Are you wondering what our innards have to do with hidden disabilities?
Can you tell from looking at me that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? No. That crazy thing is sitting inside me waiting for a chance to strike.
Look at this sweet little thing!
Can you tell she most likely has Celiac Disease? Nope!
You can’t see them but they can radically affect the behaviour of those who have them. And they are a worry and concern for parents of kids who have them.
There are a host of problems that are lurking in our abdomens. Chron’s, Irritable Bowel Sydrome, Celiac Disease, food allergies and so many others. These things are just nasty to deal with, but since we don’t come equipped with a display on our forehead saying, “Don’t come near me with that peanut butter cookie! I could die!” we have our work cut out for us.
I don’t have a medical definition but this is a pretty obvious one. Food allergies and sensitivities at the very least are uncomfortable and difficult to deal with at the worst they are life threatening. I have often encountered people who assume that because you are asking questions about the food, how it’s prepared and what the ingredients are – that you are simply a picky eater. This is not the usually the case.
No one chooses to have their guts tie in knots or their throat close up, these are real threats not pickiness!
Those who have been diagnosed with a disorder or disease are on hyper-alert when it comes to eating in public. They know what can happen and are doing their best to prevent that. We could all help them out a little by not assuming that they are not horrible people out to ruin your carefully crafted menu.
While it isn’t possible to have a plan for every situation it is only hospitable to do your best to ensure that all those who are going to be eating at a function can, in fact, eat – safely. This may mean letting the Celiacs go first in the food line so that no cross-contamination can occur. It may mean not opening the peanut butter jar when your company is over. Let’s practice hospitality shall we? Ask the questions!! And don’t be horrified by the answers. Go the extra mile, someone will be glad you did!
**If you are new here you might want to know that this post is part of a series on hidden disabilities. I am going to be continuing this series for all of October as part of the 31 Days Challenge. You can see all of the amazing topics over at The Nester’s! To go back to the beginning of this series click on the Alphabet Soup tab and you can see the indexed list of chapters.