Watching this video though, was a reminder. A reminder of this silly underlying need I have to apologize. All those years being undiagnosed, feeling like I was exaggerating symptoms, often holding back and making light of how I really felt, feeling meek when walking into the "all knowing" "well educated" doctor's office. "I'm sorry I don't feel well - again." (Not actually saying those words 'I'm sorry', but implying it in my demeanor.)
This was me - speaking as a woman - 'I'm sorry'. But as a mom - this emotion turns to 'mother bear' as you will see below. We can - and do - stand up for our kids; fight tooth and nail for our kids - but for ourselves - "I'm sorry I'm such a bother." Enough!! We deserve to be the best we can be and to have this need recognized.
Watching "Dr." Drew's antics as he interrogated J.E. about "What blood tests?" and on and on, I felt this 'de-ja vu' - doctors that told me "Nothing's wrong", with those eye rolls and sighs and prescriptions for anxiety and IBS control. But something was wrong - and it was slowly destroying my body, my mind and my life. Why do we have to be 'sorry' for being sick? And now - with an answer - certainly no more apologies. But why - even with this answer - are some doctors still complete asses (as "Dr." Drew so clearly displayed himself to be?) Well here's one answer - Doctors practice medicine. They don't practice food or nutrition. They practice medicine. And if they can't 'practice' with the drugs, (or surgeries), what do they do? Food? Food can kill you? Food can help heal you? The concept isn't in their education.
And this fact became a devastating personal reality earlier this year. My son was in a horrible horrible car accident. He couldn't eat (or even drink) until the 11th day - and it was then that I discovered the degree to which our medical facilities are lacking in their awareness of and ability to handle gluten free diets - and hell - nutrition in general. If I wasn't there he would have received gluten in his first warm meal - broth. And he did receive gluten in rehab. The impact of this could have been devastating. It was a harsh reality of "what the hell is going on?" He was not the first, nor will he be the last gluten intolerant person in a medical facility whose diet was not overseen or taken seriously. Of course, at the time, he was my ONLY concern. But later, as reality sunk in - wow! Its insane. This is what I blogged at that time - 'My Son Survived a Car Accident - Why Do They Make it So Hard to Eat?'
A blessing - the rehab did eventually change the way they handle food allergies. This didn't happen while my son was there - but because the mom in me who made the calls while he was there and later sent an impactful letter. That letter included the very real fact of the devastation that could have occurred. What if my son were one who vomited when gluten was consumed, as some do?. His jaw took hours of surgery, a plate and several screws to repair. One surgeon told me it was about the worst she'd seen. He had sutures from ear to ear. They would have had to peel me off someone if the gluten he consumed caused him more discomfort or pain. But a difference was made, as I described here - 'A Difference Made - Send Letters Too'
And now you have the ability to make a difference. Send letters to your local hospital, medical facility. Form a committee within your local support group to make visits or letter writing campaigns. At the very least, sign this petition (that another 'mother bear' started). Help make the Dr. Drew / Jennifer Esposito interview be that 'accident at that intersection' that causes that stop sign to go up. Dr. Drew Show on Headline News. We Would Like a Public Apology to the Celiac Community.
Thank you Nikki Everett for this very important petition!!
Also: I am in such a habit of referring to my diet as an "allergy" (as this is so much easier to communicate to others.) I do understand, however - as others need to - that those of us with celiac have an 'intolerance' to gluten; that celiac is an autoimmune disease. Celiac is not a gluten 'allergy' - it is an intolerance to gluten.