Archive for the ‘IBS’ Category

This afternoon, I squatted down on the kitchen floor and sobbed.

It racked.

It was ugly sounding.


It wasn’t gut-wrenching.  Just a normal cry.

I felt sad and angry.  A normal sad and angry.

My GI specialist confirmed today that I will likely have to live with my restricted and complicated diet for the rest of my life.  As he put it, “You will always be sensitive.”

Truth be told: I miss endless and uninterrupted bread.   The rest I can deal with.  But I miss eating bread whenever the hell I want.

So I said, “drat” and moved on with my day.  My dad called and I gave him the news.  He wasn’t concerned; he just wanted to make sure that an end is in sight to the monthly “episodes” that still sneak up on me and ruin an unsuspecting evening.  And then my roommate called: she was at the grocery store picking up fixings for dinner and wanted to make me something.  I replied that I was on a non-wheat, rice, and meat  day so I had to eat tofu and quinoa tonight.  She was totally fine with it.  But I  abruptly realized that I would have to have similar conversations with people for the rest of my life.  Meals would never be easy again.  Never. So I hung up and cried.

And then, I finished crying, stood up, and went about my day.  I was okay.  Life went on.  I felt no residual desperation, depression, or black cloud.

The tears welled up briefly when my roomie got home and I explained why I’d been upset on the phone.  But they never erupted.  They just pooled a little and dissapeared.

I forgot what it feels like to be able to feel an emotion and then let it go.

My body hasn’t done that in what feels like forever.  My body is remembering to let go.  To shift, to move, to flow, to fly,  to breath.

It’s good.

It also helps that the air has finally cooled off and I sat my wi-fi self out on the porch to write by candle light in the dusk while the wind blows through the trees and the neighborhood children shriek.

This is also good.


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I got the results of my blood tests back.  Everything came back normal: no vitamin deficiencies, no celiac, no Irritable Bowel Diseases, just a million and a half unexplained food allergies:

I can’t eat apples for six months.

I can’t eat grapes for 3 months.

I can’t eat another dozen foods for one month.

I can’t eat another 50 foods more than twice a week.  This very long list includes rice, wheat, and soy.

So, ahem, what’s left to eat?!

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had a really nice visit with my awesome brother and his wife.  They brought me my belated birthday gift of some new grains and beans to try.  Not a moment too soon, either.

So, this week, I had Amaranth for breakfast.  It was delicious.

I’ve also invested in some nifty flours (including quinoa flour.  so cool!) so that I can bake bread that has a lower wheat content so if it’s not a wheat day, I can still indulge in some bread knowing that it’s not quite as wheaty as it might otherwise be.

Fortunately, three of my mainstays, mushrooms, spinach and onions, are NOT on any of the forbidden lists.  I can continue to saute to my hearts content because these puppies go on virtually everything.

Now we wait for the poop tests to come back and confirm the doctor’s suspicion that I’ve got a bacteria.  I’m praying he’s right.  I’m all for homeopathic and natural, but enough is enough, I want a little pill to make me better, damn it.

Here’s to continued food experimenting…leading to my eventual good health!

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Chicken, revisited.

I ate three small Trader Joe’s chicken nuggets last night.

I don’t really like chicken.

But I’m sick.  My head is full of cotton.  My nose is dripping Niagara falls of green goo.  And my neck feels like it could heat a small house on its very own, although its neglecting to keep my own spine warm.

So I was craving chicken-y things.  Soup would have been nice, but I didn’t have it around.  So part of my daughter’s dinner was the next best thing.

It was a bad idea.

I am clearly still not capable of digesting animal proteins the way a body should.  But here’s where my mantras came into play and saved my sorry ass.

I got part way through the second Bourne movie before the familiar sensation of my body’s rebellion began.  I stood and walked calmly through my house reciting: Release, Welcome, Balance.  Release, Welcome, Balance. I stopped occasionally and set myself in goddess pose but with  my hands thwacking together in front of me as a reminder of the balance I know I own.  When my body finally agreed to release and I sat myself on the porcelain throne, out of my mouth came several unexpected sustained oms followed by an impromptu elongated chanting of Release, Welcome, Balance.  When I continued to pace with a cold cloth on the back of my neck my legs held the familiar shake of a nervous system swamped in toxicity.

But it passed, as it always does.  And it passed with relatively little drama or trauma.

I did, of course, stay up far into the night to finish my Bourne marathon so that I could fall into bed and sleep without laying there in fear of a relapse.  But, this too, is a coping technique that works for me. And it did.

So now chicken, in all its forms, is permanently off the food list until further notice.

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When I had to seriously restrict my diet which eventually became vegan, I thought at first I would be eating bland food forever.  I quickly learned to replace the taste of animal fat with interesting spices like paprika, garlic, raisins, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, and Marsala.

