Surprising Support

   A couple weeks ago Kevin and I went to rehearsal dinner for our friends wedding, the dinner was up at Alpine Inn in Hill City.   I was nervous to go for two reasons, one: I still have been having tummy pain, like nausea (which is totally normal during the healing process) and two, because I can't eat very much in one setting. Why? I'm not sure, maybe cause my body is starting to absorb the nutrients from the food now or because my body isn't used to me eating much food over the past several months. So naturally, I was trying to figure out what I was gonna do. I didn't want to explain to everybody that I had Celiacs and make this evening about me. I didn't want to sit there and try to eat the food and ruin everybody's evening by being a party pooper.   So my first step was to call the restaurant and see if their stuff is gluten free.  If you've never been to the Alpine Inn, they only serve filet minon, toast, baked potato, and a salad wedge. Obviously, I knew I couldn't have the bread, but I didn't know if the ranch for the salad had gluten in. Did the salad come with croutons?  Did they season the steak? Does the Bacon have gluten in it? (Most do.)  So I called up and asked and the lady I talked to said that none of their products contained gluten. She answered a little too quickly for me, so I wasn't comfortable enough with that answer. I decided I would go but I would talk to a manager first, so I would feel comfortable about how my food was being made.  (Tips I read in this book about being gluten free...The G-free Diet.)  We get to the restaurant, sit down, and I asked the server if I could speak to the manager. Fortunately, our server was the manager. I explained to her that I had Celiacs and couldn't have anything with gluten and asked her if the food was gluten free.  Come to find out that she also had a gluten allergy and said not to worry. She assured me that she personally would make sure everything was done right. Sigh of relief! This was the first time that I felt comfortable eating food that I didn't prepare myself, and not knowing whether I was going to get sick the next day. 

     After I had talked to the manager about my allergy, the guy sitting next to me at the table (our limo driver) started asking me about what it was like having Celiacs. I told him about how I felt and the things I was learning and some of the challenges. He then told me that his son they found out had a gluten intollerance which, is not as extreme as Celiacs, but still can cause issues. He said his son was having odd behavior issues and after doing some tests they tried removing gluten. He said it has helped improved his sons attitude and behavior by great amounts and didn't realize gluten could have such an affect on people.  He proceeded to tell me that he used to be a manager at Outback Steakhouse and the general manager there was the one that started to bring awareness about Celiacs to Rapid. He said that the staff have special training on how to properly cook gluten free food they offer.  I worked as a waitress, so I know a little about how the the cooking staff can be....not helpful.

     There was such a huge relief on my face, not only cause I know a safe place I can eat without having to worry about getting sick because the staff understand how it important it is to be safe. I don't know anybody who has gone through the same thing I have.  My family has been very supportive, of course, but knowing somebody else is going to take care of you because they know what it's like, or they understand why you can't eat something, you don't feel good, or that you can't eat much. They get it....and it was such a great moment when you realize that somebody else knows the exact feeling you feel.


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