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To the Restaurant Employees Who Judge Me When I Order a Kids' Meal

You do not know me or my story, and I do not blame you for that, but please try to have an open mind when I come into your place of work. I have gastroparesis and other GI issues so food for me is not a joyous activity, but for my friends and family it is. I don’t want to miss out on parties, birthdays, special occasions and just in general fun memories.

Trust me, half of the time I don’t want to even think about going out to a restaurant, but when I do go out it takes a lot out of me emotionally and physically. I see all of these people eating foods that I desperately want to devour but if I did I would spend the rest of the night nauseous and in a lot of pain. So sometimes I order a kids’ meal or a side or nothing at all, but that is all I can handle; sometimes it’s still even too much food.

It takes a lot of thought and planning into what I am going to eat every day. It depends on how I am feeling and what I am going to be doing. If I have somewhere important to be I probably won’t eat much or anything but if my schedule is free for that day and the day after I will eat something sort of close to an actual meal.

I personally had a waitress say “what the hell” to me after saying I only wanted water (specifically to flush my nasal feeding tube at the time). I understand I come in and you expect me to eat, but sometimes I simply just can’t and I hope you will be more understanding the next time I would like to spend time with my loved ones doing something they enjoy.

Getty Image by Antonio_Diaz