Archive for August 22nd, 2008
This past June our daughter got married. It was a beautiful wedding and of course I cried. Now imagine planning a wedding for 200 guests that is predominantly gluten-free. What’s gluten-free you ask?
Three years ago our daughter was diagnosed with an invisible illness called Celiac Disease. One year later another 4 of us were also diagnosed. Today there are 7 of us in our family that have Celiac Disease. This plunged all of us into an unknown world of new foods and diets. We got a crash course in all things gluten-free.
Celiac is an auto-immune illness that prevents the absorption of wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. I had no idea that these offending grains could have such an impact and that they were in just about everything!
Imagine having to giving up your favorite bread, pasta, cookies, pastries, processed meats, salad dressings, ice-cream cones, cereal, soy sauce – well you get the point.
I used to wonder why people stood and read labels at the grocery store. “Just buy it already!” was the thought that popped into my head. Well… guess what? I’m now a label reader myself. Who knew that even bacon could have hidden glutens or soup in a can or even salad dressings of all things. But it’s true – we all read labels now.
Some people in our family get sicker than others if they’ve accidentally ingested gluten. Take for instance my oldest daughter; she gets violently sick for days. My brother on the other hand doesn’t really experience any symptoms so it’s much harder for him to stick to a regimented diet. Me, I just really gassy, bloated and the odd time have diarrhea – kind of like a flu.
So back to the wedding, what did we serve?
We managed to have an amazing stuffed chicken dinner complete with gravy and steamed veggies. The buns of course were not gluten-free but we managed to score some really great pavlova for dessert for our gluten-free members. Once the dance began we brought out a huge 32″ tower of fruit, some gluten-free and regular desserts. For a really cool alternative to serving all you can drink alcohol we served all you can drink espressos, lattes and cappuccinos.
It’s not easy eating gluten-free, especially when you travel. I have to bring a suit-case full of my own food just so I can be sure I have something to eat when we get to our destination. Airports can also be tricky. But like I have told my kids who are all celiac’s you can either manage your disease or let the disease manage you.
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is fabulous! Someone you know, maybe even your best friend may have an invisible disease.
Betsy Hiebert lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is married to Bruce and has three kids and a dog. Her oldest two are married while the third just graduated grade 12. Her passions include: family, the cottage, traveling, gardening, golfing and volunteering.
Medical trauma, conditions and illnesses have had a way of creeping into Betsy’s life in various forms over the years. Her own health concerns taught her quickly how to talk to doctors and get the answers she needed. She has acted as a patient advocate on behalf of her father and more recently for one of her girls. Numerous trips to specialists and Toronto Western Hospital have created a good basis of medical knowledge and understanding.
Author of the Personal Healthcare Journal, available at www.mycarenecessities.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )