The Smile Was Worth It

The first few months of dealing with Celiac’s, we have found out the hard way that cross-contamination can be a major problem. Favorite restaurants that support the Gluten-Free lifestyle were still causing Cam occasional stomach issues. Whether it be places using the same cutting area or soft serve yogurt coming from a machine that had not been cleaned properly, gluten was rearing its ugly head even when removed from our diets. And don’t get me wrong, these restaurants are doing their best but as we continue to find out, not everyone is educated on the sensitivity of a Celiac to gluten. Yes, their preparation is great for those wanting to remove gluten but not so much for those who need to remove it from their diets. So, let me share a story from this past couple of days that made me happy. We had used a probiotic during Cam’s diagnosis period and it did have some success. I was in the probiotic aisle at the store and came across gluten-blockers such as Gluten-Eze. I was skeptical but after doing research and asking around the Celiac community on Twitter, we gave a generic gluten blocker a try (would rather spend less than $15 to see if it works before shelling out $35). Cam was hesitant as these pills were bigger than his One-a-Day Vitamin that he has problems swallowing. I told him that it wasn’t a cure but something that he could take if he thinks there may be a case of cross-contamination. Well, when I got home from work yesterday, I found out that the first experiment with the gluten-blocker had taken place. My wife took my kids to Wendy’s for Frosty’s (yes, in -5 degree weather..hey, the kids wanted it). Cam has had issues in the past with the new Coke machines that you can select 30+ flavors from due to cross-contamination with malt so fast food places have not been high on his list. He took a gluten blocker before his Frosty, not once having to reveal that he was a Celiac when placing the order. He was fine the remainder of yesterday but this morning was the true test as this is when he generally has his worst symptoms. I was here when he woke up and in conversation, I asked him how he felt. And that’s when it happened. He thought about it, made the correct assumption of what I was referring to and looked at me. A smile, a genuine smile, broke across his face. “I feel good.” That’s all I needed to hear. Now, we know that this isn’t the end all of his issues. We would be dumb to think so. But this gave him some confidence in restaurants again. It’s like a mental safety net in a case where one was needed. It makes it nice for him to not have any physical issues and it makes it nice for my wife and I to not have to prepare a meal every evening. Will we have a setback? Probably. But for me, that smile this morning was well worth the try.

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