Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cows are the Devil!!!

Being lactose intolerant sucks. It's when your guts can't break down the sugar lactose that is found in all dairy products. Your body's intestines don't produce enough lactate to process lactose when ingested. I have been lactose intolerant since 2000 when I joined the military. Coincidence? I think NOT! A whole bunch of stuff happened to me once I joined the Army... but I digressed. Back to being LI...
The pain and having to avoid certain foods was rough on me when I was first diagnosed! I loved dairy products more than you know! I was just like any average American that put cheese on EVERYTHING and I loved my chocolate milk. I even made my own concoction of milk with vanilla and sugar when we ran out of chocolate syrup.

In the beginning, staying away from certain foods was more traumatizing than what the symptoms were. I became lactose intolerant literally overnight when I was in the Army. Even after the doctor told me to stay away from dairy, I couldn't and wouldn't give it up that easy! One night when me and my boyfriend were at some rinky-dink sleazy motel, we got into a fight and I rebelled, ran out of the room and ate a whole tub of Cool Whip on the steps leading to the second-floor rooms (I was so dramatical back then... he probably had the TV on espn and I was bored or something). I received lots of pleasure with every spoonful! I was soothed by my choice of comfort food and enjoyed listening to R. Kelly's Twelve Play on repeat that was coming from the room nearest me. I kept thinking maybe the lactose intolerance wouldn’t be that bad this time. Besides, cool whip is light!!

But 6 hours from that point, the pain from that ordeal like all my other episodes was a wake-up call. I would be seized with so much pain that I couldn't stand up straight let alone walk. And the pain in my stomach was usually so quick to come on! Once, I was crossing the street when I got an episode. I doubled over as a car was coming and my friend had to run into the street to help me up.

I became depressed when I realized that I couldn't eat oatmeal drowned in milk for breakfast, macaroni and cheeze for lunch and cereal and ice cream for dinner. I was devastated. No lie!! I literally broke out in tears once when my friend asked me if I wanted some of her scratch-made mashed potatoes made with milk, cheese and sour cream lol!! I was so pissed and sad that I ran to my dorm room, cried and skipped dinner that night. Over the years, I slowly adjusted, but it was a constant struggle. Every time I ordered burgers through drive-thru's and requested no cheese, 70% of the time, the order was fudged and I’d have cheese. I would get so depressed; I would rebel by not eating. My friends always felt so sorry, everyone would offer to go get something else for me or gave me their foods. (I was so dramatical back then...). Seriously, you don't realize just how much dairy is in foods. Try to go 2 days without eating dairy. Better yet, give it up for lent!

So, most people that are lactose intolerant just have diarrhea or flatulence or constipation. I WISHED those were my symptoms, but God has a sense of humor and knows my tolerance of pain is pretty high. My pain felt like all of a sudden someone took a hold of my guts and just started wringing them out. I would all of a sudden feel like my entire stomach was filled with air and it was fighting it's way out through my small and large intestines like Running of the Bulls. It would last minutes to hours and my mouth would water because of the pain and I felt nauseas as fcuk. Not cool!

To this day, I still am wary of dairy foods. I can eat yogurt and sharp cheeses are safe. My symptoms have gotten better over the years and my tolerance isn’t as wimpy as before. I don’t miss drinking milk and even if I smell it, I want to barf!! It smells rotten! EEEWWWW! Certain cheeses make me gag too. I know a lot of people are LI, but I wonder if anybody has it as bad as I once did and so suddenly.

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