One mom's adventures through ADD, autism, chronic fatigue…and shiny things!

Caseus vale, or Farewell Cheese

Caseus vale: latin for Good-bye cheese.  I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this.  As soon as I finish up the last little bit of cheddar in the fridge…

And then today at the store I grabbed some organic aged pre-shredded Parmagiano to sprinkle on my baked cauliflower.  (It’s really, really good: a big head of cauliflower chopped into florets, tossed with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, generously sprinkled with shredded parm, in the oven at 375 for about 25 min.  Yum.)

It was mindless, it was habit.  And it’s not helping me get off dairy. I resisted the raw milk aged cheddar and the pre-wrapped 1 oz sticks of mozzerella that are oh-so-easy to throw in my bag to stave off a blood sugar crash.  I bought my husband milk for his cereal but didn’t get any half-and-half for my coffee.  (I have to admit that I still have a jar of Coffeemate and some soy creamer, but it’s just to get me over the transition).

I do my best to keep us eating clean and healthy and as allergen free as possible. Organic, free range, prayed over by Bhuddist monks and blessed by nuns–I do care about what we put in our mouths.  My kids have been of dairy for most of their lives.  I have gotten off gluten almost completely.  Any gluten consumed is either from cross-contamination or wild-eyed desperation to fend off the above-mentioned blood sugar crash.  When my hypoglycemia reared its ugly head and bared its teeth this spring I started eating almost continuously in an effort to avoid another episode.  Cheese sticks were my constant companion.  If I happened to be up in the middle of the night (I have small children, it happens) and I was hungry, I’d pad into the kitchen and help myself to some cream cheese.  Oh yes, I did.

About a week ago I went to a new naturopath, threw over my huge file and my two-page supplement list and said “Help me.”  She flipped through everything, took some notes and asked ” So is any of this helping?” 

Um, no, not really. That’s why I’m here.

So her top recommendation was to remove dairy since its pro-inflammatory.   Insert knife.  Twist.

I know that, but I’ve been choosing to ignore the fact.  I know cow’s milk is for baby cows.  I know it can contribute to diabetes, asthma, allergies, digestive problems galore, and zits.  I don’t eat wheat, not much sugar, no artificial colors, flavors, etc.  I try to eat all my vegetables, go organic as much as I can afford, buy free range eggs and meat.  It looks good on paper, but it’s just not as much fun without butter, yogurt, half-and-half and cheese.  I really don’t care about a glass of milk, but the milk products…oh joy.

To remind myself of why I need to do this, I have compiled a list of websites and resources of why milk isn’t the answer.  Enjoy.

NotMilk.com, GoDairyFree.com, NoMilk.com, and Don’t Drink Your Milk.

In closing:

  • “Dairy products may play a major role in the development of ALLERGIES, asthma, sleep difficulties, and migraine headaches.”
  • Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 1983;19(9):806-809 Pediatrics 1989;84(4):595-603

Farewell Dr. J Wakefield

I was going to write about neurofeedback, but changed my mind.  Today I learned that Dr. John Wakefield passed away a few weeks ago from melanoma. His obit said he was 77.  Dr. Wakefield was an environmental medicine and Defeat Autism Now doctor.  He was the one  who got us started down the right road to recover our son from autism.  We eventually moved my son’s treatment to a doctor who was a little more cutting edge, but I continued to see Dr. Wakefield for my own lingering health issues. 

He was the first one to delve into my health history beyond the basics.  He was the one who unraveled the mystery as to why I’m so frickin’ tired all the time.  Chronic Epstein-Barr virus and chronic mycoplasma pneumonia with sub-clinical hypothyroidism.  I’m still struggling with these issues, but Dr Wakefield gave me a handle to hold on to and a significant starting point.

He was a very sweet, compassionate man.  His wife ran his office and she is a delightful person.  My heart breaks for her. 