I make my own bread, so now the taste of store-bought bread is slightly repulsive.  It’s tacky, chewy, and actually kind of bland.

Since I don’t like the taste of soy milk, I started drinking my tea plain, and discovered I like my tea better that way.

I discovered—I guess not surprisingly—that eggs taste just like chicken.


I went to Wendy’s.

Avi and I were out-and-about.  I needed a break from whipping together a meal.  It was cheap.  She loves fries.  I got a salad with mandarin oranges on it, some chopped almonds and fake Asian crispy thingies.  I gave the chicken on top to Avi.  She didn’t eat it.  But we both ate the fries.

My initial bite was slight revulsion.  It tasted pretty gross.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had fast food fries since starting this whole vegan thing, but I usually go for Chick-Fil-A which are cooked in peanut oil and are really yummy.  I have no idea what Wendy’s cooks in but it’s gross.  What was funny, though, was with every fry I ate, they tasted more and more yummy….

It was strange.

And I looked around at the packed restaurant.  At all the people who eat this crap multiple days a week.  And I mourn for their taste buds.  They no longer know how to recognize truly delicious food.  In fact, if I were to place homemade bread in front of them, they’d ask for the butter and jam before even tasting it.  Many of them would decide they don’t like it simply because they are so used to the taste of chemicals and animals fats.  Anything lacking that additive tastes revolting to them…just like chemicals taste revolting to me.

And sometimes I wonder if I should blame fast food for the tummy dilemma I am now in.  Because although I swore off fast food and red meat for most of my life, when I got pregnant it was my best friend.  I craved the fat and salt constantly.  I was commuting an hour each way to work so even though I ate a snack before leaving the office, I would get hungry half way home, just in time to stop at McD’s for fries.  And then when Avi was born, she was a terrible sleeper so I would stick her in the car at lunch time, drive until she fell asleep, go to the Burger King drive through and then park and eat while she slept.  It frequently felt like my only complete meal of the day.

And now, here I am.  With a unexplained leaky gut.  And I can’t help but blame the chemicals and red meat.

The benefit, of course, is that I’m learning to taste again.

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Visions of carrying my poop, hidden away in a brown paper bag, into my doctor’s office swam through my head.  Like bringing the kitty poop in each year.

It’s not like that.  Not at all.

I had hoped to do the poop scoopin’ without my toddler around.  I’m an open-minded gal; we talk about all sorts of things.  But I really did not want to have to explain to her why mama was mailing her poop.  Her current trend of reenacting all the events of her life ad infinitum does not lend itself well to the embarrassing possibilities.

But(t), well, to put it bluntly, one poops when one poops.

So yesterday afternoon, with plastic gloves on, the smell of formaldehyde in the air mixed with the stench of yuck, and a little plastic basin balanced precariously on the corner of the bathroom sink, I scooped and mixed and shook while my daughter looked on curiously.

The conversation went something like this:

Mama: “Remember this morning at the hospital?  When the nurse took some blood tests of mama?  It’s to make sure mama is healthy.  Well, the doctor will check my poop too.  So I’m sending him some poop to test.”

Avi:  (Thinking hard.  Wrinkling her nose curiously.  Thinking hard some more.) “You’re cute, mama.”

Nothing like a toddler to make you feel better about scooping your own poop.

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Dairy Dreamin’

Thanks to this, I’ve been eating vegan for a month.

It’s okay, but I crave protein constantly.  And I really miss cheese.

Last night, I dreamed that I drank a huge glass of milk.  It was delicious.

Every time I pour myself a glass of soy milk, I smell it, hoping it will smell like creamy cow milk.

So today, since I’ve been doing so well…I ate cheese!  Cheese!  Yes!  Cheese!  Two 1/4″ x 1″ x 2″ slices of the most heavenly organic cheddar.  Of course, in my current state, processed American would taste heavenly.

I made sure to put the block of cheese away in the fridge before I sat down to eat so I wouldn’t be tempted “to have just one more.”

This was at 2pm.  It’s now 8pm.

So far, so good.

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the nausea comes in waves.

the tingling is everywhere but concentrates itself in the back of my neck.

the tremors start in my gut and radiate out through my shoulders and into my legs.

i walk.

i walk a path into the floor.

i walk to keep from vomiting.

i walk to keep the tremors from shaking me to pieces.

and all because of some eggs.  or milk.  or an insipid ingredient in the bean-o that i didn’t notice until after i’d chewed up two chalky pills: cod.

this was last night.

i’m still out of sorts.  i can’t get it out of my system.  one lousy mistake and now it will take days to reset my system to digest again.  it will take days to reset my psyche to sleep again.

it will take days.

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