors, next on the list being a gastroenterologist and after that an allergist, even though it doesn't seem very allergy-like.

I will give out one piece of gf-advice for those who might not know it yet:  how to eat at catered events.  I see this a lot on advice columns, for everything from vegetarian eaters to life-threatening nut-allergy eaters.  The complaints are either from the bride, asking how far she has to go to provide meal options for every person coming or from the attendee, who wants to know what's reasonable to ask for so they don't get poisoned at dinner.  My solution?  Don't bug the bride (or the party host).  She's got enough going on.  Bug the caterer.  Politely.  Ask to see the menu and ingredients.  Tell them why in simple, polite terms.  Don't be dramatic.  If you'll be at a special venue, far from where the food is actually being cooked, then you will need to ask the host for the caterer's contact info prior to the event, but if nothing else you can seek him/her out upon arrival and see what might be safe to eat.  Caterers don't want to make their client's guests get sick.  It's bad for business.  So they'll try to be accommodating if they can.   If they can't, well, then they can't.  Don't be a drama queen about it.  Just pack yourself a stash of gf food you can eat, and munch on that.  Don't hie yourself off to the bathroom to do it in secret, either.  Just eat what you need to and if anybody asks, just be honest and quick about it.  Nothing's worse than hearing someone go on about their food issues.  (I have been this person, boring the living daylights out of everyone.  Someone should slap me.)

So that's it.  Maybe my next post will be about some other 10% thing like my weird dreams (probably not on the theory that listening to someone else describe their dreams in excruciating detail is right up there with watching paint dry.) or my top ten favorite ways to procrastinate.

Till then, Dear Readers.  (all four of you.)

*Did you know that way the hell too many people don't know the difference between "discreet" and "discrete?"  I discovered this recently.  I don't want to be all grammar - Nazi and all, but come on, people.  Then again, I think upwards of 95% of Facebook users can't properly use your/you're, so maybe I'm just asking too much.