Sunday, January 3, 2010

Little habits really do die hard, but life can be sweet

Today started out well, and I held it together, but I swear, sometimes I just wanna yowl at the moon when a stupid little gesture screws everything up.

Like, say, when I stick something in my mouth that I often do, to hold it for a second while I do something else. And then I realize the moment it hits my tongue - as my mouth starts to tingle and swell a little - that I've gone against the cardinal rule.

Never Forget to Keep it out of your MOUTH.

This is something that has been VERY hard for me to remember. I'm a physical person. I use my body to deal with little problems: feet, mouth, whatever's handy. If I am sewing and I need a free hand, I'll hold the needle between my teeth for a second. If I need a bead off the floor, I'll often grab it with my toes. If tomato sauce blurps out of the pan onto my finger, I'll absently lick it clean and wait until I'm done at the stove to go wash.

I can't do any of that when it relates to my mouth anymore. In the beginning, far too many times I would accidentally lick my finger clean, chew on my nail, tap my lip...and wham, I'd react. That probably helped speed up my awareness, actually. Nothing makes a point better than feeling like cow manure that's been chopped into pieces and boiled in nettles.

Unfortunately, the lesson didn't stick. Because I've been relatively reaction free for a bit now. I've been so careful, and as a result, I haven't reacted. So my body thinks, I believe, that maybe this was all a dream. Maybe that whole 'throat swelled up, ack, can't talk!' was some weird nightmare that wouldn't really happen again. Which means that today I popped something in my mouth, just like I used to, and the second I tasted it, I could feel my mouth reacting. I could have cried.

Tomorrow I was going to try a new food, darn it!

And I've already lost a food since my last post. Millet is now off my list; my body decided millet and it were not as friendly as it had first thought. I guess millet is like one of those roommates who talks a good game, but once you actually move in together, you realize he is a complete slob and you can't wait for the lease to end.

And as for the food challenges for my kids? Daughter is looking slightly sensitive to corn, and my son is looking pretty positive to being at least sensitive to both eggs and corn, on top of the milk that we already knew about.

If I were to make a slideshow of his reactions, I'd show a picture of a small, smiling boy, and a picture of a small, evilly grinning boy with red eyes who is trying to strangle his big sister.

This is my son, now this is my son on corn.

Yes, in my family, corn or milk = demon possessed child. Eggs just make him feel miserable.

Considering that I never thought, at all, that eggs or corn were an issue, this has come as something of a shock. But makes me feel a heck of a lot better about my son, and reminded me, yet again, of one of the other cardinal rules that I need to remember for this life.

Trust myself.

I have been thinking for a couple years now that something was wrong with my little guy (and my daughter, as well). He would go one day happy and joking and, while still having grumpiness, it would pass within a few minutes.

And then another day, he would be completely out of control. Attacking his sister, the furniture, us. Crying fits that lasted an hour, or more. I can remember his crying himself into an exhausted nap, then waking up to start pitching a fit about the same thing like he'd never stopped!

I was utterly frustrated, and wondering what I was doing wrong (I'm sure the answer is: a lot), but at the same time, I just couldn't help think that it seemed very odd, how it was like a switch. One day as one person, and another day as another person. There didn't seem to be any middle ground, or any mixing of the two behaviors, and I thought: what if something's causing this that's not just 'nurture.'

But I didn't really trust myself all that much, so I didn't seriously pursue it. Now that all this is happening to me, I was more adamant that we should put them on an elimination diet. And I'm so glad I did. It's just so, so important to trust those instincts we have, isn't it?

And so hard to do, sometimes, especially when people around us don't see what we're seeing, and try to talk us out of it. But we can stand firm. We just have to remember all those times people thought WE were the ones who were exaggerating something, or noticing something that 'wasn't an issue. And we have to remember that we were right.

It's letting go of a habit, for me. A habit of feeling like a hypochondriac, because I'm noticing physical symptoms that 'have no cause.' And I need to make sure I stomp on that habit and crush it underfoot. I need to trust that I'm not stupid, or making it up, or delusional.

Whiny...that one I'll admit to.

But I want to make sure I give my kids a good example of how to stick up for themselves and to make sure they talk with their docs and speak out when something needs attention. Like I didn't do enough of, really.

And then I want to give them a good example of what the heck to do when your life is turned upside down. You can sit down and cry, or shake it off, laugh at the dark irony of it all, and get on with things. I've done a little of both, but I'm trying to laugh. And to enjoy what new things I've found out since all this started.

Like Raw Honey - the best substance in the world, holy crud.

Food Recommendation:
Raw Honey - I've had honey - lots of times - but never raw honey. For those of you who haven't tried it, this stuff is usually found in health food stores, and it's usually much paler than the regular honey (even white, sometimes). It's solid, too. It's not processed, so it doesn't get all liquidy like we're used to seeing. It's butter-in-the-fridge solid. Really solid.

But a little bit ago I thought - what the heck. I reacted to honey, but it was to local honey, from local plants, and we found some from an entirely different country. This one wouldn't be the same, would it? I could try it, right?

So, uh, yeah...maybe my reasoning isn't sound, but I was so desperate for a sweet taste at the time, I caved and tried this sweet as my next food. And I don't think that I reacted, either, so woo hoo!

Because let me say: raw honey is amazing!! It's got the honey taste, but it's a little richer, and the feeling of it on your tongue is creamy. As though you just ate a candy made of cream and honey. It is, simply, fantastic. Everyone should try some of this.

I gave it to my daughter and her eyes lit up and she said: oh my god, that's amazing!
Which typically means that now I'll have to hide the stuff so she doesn't start eating it in some sweet binge when I'm not looking, ha.

For anyone who has to be sugarcane free like us, seriously, you gotta check this out. It's so good I wish I'd bought a bigger bottle of it. I have no idea how to use it, since it's not liquid, but I don't care. I would be quite happy to have a little ball of it to eat as a candy treat every once in a while.

Really: try it. If you have any liking for honey at all, you won't regret it. Maybe it can be one of your happy moments of the day like it was for me.

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