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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Feeling BRATty

Two posts in fifteen hours. I must be sick.

Oh, wait. I am.

So, for those of you who are not my real life family and friends, I have had one of the collections of symptoms known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) since 1992.

This illness is not that. Trust me. I know what that feels like, and this ain't it.

Most people don't know the proximate cause of their IBS; part of the reason that it is labeled a syndrome is that they don't know.

I do.

When I got married the first time, I picked up a lovely little bug on our honeymoon, a cousin to e.coli called Giardia Lamblia, and it took them weeks to diagnose and treat it, because we had not gone camping or hiking, or any of the places it most commonly infects people.

Apparently it can live in chlorinated swimming pools for up to twenty minutes.

In any case, after several years we discovered my trigger foods: primarily dairy products and cruciferous vegetables. I can generally handle dairy about once a day (on that level; I am also mildly allergic to the main protein in milk, whey) and broccoli a couple times a week without incident.

As long as I stick to this, I'm fine. And it's been years since my last full-on flare-up.

Which is another reason I know this illness is not that. No unusual foods, no more dairy or veg than usual.

Also no sleep last night, because I spent hours in the bathroom. Low-grade fever and shakes. So I would say mild food poisoning or a gastro bug of some kind.

I guess the silver lining here is that I do at least know the proper treatment for such symptoms: rest, fluids, and BRAT. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. I have a couple bananas, some rice (on the stove right now), some apples and applesauce, and some bread (and crackers and plain noodles). Tea and water and apple juice.

It's just as well that I called in sick, in spite of the guilt, because I've been to the bathroom several times while writing this. I would have been pretty useless today.