I got myself again, with coffee. The store was out of beloved Stumptown, beloved because I like it and it NEVER makes me sick. I turned to the right…there was a small, seriously local (not pretend local but the parent company is like, Sbux) roast there that I had enjoyed in the past. And it was on sale, since it was a Xmas blend! Sold.
Two days of that and I was sick and Pete was sick. He reacted right away, running to the bathroom. I gave him grief because I thought he was eating too many nuts on the Whole30. Boo, me. He didn’t have any on Thursday morning because he ran off early for work. I didn’t feel great, but brewed the coffee again Thursday and took the dogs for a walk and it hit me–WHAM.
Brain fog, trembling. I go through this really embarrassing denial when I am getting sick. “I can still think! I can! Let me just multiply some fractions really quick…can’t think of any fractions…7/16ths…can that be reduced? Hang on.” This eventually fizzles out and is replaced with the sound of white noise, being on the verge of tears, and the theme song to Ducktales.
At this point on the walk I was getting dizzy and starting to really sweat, like I had a flu. It was a 45 degree day and I was dressed in reasonable layers, walking at a good pace but not approaching a run, and when I came home my bra and half my shirt was completely drenched in sweat and I was shivering.
There is a nag nag nag in my brain going, Hey. Hey stupid. Just quit coffee. My sister has terrible reactions to coffee and has quit it all together. But when coffee is good, it is really fine. I feel GREAT, which is to say, normal. Some mornings I forget to drink water along with my half-pot and my pee is still clear (you’re welcome). I am coffee-adapted.
I have quit coffee successfully before and it wasn’t that challenging to taper down and then stop. I feel about the same and I can function fine without it. (This was not true when I was sick and tired all the time.) I like it so much and I don’t want to give it up if I don’t have to.
So the last day I had the “bad coffee” was a week ago and I’m still feeling the effects. Headaches, sleeping 10+ hours a night, can’t recall names, poor attention span, misanthropic outlook, etc. On Saturday in boot camp, a couple of days after being glutened, the (woman) teacher told me I should be “more confident.” (In private, and it wasn’t out of nowhere, don’t worry.) I was thinking to myself, man, she’s right. I’m a different person when I’m sick and it’s hard to explain that to someone. I was also thinking that I had just broken up with my toilet after a long engagement with it all day the day before (Friday). I woke up shaky and sweaty Saturday, and had that Sophie’s Choice of OH GOD IT IS GOING TO COME OUT OF BOTH ENDS which is a race to the bottom really. I finally vomited, felt better, then ate breakfast minutes later as if nothing had happened. GROSS, I know.
As an aside can I say that I used to vomit a LOT since I was a baby for the first 36 years of my life, and I was really good at it. It was super casual. I could relax and just vomit silently, and it would just sound like a faucet going on and off. I am losing my vomiting skillz. It actually hurt to puke and I made a bunch of noise like a total amateur. Now I am starting to understand why people are anxious about puking. :[
When I have a bad day I’m trying to find that balance. I don’t want to be a person who gets valid criticism and it’s like “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, I’M STILL A MYSTERY TO YOU” but I also know I was having an off day. I don’t like to lie and say something like “Well I have the flu today” or tell the truth and say “my food allergies make me stupid sometimes” because people don’t really understand that either.
I could not for the life of me get conduit offset bends right and I felt very thick and slow. I feel kind of embarrassed saying this to you, as if I am just making excuses. “I could have killed it if if if…” But I do have a lot of experience doing things glutened and un-glutened now. I will see how it goes next time before I am totally harsh on myself.
Ultimately with all this in mind, I decided not to take the criticism totally personally. The teacher had a snapshot of an incoming apprentice on one day and formed an opinion. But it scares me now as I am on the verge of being dispatched. I’m thinking about keeping a diary of when I get hit and how, and how long it takes me to recover. I’m not sure how often this is happening exactly–maybe once every other month now? (Too much.) I know it takes about 4-6 days for my guts to get back to normal, but it’s a week in and I am still tired and pretty gloomy.
I wish I could go follow the supply chain of something that makes me sick that in theory, should not contain gluten ever.
The good news is that since Strudel (usually) doesn’t drink coffee, she missed this round of gluten. She’s in choir and so is conscripted into the spring musical. This year it’s The Lion King Jr. She has to audition with “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” Her dad and I have been singing it with her and playing the soundtrack and doing the karaoke version on youtube and I have discovered something very interesting about her. At first I thought she was pretty hopeless and couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but as we went on I realized that she can’t “hear” or recall the melody or notes in her head at all, so she was kind of guessing where her voice should be based on the notes.
I have no training, but I like singing, and I have always liked jazz vocals in particular. I can copy vocal styles and hear songs I learned 30 years ago in my head. As soon as we got the audition piece I remembered how the chorus went from being bludgeoned with it on its release in the 90s. I don’t think this is extraordinary at all, but it kind of blew my mind that the kid can’t really do it. I grilled her on some old violin pieces that she played over and over and OVER a few months ago and she couldn’t sing the melody back to me. What to do to help this? I know her violin teacher works on ear training and rhythm work (like clapping) and it’s a terrific struggle.
The good news is that she is trying to push past this, and she really wants a part. She was in tears a couple of nights ago about how hard the singing is, and we talked about how it’s discouraging sometimes when some things come easily to us (in her case, math and reading) and music is more of a struggle. I brought up the miserable failure I had with conduit bending a couple of days before, and how I felt like I wanted to quit for a minute, but that I will keep at it and will get competent, even if it’s not my thing.
She wanted to do warm up singing in the morning while she gets ready for school, and Elton John wasn’t going so well, so I encouraged her to sing a song they are working on in choir that she knows well, “J’entends le Moulin.” I said, “Hey, that’s in French, and isn’t easy, and you know that one.” I think that encouraged her. Not sure how that song can stick in there and Elton John cannot. I asked her to think about what might be different about this song and she thinks it’s because they were playing instruments along with their singing, like wood blocks and xylophone. Eeenteresting. As a bonus, guess who can entend le moulin all day long now? Yes me.
So I’m glad we’re encouraging her to stick with the violin, because I think she needs that challenge, and to see some progress and success in something that does not come naturally. I know when I was a kid, if it was at all hard, I gave up, and I didn’t have family support or encouragement to keep trying. I don’t think developing that attitude ruined my life or anything, but I’m glad she’s learning a different way that I hope will keep her options more open in the future.