I’d say 90% of the time, I’m fine with having Celiac disease. Sure, it’s annoying and more difficult to eat out. Sure, I can’t partake in the Pop-Tart craze in my office. I can deal.
But there are those moments – those times when I just want to throw my hands up and say, “I give up! Just give me a feeding tube for the rest of my life and put an end to this whole ‘Eating’ thing.”
Case and point:
Last week was a long one at work, and on top of that I offered to take a friend to the airport. At 4am. At BWI, which is an hour from my apartment and the opposite direction from my office. So I drive to the airport and figure I should just go right to the office – get in extra early and avoid driving through the city.
Hunger struck while I was driving at 5:30am like a freight train. I ran through the options in my head: try to find a 24 hour CVS, wait until the grocery store opened at 8am…
Then 30 minutes later I saw the beaming golden arches of a McDonald’s. I was getting frantic-hungry and knew they had coffee and orange juice, and maybe hash browns? Were they gluten free? I pulled into the drive thru and tried to look it up on my phone but couldn’t find an answer in time. I scanned the menu and didn’t see anything else I could get, so figured I’d just buy the hash browns and check before I ate them. At least I’d have coffee and orange juice - right?
The drive thru guy asks, “Would you like cream in your coffee? How many?” I say “Yes. Two.” I get my hash browns and drinks, and pull over to investigate the hash browns. According to McDonald’s ingredient list, the hash browns were not gluten free.
I get my blood sugar up a bit with the juice, but my stomach is growling and not happy that it can’t have the hash browns. I pull into the office thinking I’ll just stick it out until I can go to the grocery store. I’ll drink my coffee and do some work, it’ll be fine.
No, not fine.
I take a sip of my “coffee” and it’s cold. And thick…
It was a FULL CUP OF CREAM.
No coffee. ALL CREAM.
Hungry. Not-caffeinated. Tired. Cold.
THIS is when Celiac really sucks.
When I just need food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, organic, or good for me. I just needed any kind of food at all and couldn’t find it.
In conclusion – McDonalds needs more gluten free options. Or there need to be more restaurants that open at 5am. And now I keep gluten free protein bars in my glove compartment, so I guess I learned my lesson.
Anyone else have a gluten-free horror story? What are your last-resort food options?