Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gluten-Free E

When E and I started talking about trying to patch things up, he asked when I was going to blog about him. I think he's established himself around here pretty well by now, but tonight I'll tell you a little bit more about him. I've always got three or four post ideas bouncing around in my head like pinballs at once; this one's been in there for a while so I need to get it out.

Why Gluten-Free E?

When I started all of this blogness during our separation, I wasn't even sure if he wanted to be included in my little creative venture. I didn't want to use his name since (at first) I wasn't sure if he was around for good again. He is around for good. But he likes me calling him E online. Eventually E morphed into Gluten-Free E because he is. Moreover, he's trying to be.

Not by choice. E's allergic to the entire world. His real name should be food-free E.

When we were dating, probably around our senior year of high school, we went to Lyon's one night--the only place open after 10 PM in our town, circa 1997--and I ordered scrambled eggs and ham steak. He was talking to me about his egg allergy, which I, in my infinite 18 year old wisdom, decided was crap. I told him it was all in his brain, because he'd never even had any eggs since he was a very young kid. I wanted to make him eat eggs so I could prove that I was right. I egged him on. I said "come on. Try some. What can it do?" Well, the answer to that question was that it could keep him up all night, sick. Whoopsies.

Reason #4623 that I am not a doctor: I shall do harm.

The egg allergy was a trial and error thing. He knew that they made him sick. He could eat eggs in cooked stuff, but some things bothered him more than others. Straight up eggs, like at Lyon's? No, no, no, no, no.

Fast forward 8 years, and E is sick to his stomach all the time. He gets tested for all kinds of things; nothing helps, but he discovers that he has a ton of allergies. He has a constriction of his esophagus, which doesn't help things. Eventually he gets a doctor who asks that he gets tested for Celiac Disease.

Have you heard of Celiac? It's an extremely cumbersome condition. If you have it, basically your intestines do not absorb nutrients properly. You can't even eat things that are prepared in the vicinity of wheat. Wheat = death. People with Celiac get very sick and lose a lot of weight and have all kinds of stomach trouble. We thought for sure he had it. His aunt has it. Test results? Negative.

In medical and automotive issues, we tend to hope for a definitive diagnosis. If you can at least name the thing that's happening, there's a solution to it, right? No Celiac. So while we were breathing a gigantic sigh of relief that he didn't have that, we were wondering what it actually was that was causing his body to reject food.

Well, here it is. His allergy testing proved it: E is allergic to ALL of the following foods. All of them.


What's left? Not a lot. How is a person allergic to carrots??? Or soy? Soy is what you're supposed to eat when you're allergic to milk! Nearly every dish I know how to make includes multiple combinations of the above ingredients. He had to give up all of his favorites. Ice cream. Pizza. Lasagna. PB&Js. For a long time he was so down about it. I don't blame him. The world does not cater to people with food allergies or diseases like Celiac.

It's tough. We have to go to places that serve rice now rather than pasta. I have to make alternate versions of everything I cook. Gluten-free bread is N to the A to the S T Y. Blughhhhhh.

He manages. But it's pretty hard. He was already a picky eater, so there's that too. At least our kids show no signs of allergies. Yet.

Anyway. Here's something to make you laugh.
I met him in Biology class. Tenth grade. The above pic is us on our senior Grad Night Trip. It's pretty bad. It's been a long time. We've grown together. We've grown apart too, I suppose... and then back again. Thank the Lord we don't look like this picture anymore. What a bunch of dweebs.

Just thought I'd share a little about the E-man tonight. I'm glad he's around... Things are not easy, but he's my Gluten-free other half. The yin to my Gluteny yang.

Mmmm, Gluten.

~Gluten-loaded P.


  1. Ha, ha! Pretty sure that's my hand in the picture... did I take this picture? Even if we were dweeby, we had tons of fun anyway. :)
    <3 the friend formerly known as MLN

  2. Apples? I feel like thats a random thing to be allergic too. I love apples. Poor E. I shall not take for granted my ability to eat all of those foods.

  3. Wait...dear God...if I'm interpreting this right...the poor bastard is allergic to BEER.

    I'm so sorry, E.

  4. Yes, beer! I should have mentioned it. Sad. :(

  5. Wow, you guys look SO cool in this picture. Really, love the hair Gluten Free E. :)