Hand’s down the most important factor in keeping my sanity during the first months after my Celiac diagnosis was support from The Husband.
Occasionally on one of the Celiac forums or in blog comments I read about (almost always) women diagnosed with Celiac whose spouse is less than supportive… (if this describes your spouse…email him this post)
How do I say this nicely? Are you stinkin kidding me? One of my favorite gluten-free bloggers, The Gluten Dude says it this way:
Gluten Dude doesn’t really mean that … and I don’t either…really. But, short of finding another spouse, I would encourage some kind of professional counseling because if your spouse doesn’t support you as you navigate your way through all the pitfalls of this life changing autoimmune disease, he/she is almost certainly self-absorbed and lacking in empathy and a little counseling couldn’t hurt.
When I was diagnosed, The Husband immediately went 100% gluten free. (He was GF for 3 months until I forced him to start eating normal) Looking back, it meant the world to have him right there with me trying to find gluten free pasta that wasn’t soggy and gluten free cookies that weren’t like muffin-tops.
He also immersed himself in all-things Celiac, reading everything he could get his hands on. He called ahead when we ate out, and talked to the servers about how serious it was if I got gluten and the first time I got sick after eating at a restaurant that promised gluten-free food, he insisted we go back to talk to the manager. That man was and still is fiercely protective and completely on board.
When I hear about a husband who whines about having to go to dinner at the same (safe) restaurants over and over or is unsympathetic when their wife with Celiac gets sick it makes me so angry. If The Husband did behave that way it would crush me and it would damage our relationship. And I couldn’t help it…the way I looked at him would be …less.
But as it is people, I will sing that man’s praise till the day I die. I’m so thankful for his love and support and I would do anything for him.
See…it pays off to be supportive…even if you’re a self-absorbed-it’s all about me– kind of spouse, think of how much YOU can get out of supporting your wife (husband) with Celiac. So step up, in the end it’ll benefit you too!
One more thing…the next line of support has come from my son, daughters and son-in-laws. Since my diagnosis, I’ve been on two vacations with them and multiple dinners-out, birthday parties and holiday get-togethers, and they never fail to take my limitations into consideration. One of them is always on a smart phone checking menus for GF meals or bringing gluten free treats for me. They never complain or make me feel like a burden. If you have a relative with Celiac…please for the love of pete and all that’s holy…treat them like you’d want to be treated, because I promise you, they already feel terrible about having to cause trouble.
Whew…okay, I’m done.
A Celiac diagnosis for one family member is really, a diagnosis for the whole family. But it’s also an opportunity for the family to show love in a very tangible way.
~Prayers that all of us seize the opportunity to give away some love today ~