My mother in law thinks my husband’s disabilities would be cured of he cut out gluten. She thinks the chronic pain world go away with enough tumeric and if he put onions in his socks at night. Despite the fact that he has none of the symptoms of celiac disease and there’s no scientific evidence to support her claims, she is adamant and outspoken about her beliefs.

He’s not totally against traditional medicine and healing options, but the suggestions she’s making aren’t even related to his disabilities.

I understand that it must be terrible to, from her perspective, watch her beloved son suffer needlessly. Which is why he’s sometimes gone along with her quack diets and nonsense cures, sometimes for months at a time. Most of them don’t pose any potential harm and we thought it would help our relationship with his mom. When they fail, she insists is because he wasn’t really following her inductions. Or its because we don’t have faith. It’s his negative energy that’s causing his health problems. So he’s stopped humoring her.

Each time we see her, she has new printouts of ridiculous claims from healers. No matter how many times we’ve said that we appreciate her concern and we love her very much, but we believe in medical science. We change the topic. We tell her outright that we’re not going to discuss it. She refuses to respect that his medical care is his choice. Instead she makes a scene.

Easter was terrible. She opened the doors with printouts in her hand. She ranted on and on about alternate treatments and conspiracy theories all during dinner. We kept trying to change the topic, bring other relatives into the conversation, but she didn’t make it easy.

And then he declined a glass of wine, saying he wasn’t supposed to drink on his new medication. That’s when she really started. She insisted the medication is causing his disability – he is physically disabled from a chronic disease aggrevated by an injury – since he wasn’t disabled until he started taking medication. She was practically yelling and worked herself up into tears. Finally, he said he couldn’t speak to her until she was ready to respect his choices and we left.


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