42 Years of Food Restriction

When I was 2, my parents determined I couldn’t eat eggs. Up until 5 years ago, I hated eggs. That was my first food restriction.

When I was a tween, my family vacationed in Hawaii. I developed a love for mangoes. We could pick them right off the tree. It was amazing. A couple years later, the first signs of my fruit allergy showed. What was I eating? A mango. Not long after, I had to cut out most fruits.

At age 18, I started having heart palpitations and had to see a cardiologist who informed me I was too young to need him. He also informed me there was nothing wrong with my heart, and that I simply needed to lose weight, reduce stress, and cut out caffeine. I’ll ignore the first two for this story, but he was right about caffeine. I was drinking 60 ounces of Mt. Dew a day. I quit cold turkey.

A few years after that, I developed acid reflux. I learned to restrict tomatoes, garlic, onions, fried food, fatty food, and a few other things. I’m on Omeprazole, so I can get away with stuff sometimes. But I’m never gonna get off that med. I’ve tried. The long-term side effects of it scare the shit out of me, but I’m the only one who seems concerned about that.

And not long after that, I was officially diagnosed with a latex allergy, which confirmed and expanded my fruit and vegetable restriction list.

Then came the biggest heartbreaker. I’d been drinking chai every morning. Not only was this a relapse on caffeine, but it was also a diet heavy in black tea. Too much black tea can cause kidney stones, which I found out the hard way. That meant I had to cut back on traditional chai, which is why I seek out caffeine-free chais and super inauthentic chais. It’s just easier.

About two years ago, I became pre-diabetic, so yet again I worked on diet changes. One major change was to never have soda at home. Despite never enjoying sparkling water, I adjusted to it and started drinking it regularly several months ago.

I’m now diabetic. I started taking Ozempic. I have damn near no appetite. I’m pretty sure I’m malnourished. And on top of that, it has made the acid reflux worse. The carbonation in sparkling water causes me misery.

Now, I know I don’t have it as bad as other folks. But I have to be honest here: I’m really fucking sick of restricting food only to find yet another thing I can’t eat. I want some fucking solutions, not more rules.

And let me tell you: The number one thing that never upsets and always soothes my stomach? Ice cream. But that’s bad for me.

If my doctors knew I had a glass of milk, some dry Frosted Flakes, and ice cream for dinner, I’d be treated like I’m failing.

Meanwhile, I’ve had sleep troubles my entire adult life. I just read yet another article detailing how a lack of deep sleep can lead to diabetes. Do you know what my PCP isn’t trying to figure out? What’s causing my lack of deep, restorative sleep. Not even my sleep doctors have figured that one out.

To be healthy, all I apparently need to do is eat better, eat less, and move more. As if I haven’t been trying that since I was 16. My health is not improving no matter how many changes I make. In fact, every time I make a change for the better, my health gets worse.

Maybe it’s time for me to fire traditional medicine.

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