Monday, May 21, 2007

Curse of the Cow

About five months ago, I came to the realization that my body was in an advanced state of decay. I became aware that my normal bodily functions were deteriorating at every turn. First, went the metabolism, followed closely by the eye twitch, which could only be topped by my body’s abrupt refusal to produce lactase. Plainly put, lactose intolerance, or more honestly, “I shit myself if I even look at the word dairy.”

I’ve always been a cheese-man. Growing up, it was Mac-n-Cheese, grilled cheese, string cheese, cheese zombies, scrambled eggs with cheese, cheese enchiladas, e-z cheese, cheese-stuffed hotdogs, cheese puffs, cheese fries and Oreos with cheese. Okay, the last one was a lie, but you get the picture. Into adulthood, the cheese fetish continued and merged with my Mexican food craze. This resulted in cheese enchiladas with extra cheese, bean and cheese burritos with extra cheese, chile rellenos with extra cheese, please don’t make me go on.

And, this was how I carried on until one gloomy day last winter when a little bird flew by my window and mentioned the evil words “lactose intolerance.” My heart wept for that girl when she divulged her infliction. “What a sad, pathetic existence life must be without cheese,” I thought, as I went about my business inhaling cheese-covered Twinkies.

Then it happened. I ate cheese; I felt bloated. I ate cheese; I felt dizzy. I ate cheese; and I’d crap myself if I wasn’t within two minutes or one hundred yards of a bathroom. It was hell. At first, I lived in denial, tried to tell myself it was food poisoning, but that could only go on for so long.

I gradually accepted my defeat and began to think of it as a consequence for abusing cheese as a child/adolescent/young adult. I came to the understanding that some cow in the sky had finally looked down and said, “that girl’s had her share.”

I was devastated. I cursed that cow, and begrudgingly reduced the cheese from my diet. Weeks and months passed in this cheeseless existence until one day I decided to tempt fate.

It was a Saturday, if I recall correctly and I had nowhere to go for the next two days. I sent Rey to my favorite burrito spot to retrieve the biggest, cheesiest burrito this side of the Mississippi. I devoured it.

Five minutes passed. Nothing. Ten minutes. Nothing. Thirty minutes. Still nothing! After about an hour, I thought I was dreaming, nothing!

Could it be? Could this lactose intolerance really be another product of my imagination? I promptly ordered a cheese pizza. Nothing. Quacked again.

Charlie Brown, I feel your pain.


Sean said...

You know, I'm a believer in the idea that humans were not made to consume another animal's milk. In some way or another, I think we've all got some degree of lactose intolerance going. It doesn't stop me, but that rank gas sure makes me feel uncomfortable. And those around me. Plus, it's insanely fattening. But dairy products are oh so yum! Yogurt! Cheese!! Ice cream!!! It's the three food groups! Go cows!!!!

Addie said...

I feel your pain, cheese-man! :O) I seem to go through phases of absolute intolerance and then long spans of no problems at all. My doctor gave me a blank look when I mentioned it and said "Hmm". That was helpful. So I carry around immodium and lactose pills and have grown to prefer lactaid milk. But I love de dairy.

Leila V. said...

The cows do rule, don't they? You may be right, I read somewhere that more than seventy percent of people become lactose intolerant once they hit maturity.

I've switched to Silk, it's actually pretty good. And I didn't realize there were pills, thanks for the tip.

Heather G said...

Sometimes after a tummy bug you can have an intolerance for a while (I think.) Sounds like yours has settled down.
My son is allergic to all dairy so he knows no difference and loves soy milk, bleuck. He's never even had cheese poor thing.

Leila V. said...

Your poor son. Although, it could be a blessing in disguise because cheese is nothing but addicting saturated fat. ;)