Friday, November 27, 2009

"A Wonderful Time!" On Another Planet

  Yesterday, how ever long ago that was for me, I enjoyed an Earthlike feast of Giving Thanks -- a traditional celebration about how some four or five centuries ago, an exploring group of "New World" Pilgrims and their Native Counterparts made a peace of sorts and sealed it through the mutual breaking of breads -- as it were.
  Naturally, these breads then... and probably even moreso now, were anything but Gluten-Free.
  Thus a celebration for some becomes a potential pitfall for others.
  Yes... I relapsed...... dangit!!!

  I did just fine in prepping my own dish of sweet potatoes or YAMs with a sugary, buttery solution and marshmallows.. all products carefully chosen as Gluten-Free as was their Apple Larabar "secret ingredient".
  But come time for the pie... after being sooooo  soooo  good throughout the meal and passing up on that wonderful smelling gravy, the stuffing and all that... had to have a piece of Cream Pie....
  YES>>>>> it was a wonderful time...on another planet.
   Certainly as my co-diners marveled at my sweet potato concoction I could have then confessed... "OK, yes... that's it... I AM A CELIAC!"
  Or even the politically correct thingee... "a person with Celiac Disease".... but being a proud migrant of Glutenia, I could not confess at that time.  Certainly not at the same time I began stuffing my pie hole with pie.
  And from there... ...  ...  though I was good enough NOT to eat the crust... all the time knowing I had probably already glutenized my self with the pie's thickeners...
  Then my hostess and host... wonderful people as they are... brought out some Polish Dumpling sort of thingees...  And they were delish.  In my then-present state of denial, I had to eat two small dumplings.... telling myself... they are really just potatoes...  But then... what was in the crust?
  Anyway.. soo...s000.....S0000....  SOOOOOOOO  I relapsed... and I have been paying for it since.
  And now... boy don't I press to get myself back to my Glutenia... back where it is safe and comfortable.  Back to Glutenia.
  So on through Trinidad, I will pass again... on to another day.... a different planet.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What are we? Who are they? Glad to be me.

  Recently, I was introduced to another Celiac.  It was wonderful in that not only are we few and far between; but we are also kind of difficult to spot outright. 
  One of the most difficult things about being a Celiac is that isolation.  And one thing that makes that even worse is that our needs -- yes, literally our needs (i.e., to be gluten-free, especially in diet), tend to encourage us to isolate even more.

  It's not like we are so thick in society that we can passively join our lives together and thrive in some part off of each other's support.
  Perhaps it is just my current sense of being born a creature of Glutenia and having some innate sense of pride in all of that which makes me feel awkward about some things I have missed -- or even, NOT missed -- such as just that comfort of being able to simply lounge where I wish, among my co-inhabitants, mutually enjoying life as we jointly consume all the most common foods.
  Yes, in some stages of my Celiac-rebirthing, I cried out and pained over NOT being able to do what "normal" folks do.  But at this point, gazing forth at the dawn on Glutenia, me... a free Celiac, I sometimes look back at those days and the pictures I see in my mind are not pretty at all.  In fact, I feel more like I wouldn't want to be like them.
  And I know it is just my remnants of anger and even envy for a world where I was so different, so out of sorts, and so sooooo depressed.  But still, I do feel some pride now in my survivorship of a once cruel existence.  And now, my recent awakening on a whole new plane.
  I am glad to be me.   And I hope you are glad to be you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Weird Atmosphere

  Sometimes, I recall being among the others was a somewhat dark and wierd atmosphere.  I'm sure there was no intention for things to be that way.  It's just wierd sometimes, feeling sooooo different.
  I mean, how does one go about announcing to a room of strangers -- or even friends, much less family: "Hey, I'm a Celiac."?
  It seems clear from the ways that the U.S. Market and Legal system treat Celiacs, that this is anything but a popular notion.  Otherwise, Celiacs would not be charged extra for or even denied health insurance due to their pre-existing condition.  Retailors and/or Producers would not charge so much more for Gluten-Free foods.  And, U.S. labor laws would be tougher and more preventive regarding workplace discrimination against Celiacs.  Right?
  I don't know.  I certainly mean no offense to those wellmeaning folks who have accepted us Celiacs as being worthy of the benefit of a doubt.
  But these things sometimes leave me feeling as if I am either on a different planet from that of my comforting origins; or my warm and safe planet of birth has been invaded by terribly selfish beings.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Am I On A Different Planet?

  Sometimes lately, I cannot help but wonder if I am indeed on a different planet.
  Why?  Good question!
  I am, like any "good" Celiac, trying my best to be gluten-free.  I find that the more I depend completely on myself for the conversion of raw foods into edible delights; the more Gluten-Free I can remain.
  This is for a number of reasons:
  • Food product labels are getting better, but still, the bold "Gluten-Free" statement on a given item is hard to come by.
  • The prices of foods that are labeled "Gluten-Free" are often significantly more expensive than other versions of the same item.
  • Prepared foods, whether they are in fine restaurants, fast food joints or your best friend's kitchen, are often hit-or-miss.
  So, because of all of this, I am probably isolating more.  And probably due to a combination of the items above and my increasing isolation, I am feeling like a strange being on a different planet.

  This new habitat is sooooo different from the comfortable planet where I spent much of my first half century.
  And while producers and purveyors certainly have their rights to double the price of a box of very common cereals simply because it says "Gluten-Free" on the box, this sort of behavior has a tendency to make me feel like I really do not belong.
  This is for two reasons: 1) These higher prices are likely to translate into more Gluten-Relapse for Celiacs like me; and 2) I cannot help but think that if I were in their shoes, I might even purposely make less profit on such items given that deprivation of healthy Gluten-Free items and higher levels of Gluten Relapse among Celiacs can lead to a higher mortality rate for Celiacs and more suffering for them as well as their loved ones.  Thoughtful Scholars have even written about this probable chain reaction.
  It seems we would normally only do such awful things to our enemies, or to beings we simply don't understand, such as those who we imagine coming from outer space.
  I really cannot say what a fair solution to this tragedy might be.
  But I can say that it makes me feel a little more depressed than I would otherwise be. 
  Once in a while, I feel a sting of isolation and not seeing clearly, I look back at my once Blue and Green Planet, now in flames.  And the more I wonder if I have somehow relocated to the Planet Glutenia.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Planet Glutenia

A work of Gluten-Free Fiction.  

More later.  I hope.

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