Tuesday, April 9, 2013

HAWMC Day 9: Parental Guidance

All through April, I'm participating in WEGO Health's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge. In addition to my usual posts, I'm going for 30 days of activisty content. My take on today's prompt: Parents just DO understand.

If you walk into my parents' laundry room, you'll see a stack of pots and pans. They don't do much cooking in the washer/dryer. Those pots and pans are mine. As in, special, gluten-free only cookware. There are usually a couple of Udi's pizza crusts in their freezer, and my mom is probably the only person in the southwest Chicago suburbs who spends more money than I do at Sweet Ali's.

I don't live with my parents. And as of yet, no one else in that household has any need to go gluten free. They do these things because it was important to them that I feel safe and welcome in their house. My whole family has adapted to my situation in a way that still sometimes baffles me.

Since being diagnosed, it's not just MY life that's been flipped. My husband, my parents, my sisters - everyone's had to learn to deal with the ball of nonsense that is celiac. And if they get frustrated, I never hear about it. That means more than they will ever know.

My mom has told me many times that, as a parent, it's hard to watch your child suffering - whether your child is six, or pushing 30. I don't have kids of my own yet, but I think I understand the sentiment.

So if you are the parent of a child with a chronic illness - no matter how old that "child" may be - follow my parents' lead. Be patient, be supportive, and find some gluten-free cookies.

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