Restricting for the good of my gut?

It’s been a while since I’ve felt the need for a sprawling rant about how everything is pissing me off, but such a mood has descended yet again.

The issue is my damned digestive system. So you know about the drama with the failed endoscopy, for which I have to go chat to a specialist on Monday, but that’s not the issue right now, the big problem is that for ‘ibs’ symptoms I have to do a low FODMAP elimination diet for 4 weeks. You probably don’t know what this diet is and I hope you never have to find out in detail. You have to cut out certain types of food including wheat, dairy, some fruits and veggies, plus onion and garlic. This on top of the no coffee, alcohol or citrus that my stomach requires. It’s basically a torturously strict set of dietary rules with the result that you can basically only eat potato and rice for 4 weeks. Maybe I’m exaggerating but today is day one and I’m utterly fed up. Being vegetarian plus low FODMAP and lactose free is a big challenge, and one that I do not relish. We went to the supermarket especially to stock up of special foods for me, only for me to realise today that a few of them I’m not actually allowed to eat because they have a banned ingredient hidden in them (no fair!!) the strawberry jam was a particular disappointment and I nearly smashed the damned jar right there and then for containing fructose syrup. The wheat-free cake (contains milk) and dairyfree icecream (contains lupin) are currently at risk of violence because I  chose them specifically, I want to eat them, but I can’t. I’ll have some vegan cola sweets instead and give my teeth and blood glucose a nice surprise. I’ve discovered that rice noodles are no substitute for wheat noodles and that gluten free bread is a whole other food group that appears to only contain dry, slightly sweet non-doughy produce. If I’m required to dine out this month I’ll be restricted to a gluten free pizza or a baked potato with a glass of water….how very exciting indeed. I have to attend a wedding and didnt tell them I was going to be wheat-free and onion and garlic-free so I’m going to have to just suck it up and eat what I’m served unless it’s literally onion soup with bread because, no, that really doesn’t sound very clever….and cue rolling around on the hotel room floor waiting for the abdominal pains to pass….

My belly already feels a bit better and this pisses me off because I don’t want to have to cut out any of these things indefinately. That and I’m hiccupping like a motherfucker so I guess it’s just a choice between reflux or ibs these days. 

If anyone is reading then please send moral fortification because it’s not yet been 24 hours and I want out from this restrictive hell hole! 

On an unrelated topic, my latest manuscript got accepted and the next edition of pickledsparklymooseprincess et al will appear soon In a biology journal near you. I will celebrate this weekend with some strong rooibos tea and oat biscuits maybe followed up with a gaviscon chaser. Living the dream. 

Don’t even think about eating apple pie in front of me right now, I won’t be held accountable for my actions.

She resuscitates the hopeless

Ah, lovely fate with your twisted sense of humour. How I, on occasion, despise thee.

I’m totally putting everything that goes wrong at fate’s door because the only other possibility is that some pixies snuck in and lobotomised me while I was sleeping, and I don’t particularly like the idea of unsolicited trepanning, so yes, let us give fate a single raised eyebrow and disappointed look, rather than turning all that anger inwards.

It started off with a juice in the cereal bowl incident. This always upsets me because it doesn’t take that much effort to focus on the size, shape, weight and colour of the bottle in hand, buuuuut, my muesli finally got to taste that apple juice it’s been lusting after all week, and I can only imagine that it made the museli feel sick because, knowing that I was at least in part responsible for this situation, I tried to eat said cereal and juice combo but with no avail. And so it was, with a screwed up ‘yuck’ face, I started over with my breakfast making. The second pre-caffeine attempt at juice met with an even worse fate…a trip to see the deep pile rug. Now that’s going to smell lovely if I didn’t get it all out. I should come with strict instruction not to let me get out of bed until I’ve had a cup of tea, its just too dangerous for fruit juice and carpets the world over.

Work seemed to be trooping along just fine, even though I was neck deep in someone else’s soup of data that I had to polish into a gem. I was just seeing some headway when something didn’t fit and a penny dropped. The world stopped spinning for a second, I double checked and then ALL the pennies dropped, I mean, we are talking a veritable monsoon of pennies here. Not only had I spent days dragging myself through the unbearable tedium of this task, but, it would seem, I had overlooked one minor but very crucial aspect.

