Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Okay, I lied.  This post is not about yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Although it kind of really is, because I’m writing this Wednesday night to schedule for Thursday, and it’s about Tuesday and Thursday.  So for me, it’s yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  But for you, the today doesn’t count, because if I hadn’t told you it was pre-scheduled, you wouldn’t have known.  So for you, it’s really more accurately depicted as “Tuesday, Thursday.”

I finally had enough.  Enough of these damn food allergies or intolerances or whatever keeps making me swell, itch, and vomit.  Mostly vomit.  So despite my gross, though not unfounded, disgust for most of the medical profession because of the crappy doctors I’ve seen in the past…. (let me digress here to explain…)

(I actually went to an allergist once who told me I couldn’t possibly be allergic to food because God made it.  Seriously?  Didn’t He make hemlock and rattlesnakes, too?  I walked out of that appointment without another word.  I didn’t let him test me or anything, and I waited five years to try my luck again.  That time, I got an allergist who took one look at me and told me that since I wasn’t skin and bones, there was no possible way I was vomiting as often as I claimed.  {I’ve got a houseful of people who can tell you differently.}  Again, I turned and left without another word.  That was ten years ago.)

(Continued from above…)  So despite my gross, though not unfounded, disgust for most of the medical profession because of the crappy doctors I’ve seen in the past, I took another chance, and found an allergist/immunologist that I so far really like.  She’s from Poland, she speaks Russian, and so far, she’s awesome!

So here’s what I was doing Tuesday:

blood13

Yep, all thirteen vials of blood are mine!  The vampire phlebotomist said she’s been taking blood for ten years and has never taken that much from one person at a time!  I don’t know everything the doctor was testing for, but I know immunodeficiency, h. pylori, and angioedima were discussed.  There were seven things total, but I couldn’t understand some of the medical terms with her thick but lovely accent.  (As a side note, have I ever told you how much I wold LOVE to learn Russian?)

Anyway, today (or tomorrow for me, as I was writing this yesterday), I’ll be having a lovely barium swallow study!  She’s looking for a hiatal hernia, gastroparesis, and something else that I can’t remember or didn’t understand in the first place.  It’s been 23 years since I last had one of these, and it wasn’t pretty.  I can’t imagine the radioactive chalk they want me to drink tastes any better two decades later.  GAG!  (And, yes, I do know it’s not really radioactive.)

So, friends, I’d appreciate your prayers and good vibes that I won’t embarrass myself this morning.  (I mean, if my body won’t allow me to keep something as good as chocolate ice cream, I can’t imagine I’ll be able to hold down this stuff for more than a few seconds!)  And also some wishes that these tests give me some helpful news would be great, too.  Thank you all!

xoxo  ~R.

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It’s that time again…

Believe it or not, I’m not really into prairie living, but because I have so many allergies and intolerances, I have to do a lot of cooking at home.  Another thing I make at home is laundry soap as well as body and hand soap.  Usually when I make either of these, I like to make enough to last for several months so that I only have to do it a couple of times a year.  This weekend, I made the first batch of body and hand soap.

Step One: Gather your oils and ingredients.

If you’re not familiar with the soap-making process, basically, you mix various oils with lye and heat it.  It’s actually a bit more complicated than that, and everything has to be measured precisely by weight on a digital scale.  There has to be a certain percentage of each type of oil to get the desired results, such as how hard you want the soap to be, how sudsy it will get, how moisturizing it will be, etc.  I like to add cocoa butter and shea butter as well as goat’s milk because these all add extra moisture.  Castor oil and coconut oil add for extra cleansing, and olive oil and almond oil add extra creaminess.

Step Two: Mix the lye water with the heated oils.

After the oil-lye mixture has cooked for the appropriate amount of time (around four hours), I add essential oil to make it smell pretty then pour it in a mold.  Because I use hot process (meaning I cook it), I can unmold it the next day and use it soon thereafter.  If I used the cold process method, it would be more “liquidy” and I could pour it in pretty shaped molds.  But then it would take weeks to “saponify” meaning for the lye to have a chemical reaction with the oil and not be caustic any longer.

