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Friday, September 14, 2012
I Made a Gluten Mistake
I made a mistake on Wednesday night. I got glutened for the first time in years. I was invited to an event in the city and food was being pre-ordered from a restaurant in NYC that is famous for their gluten-free menu. About 1/2 way into the meal, I stopped eating. I just knew something wasn't right. Then, the conversation in the room turned to the food and my thoughts were confirmed. My order was wrong and I was eating a gluten-filled sandwich. I went through a rush of emotions: anger, sadness, worry, frustration, fear, but knew I would just have to wait it out and see what happens. I finished my event with a poker face on, but I was kind of freaking out inside.

Here are a few mistakes that were made that led me to eating gluten for the first time in at least 5 or 6 years.

Mistake 1: I ordered my meal through email to the person NOT directly talking to the restaurant. Despite clearly mentioning I wanted the "gluten-free sandwich" in my email this did not happen. I should have been more explicit in my order or suggested ordering for myself.

Mistake 2: When I arrived, I went for my food immediately and didn't really look at it. I was starving, this was specially ordered for me so I ASSUMED what I got was the gluten-free sandwich. I didn't ask "Is this the gluten-free sandwich?" I just ate.

Mistake 3: I ate about 1/4 of the food and felt something was a little off. You know what it was?? The awesome texture of the sandwich bread. I had food from this place before so I should have known their gluten-free bread was not that good.

Mistake 4: I was distracted. I was talking and socializing the whole time I was eating instead of paying attention to the nagging feeling in my head. I ate 1/2 the sandwich before I stopped.

Mistake 5: I ate gluten. The girl who ordered confirmed it wasn't gluten-free. Simple as that.

Basically, the people that ordered the "gluten-free" dinner did not realize that the place they were ordering from was not a dedicated gluten-free restaurant. No one in the room except for me and one other person was Celiac so they didn't know the questions to ask and the things to check for that I ALWAYS when ordering food and dining out. They assumed everything on the menu was safe and I trusted them to order exactly what I asked for. This did not happen.

The Aftermath
I think I psyched myself out so much that I started to feel sick. I was honestly freaking out the whole subway ride home thinking "This is it. I am going to die of gluten poisoning" especially since I hadn't gotten glutened in at least five years. I felt a little woozy but mostly just like I was drunk which was especially weird since I haven't been drinking lately. My thoughts were confused and the last 10 minutes of my event were kind of a blur. Was this the infamous gluten brain fog? Was I just dizzy with worry about the gluten I just ate?

I woke up on Thursday with a slight stomach ache so I drank ginger ale when I got to work and took it easy with food for the morning. All day I waited to run for the bathroom or grab a garbage can. TMI? Probably, but you are reading this because you either have celiac or are gluten-free and have been through this before. Again, I had a mild stomach ache all day but not the violent reaction that I had to gluten in the past. Today, the small stomach ache is still there but I did not get the violent reaction to gluten that I have gotten in years passed.

Lesson Learned
Perhaps I dodged a gluten bullet on Wednesday, but this is just a reminder that even after 31 years of being gluten-free I still need to be on my toes and be vigilant for the rest of my gluten-free life. I'm not going to beat myself up about this mistake nor will I hold any resentment to the people who ordered from me. I am going to move on and pay more attention in the future. Next time, I might not be so lucky.


Anonymous Sarah P. said...

Oh gosh! I'm thankful that you didn't get as sick as you could have. HUG!

Anonymous Suezboss said...

Oh gosh, so sorry this happened to you! I was having anxiety just reading it- I can't imagine what it was like living it! I would have panicked too!

Blogger Unknown said...

Glad your okay and didn't have a terrible reaction! I think for me the anxiety I would feel after that would have definitely made me sick.

I have had nightmares about eating regular Oreos(Not even my favorite cookies) and woke up in a panic. lol

I agree we still have to keep our guard up and stay diligent with the information. :)

Anonymous dee said...

There is no scarier feeling then wondering if you've been glutened and just how painful it's going to be in the hours that will follow. I completely feel your anxiety. I've been gluten free for one year now and it is a constant fear for me when things taste too good to be GF. (specifically baked goods!) Love your blog

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got glutened without my knowledge one time, but I guess I should have asked more questions. Local pizza place offering gf pizza! I ordered and waitress repeated order back to me. Food comes out and tastes a little too good to be true. I go back a few weeks later, order the same gf menu item, and what comes out is completely different - barely any sauce and a thin, rubbery rice flour crust on a special tray (which was supposed to protect it from cross contamination!!). Needless to say I was freaked out and haven't been back since. I think we've all had that bad restaraunt moment.

Anonymous Gluten Dude said...

Interesting after so many years, your body didn't react more strongly. Perhaps the gluten gods were deservedly looking out for you. Sorry you got burnt...very happy it turned out not so bad.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi im grace. i just found out yesterday im a Glueten-free girl. we have been researching for foodsand recipies that might be fun to try out. your blog has comforted me in learning in this matter. thanks for what you do.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!! I can only imagine what was on the cards for you! It has been trial and error for me since finding out why I am the way I am :)
The last time I infected myself inadvertently, we were on a road trip which turned very ugly very quickly!
I'm so pleased It was a near miss for you Xxx

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rice flour in sweets is so much better than regular flour cos it's sweeter! My birthday 'brownies' that my daughter makes me each year are the BEST!

Anonymous Teresa said...

My GI (a celiac specialist) says that since your body is constantly changing, your "new" reaction is a result of that. For instance, I was glutened about 2 yrs ago, and my reaction was different also - but more severe. Im so happy you didnt suffer a terrible reaction! ((((hugs))))

Blogger teri said...

People just dont take us serious about the gluten free issue and how sick you can get.Thye just dont, I feel they think its a fad until they or someone they really care about it affects them.

Blogger teri said...

People just do not take us serious,they just dont.

Anonymous Cyn Rogalski said...

I got a diagnosis of Celiac a month ago, so I am very new to this! Glad you didn't have the reaction you could have had...I am still having those reactions, even though I am eating g/f. Tests next month should tell me more. Glad all went well for you!

Blogger deanna said...

This has happened to me on more than one occasion. I'm vigilant for the most part (and my husband backs me up if the server repeats the order without mentioning gluten free - he's good like that & has no problem walking out if they seem to not want to do it right). But sometimes there's a miscommunication and like you, I can tell when something is off. My problem is that I swell up due to a barley allergy as well, so double whammy sometimes. Glad to hear your reaction wasn't as horrible as it could have been!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always have a horrible stomach ache even with a speck of gluten. And you are so right, we really have to be vigilant and not let our guard down when it comes to the foods we eat.

Erin, thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, a good lesson for all of us ... one can NEVER assume. Though, recently at a wedding, I even asked if my dinner was prepared gluten-free as it was being put in front of me by the server - the server looked at the other server who nodded yes, but within 30 minutes I was ill. I'm pretty sure they gave my gluten-free meal to the woman next to me :( So glad your outcome was better than you expected, I'm sure you had visions of an ambulance ride!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got gluten poisoned recently too. It causes stomach problems for me as well as depression. What can u do to try to alleviate it? Any suggestions in remedies to clean the gut and clear the inflammation??

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad that your ok. It is so frustating living where our illness is still not understood. Even by those we love.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious if I have Celiac Disease. I have Hashimoto's Diseas and for the last two years I have had sinus issues, nauseated, and a little dizzy. Has one experiend this?

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