Archive | May, 2014

Long time, no rant

27 May

So, yeah, I haven’t blogged in longer than I care to mention. Sorry. The same old things were happening at work, and yet it quieted down quite a bit because I distanced myself from the Toxic Drama Queens. Lo and behold, all of the TDQ’s have exited the firm, including the paralegal who used to drive me batshit crazy. Ding dong, the witch is dead!

Meanwhile, we’ve struggled with some things with my son. It turned out that the private school we chose for him for kindergarten was not at all a good fit for his personality and our philosophy on learning. It makes absolutely no sense to hold a kid back in learning when you acknowledge that he’s bored in class and acting out because, “then what will he learn next year?” Oh, I don’t know – maybe he could… Just. Keep. Going. It’s a novel concept, apparently.

His health has been another issue. He was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease after nearly a year of consulting with a pediatric gastroenterologist. We were shocked as he did not have any of the typical symptoms of Celiac. Yet when we learned about the, like, 300 different symptoms that can be associated with Celiac, he did have many of them.

The lack of knowledge about Celiac Disease in this country and even by doctors is astounding. I’m not saying I know more than the average doctor, but I question their knowledge of this auto-immune hereditary disease when I mention my son’s new diagnosis to my doctor and testing me doesn’t seem to pop up on her radar at all. There’s a 1 in 10 chance that direct relatives, like me, can develop Celiac Disease.

While information about the gluten free diet is more widespread these days, the fact that there are some people who can’t have even a speck of gluten or else they are in excruciating pain seems to have escaped the general public. Yes, some people are idiots who choose to be gluten-free (or at least say they are) because they think it will somehow magically make them shed pounds like crazy, and they have no idea what it even is. Those people screw it up for the people who have serious reactions to even minute amounts of gluten. People like me who research the crap out of every aspect of my son’s diet, stand for hours in the store looking up foods on my smart phone to make sure it’s safe, who have to think twice about any piece of candy they haven’t researched before, or plan incessantly for school parties, field trips, and even visits to relatives. I can’t just pick up an allergy medication off the shelf without analyzing and researching it to make sure it doesn’t contain gluten. That shit is in everything!

Type 1 diabetes is also an auto-immune disease. People would never consider giving a diabetic child a sugary snack. Wait staff in restaurants wouldn’t roll their eyes if a mother asked about whether a food was cooked in peanut oil because their child is allergic to peanuts. Why should gluten be any different? No, my child is not going to swell up and have an anaphylactic reaction like a peanut allergy. He won’t go into a coma like a child with type 1 diabetes. But Celiacs can have bad reactions if you cut their gluten free grilled chicken on the same surface where you cut up breaded chicken. You can’t fry his food in the same fryer that’s used for onion rings or other breaded items.

Celiacs can’t take a drug or insulin to feel better. There is no medication. So just saying something is gluten free or providing GF bread or pizza as an option isn’t enough. Cutting my son’s pizza on the wrong part of the counter will mean that he may have intense stomach pains that disrupt his life for the next week. For the next several days, he could feel nauseous, act out behaviorally, be so fatigued he doesn’t want to play, and cry because his knees hurt. Not adhering to a gluten free diet means he has an increased risk of other autoimmune disorders and even colon cancer. Not to mention the heartbreak when you tell him he can’t have cupcakes like all the other kids. He can’t eat whatever candy he finds on the Easter egg hunt or the Lucky Charms that the teachers think is so cute to give to kids on St. Patrick’s Day.

I can appreciate being annoyed with people who are too stupid to know what gluten is, yet proclaim they eat a gluten free diet. I think they’re morons, too. Then spend a week in our shoes, having to scrutinize everything my son puts in his mouth, and deal with the backlash of that one speck of gluten before you joke that people like my son are just sooo annoying.

So I found something new to rant about. (Trust me, I’d rather just have work to rant about.) And yes, I do appreciate that there are many people with diseases that would love to be able to “cure” themselves with diet alone. I am appreciative that it could be so much worse. There are many things he can eat that are good for him, and I am thankful for that.

Anyway, we’ll return to our normal programming next time. Because, let’s be real, there’s always SOMETHING going on in a litigation firm.