Aha! I may not have my laptop but I discovered the computer lab at school. Supposed to be finishing my reading or using the gym but I am so tired this morning that I have no energy to do either. Stupid me decided to have coffee with T last night when he made some around 6ish – I dunno what I was thinking but it kept me from dropping into a deep sleep until about 6 this morning. At least tomorrow I don’t have any classes until 4:30 so I can sleep in (and in my own bed so I can wallow in the whole thing!).

I’ve been going through a transition over the past two weeks…

I want you to imagine that you woke up this morning and if you are right-handed, suddenly you are left-handed, or vice versa. Imagine something that is so basic and integrated into who you are, that has been that way since you were born – suddenly, it’s different. That is the best analogy that I can come up with to explain how I am feeling about no longer being lactose intolerant.

You have to understand that I have been lactose intolerant since birth. My Mum called the public health nurse when I was two or three because I kept having terrible stomach aches and she recommended taking me off dairy for a week and seeing what happened. Voila! No more stomach aches! I didn’t grow up drinking milk, having cereal, eating ice cream at birthday parties. I couldn’t eat cheese so no pizza, macaroni and cheese, etc.

When I was about fifteen I discovered lactose pills and suddenly a whole new world opened up. I still had no interest in drinking milk but I would put it in coffee, or eat cheese or food that had ingredients like sour cream in. Really creamy stuff isn’t my taste because I never grew up with it, but at least now I could have a few small bites of ice cream, along with the lactose pills.

So the other day I was eating pizza, and a couple hours later I thought to myself, “Did you take any pills with that? You must have. You’re not having any symptoms. Hmmm.” The next day I decided to try an experiment. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to be, so I ate some pizza again and deliberately didn’t take any pills. Nothing happened! I was like, WTF!

My best guess is that I was lactose intolerant as a child, but grew out of it without knowing because I also have IBS. The symptoms can be very similar, and since I didn’t realize that I had IBS until only a few years ago, I assumed that whenever I had stomach cramps or anything else, it was because I must have eaten something with dairy in it and not taken enough pills. But I’m getting more and more convinced that IBS is the only problem.

I’m not brave enough yet to try to drink a glass of milk. I’ve been cutting down on the amount of the pills that I’m taking, to the point where they are pretty much non-existent, but I’m a little nervous to ingest a lot of dairy and not take any pills. Maybe tonight, since I don’t have any plans except to hang out on my couch and watch tv, I’ll give it a try and really see if this core piece of my life is different.

The craziest part is that my chiropractor and I are working to get rid of my IBS symptoms. When I was going to him before, after a few months I didn’t have any symptoms and he said that that is quite common with his patients. This time I am planning on continuous care, rather than going to him to fix a problem and then stopping. The thing is, if I really am no longer lactose intolerant and if my IBS symptoms go away, I will have a working digestive system. For someone who has never had to think about what they eat that probably doesn’t sound very exciting but for me, I have never had a digestive system that works properly. I have cramps and aches and all sorts of pain all the time. It’s just part of life and yet – it may not be for very much longer.

It’s a strange feeling. I know that my stuff is not even close to what I’m about to compare myself to, but it’s just that I can understand this mentality so well. People who live with chronic pain begin to identify themselves with the pain, and if they have surgery or whatever and the pain is gone – well, it’s difficult for them to adjust because a part of who they were was the pain, and dealing with the pain. My pain is not on the level of chronic but it’s an almost daily occurrence and it feels very strange to imagine a day in the near future where I don’t have to deal with it.

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One Response to

  1. arwenoid says:

    I had the opposite… I had no problem drinking milk until I was in my teens. One day at lunch, I decided to be nostalgic and have a carton of chocolate milk. Insert me puking in my next class. (Yes, IN class… the teacher had left the room, and I wanted to go home, but had to wait for her to return. Evidently she took too long.) It was terribly humiliating, since by grade 12, you’re supposed to … not puke in class. 🙂

    Luckily, it’s not too bad. I can have small amounts of lactose without any severe effects, and I’ll be damned if I’m giving up ice cream. But if I eat something like… cream of mushroom soup…

    Well, this happens: http://lifetheuniverseanddonna.ca/index.php/20060810/dear-brain/

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