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Friday, March 30, 2012

The 90%-Gluten-Free Man of my Life

Doing the gluten free diet on your own is a difficult thing. Alone is difficult, period. That's why I think there are so many support groups when people are overcoming something difficult: alcoholism, medical treatments, etc. The list could go on forever. I never got into a support group after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I'd feel somewhat silly, seeing as how I refuse to wear most of my emotions on my grubby sleeve.

But I do have a support group, in a way. A one on one counselling service. My boyfriend. I figured there were three phases (generally) when it came to how he dealt with my Celiac Disease, so I'll outline them here...

The First Date (Introduction of the Topic)
Our first date was mini golfing at the old people mall in town, and we spent the first fifteen minutes texting each other and going "Where the heck are you?". 

I never really wanted to tell him that I have Celiac Disease on our first date. But conversations are weird that way. Suddenly he's talking about wanting to try different ways of eating food, and I'm mentioning how I can't eat gluten because I have Celiac Disease. And it didn't phase him. He was genuinedly interested in the whole thing. He asked lots of questions, and I gave him lots of answers.

Good things I told him on the first date too, because he suggested we make supper together for our second date. We arranged it for New Years Eve. I had plans to go to a house party. He had no plans for the evening. On a side note: our anniversary is December 31/January 1... Somewhere in there. Needless to say, our second date went well.

The Honeymoon Stage (Going Overboard)
You have to admit, there's a honeymoon stage for new relationships. Your partner is perfection; you're crazy for each other; everything is blown out of proportion. The same applies to food allergies and how my then-new boyfriend reacted to my Celiac Disease.

He learned everything he could about what I was allergic to and what ingredients to avoid. He hunted out new restaurants to take me to (some of which I hadn't even ventured to try!). And then he decided to try the motherload of commitment: his own gluten free diet. He wanted to do it for 2 weeks to see if he felt any better without gluten, because that's about how long I was told it was going to take for the gluten to 'flush' out of my system.

He lasted a decently long time. I had to help him out with labels, ingredients he questioned, etc. And then he broke down and had a beer and some fast food when he was working out of town in the boonies. And he felt horrible about it. At that point, we struck up an agreement: he only needs to be gluten free when we're together. When we cook or when we go to a restaurant, we order gluten free so we can share. He stopped feeling horrible and guilty, and I stopped feeling like an unwitting task master.

Achieving Normality (Stability)
These days are pretty uncomplicated when it comes to Celiac Disease. He doesn't make a big fanfare about it, but he knows my needs without me having to remind him. He phones ahead at restaurants (because I'm a chickenshit when it comes to phoning restaurants about gluten free options). He keeps gluten free items in his cupboards and a loaf of gf bread in his freezer. We share meals.

He keeps me eating three meals a day, even if it means waking up early to make me eggs and pack me a lunch. I swear that I can cook, but I think he likes mothering me in the mornings. He also keeps me gluten free because I know he cares about me. Just knowing is enough to make me do my best. Now that he's off to England for 2.5 weeks, I miss him and his influence. Who's going to force me to eat breakfast now?


  1. How sweet it is to be loved by him!

    My favorite bit: when you said "He keeps gluten free items in his cupboards and a loaf of gf bread in his freezer" it was the first place you used the gf abbreviation...naturally, I read it as "girlfriend bread". HAHA!!

    1. He calls me his "gf gf" every once in a while to make fun of the abbreviations, hehe. :)

  2. Aw, I think you have it pretty good, if he's making breakfast for you. :) You'd think he could have worked ahead a little to cover the 2.5 weeks though. (kidding!)
    BTW, I too HATE talking to wait staff or call restaurants to find out about GF options, my other half usually does that too. :)

    1. He was working north of Fort Mac and trying to be gluten free while his work buddies were trying to get him to go out for wings and beers with them. I think he finally understands how difficult it is to be gluten free and have a normal social life. Now he works to make things easier for me instead of how other people guilt-trip me. <3

  3. What a lovely boyfriend you have! Mine eats gluten free when he's with me as well (we live together). There are problems though, like holidays, we've never been away together and it's got to the point now where he's just given up on me in that respect, so he's off on holiday to visit his parents without me. I seriously want to go on holiday, but he seems to think it's just too complicated :(

    1. My boyfriend is originally from Ontario and living in Saskatchewan, so I've never actually met his parents. He comes to visit my parents with me. My parents are gluten free, so that makes everything very simple.

      For Valentines Day, he usually takes me on a couple-day trip somewhere. He does his research in advance and we either pack food and get a room with a microwave, or he has reservations at restaurants that do gluten free.

      I hope your boyfriend wisens up and brings you to his parents soon! Give him heck!