Monday, March 30, 2009

Seven Years

I've been gluten free for seven years. The other day my husband, who'd just been eating out with a colleague at a new sushi place, proudly brought me home some sushi (some kinds of sushi rolls are pretty much the only restaurant food I can eat). I opened the box, salivating. It's so rare I get to eat something I didn't have to make myself.

I stared at these fancy rolls, dread setting in. One of them, a large one, had a coating on it that I swear looked like... bread crumbs? And these crumbs were scattered around the box. The others had what looked to be soy sauce-based sauces. My heart sank. I called the restaurant to find out what was in the rolls. One had a wheat-based sauce, and that big one was... a breaded katsu roll. He didn't seem to quite understand what the problem was. "Yeah...it has some kind of coating on it..." I knew if I said anything it would be perceived as unwarranted criticism, after he'd tried so hard, after all, to do something nice for me. And there I go again, rejecting a gift with my neuroticism. 

I remember reading something written by a gastroenterologist when I was first diagnosed. In it, this doctor pondered why it is that some of his patients--and almost exclusively male patients--cannot (or rather, will not) understand that gluten free means absolutely none at all, not even a crumb. I guess it applies to patients' families as well. Seven years, I felt like wailing, and I'm being gifted with a breaded katsu roll? 

But I could see disappointment in his face. He'd actually been trying to be nice. He doesn't get it. It's frustrating for him too. I try to understand. 

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