Thursday, October 20, 2011
"In creating a unified space of opposition to the 1% who hold a concentration of power and wealth, we must simultaneously foster critical education to learn about the systemic injustices that many of us in the 99% continue to face. This should not be pejoratively dismissed as “identity politics,” which for many re-enforces the patterns of marginalization. The connection between the nature and structure of the political economy and systemic injustice is clear: the growing economic inequality being experienced in this city and across this country is nothing new for low-income racialized communities, particularly single mothers, all of whom face the double brunt of scape-goating during periods of recession."
If you read it critically, it is clear enough, but there is something about the large and academic phrases like: "re-enforces the patterns of marginalization" that I have an emotional reaction to due to encountering people who talk this way. People who go to collage and think big thoughts that they have read in large books. People who say one thing but behave in quite another way. Hypocrites. That in itself made it difficult to read but underneath the words the meaning is actually something I can get behind.
I'm pretty sure this paragraph is saying that people who are part of the 99% need to keep in mind that a large part of the 99% are different from them and the oppression that everyone faces is valid. It is easy to feel superior to other groups and try and dismiss them because they have less power. Such thinking will destroy the cohesion of the 99%.
In another paragraph the author talks about how the word 'occupy' is a difficult concept to unite under for many indigenous people because of how they have been oppressed by 'occupying' peoples.
I was annoyed by this slightly but like she points out most people feel that way and it is percicely this annoyance that divides people. After she explained I realized the indigenous people have a valid point about how the very language we use comes from the people we are trying to protest against. They want to bring attention to the fact that what we are protesting is not just that the rich are rich, and the poor are poor, but that everything in our society, including the way the whole world thinks, is built to keep it that way. We have to use our brains to question the way we do and think about everything, and realize that the very fabric of our lives is binding us to be the oppressed 99% majority.
Unfortunately I think people are really tring to avoid coming to this realization. It is rather frightening. In order to have fairness we have to re-envision the whole world. Its mind boggling and makes people feel uncertain and unbalanced. She points out however that we are not going to change the world if we don't look at the world honestly. And I think she has a point: a wordy hard to understand point, but a really good one.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Then she decided to go to China and she gave me her old mattress, which was better than mine. I kept the box spring though and she had a board that I slid inbetween the box spring an dthe top mattress. This helped a lot with the sagging in the middle. And so for years my bed was really mostly hers. Except for the box spring.
But this year I noticed that my back was starting to hurt again and the bed sags noticeably in the middle and along the edge where I climb off every morning. So my mom made a comment and I thought about it and eventually I agreed that she was right that I needed a new bed. But she didn't want to get me one that had all those flame retardents on it.
We did some research online. Turns out the kind of bed that was good for your back and didn't have the nasty flame retardant stuff that might aggravate my allergies were the most expensive beds. I'm so high maintenance.
But she bought it anyways. We went down to Higgens and bought a brand new Tempur-pedic cloud supreme bed. And boy is it supreme. I love it. The cool thing is it should last for 20 years. I won't have to go bed shopping for ages.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
And right there in black and white it reads : partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil.
Oh crap. So for the next two days I suffer, not just with the gas and the diarrhea but with the guilt of "why was I so cavalier about my allergy?". I didn't mean to be I just didn't think.
Thankfully my reaction to palm kernel oil seems to be milder than some of the other oils. There was no nausea, vomiting or depression. But it reminded me of why I'm so grateful that my mom and dad make such a huge effort to keep this kind of thing out of the house. I cant imagen how someone dose this alone. My mom was the one who reminded me that vitimines might have oils in them, my dad is the one who found a safe source of lard and has it shipped to me at enormous expense.
If I had a job I would have to get really good at trying to eat out. I have yet to even call a restaurant and try to see if there is anything I can eat. I've done all my research on the relatively anonymous internet or cooked all my own food.
Turns out I'm not the only to have these kinds of accidents. My mom found me a book at the library called "Allergy Girl " she actually suffers from food allergies. The kind of thing that requires an epi pen. And she described some of her slip ups. Most of which were with people she was dating.
I have some allergies too. I'm really allergic to fragrances. Its getting to the point that I just have to have one good breathful of something I'm allergic to and my eyes swell up and I get sick for several hours to several days. If I can take some Aserola Vitimine C I can calm the symptoms but its getting scary. Every few days I walk past someone at the store or climb in an elevator and have a reaction. I have to carry vitemine C with me everywhere.
