Underneath my yellow skin

Dealing with my shit as best I can

My parents are coming for their annual visit in a week, and I am not ready. I am never ready, but I hate that I put off doing the shit I need to do before they get here until the last minute. I need to clean, which is an intensive thing, and I always vow to start early. I never do. It ends up with me cleaning the fridge at three in the morning the night before they come, contemplating going inside the fridge and shutting the door. I also have some chores outside the house I have to do before they get back which include the car.

Amusing anecdote: I called a garage to set up an appointment, and I asked for the times they had available. The guy said, “1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock.” Then he stopped and my brain immediately shouted, “ROCK!” I managed to stop myself from yelling it out loud, and I answered him with a half-laugh. I am An Old.

It’s a funny story, but it took me forever to make the phone call. Rationally, I know it’s not a big deal to make the call and go to the appointment (for a bad tire), but my brain is wired incorrectly, and it takes everything I have just to make the goddamn phone call. Going to the appointment won’t be an issue, but making that phone call? Took me weeks to force myself to do it. I know it’s not rational. I know it’s silly on my part. I know that the mental energy I use to avoid calling would be better sent doing literally anything else. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I remind myself that it’s not a big deal. A weird side effect is that once I decide to do the difficult thing, I become obsessed with it. I have to make a cancellation of a trip for my mother, and there is a glitch on Orbitz that won’t allow me to cancel that way. I’ve tried several times, and now I’m on hold while waiting to talk to an actual person. By the way, I hate when you’re on hold, and they interrupt the music in order to have the automated voice assure you that you are valuable to them before returning back to the music. Don’t get my hopes up like that! Also, when one song is twice as loud as the one before it, that’s irritating as well.

Sigh. Moving to health issues. I think I’ve figured out what set off my stomach the night before last–the tomato-based spaghetti sauce I had with my gluten-free elbow macaroni. The minute I ate it, my stomach clenched, and I was racing to the bathroom. The biggest problem for me with diarrhea–there’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d be writing–is that it’s never a one and done. It wouldn’t be so bad if I eliminated everything in one go–but, no. It’s me sitting on the toilet for ten to fifteen minutes, several times in a few hours. It wakes me up in the middle of the night, and it’s the first thing I have to do when I get up the next morning. Since I eat basically the same thing every day with slight variations, I can usually pinpoint the problem to a certain degree. I’m fairly certain the tomato-based sauce is the trigger this time. But, I’m also wary of peaches and cherries. I know the right way to test is to eliminate a bunch of things and then slowly add them back in, but that seems tedious as well as time consuming. Also, I’m not particularly wedded to tomato-based spaghetti sauce, so cutting it out is not a problem for me. I’m pretty sure it’s the tomato-based sauce because I had the same meal minus the sauce last night, and it was fine. I added a spicy mayo-based dipping sauce instead of the tomato-based sauce, and it was fine. Gluten-free elbow macaroni, dairy-free pepper jack cheeze, roasted chicken, and the spicy dipping sauce. Oh, and spring greens thrown on top, which I ate separately. It’s a quirk of mine that I eat veggies separately, even if they are incorporated into a dish, unless it’s something small like slices of mushrooms.

At this point, I know I have one of two choices. One, try the FOODMAP elimination diet (yes, I know it’s FODMAP, but it’ll forever be FOODMAP in my mind), or, two, go to an allergist. Both of these are really unpleasant options for different reasons, but at this point, I can’t deal with my food issues on my own. I’m just afraid that it’ll come down to me not being able to at anything but gluten-free crackers (which I am eating right now, and honestly, they are not sitting well in my stomach) and rice gruel. I like rice gruel, but I don’t want to eat it for the rest of my life. I’ve read posts and comments online from people who have severe food issues, and it’s depressing as hell. On the other hand, I don’t want to spend the majority of my time squatting on the toilet and feeling miserable as Shadow yowls at me to be petted. If that means eating blander food, well, then so be it.

I like to joke that I’m keto when I go out to restaurants because meat is the safest thing for me to eat. If there is no crust on the meat, I can fairly safely say it’s free of gluten and dairy, which is more than I can say for other unknown food. The last time I went out for a burger, I mistakenly thought the burger I ordered did not have cheese on it, and I made sure to order the gluten-free bun. When I got home, I was dismayed to find cheese on it. I wasn’t going to throw it away, of course, so I scraped off all the cheese, popped a leftover Lactaid pill, and dealt with it. It wasn’t ideal, but, again, I wasn’t going to toss the burger. I can make that decision because I have sensitivities to gluten and dairy, not actual allergies. At least that’s how I’ve self-diagnosed.

My ear isn’t as plugged today, which is a good thing. It’s still not completely clear, but it’s about 70% unplugged, which is a vast improvement.

I hate everything right now. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

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