Need to Keep My Kids in a Bubble


Marsha Delaney: Posted on Sunday, November 03, 2013 10:54 AM

*This was originally posted on Nov. 3rd, 2013. I’m re-posting my previous blog content from my old site here. Finally.

     Last month, a dear friend of mine and her husband were kind enough and brave enough to invite our family over for a special barbecue at their house. They were really excited to treat us to a rare evening of relaxation, good food and good company without us having to worry about our kids being exposed to gluten. We were super-excited as well. We were particularly grateful for this because we hardly ever get to eat anywhere but home. We’re too afraid of accidental gluten exposure that could affect our kids in really horrible ways for weeks or even months to come.

My friend’s husband was meticulous. He went over every ingredient with me, ensuring that everything he was going to use in our feast was in fact, gluten-free. I was more than impressed by his conscientiousness. My friend even spent the good part of a day scrubbing their barbecue grill to ensure its cleanliness for us. I was so grateful.

We had a wonderful afternoon and evening. The kids played together really well, which we weren’t surprised by at all since they’re good friends, and we had a wonderfully-relaxing time eating and enjoying each other’s company. It wasn’t until the next day that we realized gluten, the evil bastard, had snuck its way into two of our kids’ bodies.

My oldest daughter woke up feeling sick. Her tummy hurt, she felt like she was going to throw up and her head hurt. It couldn’t be gluten, I thought, although her symptoms were the exact symptoms she gets if she has gluten. The she broke out in eczema. Okay, it was definitely gluten.

My son began acting like crazy-boy. He also broke out in dermatitis herpetiformis on his rear end. Bugger. I knew they’d both been exposed, but I couldn’t figure out how.

After a couple of days of my daughter not feeling any better, and missing a few days of school, I realized what it could have been; the only thing it could have been in that ingredients list. The jam. There was jam in the sauce, and the ingredients on the jam were fine, but it never occurred to me to ask if the jam was a new jar or if it had been previously-used. It turned out that it had been. There you go, a previously-used jar of jam was the culprit. How stupid of me to not think of that.

My friend and her husband felt so horrible about this, but there was no reason for them to. How could I expect them to think of something that even I, the local gluten guru (which other people have deemed me, by the way), didn’t think to check to see if the jam had ever been used.

I don’t write this post to point out any fault with my friends at all. Quite the contrary. They did everything right and we had a wonderful evening out. I write this post for other people out there who might be in the same situation and might not think of the jam or the butter or the mustard or any other condiments that might have previously been used in a household that is not a gluten-free household. I didn’t think of it because I don’t think of that at our house. I don’t have to. At other people’s houses, I now have to.

You really do learn something new every day.

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