I stopped dating someone because of it. When I brought it up he told me that the way to get over an allergy was to be exposed to whatever it was and work up an immunity. Unfortunately for me that only works if you know what it is! I have no idea what it is in fragrances that I'm allergic to. But it seems to be in everything, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, aftershave, and magazines even. I've gotten to the point where I have to avoid books from the library that have come in contact with people who wear too much scent. It rubs off on the book and I can get sick just from reading it. I realized when he didn't take it siriously it wasn't going to work out.
Thankfully the person I'm dating now has made his place completely friendly to me. And it hasn't been easy. He had to change laundry detergent, soap and shampoo. Hes even made sure there's food at his house which is okay for me to eat and the most amazing thing about it? Hes done it without complaint or making a big deal out of it. I can't get over how wonderful and safe it makes me feel. Ive never felt safe like that with anyone I've dated.
Allergy girl says that if you take your allergy seriously other people will too. I'm finding that its true. I've become more serious about my allergies and my health and I find that people in the world respond to that. Its not always a positive response but its not always the negative response that I thought it would be either. In a way its forced me to be more assertive. Probably a good thing but disconcerting none the less.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
It started last Christmas. I felt awful. I had belly cramps, cold sweats, nausea and then I started throwing up. I thought it was the flu or perhaps I'd eaten some bad food. But it didn't get better. The vomiting abated somewhat but the nausea continued. It was worse in the mornings, but if I didn't eat I felt weak and faint if I did manage to eat a few soda crackers it would be a few hours before the nausea abated enough that I could eat real food. This went on and on. All through January and then into February. People wondered if I was pregnant. The test came back negative.
I was exhausted. I was scared and my parents were threatening to send me to the doctor or worse the emergency room. I didn't want to go because I'd had a mysterious flu like this a few years before and had gone to the doctor. He had scratched his head, run some expensive tests and given me anti-nausea pills to help me get back to work. He'd had no clue and I couldn't see what good it would do to consult another doctor except to spend lots of money. I was sure it would pass.
The solution came like many do, not with a blinding epiphany but with slow detective work. Many seemingly unrelated facts formed a pattern that up till now I had been unable to see.
I have known since I was ten or so that when I ate Crisco, canola oil, and vegetable oil I would have cramps, gas and diarrhea. I have no idea how my mom figured this out but she did. I thought that I was very good about avoiding those oils. I used only butter and olive oil when cooking at home and avoided anything that listed canola oil, or vegetable oil as an ingredient.
I believe my first hint was when I got horrible gas after eating a bagel a few months before this illness started. My mom and I thought it was a terrible thing that something like a bagel that generally dose not have any oil in it would set off my 'allergy'. I didn't think too much of it. Then in the middle of February my mom read the ingredient list on the box of Bagel Bites that I had bought to try and tempt my appetite. Canola oil. It was right there on the box. I hadn't checked. I stopped eating them. Soon after that I found the recipe I'd photo copied for the popovers my aunt had made for us all at Christmas. Shortening. When I showed my mom we decided that it was very possible that she had used Crisco, and then we wondered: could my 'allergy' of childhood have gotten a thousand times worse? Could it have mutated into causing vomiting without the diarrhea? And could I without realizing it be consuming the very things that were making it worse?
I started reading labels religiously. All the breads listed soybean oil, I wondered if I had a problem with soybean oil. After all it was a vegetable oil. I stopped eating store bought bread and started eating only bread I made at home. I read the label on the soda crackers: soybean oil, had I been unintentionally making my nausea worse by eating the very thing that caused it in the first place? After three weeks of avoiding all processed foods. (tortillas had shorting. Crackers soybean oil, bread canola oil) I started feeling better. Not just better, amazingly better.
I didn't need a nap in the afternoon. I didn't feel exhausted from waking up in the morning. It was as if I was a different person, a normal person. A person who can go for longer than two hours without eating. Someone who can make it through a whole day and feel tired at the end and get up the next day and do it again without being sick as a dog. It was amazing. Then I made a mistake. I went out for breakfast. Within hours I felt tired, my guts began to cramp, the cold sweat broke out, and I wanted to sit down and cry. It was clear to me that I'd been doing something right. It took two days to start feeling better. My next accident I was not so lucky, it took me five days to recover.
