I’m not sure quite how to describe the combined shock and excitement I felt as the doctor explained his conclusions about the source of my health troubles. Excitement at the possibility that I could finally become healthy again; shock at the thought of no longer being able to put butter on my toast, or eat corn with my dinner.
I think if I had really understand the extent of the impact on my daily routines, my shock would have been closer to panic. It was so challenging that I would have given up a long, long time ago, except for one thing: it works.
Corn is in “everything,” or so it seems. Dairy is just simply a staple of life, both necessary and luxurious. Wheat is not called the “bread of life” for nothing. And now eggs, which were my go-to food, are off the list.
About six weeks in to my cold-turkey change of diet, after spending countless hours researching corn allergies, gluten-free diets, and dairy-free alternatives online and in books, I found myself immobilized in my kitchen, half-starved, unable to think. As I pondered the monumental question of which snack could I safely eat, the floor began to wobble beneath me, tilting more and more violently. Then the June sunshine started fading into darkness.
I was passing out.
And I was all alone.
Those twin realizations hit me like a thunderbolt, giving me a brief moment of clarity. Before the kitchen faded into blackness again, I found the sugar bowl. One spoonful. And then another. Some water. Then some more sugar, only I held it under my tongue this time so I could absorb it faster. Gradually the sun grew brighter again and the floor stopped pitching.
That was scary. Worse, I could have been driving down the freeway, with my son in the car and no sugar bowls nearby.
I’d been too busy obsessing about all the foods that were lost to me: popcorn, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, pizza, cereal, sandwiches, lasagne, scalloped potatoes, canned soups, hamburgers, chicken fingers, salad dressing, ketchup…
(I have some good news on all that – but I’m saving it for another day!)
Now? I was going to have to get a whole lot better about finding good things I COULD eat.