Constant Vigilance

I’ve gotten really good at not getting gluten. I read labels, I ask servers, I generally have a good awareness of what does and doesn’t have gluten in it now. My partner was pretty bad at it, but getting better, and since we’ve realized our kiddo also needs to be gluten free they’ve gotten great.

Then, sometimes, you screw up.

We were all eating dinner- homemade soup for me, pasta for my partner, and meatballs*. Nearing the end of the meal (because it can’t come on from the first bite, can it?) I start feeling a burning in my stomach. I frown, that’s not normal, I look down at the soup- it’s got tomatoes in it, maybe it could be the problem? The meatballs are only pork, right, that can’t be the problem, can it? Then I start getting light-headed, and gradually it dawns on me.

Meatballs.

They’re made with breadcrumbs.

My mother-in-law bought them and wouldn’t think to ask. (they were from a butcher so there was no ingredients list)

I put my spoon down and just take a few deep breaths. Then I look over to our messy toddler, who’s pretty much only eaten the meatballs for dinner and was unusually resistant to eating soup- when usually he demands it and is really good at eating a balanced meal, at least he has been since he’s stopped eating gluten…

Dammit.

The worst thing is that, yesterday, we let kiddo cheat a little bit. We ate out and we got him chicken nuggets with breading- not only was it the least gluten thing we could find (we’re in an area that is AWFUL for gluten-free options), but it was his favorite food. The small amount of breading isn’t enough to cause serious problems for me, so we were hoping it wouldn’t be too bad for kiddo. He stayed up over an hour later than he has since we got him off gluten, and he’s been clingy and fussy and refused to nap all day today. I was already feeling guilty for that, it sucks when you make a bad call and end up hurting your kid when you thought you were doing the right thing.

And then he had enough gluten to knock me on my butt.

Tomorrow’s gonna be fun.

The thing that really gets to me is feeling like this is such a waste. See, every once in awhile it gets to the point where the emotional benefit of the comfort food outweighs the pain. For those who don’t have food intolerances- this isn’t uncommon. I’ve never heard of someone with an anyphylactic reaction to food cheating, but most people I know who have a less-severe response to food will every once in awhile, maybe once a year, cheat. Cutting out a food actually really sucks, especially when it’s a comfort food. My dad is friends with a woman who can’t have animal protein, and she really misses cheese- so every now and then, she’ll get a bunch of really nice quality cheese, settle down, and plan to be out of commission for awhile.

I’ve been feeling really low and was actually planning on eating one of my partner’s chocolate chip cookies tonight. And instead, this happened. Not only do I feel too sick to consider eating cookies, I have no idea what would happen to me if I did. I wasn’t even planning to have as much gluten as I did. I was planning on having a pretty small amount, a manageable amount that shouldn’t do much damage.

Gluten seriously does knock me on my butt, I’m not joking. I feel sick and lightheaded, I can barely keep up a conversation, and the pains are creeping in. Tonight, I’m going to be in for a lot of aches and pains. I won’t be able to get comfortable. I won’t be able to hold my child and soothe him if he needs it. Hopefully it’ll be alright by morning, but I haven’t been great even without gluten.

*pork is GAPS-legal. Sadly, these ones were not. 😐

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