Category Archives: Gluten avoidance therapeutic bitchathon

Complaint

I’d got as far as the bus-stop this morning, when my lower bowel decided (unilaterally, I might add. No consultation with the rest of me what so ever) that it didn’t care for, oh, something, and wanted whatever-it-was outside, stat. I sprinted back home in terror, flung the door open, belted past a startled (and half-dressed) H, and locked myself in the lavatory for 20 minutes. Then I came out to bitch about it all, and went back in for another 30 minutes. Came out, phoned work, feeling like a total fucking idiot, went back in. And so on, all morning.

Thank you, Universe. Thank you right in your face.

I was careful, yesterday (if I eat a Bad Thing, it takes between 12 and 24 hours to give me cramps and diarrhoea). I did not eat a single thing that could even possibly contain gluten, or bananas, or wine, or any of the other things that irritate my digestive tract. I have cut out coffee, I have cut out dairy (my eczema was flaring. I am so attractive right now). And I’m not ill. Apart from not daring to be more than a few second’s sprint from a lavatory, I feel fine. My guts should be the happiest guts in the kingdom, ungrateful little weasels that they are.

H is of the opinion that after a migraine, I can suffer several days of ‘postdrome’. He has a point – I was still slurring my words and transposing phonemes (Spoonersims ahoy!) on Sunday night, despite the migraine (The Migraine!) thwopping me one last Tuesday. I also know a lot of people get diarrhoea pre-and-post-migraines. Could it be that? A week later? Do I need to keep a headache-and-the-shits diary (don’t answer that. Of course I do).

AAAAAAAAAUGH.


I’ve even been busy

It’s been how long since I last posted? Holy crap.

I think my blogging mojo has not only been snagged in my angst-tangles but throttled. I shall have to bury it at the bottom of the garden and see if I can find a new one in John Lewis.

Anyway. Yes. I do have things to tell you. Let me tell you them:

Item – H is now seeing a counsellor. Once a week, he trots off early so he can get in a good ol’ mind-reaming before work. My reactions to any insights he has passed on to me from this process have been about one third ‘oh! How interesting!’, one third ‘WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT OH MY GOD YOUR COUNSELLOR IS A GENIUS!’ and one third massive eye-roll because I’ve been trying to point that (whatever ‘that’ was) out to H for about nine years now. So, yeah, I think I approve of the counsellor, but am slightly wrung about the withers by her knack for inserting information into H’s brain, whereas I just bounce information off his skull until we both lose our tempers. Anyone would think she was a trained professional or something.

Item – A few months ago Womb for Improvement emailed me details of the Immunology and Recurrent Miscarriage/Infertility expert she went to see in December. I clutched the information to my chest and then shilly-shallied about with it, as I do, while waiting to see if the NHS were going to do anything other than fat-shame me and lose my blood-test results. NHS promptly fat-shamed me and then lost my latest set of blood-test results (FSH and oestrogen, taken in March). So I told H to set us up an appointment, and he did, and we are going to see this expert on Wednesday.

Item – And why am I going to yet another world-renowned miscarriage expert? Well, because The World-Famous Book-Writing Professor’s solution of ‘lose more weight, here’s some aspirin’ seems to have Not Worked, in that I am Not Pregnant, and haven’t been for 18 months, which is fucking infertile behaviour right there. And my allergies have got markedly, infuriatingly worse, which makes me twitch. Clearly my immune system is in hysterics (hysterics! See what I did there!). How can it not be relevant? I Declare My Immune System Relevant!

Item – Speaking of immune insanity, I now cannot take white wine not even cooked in risotto. Two mouthfuls of fancy delicious risotto at nice Italian restaurant with my in-laws, and I had to flee to the bathrooms to clutch my stomach and groan like a door-hinge in Dracula’s castle. Also, the roof of my mouth swelled, and my lips and throat became violently itchy. It was fun, dudes. So, list currently stands at:

  • White wine (very much so)
  • Red wine (less so, some wines actually drinkable, others not at all) (And yet, I can eat fresh grapes! Make sense, damn you!)
  • Beer/lager/stout (wheat-and-gluten-free lager I had a few weeks ago was fine. It even tasted fine.
  • Honey. Cooked, raw, in small quantities in other foods, all bad
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Kiwis
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts, to a lesser extent
  • Wheat (not so much the burning itching, yes so much the violently inflated gut and concommitant painful belching and groaning

