Fodmaps – or how to live on a restricted diet

I’ve been absence for months now and have been battling my digestive tract for over seven months now. I’ve had a stint in hospital, a scary three weeks of testing for the cancers that took my parents and grandfather, and then a restricted Fodmaps style diet that’s gone on and on.

In between I’ve passed another subject at Uni, moved house (packing and unpacking while sick is always so much harder), navigated the joys of working in an environment that turned really negative really fast, found out my son is gifted, worked full time…..

What is hard is that I might look well,  inside I’m battling constant nausea, I would tire out easily because I wasn’t able to eat a lot, and what I was able to keep down was not a nourishing diet, but rather a restricted diet of potatoes and corn biscuits that resemble cardboard.

So we moved house, and I found a dietitian who would work with me and my specialist in identifying my new intolerance – hence why I’ve been on a strict Fodmaps diet for the last six weeks, and I’m in week six and noticing now the big difference, now my body has had an opportunity to rid itself of the bad foods.

What I’ve learnt is read the food labels carefully and thoroughly – I no longer tolerate soy, yeast, gluten, lactose, onions…..you get the picture – I have to read and weigh up the different terms that food manufacturers use to hide ingredients. I also have to plan carefully what I eat. I make up large batches of pancakes so I can have two each morning for breakfast, I bake my own yeast and gluten free bread, but finding the time for that can be problematic. Being prepared is another fundamental skill, and knowing that I need to ask about what has gone into any food we buy hot from a restaurant is another joy.

But the fact I am waking up and not throwing up, or get to the end of the day and sitting there holding the toilet bowl, another plus. I’m feeling better and stronger now, but I’m careful with what goes into my body. I no longer take it for granted that my body will be able to cope if I do eat something outside the list of what I can eat. It’s now my new balancing act. One I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

 

Sixteen Years

Yesterday my cat of sixteen years went to the Vet for the last time. The decision to put her down was made after months of watching her deteriorate before my eyes. The final few days of her life were hard. (We live a long way away from Vets, so finding one that was open and within driving distance that was not going to stress her out, were all part of the decision making process.)

She was given to me by my long dead Father. So my memories of her as a kitten are mixed with the final memories of my own Father. (Just before he lost his sanity and the cancer in his brain consumed him forever). So this was no ordinary cat.

Athene – was a British blue shorthair. She was her own cat, one that tolerated humans for what they could provide, and preferred a solitary existence. She did though seek me out when I had my own bouts with tumours. She was there when I collapsed on the bathroom floor from a bursting ovary, she was there when I came home from hospital after both operations to remove the masses that took my uterus and remaining ovary. She would seek me out when the rest of the house had fallen to sleep and I was struggling to sleep. We shared many moments in the quiet depths of the night, together, her presence helping me through the sleepless night sweats that plagued me in those early days.

She was there when I met the person I would later marry, she managed to wiggle her way into his heart through sheer standoffishness. Athene made him like cats. It was his lap she would deign to sit upon for over a decade. She tolerated (barely) our child, I knew she was mellowing when she would sit still long enough for a tentative toddler hand to pat her. She never raised a claw against him, or tried to sleep in his cradle she just let him be.  She will always be his first cat.

Athene accepted the dog that was abandoned and we found. The sight of a large wolfhound trying to befriend her still makes me smile. Athene would have nothing to do with the dog, she was after all a solitary creature.

I miss her now, a day after she’s gone. On my nightly trips around the house seeking relief from my night sweats last night, she was not with me. Not giving me a quiet purr or a gentle head butt as I sat in the breeze of the backdoor. There is no Grey Ghost who would patrol the corridor and sit in my son’s bedroom guarding him.

She will be forever in our hearts.Pic_0512_118

 

 

A long time passes

Life flew by and I’m around again to the month that I find the hardest to deal with. You see my Mother died at the beginning of January and my Father at the end of January. Yes there was a few years between them, Mum died in 1998, Dad followed her five years later, but for me January is the worst kind of month.

It’s the month I dread for the rest of the eleven, because even though the years have flown by since I lost them, the grief is still there. It hides away, waiting for something or someone to remind you, to then flare up and you’ll find yourself (or I do) standing there in public with tears rolling down my cheeks. I find that hard black lump in my throat as I stand or sit or even lay there and really feel the loss that they have left behind.

