February 11, 2011
A Big Gluten Mistake
Last week, my oldest son brought home a cold. It didn’t hit me like a normal cold because my sinuses didn’t feel congested. I was tired, though. Very tired, and my head was definitely not right. It must have settled in my ears a bit because I felt slightly dizzy at times.
After getting some milk, kefir, and yogurt, I headed over to the frozen dessert section and saw some boxes of ice cream sandwiches. They were calling to me, and I picked out two boxes. It never occurred to me that they were not gluten free. I never looked at the ingredients. I bought them without though to gluten.
I went home and ate a dairy free banana split ice cream sandwich. Granted, they are mini sandwiches and pretty small, but still. It was an ice cream sandwich. I thoroughly enjoyed it. At least I had that pleasure. As I was chewing and swallowing the last bite, I thought to myself, “They did a really good job on the wafer part. I wonder what flours they used. It tastes just like the gluten-filled ice cream sandwiches I remember.” Then the light bulb went on. It was too late. I had eaten the whole thing. There was nothing left to spit out of my mouth. The deed was done. I started saying, “Oh no. Oh no. Oh no….”
I called my husband who reminded me to take enzymes. I keep some around to take with me when I eat out. It seems they do help reduce symptoms. The ones I had are these gluten peptide enzymes. I took four plus two other general enzymes. Then I waited. I chatted online with Shirley of gfe. It helped just to tell someone who would really understand. She minded me that I would need to detox. Good advice.
I ate the ice cream sandwich in the afternoon. I was not hungry for dinner that evening and it was some time after dinner that I began to feel bad. I had a lot of burping and felt like I could vomit, but never did. Then I had lots of gas, and finally diarrhea. I’m sorry to be blunt like that, but it’s just reality with celiac disease.
I do think the enzymes helped. There were a few symptoms I did not have. Usually, one of the first reactions I have is to suddenly become very sleepy. I was tired for days, but I never had that extreme and sudden sleepiness. Also, with “bigger” reactions in the past I have had intense abdominal pain. It’s a pain that I have only had with gluten and is different from any pain I get with other digestive upsets. I was really happy not to have that. The thing that worried my husband the most was a mental reaction. I have shared before about how gluten can affect me mentally. While I was out of it, as you will see in a minute, I didn't have any major mental issues to deal with. I'm very thankful for that.
I was about to start eating when I noticed my right thigh felt quite warm. It was unusual, and I couldn’t imagine why it would feel that way. It didn’t go away so I put my hand there and felt something very strange. I grabbed a hold of it and took a look. It was my beef! It was on my lap! How it got there, I have no idea. I told my husband, “This is pathetic. I’m a mess.” I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny at the time.
It took several days for me to feel mostly back to normal, and now that I’m there I’m ready to talk about it. When I was sick, I had not interest in sharing the story, but I think it’s a good reminder of how diligent we need to be. I’m usually so careful, but in this case, a little illness was enough to bring down my guard.
The next time I’m at the store and not feeling up to par or just mentally distracted in some way, I will remember this accident. I will read yet another label. I will force myself to be diligent, because it is worth it.
Have you ever made a really stupid mistake like mine?
I am sorry about the 'contamination'. I hope that you are feeling better. Thank you for sharing your story. I will definitely be more diligent with label reading.
I've had dreams, too! Too funny!
I hope you are feeling better and remember it will take some time for that to leave your system so be good to yourself.
Keep detoxing with hot steamy showers, walking (or other aerobic activity), hot water with lemon, and all the other remedies.
I'm sure your post will help many, Linda! As Diane says, eating real, whole foods as I know you do most of the time (we all see your scrumptious recipes!) definitely makes such occurrences less likely.
It happens to all of us.
ADD. I'll tell you eating a gluten free diet has really
given my life back. I am no longer fearful of being sick
in public, I am a better mother (that wicked
witch...crushed) and I feel so much better all around. I really appreciate you sharing your story. It's good to know how others are affected too.
When I eat a big amount, it doesn't bother me as bad as a crumb. It will eventually start to bother me if I do it more frequently.
On Tuesday nights, my daughter and I are taking the Wilton Cake decorating class at Michael's. For the first class last Tuesday, we had to buy the Wilton frosting. There was no gluten, but it was processed in a plant that has wheat. I bought it anyway. On Wednesday I started to get a headache. I tried to ride it out. Oops, big mistake. By 4pm I had a MAJOR migraine, I was laying on the bathroom floor when my husband got home. I called my chiropractor, and he took me in. It was my reaction to the wheat. He adjusted me for it, and then adjusted my neck. THANK GOD it worked, and that he could see me. I was about to have my dad take me to the hospital. UGH!! And I didn't even eat any wheat, just the cross contamination.
I was watching a video online about how celiac can affect your intimate life too. I was glad to see that, because at least I understood what the challenge has been all these years.
I didn't outright eat gluten but I had a "trusting" moment with a restraunt that I've eaten from their gluten free menu before--but at a different location--and I didn't grill them and ask a bunch of question because I'd had their stuff before. BIG mistake. They glutened me. Probably hadn't trained the chef.
I threw up this time but I seem to rotate between ejection methods. :( Many of your other symptoms are the same as mine.
So sorry you had to experience that. I too learned to ALWAYS ask. You never know when the chef is out or things have changed.
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