Friday, January 12, 2007

Ice Storm in Nebraska

For those who question why I moved from Nebraska, and have absolutely no desire to move back. Please check out this photo display of a recent ice storm.

Now if you think this is just a one time thing and that winters are never this bad in Nebraska, think again.

While the widespread power outages might not be as bad on a yearly basis, I do remember nearly every year having ice storms that coated streets, trees, fences, grass, etc much like shown in the pictures. Some years were worse (more ice) than others.

The aftermath of ice storms is usually a very beautiful site. The light reflects on everything as if it was all made of glass. Then you look harder and realize the damage and clean up that's going to have to happen. Soon enough the pretty wears off and the drudgery begins. De-icing streets. Salting sidewalks.

And the ever so lovely, chipping your car out of the ice capsule that it surely is in. Sometimes cars get so sealed in there is nearly nothing you can do. If you chip too hard, you'll go through and scratch the paint. Door jams are usually sealed with solid ice, not to mention the handles or lock. You can douse your car in window washer with anti-freeze if you have enough on hand, provided that its not sealed in your trunk, but that usually doesn't help much. I suppose if you had a safe way of lighting a torch you could melt the ice off that way but the probability of setting yourself on fire is much more likely.

If you do manage to get in your car, you'd better hope you have a lot of gas. (This is one of the reasons I refuse to have less than 1/4 tank in my car. Old habits die hard.) You're going to need to start your car and put on the defrost on high, or you'll never get the ice off your windshield. After a while of defrosting your windows, the layer of ice next to the window turns to water and makes it easily removable. Or at least more easy to remove than solid ice on glass.

Once you get your car unsealed, you have to watch the streets as often they are sheets of ice.

Most often it is just best to call (if you have a functional phone) your boss and say "Sorry I can't come in" and hope you don't get fired.

Days like this is why I always have insisted on having a billion candles, a good supply of board games and decks of cards. (This is also why most Nebraskan's DO know their neighbors.)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Corn Allergy Addicts Anonymous

I admitted something really scary last night. Something that I’ve thought of for a while, but came to the forefront when I saw just how debilitating hubby’s allergic reaction was. Since I’m like that or a little bit like that almost all the time, I thought a little bit of that was just “me” and now I’m not so sure. What if I could really be 100% alert? That’s a great thought, right?

I’ve talked before (maybe not so much on here) about having a food allergy addiction to corn. It makes me high, and with very small minor reactions it makes me feel really happy for a few hours.

So here’s the scary part. What if the days that I think I feel good, are really low level reaction days and I’m still in a cycle of self-sabotage? Or what if they’re the “calm” before the storm. What if I get into corn, get happy, get sick, get sad, work to find the source of the corn, remove it, get a clear day.. then subconsciously seek out corn again for another “fix”?

The thing is there isn’t a support group for this type of addiction. There aren’t labels to read that tell me “corn is in here”.. I have to trust my body to react. But with a food addiction, you can’t really trust what your body wants. Your body wants the corn.

Drugs. Alcohol. There are tons of groups and support systems for these addictions, and for the most part the eyes can see these dangers before they’re ingested. But there is nothing for food allergy addiction, and like any addiction, only I can stop myself and change.

The problem is that my “drug” exists in everything, so it feels sometimes like no matter how hard I try, I never will “recover”. My next slip-up is only a snack, a meal, a drink, or sometimes even a breath away.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Best Gift Ever!

This might seem a bit callous, but honestly this New Years will be remembered as the Best Christmas/New Years ever. (or at least for now) Due to one simple thing.

My husband now knows first hand what its like to be me.

Now before you get all judgmental in my rejoicing that my husband has food allergies and had an allergic reaction during Christmas/New Years, let me just tell you that it wasn't in any way life threatening. He got to experience a very low level, but annoying reaction. A reaction that he'd only observed in me prior to experiencing it himself. A reaction that he used to "disbelieve" or think that I "made up" or that I was making "more out of it" than it really was.

So yes, I am extremely happy that he now knows first hand what its like. Since he would be my primary caregiver, and would have to mediate with doctors on my behalf should something happen, I am extremely happy that he now "gets it".

But I'm digressing.. Now onto the real story..

During Christmas at my parents, Hubby started having problems with allergies. (It could have been mold issues, who knows) On our arrival back home, we both had sinus problems. On our return (Wednesday), we went sales shopping and hubby picked up some After Eight mints on sale.

(In Sept, hubby had received test results which one said a mild wheat allergy, and another less reliable test stated a mild mint allergy. So we removed both from his diet.)

He decided he wanted to test the mint allergy. He's an adult, so I have to let him figure this out on his own (at least somewhat). But unknown to me, he ate several boxes of After Eights in the next few days. I believe he finished the last of them on Saturday.

On Friday, hubby went to a salad bar and had a salad with olive oil and salt. Unfortunately, he didn't admit to me until Sunday that he'd also had "fake bacon" (wheat) on it. To his defense, he didn't know it had wheat in it, as he doesn't think about it unless he's specifically told "no".

