I don’t know what the doctors officially told my parents about my allergies to oranges, peanut butter, chocolate, and dairy when we found out when I was around five or six. I remember throwing one of the worst tantrums of my life the day we found out at the sweetest woman in my life, my maternal grandmother, because she refused to fix me macaroni and cheese, for obvious reasons.
I can’t think that the doctors told my parents anything other than the fact that I shouldn’t consume those things, but that it wasn’t dire. I should try to avoid them, but it wasn’t technically life threatening. If I consumed too much, I’d have an asthma attack and then, I would refrain from them until I was better…
There’s no telling what they were told or what they heard. My Dad was already between a rock and a hard place with my Mom who refused to eat unless we had steak and potatoes. If a vegetable appeared, it better not appear on her plate and more than once even the unhealthily prepared green beans were tossed from her plate into the garbage. So, it really was difficult for him, because she insisted on doing the grocery shopping.
When I made the decision to go dairy free and told my Dad, he sighed and wished that the options available now had been available back then. I agree.
It makes me emotional to go forward, but I want to explain… I told a friend the other day, for so long, the concept of food as energy has been a foreign ideal to me - a part of what was making me feel so poorly. I try to be kind to myself, try to rationalize how I could possibly know what just eliminating dairy could do, how much energy food could give you, when your formative examples were actually worse for you than what you were eating as an adult.
For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m on a path to healthfulness… It’s slow going, but I’m working my way there… Now that I know what was causing so many problems, that the cycle of feel good, eat dairy, feel like crap, get kind of moody as hell, feel better, eat dairy, etc is something I am doing everything I can to break, I do feel so much better and am getting on a more normal pattern, which helps a lot.
I know that this is my thing, and I share a lot of bad and try not to share a lot of the depression or crankiness, though both somewhat seep out at times, but I wanted to share the good, too…
I know that going dairy free has helped me tremendously and that it is NOT the answer for everyone, for obvious reasons, but I do hope the people that I follow and try to interact with find the thing in their own lives that will turn things around.
You have no idea what today meant to me. I woke up without having to use my inhaler, I could breathe deeply without chest tightness, there has been no wheezing today, the first day I can say that in easily five years, I haven’t used any medication for asthma today, though I know I should for anxiety, because I feel the stress on my neck and shoulders. When a part of your entire existence for so long has been just not being able to breathe easily, which wears you down more than anyone understands until they experience it, you don’t take free breathing days for granted.
(Now, if Lexi would only stop coughing and her anxiety fits, which have both started up again rather recently, we would be a force to be reckoned with. )