Item – So, aspirin. I tried an experiment this month. I took 75mg of aspirin every day from about a week after my period started. A lot of women with RPL are put on low-dose aspirin throughout their entire cycle. It’s cheap, it has very few side-effects, and if I have thrombophilia at the best of times, well, I’m getting frantic, here. It did not delay ovulation. I am not pregnant. I was still in considerable pain for over a week after the end of my period (giving me nearly three weeks of daily cramps. Hurrah!), so it didn’t help with that, but then I wasn’t really expecting it to. However, ovulation itself didn’t really hurt. I had pain a few days before I ovulated, but pin-pointing the day itself was a bugger, as my temperatures were all over the place (too many lie-ins) and I just didn’t GET the terribly stabby I-am-burst moment (hour. Day. You know). Which was weird.

Item – Period due any second now, so that’s Sunday screwed and Monday (I was going to go to a concert on Monday) buggered and Tuesday ballsed up and I am just praying I will be able to go to this expensive private appointment with expensive private specialists. Do you think it would help if I turned up in his office eau-de-nil in the face and then passed out on seeing the bill?


Morass

Item – Before you all get the idea it’s All Grim All The Time chez May, I here now testify that most of our holiday was excellent. We wandered medieval cobbled streets hand-in-hand. We had a picnic in the warm evening sunshine. We met rare-breed lambs and piglets, and got to pat them. We found any amount of tea-shops that had gluten-free cake, and what’s more, edible gluten-free cake (pause for astonished faintings). We ate really rather a lot of spectacularly delicious meals. We spent an entire afternoon lounging in our room at the B&B, eating chocolate, drinking tea, and reading books. We saw art and photography exhibitions, and castles, and excessively valuable porcelain collections, and interesting trees. There was sunshine. I feel it important to emphasise this as mostly the weather has been an Almighty Bucket of Shite, as is traditional, nay, mandatory, on Bank Holidays in Blighty.

Item – Also, despite the vast quantities of cake, three course meals, ice-creams, and general snackery inserted into face during this week-and-a-half off, I did not put on a single ounce. Very well, I didn’t lose a single ounce either, but, did I mention how much yummy carbohydratey goodness I was snarfing? So hurrah!

Item – Low point, weather-wise, was standing on the battlements of an exceedingly unheated castle in the rain and the wind, wearing thick wool socks and a fleece under my rain-proofs, and feeling so cold all I could say was ‘sod the castle and bugger the view and especially fuck the rare and precious carved and painted fireplaces for not having any bloody fires in them. Tea-shop, NOW. GRAAAAAR’.

Item – Another low, well, not point, exactly, more low trench, was the daily bouts of lower abdominal pains and cramps. I hate my uterus. The feeling is clearly mutual.

Item – Oh, and the sudden and unexpected outbreak of anti-Semitic (and remarkably un-fucking-funny) jokes a bunch of students elected to noisily indulge in as we passed them in the street, brought on by a historical monument complete with plaque referring to the presence of Jewish people there in the Middle Ages. I very rarely hear anti-Semitism out loud, or, at least, most of the not many people who have broached the matter in my presence have accorded me/us/themselves the dubious courtesy of disguising it as anti-Israeli-policy-with-regards-to-Palestine sentiment (ohh, can-shaped kettle of worm-fish! Let’s not discuss it). So I was very very shocked indeed. And beyond heartily wishing them all an evening spent vomiting noisily in the gutter while having their wallets stolen (a statistical strong possibility, given they were already inebriated (natch. Pfft)), I… did nothing. Except be astonished at how upset I was. Please understand, I get ballistically upset any time I hear any kind of bigoted or prejudiced talk, about any race, or religion, or sexuality, or gender, or identity (there are certain subjects some of my family do not dare mention in front of me any more. Hah!). But, yes, astonishingly, it’s absolutely foul to hear talk like that and know they mean you. Illustratively, H was very annoyed with the young turds and thought they were disgusting and also wished them an evening of gutters, but had put it behind him to carry on cheerfully with his otherwise pleasant evening within minutes. As, I confess, I would have, if the little douchenozzles had been amusing themselves at the expense of any other group of which I wasn’t a member.

Item – There’s a lesson in that: empathy and decency can only get you so far. Some things you don’t get unless you experience it. Like sexism! And infertility! Discuss!

