Tuesday, May 27, 2008

When the cure kills the patient

I suppose the basic issue is that we (meaning my son, daughter, and myself) have been addicted to gluten--and possibly dairy--our entire lives. So, we find ourselves acting really poorly lo these four days. My husband is doing fine, he says. (But he gets to spend ten hours a day outside of our not-so-happy house.)

Frankly, I don't know how much longer I can handle my son's non-stop movement and my daughter's whining. Myself, I am hanging on by a thread. Every single thing in my environment BUGS THE LIVING HELL OUT OF ME.

We were all such a ball of joy today, running our errands and amazing our fellow shoppers at the depths of our incivility. As we paused in a playground outside the children's hospital where my daughter had an appointment, I tearfully called my husband to ask if he thought I should cancel the diet test. He said he would support me whatever I decided, because he understood it was important that I find a cause for the kids' and my own range of maladies.

When I got home this afternoon, after I had unpacked the groceries, helped the kids unburden themselves and find something to do, returned a few phone calls, fed and took out the dogs, tended to my own needs, and drank some water (AND BELIEVE ME THIS SEEMED TO TAKE TWO YEARS OFF MY LIFE), it occurred to me that maybe I was having withdrawal from something. So I Googled "gluten withdrawal." Voila.

I've always freely admitted to using food as medication. Dunkin Donuts got me through some dark days in graduate school. Popeye's biscuits softened the blow of divorce.

Wise people say that what you crave most is likely what is doing you the least good. This time, I may have to cede to my demons. My life is far too complicated right now to be dealing with a new panel of troubles brought on by such drastic alterations.

I am going to take us one more day into the FAILSAFE, gluten-free, casein-free wonderland, taking moments throughout the day to consider what smaller steps we could take for our health and well-being. Certainly we will continue to avoid artifical food dyes, preservatives, and glutamates. I would also like to keep the shampoo, soap, and toothpaste contamination to a minimum.

Gluten and casein? I'm thinking on it.

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