March 25, 2010
Today I feel: bad. And I will tell you why.
So this afternoon I was at my desk doing today’s Latin translation, grazing on various things as “lunch”. I was having one of those days where even if you’ve eaten enough to be more or less full, you still don’t feel nutritionally satisfied (I’m particularly sensitive to this just because I have a pretty week constitution, and it doesn’t take much to physically conquer my body). Anyway I started to feel very mildly nausseus, and then the headache began. Awesome, I’m trying to study. So I had an ibuprofen and sat back down to try to work through it. No such luck. A minute or so later I experienced something I have no name for, but it could have been named headrush if we didn’t already use headrush to describe a different thing. Basically this feeling of numbness (not real numbness, but abstract numbness) and ear ringing crept up my head from my neck and chin up to my forehead, and stuck there for only a couple of seconds. At that point I decided to lie down rather than try to go to Latin.
Took a 3 hour nap, the headache and nausea are gone, the headrush-thing hasn’t come back, but my Crohn’s has been acting up. Generally my Crohn’s has a pretty quick response to any stress in my life, especially illness or nervousness. I’m hoping this was a passing spell, and not a confluence of symptoms that means bad news. If it starts coming back, I’ll get me down to the health center, but so far the nap remedy seems to have done the trick. Now I just have to deal with Crohn’s symptoms. :(
Update: My mom solved it! I was dehydrated (lots of food, no glass of water!), and had a near fainting spell. I don’t know why I didn’t put that together, especially since my first instinct after the “headrush” was to grab a glass of water and lay down.
March 18, 2010
Went to see the doc on Tuesday, as usual he was running 45 minutes late. So I walked around Boston; it was lovely out.
We figured out what was causing the bleeding: it’s a little cut, and seems to be healing on its own anyway, but we want to give it a little help and make sure it doesn’t get re-irritated or infected. So I started on Cipro (apparently the go-to antibiotic for those of us who are allergic to penicillin, and also for people who have been exposed to anthrax) Tuesday night, to continue for at least 3 weeks, or however long after that the doc deems necessary. The one issue with it is, it’s going to prevent me from having a lactose test, since you can’t have antibiotics within 2 weeks. :( I’ll get one of those when I come home for summer; hopefully I’ll be off the antibiotics by then.
The doc also gave the OK for me to go abroad next Spring! I want to go on a dig in Egypt, but realized that at least some of the time there will be a scarcity of bathrooms, and that I might have difficulties getting my scripts filled. But, my doc has a packet of info for traveling with Crohn’s, will send me with 3 months worth of all my scripts plus one for the Cipro just in case, and knows a couple of doctors in Cairo who might not know a lot about Crohn’s, but have my doc’s phone number which is just about as good. Now I just have to get into the program.
Also, getting blood drawn never gets better. Easier to deal with, yes. But deep down, I think we all turn into little kids and want to cry about it. More on this later, but I’m exhausted (nice weather really takes it out of you) and I think I’ll go to bed now.
March 13, 2010
I’m awful at having questions ready to ask my doctor when I have an appointment. Like, truly awful. “Any questions for me?” “None that I can think of right now…” I think it’s a wider issue with me, I just have trouble identifying what is confusing to me and what I need external help on, and then phrasing it as a question. Mentally, I’m too self-reliant (and arrogant, in a way), and if something is confusing to me I think it out until I understand it (or think I do), rather than asking somebody who might already know the answer. In middle school, when they first started having us read things and then fill out a worksheet, the last question was almost invariably “What questions does this passage raise for you?” and I could never come up with something good to say because I don’t file questions away under ‘things to ask,’ I file them under ‘things to brain out by myself.’
So, in the spirit of self-reflection (with much help from blogging!) and self-improvement, I have compiled a list of questions to ask my doctor during my appointment this Tuesday. I’ve even written them down. Proud of me?
March 12, 2010
So last night I was not doing so great, and I can’t think of a reason why. Urgency, frequency, the works. And then I woke up this morning to blood. Not the extent I used to get as a kid, but more than I’ve had in a while. Plus, last week I was getting some cramps, nowhere near the right time to be getting them. I’m thinking that’s more likely related to this.
Now aren’t we glad I emailed the doc? Going in on Tuesday.
March 11, 2010
It is seriously time to take a break. I’ve been studying pretty much nonstop for the past 2 weeks, which is a killer because it’s so nice outside!! Even though I’ve been sleeping 8-9 hours a night (I can’t afford to sacrifice sleep to the altar of midterms, no matter how much I want to keep studying), I still feel exhausted by 3pm every day. 2 weeks of overwork will do that to you. Luckily my Spring Break starts tomorrow, and on Sunday I’ll be going home for some major rest. I can’t wait.
I’ve emailed the doc to see if I can get an appointment while I’m home so I can talk out this whole lactose intolerance thing with him. I assume he’ll have dealt with stuff like this before and be able to give me some good information on stuff like why I can eat cheese no problem (or if that’s just wishful thinking) and what else I can eat to replace the nutrients from milk. Maybe I’ll even get tested so I’ll know for sure if this is lactose intolerance or some kind of milk allergy (I had never heard of this, but one of you suggested it to me as an alternative).
