Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trying to help

A former acquaintance of mine has chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

I told her about diet changes. Well, I tried. Have you ever tried to boil down four years of reading research into a few sentences? It doesn't work well.

Well, finally, she snapped. In an e-mail she screamed at me. She told me I had no idea how she was feeling. And that it was so great that I found out that gluten affected me, but she had allergy tests and it didn't affect her. The end.

I tried to gently explain the different types of allergy tests, how an elimination diet was really the best way to be sure. I tried to explain that some people react to foods that never show up on any standard tests. I told her about new research that showed food reactions happening in the gut, far beyond the reach of blood or skin tests. I told her that it may not be gluten at all, but something else.

She had had enough. She was not going to listen to me anymore. And with that, our relationship was over.

That hurt. It hurt even more when I thought about how another relationship of mine went sour -- an acquaintance who kept suggesting that my son was autistic and needed to be tested.

Now, to be fair, I didn't have the first clue about how to go about getting tested. I asked his pediatricians and they all said my son was fine, there was nothing to be worried about.

But, I did resent her for that.

Maybe part of the reasons was because we weren't really close friends or anything, and her behavior and expressed opinions on other topics really weren't things I agreed with. Perhaps my recently lost acquaintance felt the same way about me.

But it does feel a bit like the shoe is on the other foot now.

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