When we asked Ruth and Sue to contribute an allergy diary and a coeliac’s diary to our websites it was very much with the idea of giving those of us who are lucky enough not to have to live with either life threatening allergies or coeliac disease a window onto what it was like if you did!
Both have been brilliant and not only given us lots of information but a real insight onto some of their daily frustrations. But it was Sue’s most recent post – which some of you may already have read – which not only hit the frustration nail on the head, but evoked and sympathetic outburst from Ruth. So, for those of you who don’t get the newsletter:
Share my food? No way…
Or indeed any grace, come to that. Sometimes
I wonder if having coeliac disease has made me more selfish, or if I was always going to turn out mean.
Take me out of the house for a while and my only concern is whether there’ll be any food. I try to hide it, but however exciting and wonderful the day promises to be, I always harbour a nagging fear I won’t get anything to eat. And quite often, unless I take my own food, I don’t, which brings me to the alien concept of voluntarily sharing it with anyone else.
If I work away I always take a big bag of emergency supplies with me. Feeling I ought to share them is not usually a problem that arises in the UK, as colleagues look on corn thins as insulation material rather than a source of carbohydrates, but having been up since dawn with nothing to eat on an uninhabited island off the African coast, even foods previously perceived as unattractive can acquire a sudden desirability.
So sharing food can become a bit of a thorny issue, particularly if we’re somewhere remote and I’ve taken a bag of emergency provisions to last me the job.
I went away last year with 68 corn thins (calculated at 4 per day, with 8 for flight days and 4 spares, just in case), a few snack bars and some packets of almonds and apricots, and I didn’t fancy handing them out in the back of the car when the hulking great junk-food addicts were all feeling a bit peckish after their bag of biscuits had run out, especially as I knew they’d be chucked out of the window as soon as anything better turned up.
Thus, although in theory I’m committed to the concept of sharing, and love nothing more than the idea of a big communal meal, in real life I don’t really like doing it. In practice it never quite works out. I suppose it’s a bit like being a veggie, going out for supper and finding all the carnivores want the meat AND the veggie option too. A bit like that, but not quite, as you can choose whether you’re vegetarian or not.
And of course I blame CD entirely for my occasional catastrophic lack of manners, even downright rudeness. Last year I met a long-lost relative for coffee, spotted a gluten-free cake on the counter, bought it, sat down and had eaten it before I’d realized I hadn’t even thought to get him anything. It was only when I put my fork down and saw him looking at me I realised what I’d done. You see mostly I don’t care about other people and their food. Which might be just as well, because I often get the impression the feeling’s mutual.
I am completely the same. I don’t care two hoots about anyone else’s food, and I certainly won’t share. No way. I find it really hard to come home and find my gluten free bread gone, only to have the stealer complain it was awful! Who would buy this stuff? Me!
And the contamination of marmalade is one of my biggest bug bears. My favourite lime marmalade, only just opened, fell foul of one of those incapable of using the spoon. Same with the hummus. Home made and now ruined by your butter, knife or breadstick.
I am that child who will not share the toy. No way. Not happening. The oat cakes are mine and the dairy free chocolate? You can starve. And no you most definitely cannot share my bottle of water you allergen guzzling people you!