I never eat something I know I shouldn’t.
This, folks, is called being in denial. Denial is when you pretend something that happened didn’t really happen.
Since my gut sprang a leak–make that lots of leaks–and I developed food allergies to many, many foods, I have sometimes been in denial. Okay, the truth is I was in denial a lot after I was diagnosed.
I do not have celiac disease and allergies; it’s just a little indigestion.
The lab must have gotten my blood mixed up with someone else’s– I CANNOT be allergic to that many foods!
I am not allergic to corn. I am not allergic to corn. I am not allergic to corn.
I can eat a tiny bit of soy.
When the little voice in my head made these statements, I believed them to be real–as real as the pain in my gut.
Denial runs in my family. My mother doesn’t go to the doctor because she doesn’t want to find out she has cancer. My college son didn’t want to admit he’d inherited celiac disease. After all, he’d taken a blood test and it had come back negative. The constant gut ache after eating, the lethargy, the weight loss must be from something else. What college sophomore wants to admit he has to give up beer and pizza?
Who wants to spend their college years in the dorm bathroom either?
Eventually acceptance comes. If you’re new to this, you may not be there quite yet, but you will be. You’ll decide you really can’t eat those cookies without developing an ugly rash all over your body. You’ll discover almond milk and Bard’s beer aren’t so bad. You’ll start focusing more on what foods you can eat, rather than all the foods you cannot eat. You’ll learn how to grocery shop, cook and eat out.
You’ll accept life is different now, and that’s okay because you feel so much better.
Still, every once in a while, you may slip back to that old frame of mind and that tiny voice in your head will say, “You haven’t eaten _________ (fill in the blank) in a long time, so how do you know you’re still allergic? Maybe, just maybe, your non-anaphalatic allergies have magically disappeared.”
See this pizza?
The other night I decided I could eat it (and unfortunately blasted this photo on Instagram). I’d read all about how Mellow Mushroom had taken great strides to ensure their kitchens were clean enough to produce gluten-free pizza crust. (Kudos to Mellow Mushroom!) I’d done my pre-dining out homework.
I told the server I had celiac and wasn’t just on some fad diet.
I ordered veggies as toppings to avoid any possible soy, corn, or gluten.
I asked for Daiya nondairy cheese.
I ordered a gluten-free New Planet beer.
BUT I “FORGOT” TO ASK WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS WERE IN THE CRUST!!!!!
How stupid was that? I think I just wanted to eat pizza and have a beer and watch basketball like all the “normal” people sitting around me at the bar were doing. I told myself I’d be safe with the gluten-free crust. If there was a little bit of egg or corn in the crust, I minimized what it would do to me.
Good old denial.
Later that night, as I doubled over in pain, I looked up the crust ingredients on the company website. Oddly I found listings of ingredients in several places, but they were all different. However, it’s pretty likely I ate soybean oil, cornstarch, and egg–a hattrick of allergens.
Guess I needed a little reminder that denying my food allergies only makes for a really bad night.
P.S. If you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, the Mellow Mushroom crust was delicious. Please note though that they cannot guarantee any menu item can be completely allergen-free due to possible cross-contamination.