The Celiac Story: Part VI

Note: This is the latest in a series of posts about The Kid’s Celiac disease diagnosis. They will all be collected under the Gluten Schmuten category tag.

April 17, 7:15 p.m. The Wife turns to me and says the following:

You know what bothers me? I had to be cranky to get an answer today. I had to ask specific questions to get any information and be obnoxious to get an answer. I mean, at one point I actually listened to myself and wondered what the hell my problem was.

celiacgraphicAbout 12 or 13 years ago when I was working in college sports, I made my first foray into weight loss. I started seeing a nutritionist at Community General Hospital who helped me redesign how I approach food. She was awesome. Barb built a diet for me that took into consideration my ugly work schedule (at the time), and took great pride in kicking my ass for veering. She was motivating and disciplinary. And then Barb burned out. Sick of the lousy hours and lousy pay, she took a job with a pharmaceutical company and flew the coop.

And that was the last time I ever worked with a nutritionist that could communicate.

Since then I have seen three different nutritionists at my primary care doctor and one during the Weight Loss Story. One of them had absolutely no business working with people. She spent the entire time talking to a calculator, impressing me with her ability to calculate my BMI and how many calories I should eat each day. The other three were not much better.

I get long-winded here, because The Wife and I met with the nutritionist we were referred to about The Kid. She was better than the previously mentioned gruesome foursome, but not by leaps and bounds.

As we got on the elevator after the appointment, The Wife looked at me and said, “Uhhh. Were you hoping she would be more helpful?”

I find it odd that a nutritionist assigned to us to discuss childhood Celiac disease could not answer questions like:

  • Does Celiac disease increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes? (ANSWER: No. Thank you Internet.)
  • Are daycare centers required by law to accommodate a child with Celiac’s dietary needs? (ANSWER: No. Thank you Internet.)
  • If we choose to have more children, is there a higher risk of them developing the condition? (ANSWER: Yes. The doctor weighed in.)
  • Can you suggest any techniques to convince The Kid to eat something more than crackers and yogurt? (ANSWER: No because she had no interpersonal skills or practical knowledge of anything. It was like dealing with a childless pediatrician. They can be good at their job, but it’s impossible to relate to them or buy into their advice.)

I understand that not every parent goes into full research mode when something like this happens, so this visit was appreciated. But, we were well past the 101-level class  we were getting. Essentially, this visit confirmed things that we spent the past week researching. To her credit, she switched gears once she started hearing the level of questions we were posing.

We learned that:

  • The Kid will have to use gluten-free makeup. Most consumer-brand cosmetics use wheat flour as a thickener, so gluten can get into the pores and cause havoc. Same thing with toothpaste and shampoo.
  • Oats are okay, but most companies that process oats also process wheat and usually in the same space.
  • She will have to have bloodwork every six months at the start, but eventually it will move to an annual basis.
  • And, any human can become a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a human.



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