Item – So, yes, funeral for H’s grandmother tomorrow. The weather forecast is abysmal. I think my suit of mourning will consist of neon-coloured waterproof jacket and someone else’s wellies, while I read appropriate poems at a hoarse bellow into the teeth of the gale. Heigh ho.


Lesser knowledge

Item – I’m letting H have the final (well. Final for the moment. Finalish. Non-final. Punctuational) word on the matter of feelings and expressing them and to whom and how and why and whether it’s any help at all to do so or not or what. It seems only fair. He says he’ll post tomorrow. At the moment he is emailing my mother about private IVF and has therefore earnt all the brownie points a man can earn in one evening.

Item – Meanwhile, we’ve both been busy and/or stressed and/or royally pissed off at work. H for good reasons involving tight deadlines and screwy budgets and peculiarly demanding but under-informed clients. Me for stupid reasons involving my giving too much of a crap about whether procedures are followed correctly, having to share an office with people arguing with each other about seniority, and my boss’s absolute, persistant, four-years-and-counting obsession with the fact that every now and then I am ten minutes late for work. I am working up the nerve to tell her I’m not paid enough to be responsible for the train company’s maintenance schedules on top of my own work. As it is, I have a fairly unpleasant panic attack every single morning that the trains fuck me about. My boss claims that my being ten minutes late ‘on such a regular basis’ (I think she means, every few weeks the trains fuck up for a week and I’m late maybe twice that week) makes me look like I ‘don’t care about work’. This is what bothers her. I should be glad it’s not my missing three days of work a month, I know, but I work late several times a week even on days I’m not late. I volunteer for extra training and responsibilities. I take on procedure-writing duties. I give talks on library skills. I am generally acknowledged to be the go-to expert of the team on four different subjects-areas. I can, and have, catalogued a seat-cushion. I ‘don’t care about my work’ indeed. I am so offended.

Item – But she’s right, you know, just a tiny bit. I do my job to the best of my ability because I’d feel scuzzy taking the money if I didn’t, and because I do care about my particular field of expertise, but yes, I’d dump the whole lot tomorrow and skip chortling into SAHM-land, waving my last pay-check like a jolly little flag, if only I could.

Item – Oh, and H has another bad cold. Another! He’s only just got over the one that arsed up our holiday at the end of March. I’m going to complain to the management, so I am.

Item – I, meanwhile, am not having bad colds. I am having desultory hay-fever (the one good thing about the utterly craptastical weather we’re having this Spring), so my eyes, nose, lips, and throat all itch all day long, and, err, that’s it. Oh, and I will now give myself horrible gas and diarrhoea if I eat wheat, it seems. I get a mild stomach-ache if I so much as eat the wrong brand of soy sauce. Oh, Universe, just why don’t you sod off.

Item – Given that my immune system has spent the past five years becoming thoroughly unreasonable, H and I are investigating various private providers of IVF who also do immune testing for RPL.

Item – And I showed H how to access my cycle charts online – you know, my ovulation/menstruation charts, which I keep religiously because I am one of the few people I know for whom charting really works in that I actually need to know when to expect my period so I can barricade the doors etc. and charting gives me at least ten days’ warning which is so freakin’ cool also unpunctuates me utterly – where was I? Yes. I showed H the charts, and he had a good look, and worked out what he was looking at (all the little green squares and cross-hairs), and then he drew my attention to a couple of cycles in the past year that looked worryingly like chemical pregnancies. Yes, I know. I worried myself sick those two months. But I didn’t get a positive pregnancy test for either of them, therefore I have not drunk and seen the spider*, and therefore they don’t count. I refuse, I categorically refuse, to up my count to nine. I won’t. They didn’t happen.

Item – H is getting over his mental block about IVF. He even said, today, that he was coming to terms with the fact we probably weren’t going to get pregnant naturally again. General feeling that we are sidling onto the same page again, though alas, poor H, what a thing to have to come to terms with.

*…How blest am I
In my just censure! in my true opinion!
Alack, for lesser knowledge! how accurs’d
In being so blest! There may be in the cup
A spider steep’d, and one may drink; depart,
And yet partake no venom (for his knowledge
Is not infected), but if one present
Th’ abhorr’d ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts. I have drunk, and seen the spider. A Winter’s Tale, II.i.


Oh woe, woe is me

It’s been a bitch of a week.

