Sunday, August 17, 2014

Food and Measuring Moments

So this has been my worst Interstitial Cystitis flare since I started actively managing it, and as a result, my diet is ridiculous.

I went mostly vegan almost a year ago, which cut out 99% of dairy, eggs and seafood from my diet. It's been going great and I haven't looked back, but now I'm faced with some severe dietary restrictions to heal my urinary tract and eating has become complicated in a whole new way.

The IC diet actually encourages dairy, which is annoying, but eliminates all acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus, pineapple, vinegar), most spices (cinnamon, paprika, cumin), soy (tofu, soy sauce, almost all the veggie burger type products), onions, pickles, chilis, and basically 80% of the ingredients I use in every dish I make.

So, I've been eating a lot of potatoes, brown rice, beans, and veggies, and thankfully avocados are still safe. Eating so blandly has made it difficult to get adequate calories some days, so I've started eating selective junk foods (kettle chips, nutter butters, mmmm) and I've started cooking with oil again, occasionally.

Another blessing has been daiya cheddar. It's fake cheese that isn't made from soy and it's seriously saved my taste buds on days when I could not cook and had to whip up a plain potato burrito, or something similarly sad. It tastes like a cross between cheddar, american cheese, and nacho cheese, the last two of which are totally nostalgic flavors for me, so I feel like I'm getting that childhood treat when in actuality I just feel too crappy to make myself anything better. We take what pleasure we can get. It's also particularly tasty over a baked potato and a load of steamed broccoli, which is what I had for lunch today.

The pain is slowly decreasing, but I keep accidentally eating foods that are tainted with irritants and now I suspect that my multi-vitamin is triggering pain, which is ironic because I'm only taking it because I'm having trouble nourishing myself on the IC diet.


My head's been temperamental lately, too; the weather, the IC, my restricted diet, the abdominal assault my period waged on my body last week, who even knows the triggers at this point, I'm just trying to keep my sanity.

When I feel like this, just raw from the surviving, every bit of tenderness that's sent my way feels transcendent, small kindnesses are miracles, and beauty is almost painful to behold. I woke early one morning to a fogged-in forest and despite my aching eyes, throbbing back (WHY? IDK), loneliness and hopelessness, the branches of the towering redwoods faded into the fog in such a way that I thought I might die from the magic of it.

Blessed are the poor and sick, for we know the true measure of a moment.


Monday, August 11, 2014


I had a dream last night, the first I've remembered in ages. I was on a glass submarine.

The sub was floating at the surface, in dock. We moved past a huge old steamship, and I goggled at the size of it; I could see the entire girth of it from inside my glass sub, and it was astounding. Then, we dove. The waves crashed against the glass, and then the sub was engulfed entirely and I was underwater. It was murky, and ghostly fish passed by too quickly to be identified. Then there was a coral paradise, like Nemo's home, and it was brilliant and dazzling and I was laughing and crying and giddy with the experience, totally unaware that I was dreaming. And this morning, when I remembered the dream in a surprised rush, I told my boyfriend the tale and felt like I was recounting an amazing vacation story.

I haven't felt that kind of joy in a long time. I've had happy moments, I've laughed and had good times, but lately I feel like I have nothing to look forward to, and yesterday those words formed themselves exactly in my mind. Nothing to look forward to. I can't have kids. Going to school feels like it'll never amount to anything. My relationships are all faltering. I'll never be well enough to really be happy or free.

Writing it out, yes, I can see depression talking, but isn't some of it, at least, just being realistic?

I used to feel so secure in the world. I'm so jealous of myself pre-migraines, I had no idea what I had.

I think that submarine was some part of my brain sending up a signal flare, We need to be amazing again! We need to LIVE! I need to listen. I need to find a path. Or make one.