I cuddle my partner, our child, our animals to try and salve this wound, and yet that isn’t enough, and will never really fill it up.  I’ve learnt to move on, to accept this grief as a small part of who I am, and adapt to the new paradigm that exists. And for folk who have never lost anyone in this permanent sort of way, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But for those of us who have, and will live a different life afterwards we do understand.

Catching up with friends, it is the ones who have lost something or someone (a relationship or a person) that understand it more. Who get where I’m coming from. Who accept the older woman with tears on her cheeks in public, mourning her loss in public.

A Pregnant Pause: What is the link between a 91 year old Australian, a Hospital by the River, and 43,000 Ethiopian women?

Source: A Pregnant Pause: What is the link between a 91 year old Australian, a Hospital by the River, and 43,000 Ethiopian women?

An inspirational woman works to make other women’s lives better.

If you’d like to support this organisation continue it’s great work then please click on the above link and follow her links through to the page.

Weekends

We’re back from spending a hectic 48 hours in a regional city. It was awesome, the weather was great, the selection of activities was amazing and I also snuck in some shopping at the retail giants.

It’s nice though returning to our small town and appreciate the stillness that comes with it.

We’re heading into Melbourne this week and I’m literally bracing for the onslaught of noise and crowds. I’m becoming much more of a quiet seeker in my aging years. We lived for nearly a decade right in the middle of Melbourne and thought nothing of the constant light, noise, people pressures. But now we’ve embraced the regional life it’s changed our thoughts completely on what makes a great day out.

Do we really need to be so overly stimulated? I certainly don’t take it well anymore. I crave the quiet and time to think and not be rushed.

Low tech child raising in a high tech world

I’m upfront here about my wish to install in my own child a very low tech childhood. Yes I do let him use the computer once a day on school holidays to play computer games for an  hour, or research his favourite television shows – under supervision. But he doesn’t have access to a smart phone, an Ipad or any of the other devices that a lot of other children his age appear to have. (We have a PS2 but that’s rarely used too).

We’re the rare family, who when we go out, we all sit together and talk. No one has a screen at the table, and I don’t babysit my child with a screen. We do have a take away bag filled with drawing paper, pens, textas, crayons, and books to read. So if he does finish early and wants to draw, then we do let him – it gives us that extra few minutes to catch up with him, and finish our meal.

However I look around and see the number of children propped in front of a screen – the parent sits immersed in their digital world and the children each have a screen each. There is no or limited conversation going on. I wonder if they perform this ritual in their own homes and if so how much of the quality face time they give each other. (Or is updating their twitter or facebook posts that important?).

We’ve also read to our child since he was born. Passing to him the greatest opportunity ever – the written word. He thrilled me last year when I walked passed his room and he was sitting on his bed with a book in his hands devouring the pages. This to me was hitting the goldmine.

Call me old fashioned but the book is the ultimate entertainment device. It needs no electricity, no batteries, but it fuels the imagination like nothing else. Transporting you to ancient worlds or far flung universes – it will take you where you want and back again.

I also feel that the jury is still out about what happens when we expose young brains to the high tech devices too early. I want to raise a child who can use his imagination when he’s bored, to pick up a book, play in the sandpit, chase the dog, to transport himself into his imagination. Not be fed worlds to him by a screen. So far my son seems to be enjoying the fact he can entertain himself, and the children who approach our table when we’re out eating, attracted by the child who sits drawing elaborate worlds, who ask if they can draw please, reinforce my belief that we’re on the right track.

Cyborg

So I’m sitting here typing into the computer, and reflecting on a conversation my partner had with his class this week. As he looked around the classroom where all the heads of the students were bent over their computers interfacing with their digital worlds, he asked how many of them thought they were Cyborgs. After some conversation they came around to his interpretation of what a Cyborg is now.

I don’t use social media, so I’m not as connected as most folk. I don’t own a smart phone either. So my own interactions with digital worlds are when I’m sitting down with my child when he needs help establishing a colony in Age of Empires. We grow and build the colony until he’s ready to go off and wage war.

