Monday, December 16, 2013

Your kid has Celiac, too? Poor thing!

I've heard that more times than I care to remember.

I'm never sure whether to set people straight about why I choose to feed my daughter the way I do, or whether I should just escape from that particular line of conversation as quickly as possible. Gosh, we sure have had a lot of snow already this year, huh?!

The hard part is explaining that my kid doesn't have Celiac because she doesn't eat gluten. And that she would have to eat gluten to to develop symptoms. And that damage to her duodenum would have to occur in order to inflict said symptoms. And that I'm just not willing to do that at this point. Knowing what I know now about how difficult it is to heal gut damage and leakiness, there is no way I would subject my child to the possibility of all the symptoms and comorbidities of Celiac Disease just to "find out if she has it."

It's not like I thought I was dying or anything before I was diagnosed...

We look at the whole idea of "having" a disease in such a black and white way, that it would be impossible to explain to someone (especially someone on the SAD) that there are gray shades of gut trouble. That things could be progressing to having leaky gut, absorption problems, digestion issues, and/or flora imbalances, but not technically cause any symptoms or obvious damage that would lead to a diagnosis.

So I pretty much just avoid talking about it and sometimes make it seem like I do know that she is Celiac and therefore needs to eat like I do, just to make it easier.

I kind of feel like a liar.

The other part of this that really gets to me is the "Oh, poor thing!" type statement. Does it look like my child doesn't eat enough?? Sure, she has always been on the skinny side, but she looks healthy. Anyone who has been with her at a normal meal sees that she eats plenty (unless she is sick, like she is now, and I end up with 14 sliced bananas in my freezer that she begged me for and then didn't touch...).

I remember someone lamenting at a family holiday that she couldn't eat all the good food they were having and had to settle for what I brought. They were eating such delicacies as mashed potatoes out of a box mixed with spreadable plastic, sorry, margarine, and some kind of fluorescent Jello salad. Whoever started calling that type of recipe a "salad" needs their head examined. We were eating salmon, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and pumpkin pie. Hardly a meal to feel sorry for...

I try to just let it roll off my back, but what's going to happen once she gets old enough to realize what they are really saying? How in the world do I navigate the world of a kid who needs to eat a certain way, but doesn't technically "have" to by status quo standards??


No comments: