While those physical reactions had not been typical for my son (who has nonceliac gluten sensitivity) no one knew what his reaction to gluten was; no one asked. They had been told, however, that his diet was to be strictly gluten free-- and yet, one of his first meals, a week and a half after the accident, was not gluten free.
I was with him, thankfully, when that first dinner was brought in. When I questioned the broth, a call was made, the broth was removed--and it was not replaced.(not gluten free). And once in rehab, he was given non gluten free cereal--that he did eat, even though I had been very clear about his diet needs before he was admitted and even though I was assured it would be followed. (He was twenty two, and under normal circumstances, was old enough to know what he could and could not eat---but he was also recovering from a (severe) brain injury. What he ate was not something he was thinking or caring about. Had he been one to have those severe physical reactions, I wouldn't have been responsible for my actions. There would have been hell to pay. It was horrible enough to watch him go through what he was going through.
While my son does not have those physical reactions to gluten (vomiting or diarrhea) many do. Gluten does, however, make him feel miserable---something he already was. Miserable. Far (far) beyond miserable. And as mom, who was at the hospital far more than at home, I eventually discovered that I had to find time to cook in order to provide him safe and healthy meals, that also tasted good!
The rehab facility eventually made changes to how they handle special diets (weeks after my son was discharged, and after my complaints while he was there and after he left.) But changes were made for future patients, and for this I am grateful.
We were blessed with amazing surgeons, nurses, and staff, and we were blessed with a remarkable recovery. That time is now behind us (as much as it can be). But gluten free hospital patients continue to find it difficult to eat safely. I have been compelled to be proactive with celiac awareness, support, and education ever since my own diagnosis in 2000 (after a lifetime of health issues without answers). I hope now that our story (of an incredibly difficult time) can make a positive difference where it is so very needed.
that do it well. (gluten free and other special diets)
(positive or negative) in the comments section.