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I am sitting here having a rather interesting morning, if interesting is what you call a situation like this.

Late yesterday afternoon, I went to a place–which shall remain nameless, for reasons that should become obvious–I went to one of my usual places, and there in the office where I work was a big plate of frosted cookies made by one of the secretaries.

There is nothing in the least bit odd about this.  The secretaries in that place often bring in stuff they’ve baked or stuff they’ve bought.  Sometimes somebody is having a birthday.  Sometimes it’s a holiday, like Valentine’s Day or Halloween.

So as I was passing through the office, I took a couple of these cookies and went to the back to get some work done. 

I was very tired, because it had been an unusually early morning, but otherwise I was feeling all right–until about half an hour later, when I suddenly began to feel not very well at all.

This was not the usual kind of thing you get with food poisoning, but it was very bad, and when I finally got home I did something I almost never do–I went to lie down in the middle of the day.

Greg made dinner.  He even tried very hard not to fry everything, which is his usual approach to cooking.  If it was possible to fry air, Greg would fry it.

But he did all right, and I was still feeling awful, and all I wanted was–tea.

With lots and lots of sugar in it.

Enough sugar to drown myself in.

I don’t usuall put sugar in tea, although I do sometimes when I’m sick, so that in itself wasn’t so odd.

What was was that the tea I was drinking was definitely the kind with lots and lots of caffeine. 

And that wouldn’t be odd either, except that usually, when I drink tea with lots and lots of caffeine in it within, say, five hours of having to go to sleep–I can’t sleep.

Last night, I managed to go to sleep without a problem, and I even went early.

This morning I’m a little better, but not much.  The symptoms are less like food poisoning than like the reaction I get to certain milk products.

No, I’m not lactose intolerant, but I do have an allergy to milk in some forms.  I’m fine with milk that’s been made into something, like cheese and most yogurts, and I’m fine with heavy cream.  But the lower the fat content of the milk, the more likely I’m going to end up with the kind of cramping I’d imagine you get when you swallow glass.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with some of that going on, but also ENORMOUSLY hungry, and I’m sitting here before eight in the morning craving crazy things like pizza with sausage and fried eggplant, which I couldn’t indulge in if I wanted to. 

I’ve got to correct papers today, and I think it’s going to be interesting.

Written by janeh

March 27th, 2014 at 7:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses to 'Strangulation'

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  1. “No, I’m not lactose intolerant, but I do have an allergy to milk in some forms. I’m fine with milk that’s been made into something, like cheese and most yogurts, and I’m fine with heavy cream. But the lower the fat content of the milk, the more likely I’m going to end up with the kind of cramping I’d imagine you get when you swallow glass.”

    Guess what? You probably are lactose intolerant. I have the exact same symptoms/spectrum of allowable dairy, and lactose tablets do in fact fix the symptoms for me. Mostly. I know there are non-lactose milk allergies, but when the symptoms are so similar, it’s not easy to tell. Have you tried the lactose tablets to see if they make a difference?

    I can eat most cheeses (the harder the cheese the better, don’t try cottage cheese), heavy cream, etc. The reason cream isn’t reactive is that the more fat, the lower the level of lactose. I also buy lactose-free milk and ice-cream. Eating regular ice-cream is a ticket to hours of cramping, as you say.

    For items with sour cream or yogurt, I need those lactose tablets. Desperately. This came on about 4 years ago, quite suddenly, I’d never had a problem with milk previously.

    I suspect those cookies had some bad eggs or something similar. Or perhaps they were made with powdered milk with high lactose levels.

    Given the level of allergies, sensitivities or downright digestive illnesses these days, it seems reckless to put stuff out there without telling people what’s in them. Myself, I’ve also developed gluten intolerance (not celiac, but massive inflammation in my joints), so no random cookies for me.