March 1, 2010
Today I feel: better than I have in a while. For the most part, things are going well, and midterms haven’t quite broken my spirit just yet. The avocado sushi and miso soup I had for dinner is treating me real nice.
Since I’m procrastinating anyway, I might as well spend the time doing something productive. So here is my second “final report” on alt-milk, since in our quest to let my family try out the new milks I’d been drinking, my mom, sister and I ended up finding 3 new ones and ice cream, and then my Trader Joe’s got a new one in.
Hazelnut Milk – Yum! This one was very much like almond milk, only with the flavor of hazelnuts instead of almonds. Obviously. I think it was a little sweeter, but more or less comparable. Really good if you like the nutty flavor, which I do in most cases. I think I would consider this one more or less interchangeable with almond, except that I’m pretty sure my Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock it.
Coconut Milk – Very good, but only if you want a really strong coconut flavor! The milk is very light, and I imagine it would be really good for baking, anything sweet really. Seriously though, there would be no question that this is made of coconuts, even if nobody told you. No idea if my TJ’s carries it.
Hemp Milk – I have no idea how to describe this flavor. It tastes like something, but I don’t know what it is. Although I must admit I was really excited about it in a juvenile “haha I just bought hemp milk” kind of way, I can’t say I could have picked out the connection (which is probably because the milk is made from the seeds, not the plant leaves). I like it on its own (and in ice cream, more on that shortly), but it tasted oddly burnt in my latte, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t burn the milk while I was steaming it, maybe it just doesn’t heat well? Definitely would have it again, but again, they don’t sell it at my TJ’s, so it wouldn’t be a regular thing.
Whole Grain Milk – my new favorite! I just found this at my Trader Joes, and it looks like they just got it in recently. Maybe I’m just getting more used to the general taste of alt-milks, but it just tasted more normal than any of the others to me. Still sweeter and chalkier than cow’s milk, but very good. I can’t really describe why I liked it, which I think is part of the reason I like it. I can’t describe the flavor, but I’m also not searching for a name for the flavor, like I was with the hemp. Low key, doesn’t overpower other flavors, but still has some really nice body to it. I even happily drank a glass of it last night. A real winner.
Rice Milk Ice Cream – I loved this. Loved. As in cooking, the rice flavor was barely present, it was just very light (without feeling intentionally “low fat”) and had more of a plant feel vs. an animal feel, if that makes any sense. My dad didn’t like it much, he said it tasted woody to him, which I only got after taking a few more bites and thinking really hard. The only problem was that I got little chocolate-covered “bites”, and the package said the chocolate may have traces of several milk/animal products in it. Traces don’t seem to be an issue for me and I’m not vegetarian (I would die in a month, I’m pretty sure), but it bothered me on principle because so many people who want ricecream are highly sensitive to even traces either medically or ideologically. It seemed disingenuous not to keep the whole thing dairy-free/vegan/organic when the main part of the product sells on those terms. Anyway I digress, it was delicious. Will buy again, as soon as it gets warm.
Coconut Milk Ice Cream – Very good, again as long as you want it to taste like coconut. For me it tasted like it could just as easily be a normal ice cream (very light/low fat, but still dairy), and be intentionally flavored with coconut, that’s how strong the flavor was. But it was even lighter than the ricecream. The one I got was chocolate chip cookie dough, and I must say I wouldn’t get that flavor again, because the cookie dough was too organic tasting (even though I have to eat some organic foods, I’m not generally a junkie and mostly don’t prefer the “I’m just a leaf” taste). But I wouldn’t say no to some coconut ice cream in July. No sir.
Hemp Milk Ice Cream – I guess I liked all the ice creams. Again, couldn’t pin down the flavor, but it was really good. I was going to say before that the flavor probably wasn’t compatible with coffee, but then I remembered that the hemp ice cream was a coffee flavored one, and the flavor combination worked perfectly! Hence the conclusion that it might not heat well. Or any number of other things that went wrong with the latte, who knows. I would buy this again if I saw it, but like with the hemp milk I feel like it’ll be harder to find than other alt-ice creams, so I’ll probably stick with ricecream mostly.
I’m starting to have one major concern about milks as a whole, however: none of them has the sheer calorie content of regular milk, and I expect that while they have a lot of nutrients that cow’s milk doesn’t, they probably don’t have a lot of the ones that cow’s milk does, and that my body is used to getting. I’ve been losing a little bit of weight this month, but all the while stuffing my face with anything I can find! This past week or so I’ve been finding myself needing to eat more and more often less because my stomach is grumbling and more because my body is just lacking certain nutrients. Does anybody have suggestions for things to add to my diet to supplement what I’m losing by not drinking milk? I’ve just started eating eggs pretty regularly for protein, which helps, but I’d love some more ideas if you have them. Thanks!!