I don't normally see my husband on the days he works, except at night. So I really didn't notice much issues, until Saturday. On Saturday, he was out of it. You know that whole saying "The Doors open, but no one is home?" that would be a pretty apt description of him on Saturday. He kept complaining that he just couldn't seem to concentrate. He has this project that he's been trying to work on, but he couldn't manage to concentrate enough to do anything. The more he talked, the more I said "You sound like me, you sure you didn't get into anything?" He insisted he hadn't and that it wasn't anything.

Then Sunday rolled around. If I thought he wasn't "in" on Saturday, he had vacated earth on Sunday. Then in the late afternoon, when I realized he wasn't going to be better by evening and going out wasn't going to be an option because even if he didn't drink, there was no way he could drive. So we went to rent movies. By this time, he'd admitted that something was really wrong and that I might be right about the allergies. He also fessed up at this time to the fake bacon on the salad on Friday, as well as devouring the After Eights.

I have to say that I wasn't being very nice during all this. I was laughing the entire day. It was hilarious. He was doing all the things that he complains that I do all the time just to irritate him. (Which I don't do on purpose, I don't often realize I'm doing it. Because its part of my allergic reactions) So here he was doing them, despite himself.

We went to Hollywood Rentals, and went to pick up movies. He didn't want to rent anything that would make him think, so we rented anything that was a light comedy. We left with 5 movies. Normally he insists on only 2 movies, maybe 3 if I insist. However, he couldn't decide which movie to watch. Now this is not your normal.. "I like both of these, so I can't decide".. this was "I honestly can't think about it right now. I have no idea which one to pick" type of indecision that I am known for. Until now, no one else had understood that depth of indecision, and hubby had been quite judgmental about my indecisive tendencies. So I thought it all incredibly hilarious. Especially when we got to the counter with 5 movies, and he didn't even try to narrow it down. He knew if he tried to narrow it down, that I'd make him decide which movies not to rent, and he'd rather not think about it.

I honestly don't think I've laughed so much in one day in all my life.

Then I wanted to get some seltzer water, as I was out at home. Since we weren't going out drinking, I wanted to be able to make something at home. Normally, he would want to talk me out of it as he hates going to regular grocery stores with me, as I love to read all the labels and seek out new items. He didn't even protest.

He did however decide that he wanted to make his own drinks (we have potato vodka at home he could use safely). He doesn't like very many alcohol drinks, and milk is out, so we had to be creative. While we were there, the munchies set in.

Now, I've tried to describe the munchies to others, but I always fail. I've never smoked pot, but I have seen and heard potheads talk about getting the munchies and devouring anything in sight. This is the munchies that my husband had.

It started as he wanted something to snack on while watching the movies. Normal yes? Then it progressed.

You have to understand shopping with hubby to get the full brunt of what happened at the grocery store. Shopping with hubby is very quick, very decisive. You know what you're getting, you get it, and you get out. That is not at all how this shopping adventure went.

First, we went to get the stuff needed to make mixed drinks at home. Then he wanted snacks. Snacks included chips and dip. Well then I thought, I could make a dip at home as well, but I need crackers so I left him and went to look for crackers. The particular store didn’t' have them, so I went back and found hubby. He was happy and content to just look around.

Then he wanted ice cream. "Is there a non-dairy ice cream I can have?" ok.. prior to this hubby didn't want fake ice cream and would adamantly refuse it. So we went to look at milk-free ice creams. We found one that looked safe and put it in the cart.

Then came the chili craving.. He wanted chili. Since I cannot have peppers, we went to look at canned chili for him. Most had oats or wheat, which he's avoiding, but we did find a couple that were ok and bought both (since hubby couldn't decide which one would be better in the store, and decided he should try them both - another un-hubby-like thing to do).

At this point, I decided to pick up a couple things in the produce section. Normally I would be scolded with a "Do you really need them now? Can you come back later and get them?", but nothing was said. I was never pressured to leave the store the entire hour we were there. It was unfathomable, and the most fun I've had in a long time.

I went to pick out some produce, and hubby got distracted reading the labels of jam. I found him a few feet away, picking up jars of jam (which he doesn't eat btw, because he doesn't like most fruit) and reading the labels. He wasn't just picking up jars of jam that he might eat. No, he was picking up just random jars and reading the labels as if it was the most fun thing to do ever. He was happy and content. I nearly caused a scene with laughing so hard.

When we got home, he started munching. I was doing my own thing, so I wasn't watching him much or monitoring what he ate. (We'd just eaten a few hours before btw).

We then watched a movie, and I was a little hungry so I asked him if he wanted supper. He said he wasn't hungry and couldn't believe I was hungry. It had been about 5 hours since lunch, so I replied "Well I didn't just have the munchies and eat everything in the house." He looked a little insulted. I said, "Well what all did you eat? Am I wrong?"

He thought about it and said: "I had some chips & chili, some goulash, nuts, toffee (homemade), juice," etc.. he kept pausing naming something, then pause, named something else. I swear he went on for several minutes naming foods he'd eaten. Btw the "some chips and chili" equals an entire can of Campbell's no bean chili, and half a bag of corn chips.

I got up and made me a small dinner, all the while laughing.

We talked yesterday about it, and decided that he needs to be ultra-safe in his eating until he gets his project done. He started regaining his ability to concentrate last night, and hopefully is back to normal today.

If nothing else, he at least now understands me a little bit better, and knows that "NO, it’s not all in her head".