Item – H and I are still less than charmed with certain aspects of each other’s behaviour right now (all the other aspects are adorable). H is shilly-shallying about booking an appointment with the counselling service, and I am being self-righteous about it despite the fact I have done absolutely grand fuck-all about finding a counsellor of my own, because do as I say, not do as I do, that’s why. Meanwhile, H is in a permanent low-grade sulk, and I haven’t had sex for nearly a month, and I can’t begin to unpick how the two are related.

Item – For the record, I’m not the one who’s avoiding sex round here. That is not our relationship dynamic. I am given to understand that we are unusual, but there it is. I want more sex than H does. When stressed, he avoids sex and seeks cuddles. When stressed, I avoid cuddles and seek sex. I am basically a bloke with tits. Apparently. Especially according to the Relate website which is one of the most patronising, stereotyped, unhelpful, and just plain scientifically, biologically, and emotionally wrong things I ever did read on the subject. How the hell do they think reading that makes a woman with a higher-than-her-partner sex-drive feel? How isolated, abnormal, freakish, lonely? How do they think it makes a man whose not as randy as his partner feel? Eh? Did they think at all? And these are the number one people supposed to help relationship issues? No. Just, no. Not going to a Relate counsellor. Not now, not ever, not if it was an ultimatum. No. Jesus. Seriously. It’s 2012.

Item – On Wednesday, I struggled through the day at work with increasingly unpleasant, err, gastrointestinal distress. I wondered if I’d eaten one of the many (many many bloody Goddamn many) things that I now appear to be allergic to (the HELL, immune system?). I was well enough to go out to dinner with my parents that night, but the next morning, well, basically, I was just about ready to leave for work, and The Lower Bowel, It Objected. I spent hours of that day in the bathroom. Hours. (About 50 minutes in, I thought ‘and that is why they invented iPads’).

Item – Anyway, my digestive track appears to have got a grip again (hahahahahaHAHAHA). I said to H, perhaps this is actually some kind of IBS? and he pointed out that, technically, he has the IBS niche in this household covered, thank you, so I’m back to recounting my allergens and glaring suspiciously at labels. I can’t see us doing IBS as a joint hobby working out very well.

Item – Therefore on Saturday we were at the shopping centre (mall to you transAtlantic types) looking at toasters (we rock so hard) when I noticed a lacuna in my vision, and people’s heads getting peculiarly (horribly) distorted as they stepped into it. I blinked. Now I had two lacunae. BUGGER. Migraine. H bustled me into the nearest chemist and I choked down two liquid ibuprofen capsules while standing in the queue to pay for them – the sooner I can get aspirin or ibuprofen down me when the aura starts, the better chance I have of heading off the Skull-Crushing. We went back out onto the main concourse and I considered the overwhelmingness of the noise, and the visual distortions, and the growing sea-sick feeling, and decided I was going home. We live about 10 minutes walk from said shopping centre and I had about 20 to 30 minutes before Mjölnir plunged out of the stratosphere into my parietal lobe. H would have to look at fish in the supermarket without me. And off I wobbled out into the rain. I bumped into the main doors (twice, like a pinball), four passers-by, a bus-shelter, a bollard, and the table once I’d got home, but I made it, and had even constucted a nest consisting of blankets, pillows, blinds drawn, and lap-top playing factual literary programmes from Radio 4 (no laughing, is vital) very very quietly before the first great crushing onslaught. I am a very lucky migraneur. I wasn’t sick, and though it felt like someone was scraping out the left side of my skull with a sharpened melon-baller for a few hours, it had faded considerably by 6pm, after the application of paracetamol and more ibuprofen. I still can’t say long words without buggering them up, and I’ve corrected the spelling on everything I’ve written today at least twice, but the headache! Is! Mild! Yay!

Item – So today H decided to up the ante and poison me by feeding me taramosalata. I was about two mouthfuls in when it dawned on me that taramosalata is, in fact is supposed to be, 40% breadcrumbs. I love taramosalata. H knows I love taramosalata. He got it for me as a treat while I was lying in the dark remonstrating feebly with Matthew Parris for dissing W.H. Auden. BASTARD SON OF A BASTARD BASTARD’S BASTARD. The gluten, that is, not H, or Matthew Parris, or even Auden. H also bought me tulips, so he can stay.

Item – My step-father said something on Wednesday that made me so boilingly cross I don’t know what to do with myself. Which is awkward. As I love the man dearly. But I think it needs a whole post to itself, so I shall post this one and go see if I can make tea without pouring boiling water into the filter jug and then milk into the kettle.