    27 Mar 14 at 11:59 am

  2. Longtime reader, first post in years. Another vote for lactose problems; it’s hard to give someone food poisoning via properly-baked baked goods, which is why home bakeries and bake sales are still around. That said, these days you really need to provide ingredient info, although ultimately it comes down to the consumer of cookies deciding to chance it or not.


    27 Mar 14 at 2:05 pm

  3. As a notorious fussy eater, I’ll still come down on the side of “ask someone if you’re suspicious.” Inconvenient sometimes, but less so than having some bureaucrat confiscate the cookies because the datasheet was incomplete.

    But I could be unduly mellowed out by a really great Pi Day this year. I think if everyone had had to fill out forms, we’d have been short a few pies.

    Anna, welcome! Post more often.


    27 Mar 14 at 4:31 pm

  4. People with food allergies have my sympathy. I’ve been lucky so far. Don’t know whether years of living, working and eating weird things in weird places gave me an immunity to food allergies or whether I was just genetically blessed.

    Army? Fussy eater? Doesn’t compute, Robert. :-)

    Welcome, Anna.


    27 Mar 14 at 7:12 pm

  5. You know, I never really had a problem with Army food, though I’ll admit to avoiding the tuna C-ration when I could, and the dehydrated pork patty was a little crumbly when they didn’t give us any liquids.
    MUCH more trouble at family gatherings and friends’ houses.

    I do miss the C ration. Good old C-rat ham and eggs. And pound cake, And you can’t buy the John Wayne bar anywhere. But such is life.


    27 Mar 14 at 8:41 pm

  6. Welcome Anna.

    I’m like Mique – no food allergies. And allergies seem to be much more common these days than in the good old days when I was young. I wonder why?


    28 Mar 14 at 12:26 am

  7. I’ve never had any allergies, neither has anyone in my immediate family. But the progress of my metabolism since I turned 50 is increasing intolerance toward problematic foods. (I attribute this to karma for mocking my grandmother when she told us “onions give me the runs.” Now, guess what? :/ )

    Nothing has been the same since my gall-bladderectomy, but that’s probably not the cause of my (relatively) sudden intolerance to raw onions, milk, and now wheat. I found out during an elimination trial that my arthritis inflammation is dramatically improved by not eating wheat. Oddly, I am more tolerant of milk & onions later in the day than I am in the morning. Wheat has probably been causing me problems for decades, but I never realized it until I tried 3 weeks without it.

    As for allergies, I raised my son with what we call “optimum filth” and he has none. But I suspect that as he gets older, he’ll suffer from all these intolerances too. I tell him to enjoy it while he can. Both his father & I experienced a serious metabolism change when we hit 30. His day is coming. ;)


    28 Mar 14 at 11:22 am

  8. I suspect that nowadays people are rather inclined to describe what used to be considered as minor bad reactions to certain foods as allergies, regardless of the presence or absence of an actual diagnosis. And then there’s the question of who makes the diagnosis – I recently heard a TV host announce that she had been diagnosed with gluten intolerance by her naturopath.

    Sometimes people who just dislike something describe it as an allergy in order to shut up friends who insist that they try it anyway.

    I’m lucky – I have no food allergies and few food dislikes. Maybe I’d eat less if I had more bad reactions to it…..

    My father loved shellfish, but was allergic to it. He ate it anyway, and eventually the symptoms vanished. His doctor was a bit shocked when he heard this – this is the type of allergy that can shut off your throat and suffocate you – but admitted that repeated exposure did seem to work to desensitize the patient. I don’t think I’d have taken the risk.


    28 Mar 14 at 11:59 am

  9. jd, I think there’s pretty good evidence that apart from diagnosing ourselves into an epidemic, the more sterile the early environment is the more likely the children are to develop certain problems later. Asthma was much less common among people raised in the heavily polluted East Germany than among their cousins in the Federal Republic, for instance.

    Note that this has not kept our Environmental Protection Agency from claiming that new and hugely expensive pollution controls will save money be reducing the number of asthma cases. Sometimes I wonder whether even they believe the things they say.


    28 Mar 14 at 7:24 pm

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