Empathy

Empathy

You have been diagnosed with celiac disease. Since the diagnosis you have had to make huge sacrifices. Your entire life has changed. You have changed. Finally, you have gained cooking skills that impress even your mother-in-law! ;-)

But now you realize that you have to deal with healthy, skeptical people around you.

Your diet became a subject of jokes at work, colleagues roll their eyes when looking at your meal or hearing your conversation with a waitress. People don’t understand that a gluten containing crumb makes you ill so they get offended when you refuse to try their delicious treat or when you panic seeing gluten containing food in your kitchen. They even call you a picky one! Nobody ever heard about gluten contamination so when you try to explain it to people, they think you became totally insane. You are one of those boring and crazy people now. Once I’ve even heard I was a ‘hippie’ (I consider it a compliment :p). You keep getting sweets containing gluten as a present, after informing people you can’t eat it. Please do not give a person with peanut allergy a pot of peanut butter and a Celiac – foods containing gluten.

I went through all of this and I am a Celiac less than one year.

I understand that people do not know the celiac condition (after all even doctors seem to have a problem with recognizing it), I did not know it before my diagnosis either. What I do not understand is lack of compassion or simple understanding.

Dealing with people is often more difficult than the gluten free diet itself. Because the diet gets easier. Once you know how to cook gluten free meals – you start enjoying cooking and it even might become your new hobby! Understanding, tolerance, empathy – on the other hand- are scarce. Value it, appreciate and spread.

Wishing you all only good experiences out there,

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