Another broken biscuit assortment

Item – Right. I went back to work. There was a lot of it. I did it. The people who picked up the emergency slack for me while I was Indisposed refused all my offers of shift swaps and so on, saying I’d do the same for them. Which is true, but they don’t have Inner Organs of Recurrent Doom, so I don’t get the chance to do the same for them. Not once an emmineffin’ month, anyway. Am verklempt. (As H pointed out, it doesn’t hurt that I always go back to work after an Indisposition, disgustingly pale with fetching navy-blue under-eye pouches. I think they all treat me very gently for a couple of days in case I really do actually shatter into a gadzillion shards and the whole office has to be evacuated for clean-up).

Item – H, whereas, is coming down with another cold, and is skulking in the study in his dressing-gown and a slight fever. Poor bastard. Stress really does hold your immune system’s head down the pan and pull flush, doesn’t it?

Item – I think, finally, I have come to the conclusion that H and I really are not going to get pregnant the fun private way anymore. 12 cycles since I was last pregnant (actually, 13, but we carefully didn’t try for one of them as I was having surgery, so it doesn’t count. Clearly, that was the cycle we would’ve conceived Baby Einstein Prime Minister Nobel Prize for Literature). We’re back to being infertile, as well as recurrent miscarriers.

Item – You will see from the Ticker of Shame down there on the right, the combination of holidays, bereavement, The Chocolate Festival, and anxst, has embiggened my bottom, and we’re back at square one. Excuse me one moment… [AAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH]… So. Anyway. Given that I have Officially Lost All Faith in my body’s ability to produce an egg with any sperm-related social skills at all, IVF it is. And I have to lose a few pounds again (again (again again)). So close, and yet so utterly fucked up.

Item – Next quest (to go along with the Salad, You Shall Eat It one), actually do more of the things that cheer me up, and a lot less of the things that piss me off. To which end, a list –

Things that cheer May up:

  1. Knitting – I have raging Knitting Attention Deficit Disorder, caused, or so I like to think, by having to jam projects in and around commuting, work, and being tired and vague (this last being pretty much a full-time job in and of itself for the likes of me). *sigh*
  2. Reading – I don’t read as much as I used to. I always think there’s something better I ought to be doing, and that reading would be self-indulgent, and then I fribble my spare time away on nothing very much and just think! I could’ve been improving my mind with a good book!
  3. Writing – The more I write, the happier and more balanced I feel. And yet, it suffers from the same sort of fribblage that messes with my reading time. And, also, an ugly feeling of ‘there’s no point writing anything unless it’s brilliant, and it’s not going to be brilliant, so don’t write’. What is this crappy inner monologue in my head for and how do I turn it off?
  4. Cooking – This happy habit came completely unglued in the Recurrent Miscarriage Years of Soul Destruction. I used to do most of the cooking, I enjoyed it, and I was pretty good at it. Now H does most of the cooking. It started because I would go through weeks and months of being utterly flattened with apathy and depression after each miscarriage – I’d get home from work every evening so very tired I could barely eat without crying with exhaustion – and then I’d miscarry again just when I was starting to get a grip and perk up. And now, my periods make me really ill and weak, which doesn’t help. My plan is to do more of the cooking at weekends, and do more of the sort of thing that can be put in the fridge/freezer for later in the week, which will still allow me to be completely apathetic on Thursdays but take the pressure off H.
  5. Art galleries and museums – I work in a big city. I could really truly go to a museum for a quick brain refill during my lunch-break. Why don’t I?
  6. Films – OK, we don’t do too badly on cinema-going.
  7. Long walks – This, we fail on miserably. But I like them!
  8. Restaurants – A couple of times a month, H and I go out to brunch. It makes me happy. As does meeting H for dinner in town after work but before cinema. As does saving up to treat ourselves to a special meal somewhere fancy on a birthday or anniversary. Again, this sort of thing falls victim to Depressed Apathy. I hate Depressed Apathy.
  9. Sex – Specifically, the sort of sex we have because we’re both in the mood for sex, with absolutely no reference whatsoever to the time of the month and whether or not we can just do what is sweetly referred to by our American friends as ‘heavy petting’ instead. That might be one good thing to come out of setting our sights on IVF, ironically. Better sex. (You said ‘come’! Teeheehee!)

