This last weekend, we went to my father-in-law’s place in Big Sur, CA. It is on top of one of the hills on the east side of highway 1. It is just beautiful up there.
I mean, everyone loves playing in the pool and walking the trails, but there is also something so relaxing about being there. As you go up the driveway, you can just feel any stress you have leaving your body. In fact, when he and his wife offered to let us have our wedding up there, we jumped at the chance. You couldn’t pay for a place better than this, in my opinion.
That is why I am so disappointed that my memories of this place will be forever tainted with being gluten-ed there on Saturday night. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am not blaming anyone except myself for this. I should have known better, and I let my guard down. It wasn’t even a matter of letting my guard down. I was just being stupid and not thinking. So, let this story be a lesson for all of you out there. When it comes to food, you must always be thinking. Even if you feel you are in a safe environment where everyone knows about what you can and cannot eat. You are ultimately responsible and have to deal with the consequences.
Now, I understand there are times when you go out and trust a restaurant staff to know what you really need. And they just don’t get how serious it is and use a pan that just had breaded fish in or something. (I just had that happen a couple of weeks ago.) And, God forbid, you have someone who thinks you are making it up or just too sensitive, tells you that it’s gluten free, and it’s not. What I’m talking about is being so comfortable in an environment that you start to act like you at home (if it’s totally gluten free) and forget to pay attention. That’ is what happened to me, and I paid the price. Ugh!
So, we were in Big Sur for my father-in-law’s birthday. Lots of family and friends were there. My sister-in-law made a beautiful chocolate cake with a coconut frosting. She didn’t realize that we were going to be there, so it was a regular gluten cake. No big deal, because my step-mother-in-law can’t eat wheat, so she always makes a gluten free something for us. (I brought a gluten free brownie mix, just in case, anyway.) So, we had two chocolate cakes for the birthday celebration in the afternoon. The one on the left is gluten free from a Pamela’s Chocolate Cake Mix, and the gluten one is on the right.
The gluten free cake was fabulous, and everyone was happy with their sugar fix. The problem came later. After the first round of cake, my step-mother-in-law put both cakes together on one plate to consolidate them. They were both on the GLUTEN cake plate. That should have been a red flag for me to never touch that cake again, but it wasn’t. Later, we have dinner and a bit after that came dessert. My husband was so sweet and cut a piece of cake for me, so I could have some of the gluten free cake. (I was still eating dinner because I had to put our son down for bedtime, and I was behind everyone else.) Still no red flag for either of us. I start eating the cake. I get a couple of pieces of coconut. I can’t stand coconut, so I get irritated about that and put it on my plate. A tiny pink flag went off. I asked my husband if he gave me the right piece of cake. Yes, he made sure he took from the side furthest from the gluten cake. I finished the cake.
We all went to bed and everything was fine, until about 1:30am. I woke up with the worst stomach ache ever. I couldn’t get downstairs to the bathroom fast enough. I wandered around the living room, too scared to go back upstairs because I felt like I was going to throw up everything I had ever eaten in my life, and I was afraid I could not get back downstairs fast enough. It’s a spiral staircase. I was finally able to get back to sleep, but it took quite a while. I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been run over by a truck. Stomach was still not right.
We had to drive back home that morning. It’s a 3 – 4 hour trip. I made it home ok but not exactly happy. Later in the evening, I felt better, so I made the BIG mistake of having a glass of wine to unwind. An hour later, I was sick all over again. I guess that even though I felt better, I wasn’t. It takes a while to recover. I know I am not as bad as some who get gluten-ed, but it is getting worse the longer I am on a gluten free diet. Wow! This is messed up.
So, my advise to you is don’t ever let your guard down. There will be inevitable times, but I relaxed because I never have a problem at my in-laws. Well, now I have. Be obsessive! It’s your health. My poor husband has been feeling so guilty. He was trying to be so nice and ended up making his wife sick. I keep telling him that it wasn’t his fault, but he gives me that look of I’ll-say-I-know-it-isn’t-my-fault-but-I’ll-feel-guilty-anyway.
By the way, after this incident, I realized that I got gluten-ed a few weeks ago at the Celiac Disease Foundation Conference. I thought it was sugar overload, but now I know better. Since the dinner I got came out 45 minutes after everyone else’s, I believe not as much care was taken with mine. It was exactly the same reaction.
Well, I’ve been feeling better the last day or so. That’s good. So, tell me about your getting gluten-ed story. How did you deal with it? Was there anything you did to feel better? I would love some tips for if this happens again.
By the way, I just booked my 40th birthday celebration at a lovely Napa Valley B&B that has a reputation for accommodating gluten intolerant people. I am excited for that. It’s not for another month, but I will be letting you know all about it.
Until later, here’s to…Living better, easily!™