So I don’t consider myself a big C Cyborg – I walk down the street and greet people personally. I live in a small rural town where the majority of folk on the street don’t have their heads down, or ear phones on as they live their digital lives. I live here, now, in the present. Not waiting for the promised lands of the digital environment.

I use the internet but not as a reference tool, as an entertainment tool. (I’m hanging out for the next Star Wars movie but that’s another story). I prefer my interactions to be face to face, but have been known to text and email folk who just need to know that I care and love them. (Usually when they’re going through tough times and don’t want to talk….).

I wonder at the future my child will inhabit if the vast majority of the world is caught in the digital world. How often they will interact one to one, not through the safety of the digital tools, but in person. Will it be better? Or worse. He’s growing up in a world where the internet is the norm, Facebook is everywhere (at least amongst the teens at my school), and Minecraft is what you do with your lunchtime.

Unlike the Cyborgs of the present, I’ll be shutting down the computer soon, and heading out to spend the afternoon gardening in my veggie patch, and watching my child play with the dog. I won’t be waiting for the next Facebook update or any of the other digital “musts” that this age we live in seems to insist we do. Instead it will be me, the earth, and the sky – as I prefer it.

becoming mama with grace and humility

Raising a family on the roots of our Father. With Farm , Faith, and Family.

Adventures in International Law

Living the dream? You be the judge! Join me in my journey from corporate litigator to international lawyer. Here I will share my experiences in the world of international humanitarian and human rights law, as well as my cultural experiences, observations, and blunders along the way.

hearts on sleeves club

If you wear your heart on your sleeve, join the club.

donette1blog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Joanne Clancy

Writer of killer thrillers.

EMMANUEL MUEMA'S BLOG

Thank You For Giving Me A Million Views. For Advertisements Send Ksh 200 Via M-Pesa To 0711737196 Or Send 2 US Dollars Via PayPal To mycomuema@gmail.com

There she goes

Bookgrrl's Blog!

Ballarat Library Chick

Thoughts, Ideas and so much more

The Travelling Bentons

The everyday impressions of the peripatetic Benton's Grand Adventures

International Book Giving Day 2016

Give a book on Valentine's Day

Alex McCart Writes

University pieces, news & opinion

Broken White Line

Family. Photos. Failures. Life.

What's Abby Eating?

"Eat food, mostly plants, not too much." - Michael Pollan

Recommended Reading

Thoughts from a high school teacher librarian

wanderlora's blog

Thoughts, quotes and pics from around the world

Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Gold Museum, Ballarat

Showcasing Ballarat's history

5000 POPPIES

A Community Tribute of Respect and Remembrance

British Empress

Everyday ethical wear

Rich with Life

A "Rich" girl, learning to enjoy, enrich, and embrace each and every day.

livingly dying

notes & essays on daily life with terminal cancer

Tolu's Kitchen

Where delicious dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, and yeast free food magic happens

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

MelsNattyKnits

Knitting and Yarning from Downunder!

International Librarians Network

A meeting place for librarians from around the world.

Red Dirt Ramblings®

Firmly rooted and growing in Oklahoma soil

Secular Party of Australia

The Secular Party of Australia stands for separation between church and state.

The Cancer Chronicles

My account of the bold, bald, battle

Hollis Plample

draws comics

whatiseeproject

A global exploration of women's perceptions and self-expression.

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Carrie Cariello

Exploring the Colorful World of Autism

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Basics On A Budget

Small Changes, Big Results

Jena Schwartz

poet, promptress + Writing coach

berjerac

Just another WordPress.com site

This Is My Secret

Thoughts, Ideas and so much more

purplepersuasion

Thoughts, Ideas and so much more

Where Art & Words Collide

Thoughts, Ideas and so much more

SPACE AND BEYOND

Thoughts, Ideas and so much more

Jacobsverse's Blog

A soldier's Mother writes poetry about what it is like to have war in your livingroom. Please respect Copyright. All works are original by Author unless otherwise stated. Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

purplepersuasion

Mental health blog by a service user with bipolar disorder. Winner of the Mark Hanson Awards for Digital Media at the Mind Media Awards 2013 and the Mood Disorder category in the 2012 This Week in Mentalists Awards.

careeringcrafts

Careering headlong into new and exciting crafts!

Recipe For A Yarn

Yorkshirelass, home at last.