I saw Dr. Wakefield about nine months ago.  He looked terrible.  He had lost a lot of weight and aged what seemed 10 years since I’d seen him a few months previously.  He told me his 25 year old son, who had brittle bone disease, was wheelchair bound and facing another series of painful surgeries, had died in a drowning accident…that probably wasn’t really an accident. 

I hope Dr. Wakefield knew how much he had helped people, even when his own son decided he was beyond help.  I hope the good Dr. Wakefield did in the world grows.  I’m sure he counts among the legion of angels now.

God Bless you, John Wakefield.  And thank you.

I need to break it off with my fake boyfriend

It’s Monday night.  I usually sit down with my fake boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, for a little armchair adventure.  There is a certain fearlessness, recklessness and allergy-free-ness in “No Reservations” that I just don’t get in my own life.   But I realize that I’m going to have to put an end to this charade.  It’s not me.  It’s you. 

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Tony is my fake boyfriend.  Fake is perfect.   He’s tall, smart and funny, but he swears like a sailor, drinks to excess, smokes (or used to) and is mean as hell to people who order things on the side, who are vegetarinan or lactose intolerant, or who kill his particular food buzz. 

That would be me.  Just call me Buzzkill Jill.   I order gluten-free, seafood-free, soy-free, corn-free if I can.  I don’t drink much, cigarettes trigger my asthma, and I don’t like crowds.  And, thanks to a trip to the naturopath, I’m now going to be ordering dairy-free.

In “Kitchen Confidential”  Tony writes about taking risks with food.  It might cost you one bad night every year or so, he writes,  if you get a bad plate of mussels.  For those of us who really, truly have food allergies and intolerances, that bad night is more likely going to happen than not. 

When I was 14 we moved from a small town in Ohio with about 3 restaurants to Atlanta.  Both my parents worked and had a bit of a commute. We went from all home-cooked meals to eating out all the time. We loved it.  Chinese food, Southern BBQ, Greek pizza, Mexican food….  But I soon realized that my evening went like this:  Eat out.  Feel sick on the ride home.  Go to bed as soon as we get home, curled up on my left side.  Go to sleep if possible.  Those nights I couldn’t fall asleep, I’d lay awake in the dark listening to the same Eric Carmen album over and over.

Every. Single. Meal.

A few years later, when I was 17, I got a full allergy work up, and that generated a big list of foods I’m allergic to.  Truly allergic, BTW.  The stomach aches start to diminish.  I’m 40something now and I’m still trying to tune my diet to support feeling well.  And avoiding terrible stomach aches.

So Tony, you could never be my real boyfriend.  My real life sweetie understands that I really do just need to order the roast chicken and salad at every restaurant I go to.  That it may be a buzzkill, but me doubled up in pain all night is a bigger buzzkill.

My message to the doubters:  I don’t eat this way out of lack of imagination.  I don’t eat this way because I’m picky by nature.  I eat this way because it hurts like bejeezus if I don’t.  Simple.

And so she begins…

Blogging is the new black.  Or something like that.  My blog title comes from a t-shirt I saw in a catalog once. 

“They say I have ADD, but they just don’t understand.  Ooh Look!  A Chicken!”

I was reminded of it today when I was thumbing through a book on neurofeedback (a topic I will touch on as we go) and I came across a 2 page check list for ADD/ADHD.  Yeah.  Guess who pretty much nailed the inattentive part of the quiz.  That would be me.

In the past I would write to help me marshall my thoughts.  Thought I would try that again. I have a stack of books to read, children to feed, a degree to finish, a floor to mop, and at least 2 Lexulous games going on Facebook, but I thought this would help.  Do you see where this is going?  So things I think about and will most likely write about, in no particular order:  autism, biomedical interventions, ADD, chronic fatigue and related issues, neurofeedback, reactive attachment disorder, parenting challenges, Anthony Bourdain, Duran Duran, Chris Isaak, bioidentical hormones, gluten-free cooking, adoption, spirituality, food allergies, and,  you know…stuff.