I forgot that I reanalysed the samples and got data that was a bazillion times better than the original, or, I forgot to check that I was really using the right files (with admittedly almost identical names). Just. Brain? Remember that thing you are meant to do? No? Yeah, exactly, I thought so….you’ve lost the ability to remember haven’t you? This is deeply frustrating because now I have to do all that bullshite processing again. It practically killed me through boredom the first time, how can I think about doing it again? Oh I see, you remember the pain of the data processing just fine, typical! At times like this a temporary lamobotomy might be useful. I’d be far less pissed off about the whole thing and less prone to chewing off my fingers or stabbing myself in the neck with a biro (somehow I did that today by mistake, put on a cardigan while forgetting I was holding a pen. Now I think I may have inadvertently tattooed my neck in a not so cool kind of way).

And another thing. Where the hell did my (insert whatever item I want or need right now) go? I remember having it, and picking it up and planning to put it some place safe and then nothing. Just a black void in my head where the vital information should be. A void that is quickly filled by worrying about whether that cupcake I ate yesterday had been sitting around too long in the wide open world. For fuck’s sake! I spent the entire cycle journwy to work repeating to myself that I needed to charge my bike light as soon as I got in so I wouldn’t forget. I remembered right up until I got to the plug socket and then boof, gone into the void and at 8pm, of course the light was still predictably dead. On the cycle home I repeated to myself that I needed to phone someone to say happy birthday as soon as I got home…then I walked through the door and boof, gone, and I spent a good deal of the day reminding myself about this one, did I do it. No, of course not. And I feel shitty as hell about it.

Past PSMP really tries to be helpful, but sadly has zero logical skills, and refuses to write things down to remind Future PSMP because clearly she’ll totally remember because 1. It’s OBVIOUS and 2. It’s important.

So, as I opened by blaming fate, I’d like to close on that note too. Rather than take responsibility for my ridiculous neuronal spaghetti, I’m going to say, this is what I was served and I shall simply have to tolerate these fatalistic flights of fancy. Or, i’ll have to start fashioning dresses for myself from post-it notes.

Please don’t hate me when I forget, erm, like, everything. I promise you it’s much more frustrating for me than it is for you.

“I’m not that medieval, sometimes, I write my thoughts down
I can never remember, who I am
Who I am, where I am, what on earth, I’m doing here”

  ~idlewild, everyone says that you’re so fragile

In my head I’m always the doomed one

I’m special. On this occasion I do unequivocally mean in the special needs sense. In the sense that I’m often crippled by fears that real but extremely rare and life-threatening situations will happen to me.

The problem is that I am somehow convinced that I am special, but in the worst ways possible.

Let me give you an example. So, you know how for there is about a 1 in  a million chance of getting toxic shock in the UK, with ~50% of those associated  with using tampons, well I spent very many years of believing that I would be that one, that I was terrified of using them. 

You know how there is around a 1 in 2000 chance that someone will have an anaphylaxis response to penicillins, well, you can see what is coming next can’t you? Yep, I have spent years being terrified of taking antibiotics in case they cause anaphylaxis.

I know how stupid and pathetic all this is, but there’s got to be someone out there who gets meningitis, toxic shock, anaphylaxis and cancer…so why wouldn’t it be me?

Because of statistics.

Because of common sense.

Because of context.

Some days I really wish someone would lobotomise me so I didn’t have to stress through these ridiculous scenarios.

Needless to say neither tampons nor penicillins have killed me yet. The panic about taking penicillins though was pretty intense. Don’t do that kids, don’t assume you are going to be the unlucky one, don’t waste your time giving yourself worse symptoms that the thing you are afraid of will either. It’s just dumb. Hear that brain? It’s stupid, so cut it out!