Step Three: Cook it for a really long time.

This time, I made gardenia soap.  Later this week, I’ll be making a batch of lavender to which I’ll add some dried lavender buds to make it pretty, as well as some honey-oat-almond, which will smell like almond, and have honey as well as ground oats in it for extra exfoliation.  I actually prefer to use this oat soap in the kitchen because it smells so much like food!

Step Four: Pour it into a mold and let it harden overnight, then slice.

You can buy homemade soaps all over the place these days, as they are increasingly popular.  I did that for a few years, but they used fragrance oil rather than essential oil to keep their costs down, and I became allergic to the perfume in the fragrance.

Step Five: Enjoy!

If you’ve never used homemade soap before, let me tell you that once you do, you’ll never want to use store bought soap again.  The first time you use homemade, it feels like you just washed ten years of yuck off your skin! You’ll also realize after that, store bought soap actually feels slimy in comparison.  Your skin will be softer, your shave will be closer, and you’ll feel the cleanest you’ve ever felt.

Time to talk:  Have you ever used homemade soap?  Do you have any allergies?  Would you use soap with ground oats or lavender buds inside?

I Need a Drink!

Okay, this post is not about alcohol.  (Though if it were, Bacardi and Bailey’s would be my beverage of choice.)  For the newcomers, this month we’re discussing pet peeves.

Years ago, I used to drink Coca-cola.  I never liked Pepsi, but I could tolerate it as a fountain drink at a restaurant.  Then about fifteen years ago, I started having a problem with corn syrup, so I switched to Caffeine Free Diet Coke.  That went on for about ten years, when I started having problems with artificial sweetener.  (Food allergies and intolerances are common to people with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, such as myself.)  So, I gave up soda altogether and drank more water, juice, and milk.

During that time, I discovered that Ikea made a delicious apple soda which was made with sugar and not corn syrup.  However, besides the nearest Ikea being an hour away and the drinks being quite expensive, they stopped carrying them for nearly a year because the cans they were in were not in compliance with some sort of federal guidelines.  <Sigh.>

Fast forward two or three years of being soda free, when lo and behold, the Pepsi company came out with a new and improved Sierra Mist which is made with sugar and not corn syrup.  I tried it and liked it.  YAY!

After adding Sierra Mist to my list of acceptable beverages, however, I found that if I was at a restaurant and ordered it as a fountain drink, it didn’t taste good.  At all.  After my third occurrence of this happening, I did some research and found that the fountain version uses corn syrup and not sugar.  I have no idea why.  (Autistic people also have a heightened sense of taste, so, yes, I could actually taste the corn syrup.)

So my pet peeve is this:  At least 75% of the time I go to purchase a single cold can or bottle of Sierra Mist, the four stores closest to me are out!  Yes, they have it in stock in the two-liter bottles or 12-pack of cans, but those aren’t cold, and I don’t drink that much.  The coolers and machines are always stocked full of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Zero, Mountain Dew, and Dr. Pepper, but the row for Sierra Mist is always empty!  The store managers claim it’s not their fault because the coolers and machines are stocked by their Pepsi vendor.

Get a clue, Pepsi!  If it’s always empty, that means it’s a popular beverage!  With so many products trying to steer away from corn syrup these days, you’d think more soda vendors would follow suit.  The only other soda option made with sugar that I’ve found is the “Throwback Pepsi” which are difficult to find (and are gross just like Pepsi always was) and “Mexican Coca-cola,” but those are never sold refrigerated.  (And being Autistic, I don’t like ice in my drink.)  <Sigh.>

I know that in the grand scheme of life, this pet peeve might not seem like much, but with all the food allergies I have, there’s very little I can actually ingest, and when one of my few acceptable items isn’t available, it makes Rachel cranky!  Thanks for allowing me to vent.  😉

So tell me, what’s your favorite soda?  What’s your favorite beverage?  Do you have any food allergies or intolerances?  In your region, do you say soda, soda pop, pop, coke, or something else when referring to a carbonated beverage?