Monday, January 25, 2010

This Is Why You're Depressed...Or Not

I am so...well...sick of thinking about my post-baby food sensitivities. But almost eight months after my doctor first prescribed a elimination diet, I still have questions. And symptoms.
When Westley asked for some muffins over the weekend (his word for muffins is "muh-tits," which might be the best toddlerism ever), Rob carefully adapted the recipe he was making to fit my dietary restrictions. The resulting almond-quinoa muffins (adapted from Veganomicon) were vegan (of course), gluten-free, soy-free, contained no refined sugar, and tasted delicious.

And they still made me sick.

My heart sank into my crampy, miserable stomach as I started to wonder whether my problem with baked goods wasn't the sugar or the gluten, but the refined-ness, the flour. Maybe not just gluten-containing flour, but any flour was unacceptable. Was I looking at a flourless--or, (help me, Mary) grainless--diet?

It seemed extreme, yes. But as I sat at Sunday brunch, staring at the second half of my "old world" cereal, which strongly resembled something I could make at home, I felt that familiar stomach sickness. I hate going out to eat, I thought.

I'm thoroughly convinced of the connection between food and depression; I desperately wish I could go back and give my 16-year-old self a gluten- and dairy-free diet instead of the medication that created more problems than it solved. But my new diet, which initially rescued me from postpartum depression, is starting to create a different kind of sadness.

Meal-planning and grocery shopping, which I used to truly enjoy, have become unpleasant chores. On the rare occasion that I find myself in a restaurant, I have to figure out what's "safe" to eat--as opposed to what I'd like to eat. And I fucking hate that when my sweet little son, who loves to share his food, offers me a bite of his toast, I have to say, "No, thank you, honey."

And then I add, "That's all for you." Because I refuse to tell him that the whole-wheat seed bread he's so enjoying will make Mommy sick.

But I'm starting to wonder if that one shared bite might be worth it.



Allison the Meep said...

Guh! I am SO sorry you have so many food sensitivities. It really takes all the joy out of eating when you can't eat, well, anything.

To chime in on the depression thing - I went through a very serious depression when Julian was about two and was to the point where I was drafting suicide notes on a daily basis. And within two weeks of going gluten-free, everything changed. I didn't even need to be on Zoloft anymore, which was great to me, but really pissed my doctor off because he thought it was reckless.

So anyway, I'm really sorry you can't eat anything. I really hope you figure out what exactly it is that's causing you such discomfort.

Baby in Broad said...

I'm at the point where I'm starting to think it's all in my head...again.

Anonymous said...

I totally relate to the postpartum crazy stomach. Formerly favorite and innocuous foods are now totally off limits or it's cramp time. I recently saw an ayurvedic doctor who put me on an herb/spice regimen which is pretty wretched but the difference in my cramps and bloating is dramatic. He also reminded me that the digestive system and immune system are one and the same. If I'm having to avoid certain foods, it really, really helps me to think about it one day at a time, otherwise the misery (no toast forever?!) is just too much. Hope your poor tummy settles down soon.


Jessica said...

I know what you mean about the restaurant thing, both first hand and from watching my mother struggle with it (she has Celiac's). She once severely wobbled on her strict diet when a Krispy Kreme crossed her path. Luckily for her, she stayed away by thinking of the gut-wrenching horror she'd have to endure for the next three or four days.

I'm so sorry that this kind of thing even exists. Hang in there.