“Is there a powder to erase this?
Is it dissolvable and tasteless?
You can’t imagine how I hate this”~the national, graceless

Shapes and sizes (and stupid comments)

As an hourglass lady, I sometimes have issues with clothing ranges that are designed for those women who resemble a pear in shape. This time around we are talking about a new mac. You see, the problem is, that I sometimes laughably find that the chest is too small compared to the hips! I.e that my chest is too large! If you know me then you’ll understand why this is so hilarious, but even if you don’t then I expect you are getting the picture loud and clear.  What I find even funnier is that my SO thinks it is because of the tshirt bras I wear. He genuinely thinks that because I’m wearing a brand famous for their pushup and cleavage-maximising products, that my plain comfy tshirt efforts must be heavily padded etc. He asked what would happen if I wore a different brand….Presumably aside from any fit or comfort issues? Yeah, that’s what I thought…what would happen is I’d be super uncomfy and moody. Maybe if men needed metal wired undergarments to keep their bollocks in check then they would have a bit more respect for our decisions to stick to a brand that fits! As for asking what if I lose weight! Well! That’s nice isn’t it! Recovered anorexic determined to maintain her healthy weight is asked by partner what if she get thinner again. Dumbass.
I did a survey of 14 UK highstreet size 8 measurements and ALL of them were based on a pear or spoon shaped figure. I understand that pears make up about 20% of women, and actually. Oblongs (with less waist definition) are actually contributing over 60%. I am in the minority as an hourglass, but it still narks me that I can’t get clothing to fit. I read articles about the woes of pear-shaped ladies who can’t fit into the clothing designed for 1950s hourglass figures, but that simply is not true, if you are a pear have a thought for those many oblongs who have to have baggy clothing around their hips and bust so that their waist is comfy..or have to have super tight stuff at the waist so their chest doesn’t fall out. Now THEY have a bum deal of the clothing market. Someone needs to start making dresses with different body shapes in mind.

I daresay that the mac will give a bit in the (ahem) necessary areas and it’ll all be fine.

“Boys in their dresses
And you’re not here
I need a big loan from the girl zone”~tori amos, caught a light sneeze

In which I consider some pitfalls in online fora for mental health problems

As you may recall, I said in a previous post that I had joined a forum to support people who were recovering from eating disorders. Well. It didn’t last long. It only took a few recent posts from a moderator to realise that the things that I had to say and suggest were not compatible with the way in which the site was being run. What I mean is – if I posted one more honest reply then I would have been banned.

I think I’m in a pretty stable and balanced state of mental health (despite the last two weirdo posts – sorry about that folks!) and was giving up my free time and energy to give input to people who I will never meet in real life. I did so because I myself used to go to those sites for support when I was still recovering and I actually found the responses from other perpetuated my problems rather than fixed them. Knowing there were others in the same boat, hearing other people talk about being worse off, having circular discussions, the constant focus on the self and not considering others or general thoughts or even philosphies that might help people to dig deeper. I was frustrated with the superficiality and focus on behaviours and ideals in responses rather than reality and possibility from some members and felt that perhaps I could give an alternative view that might click with some members. All well and good, right?

What I had not anticipated was that by expressing an opinion or exlaining something, I might provoke an aggressive, threatenening response from a moderator.

As I listed in my last post my very few epectations from other individuals as:
To be addressed and treated in a civil manner
To be allowed freedom of thought and speech
To be respected as a human being
To be forgiven for my mistakes

I feel that these have not been met on this occaission and as I am forced to taste disappointment, I’d sooner take my meanerding thoughts elsewhere.

I am not going to give up my free time and energy to something that causes me upset, or that of others. I am sorry that the moderator in question was incapable of understanding my standpoint, or why I was seemingly undermining their ill-considered challenge to the OP, but I expect more from senior members of fora – I expect them to be impartial and not get involved in emotional responses and public displays of instability. It sets a bad example. Responses and challenges to people with ingrained or obsessive pychological problems require a lot of thought and consideration for the individuals situation. Any ill-considered or inappropriate challenges that display a lack of understading and consideration of the OP undermine the reponder’s ability to appear all-seeing and wise. I know we are all only human, but to be healthy it is important to admit when you make mistakes, and to accept information that fills in the gaps that you had without overt defensiveness or aggression.