Item – Another thing that makes May happy, in a weepy, over-joyed, hopeful, heartful sort of way: Long-time blog-friend and all-around witty, lovely Liz at Womb for Improvement is, well, she’s… you know

Item – It’s been a bit of a week for pregnancy announcements. I have another good friend, who I know has been trying for well over a year and who was starting the whole sad grind of going to doctor’s appointments and having tests, also struck lucky (yay!). So that was nice.

Item – Booze I can no longer have because I have developed allergic reactions to grapes, wheat, barley, rye, and, clearly, fun: White wine, champagne, rose wine, sherry, brandy, beer, Guinness (I was totally a Guinness drinker, from the age of 16), lager, whisky. This is why I’m obsessed with gin. It’s the only thing I can still drink. (Yes I know gin is sometimes made with wheat mash. It’s triple distilled, and has pretty much no wheat proteins left in it by the time it’s bottled. Also, many British gins are made with corn and sugar, so. Here endeth the lesson). For those of you bouncing with eagerness to mention rum – the first time I got pukathonic drunk it was on rum & coke. Rum is dead to me. Tequila, I could get behind.

Item – Nobody ever gets my clever references to Milton and his ilk in my post titles. I feel such a colossal dork. But your indifference will not stop me! I have a mind not to be chang’d by place or time. And again I say:

For who would lose,
Though full of pain this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity
To perish rather, swallow’d up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night?


About food, again.

Well, now, after not eating gluten for nearly four months, if I go ‘oh, fuck it, I’m on holiday’ and eat, say, a splendid bowl of seafood linguine in a nice restaurant with a spiffing view of the harbour and a distant lighthouse, my belly blows up like a Montgolfier aerostatic globe (alas without the golden fleur-de-lys at every corner). The experiment was repeated a few days later with a piece of bread and frankly, if I’d bumped into a street-lamp it’d’ve been the Hindenburg disaster all over again. So. For whatever reason, May’s intestines have Taken Against gluten. Whether this is a new thing, or whether they were never pro-gluten in the first place and are quite glad I’ve finally worked it out is undeterminable and probably, for the moment at least, irrelevant.

Meanwhile, I’d kill for a dish of lasagne and a cake that doesn’t have the texture of sand.

Things I can’t eat, because they variously make me bloated, give me violent instant and very painful indigestion, sore swollen lips and tongue, or eczema: Hazelnuts. Raspberries. Bananas. Kiwis. White wine (and champagne). Dairy products from cows (this has improved in the past ten years. I can now eat dairy several times a week without any noticeable reaction). And now, wheat. Arse.

I mean ‘arse’ as in swear-word, not as in another thing I can’t eat.

And, because I ovulated on Monday, I am cutting down on coffee, as I always, grimly, bloody-mindedly do for the two-week-wait. I think, this time, I shan’t start it back up again post-period. Too much caffeine is too implicated in too many random, poorly-backed-up studies of infertility, you see.

When I announced this to H, he expressed the concern that coffee helps me get through the day, I only have one or two coffees a day, and here I was, giving up this thing that helps me get through the day, and it sounded less like me being cautious and healthy and more like me punishing myself.

Well, yes, said I, as if this was the most logical thing in the world.

H looked at me in total, utter, 100% shiny bafflement.

OK. I have just said, and thought, and am still thinking, the sort of thing an unhinged wing-nut with a major eating disorder would say and think.

I don’t think having food intolerances is good for me. You know what orthorexia is? It’s a way of having an eating disorder without anyone really noticing you’ve got an eating disorder. I once weighed a grand total of 120 lbs, thought I was disgustingly fat, and lived on, alternately, black coffee and fingernails for a week, and binges of buttered toast, carrot sticks and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs. For which, of course, I loathed myself. Back on the fingernails! Until my body screams for carbohydrate and fibre! Cycle! Vicious!

Now I weigh, oh, fuck it, I weigh 180 lbs and eat things like salad Niçoise and bacon and avocados and roast chicken and broccoli and chocolate and cherry tomatoes and Pad Thai. And by and large, I don’t beat myself up about any of it. At all. Except maybe when I have my usual PMT break-out and eat enough chocolate to make myself feel a little sick, and then it’s usually only because I could’ve stopped three squares ago and now not be feeling sick.

Or, at least, I did. And yet, here I am, thinking it’s a perfectly logical, sane idea to give up something I love, not because to do so would be provenly healthy (though it may well be (and in fact I am using the healthiness as a justification (which is, you know, how orthorexia works))), but because I love it.

Bugger.