Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It does not do a body good.

"You're not sick, you're just a person," says John Campbell. I had always taken this for granted, that being sick and tired and unfocused was part of being a person, especially a person recovering from college and a couple of years on an antidepressant. Apparently, though, lethargy, lack of focus, and depression are part of being allergic to milk.

My new doctor, an osteopath, has me hold allergens or touch pressure points while he plays a game Blade and I like to call "Flops or Not Flops" (F/NF). If the doctor pushes on my leg and I'm able to resist, then whatever allergen or pressure point I'm touching isn't a problem for me. But if it makes my leg flop down on the table, he runs more related tests to narrow down the problem. Using the patented F/NF method, Dr. Gelband of Naperville determined that my chief problem (besides being overmedicated) was milk. I'm allergic to milk. Apparently, I've been allergic to milk for a long time, but I've never been tested for it, because I didn't notice my stomach hurting.

Dr. Gelband backed up his F/NF New Age feel-goodery with a conventional x-ray. Behind my ribs, I could see what looked like an extra, coiled up bone. "That's food," Dr. Gelband told me. It was food in my intestine that had calcified. Because of milk. It wasn't necessarily making my stomach hurt, but it was keeping me from getting energy from any of my food.

Unlike someone who is lactose intolerant, I can't just take a pill with an enzyme to make it better. I just have to avoid dairy. I'm learning that we make most things with milk. Frozen vegetables or chicken are often injected with butter. Whey is in things like cookies; casein is sometimes used as a filler in over-the-counter drugs and tends to creep into all kinds of seemingly innocent foods, like soy cheese.

However, also unlike someone who is lactose intolerant, I am able to eat dairy-ish things, as long as they come from goat or sheep milk, like feta cheese. And I can eat some kinds of yogurt, as long as they have live cultures. I can even have some kinds of well-aged cheese, like Romano.

The safest foods are the ones marked vegan or parve. I can consistently eat Asian food, since most Asian food doesn't use milk at all. (When's the last time you had Chinese food with cheese or butter?) My doctor said, though, to be wary of Asian food places that are owned by Americans, because they might have changed the recipes and added milk to the soups and sauces. I eat a lot of fried rice, egg rolls, and extra-dark chocolate with almond milk, so that is nothing to complain about.

Almond milk and soy ice cream are delicious. This has not stopped me from having stress dreams about Dairy Queen.


'Cause calcium is deadly
But tender to the tooth
And it's one sure-fire way to know
If you're MX missile-proof
Or if you're just aloof.


Bethany said...

oh no! I hope this means you can still watch Doctor Who!

majorleague007 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
majorleague007 said...

Alyssa, I go into mourning a little bit for you each time I see this article. I will take up the mantle of drinking milk and eating pickles for you.