Perhaps what I said (albeit in a non-confrontational style) was considered inapropriate and insubordiate, undermining the unshakable wisdom of the moderator in question, but I had rather fancied that as a recovered indivudual who had been asked to contribute to the forum due to my experience etc, that I might be considered an equal and not subordinate. I won’t lie, my instinct was to respond with the full force of my upset, disappointment and fury at being singled out as a troublemaker when I felt my contribution was perfectly valid. I realized quite quickly though that this would not help anyone – not the disgruntled moderator, not the OP, not me, and so rather than get involved in a discussion that would detract from the OP’s problems and appear petty and self-involved, I chose rather to do the dignified thing and just leave the site, saying it was nothing personal, but I didn’t want to go upsetting anyone, especially those so vulnerable, so it was better if I just left.

I was running though my head the email I was going to send to the person who set up and runs the forum about how I was worried about the moderator who I unwittingly disguntled, and their inappropriate and aggressive response, as well as the concern that this person was doling out a fair bit of blanket responses and non-constructive comments, such as indicating in a rather harsh way, that a member wasn’t getting replies because they didn’t bother to reply to anyone else’s threads. When people need support and help they don’t need to be told that its their fault and it is irresponsible and inconsiderate to push those kind of opinions onto them. I also recognised that pretty much every time that I have planned out such an emotional email it is a very bad idea – so, that recognised, I shall refrain and rather have expressed myself here in moderation (if you’ll excuse the pun) rather than cause a total meltdown from any party 😛

I don’t want to be associated with a community that perpetuates meaningless, hurtful or ill-informed comments, and I certainly don’t want to be fingered as doing so myself, and so, even here I refuse to sink to the level of petty bickering despite my very strong instict to put my nitpicking attitude to work at pointing out that the offending agressive response to mine was concluded with a sentence that made absolutely no sense, conceptually or gramatically. I would have continued to contribute to the site for years but I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit back and let someone threaten and upset me online when there’s enough of that going on in real life. Call me immature for having a tantrum and slamming the door but life is too short to do somthing that makes you unhappy.

If you want help for your eating disorder, look to people in real time – talk to your family, your friends, your therapists, your doctors – don’t rely on online discussion boards that may inadvertently neglect the need to take responsibility for yourself, or learn acceptance and compassion. A forum can’t cure your problems – only you can.

“The coin flips again and again, and again, and again
as our sanity walks away”
~live, white, discussion

Anger is rising

Today has left me feeling all kinds of annoyed. Firstly, the morning came too soon again. It’s been happening more and more. You know, someone stealing those precious dreamy hours away from me. It’s some kind of elaborate scheme so someone else can siphon off hours for their own pleasure, only I’m just too dumb to catch them in the act. One day I’ll catch them and then I’ll be able to sleep 12 hours a day AND do my job.

I’ve vowed never to return to that bike shop. I’ve been going to this shop religiously since I bought my bike there a few years ago. They were always super helpful, did little jobs with no charge and didn’t lie about how much things were going to cost. I trusted them. The staff have changed and maybe the management too.
Not only was I royally shafted (for the second time), but I was insulted again….when I went to collect I was asked IF I knew what kind of bike it is. Firstly, they should damned well know from my name which bike it is and secondly, clearly as I’ve got two x chromosomes I am supposed to shrug my shoulders or giggle and say a pink one with a wicker basket. Unimpressed face ensued, and I was prompted as to whether I knew the make…the delay was not because I didn’t know, I was angry…its a women’s Scott sports hybrid bike. I almost told him the model and frame size but he wouldn’t have got my point.
I’m actually unhappy with BOTH of the brakes, I do not think that they have been set up properly and I will have to fix them myself, as I should have done in the first place. As for the last visit there where they messed up my lock while fixing a pannier rack and I had to fix it myself because the boy working there was trying to permanently fix the lock to the bike….and I was charged labour for that! Can you imagine! And the kid just looked at me like, oh yeah I’ve just spent loads of time watching you fix that up and time is money. The rack was overpriced anyway. Grrr. Never again.

Ok that’s enough venting of anger. There is more, but I can’t write about it so I’ll just bend someone’s ear in 3D.


“What if all the world you used to know
Is an elaborate dream?”