Last night I was utterly exhausted when I crawled into bed around midnight with the hope that by reading, I’d be able to nod off and get to sleep. My brain had other things on its mind because I finished the book around 1:30A, and still wide awake at 5:11AM watching Bob’s Burgers.
I took half a Klonopin around 4ish, which I think finally drove me the edge into wonderland of sleep. However, I bolted upright in bed at around 9:30AM as if I had slept for days.
TheHusband, who was appreciative of me being quiet as a mouse while I watched terrible television last night, tried to cajole to go back to sleep but I was BRIGHT EYED AND BUSHY TAILED. LIke a squirrel on speed.
I decided to harness this extra energy by walking to the Downtown Market for their Saturday Farmer’s Market since we needed an assortment of veg. The round trip is about a mile and would also count as part of my daily walk series, PLUS getting some kind of exercise should help with the mania.
Win-win all the way around.
As we walked to the market, I had forgotten the house with the floating heads was on our way, which marked the perfect beginning of the journey.
Because of some dilly-dallying on my end at home, we didn’t get to the market until after 12PM, so most of the fruit/veg were picked over but we still ended up scoring us some great finds. We were hoping to have lunch at Grampas’s Pasty Co., because goddamn their Conrish influenced pasties are delicious, but they were down to two flavors we weren’t rather fond of so we skipped them this week.
After loading up our messenger bags with our finds, we walked the Market’s inside hall to see if we were missing any else and to get lunch ideas. We ended up with a few treats from Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe for later, but still no lunch options were tempting us. Since we’re right downtown, we decided to see what was open.
Stella’s is one of our favorite spots to eat in the downtown core. They have awesome burgers, great fries, and metric fuckton of old video games to play. But we weren’t in the mood for Stella’s so we kept walking and ended up at Meena’s Joint, which serves stoner food with a Rasta vibe.
TheHusband might looks like he partakes but we are aging alternative hipsters and coupled with the Coheed and Cambria on the stereo, we were definitely not the clientele they are catering to. The food is basically anything that could constitute a sandwich filling packed into a grilled tortilla and the taste was merely, “meh.”
With our bellies full, I was ready to keep on walking around downtown, maybe do a stroll through GRAM or a saunter down Monroe Center, but the threatening rain finally decided to open up the skies.
We decided to just walk home in rainy, companionable silence. Distance: 3 miles Walk time: 1:00:54 (This is total walk time, does not include time we shopped at the market or lunch) Pace: 20:17/mile
When you are diagnosed with a dairy allergy, your world takes on a whole different shape and color. Milk protein, whey, and their derivatives are in a lot of foods you would not normally assume they would be in, as well as medicines and hygeine products (whey is used in some toothpastes for whitening). Where before I bought things based on their reputation and usefulness, I now buy things based on whether or not they will harm me, even unintentionally. And my most recent discovery? Vitamin Water Zero derives their calcium and magnesium from lactic acid, which as a milk derivative and thus makes me sick. Who the hell thinks to label read a bottle of water? I mean, it’s water!
My allergy is severe enough that my allergist told me under no circumstances should I leave the house without an EPI pen and benadryl on me at all times. This allergy seems so ridiculous at times, but sometimes it allows me to be mischievous, like telling the wait staff you want a meat burger slathered in bacon with vegan cheese on it or you want a meat pizza with vegan cheese. So there is that. We also found that I can tolerate sheep and goat’s milk based products, which has been huge to allow me to eat a lot of foods I haven’t had in a year – like Cacio e Pepe. (I also get to yell at Val and Kristin a lot when they complain about feeling ill since one is also allergic to dairy and the other is lactose intolerant, allowing me to lord over my dairy free righteousness.)
There are of course things that I miss. A lot. Like ice cream. Sour cream. Good sharp cheddar. Italian food. Malts. Now that I know the reason why I’ve always felt like crap for most of my life has mostly to do with my dairy consumption, removing it from my diet means that on the whole, I feel a lot better. Huzzah! But while I’m extremely thankful for all the vegans in my life who have helped me obtain some of what I now miss, there is no substituting good old fashioned cow milk. I also don’t really care what anyone says, vegan or not, you simply cannot substitute the creaminess of a good sharp cheddar with some soy and nut based concoction. Anyone who tries to sell you that bridge in Nebraska is a fucking liar.
Despite the label reading, and missing out of things, and carrying an EPI pen with me at all times, it isn’t these things that cause me the most frustration. Suprisingly, it’s the fact I have to constantly defend or explain my allergy to people who think that reading WebMD qualifies them to be medical experts: No, I’m not lactose intolerant, I’m allergic to milk and can go into anaphylactic shock. People who are lactose intolerant have digestion issues, people who are allergic have digestion issues, breathing problems, hives, and other fun maladies. Yes, I can eat eggs. Yes, I can eat beef. No, I probably can’t eat $X because $X has milk and/or whey in it. And so forth, and so on. I’ve had strangers tell me I was wrong about my allergy, or give entirely unasked for advice when my allergy is brought up.
Honestly? I don’t get why they feel justified in sharing their Wikipedia knowledge with me when they are almost always wrong, and secondly, I dont’ get why people always seem to think they know better than someone with decades of experience on this particular topic or who lives with it day by day. My allergy is potentially life threatening. Please do not dismiss this as being trivial just because Kathie Lee and Hoda had a nutritional expert on the TODAY show supposedly debunking allergies based on some non-peer reviewed research provided by Billy Bob’s consortium and tackle company.
If you don’t know, ask. Just don’t assume.