The best thing I did after finding out I had celiac disease was go to a dietician. After I found out I had celiac disease, everyone in my family got tested via blood work. My parents and siblings results came back negative.
My family and friends were amazingly supportive. My brother started cooking gluten free. My housemates rearranged the pantry and refrigerator so I could have my designated top shelves. My parents bought me gluten free cookware for when I visited them back home and bought me all new kitchen things from cutting boards to spaghetti pots. My sister mainly eats gluten free now and always suggests trendy gluten free places when I visit. My friends often suggest I pick the restaurant when we go to eat so it’s somewhere safe for me. Or they call ahead and ask for me. At this point (I’m a couple years in), all my close friends know my needs and could probably give my “I have celiac disease…” spiel for me. I am so lucky to have the best people in my life. Seriously. The best.
But when I was first diagnosed– I didn’t know anyone with celiac disease. Then I found my dietician. She got me. She knew how nerve racking it was/is for me to go to a restaurant and feel like “that girl.” I’m not picky by nature, and now I had to be. I had to ask questions. And she was there to support me all the way while sharing her trials and tribulations. She taught me to read labels, find trustworthy websites, always carry snacks in my purse, and how to order in a restaurant. And if there wasn’t anything I could eat, I could always drink my dinner 🙂
She really helped me own being gluten free when it didn’t come easy for me. And while I have gotten so much better at all this, it is still nerve-racking for me to go to a new restaurant with a new group of people and order. I cross my fingers and ask–Do you have anything gluten free? And then go into my spiel…