I know that I haven’t been diagnosed. I've done some research and technically what I have is not an allergy. Allergies require the presence of a chemical IgE. The classic signs of the allergic response are hives, itchy skin and/or throat, swelling, wheezing, trouble breathing, and sometimes blocked airways. It's usually triggered within minutes of exposure. What I have seems more like what the medical world is calling a 'non-allergic food hypersensitivity'. There are many reasons why my body could be reacting the way it is. Unless a doctor runs tests I may never know weather my response is due to an inability to digest the oils or because I have a non-IgE immunoglobulan response. Frankly convincing the doctor that I have a problem with oils may be rather expensive and difficult because although many doctors are familiar with allergies now, not as many of them are familiar with non-allergic food hypersensitivity. After convincing them that I do actually have a problem many would probably be unwilling to diagnose it and would simply tell me what I already know: avoid eating the things that make me sick. Therefor I've made the decision to not seek medical assistance with this matter. Perhaps its self diagnosis but you know what? I'm okay with that. Its enough to be healthy.
The other things that I notice since I stopped eating the oils are: reduced muscle aches, my joints used to hurt all the time, this may be related to the fact that I can get more exercise and therefore can create more endorphins so I have a higher pain threshold but it could also just be that they don't hurt all the time. I have fewer yeast infections, and I seem to heal faster from scrapes and bruises, actually I bruise less in general, (I used to be black and blue all the time from barely brushing myself on chairs and furniture) also I'm not as anxious, and my mom says I'm much faster at grasping concepts. I have always had difficulty with learning French but I picked up a French language computer DVD and was doing great with it before I had to return it to the library. I feel more confident about a lot of things.
I've had three screw ups since I figured out that I have this food sensitivity, and each time was when I've eaten food prepared by someone else. Mostly because I have bad habits when I eat out. I'm embarrassed to cause trouble or ask about ingredients. But slowly I'm learning. I've managed to have go out for coffee and ice cream and not get sick. Hopefully I'll eventually be able to go out for dinner. I have great motivation because I like being healthy, but I also like being about to go out and have dinner like other people do.
I'm writing this in the hopes that someone else may read it and feel better about not being alone with their food sensitivity. Or that they might recognize some of the symptoms and be motivated to check and see if this is their problem. Its not really on the general doctors radar at this time. Sure they check for the big ones: dairy, glutain, and corn, but there are others that I was surprised by: fructose sensitivity, and salicylate sensitivity (salicylate occurs naturally in many fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, teas, wine, aspirin and coffees.)
But there are many that they don't check for and the symptoms are often vague and brushed off as malingering, laziness, or hormones (fatigue, migraines, muscle aches, acne, eczema, mood changes, rashes, constipation.) Complicating matters the symptoms which vary depending on the amount and duration of exposure can appear anywhere up to 48 hours after exposure. It can take several weeks for the body to start healing after long term exposure. So sometimes there won't be an immediate difference when the food is not longer in your diet. But its not impossible to figure it out, just difficult. They say that all the worth while things in life are.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I only have pictures like this of July and August in previous years. You can see them in this old post. But the the garden will be much lusher then so I don't think its really comparable. That big brown spot in the middle of the garden has lots of carrot and lettuces seedlings that don't really show up.
Monday, May 23, 2011
A while back I had some ground lamb that needed to be eaten. I had never eaten meatballs before. Something about the whole ground meat thing really put me off, but I've been really making an effort to broaden my horizons and so surfed around online and using several recipes invented my own meatball recipe. Little did I realize when I attempted this that my mom doesn't like meatballs. She was a trouper and after trying them pronounced them good. A few weeks latter requested I make them again. I guess I didn't do too badly. :)
Angel Hair with Lamb Meatballs
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
Two cans of tomato paste
one 16 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
one pound of ground lamb
one large egg
angel hair pasta
In a medium bowl mix bread crumbs with milk with fork.
In a large frying pan heat some olive oil over med heat. Add the garlic cook until golden add the tomatoes and season with spices. Let simmer over low heat. Add half cup of red wine. The longer you simmer the sauce for the better it will taste.
In your bowl with milk and bread crumbs add a dash of salt, pepper and some Italian herb, beat egg and then mix in the lamb. It will take awhile to mix it thoroughly.
Sprinkle some more breadcrumbs on a plate.
The mixture will be squishy. Place about 2 tablespoons of this mixture in your hands and make a soft ball. Roll the ball in the breadcrumbs. Flatten slightly. Set aside on a clean plate. Repeat with the rest of the meat mixture. It should make about 16 meatballs.
In another frying pan heat some more olive oil. Fry the meat balls two minutes on each side. They don't have to be done just brown. Place fried meatballs in sauce. Cook for 25 minutes.
Serve over angel hair pasta. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.