Goodbye Chocolate...

I just took a moment to look over the calendar for the next 3 months. After sitting here in stunned silence for a while, I reminded myself that it can't possibly be over yet since it has only just begun. But I did seriously just see the Summer go by in a supersonic flash.

I need chocolate.

Which reminds me... it appears that I have an allergy (or intolerance) to chocolate, or at least something in chocolate. Since eliminating almost everything delicious many foods from my diet a couple months ago, I have been able to easily identify strong allergic triggers. There is no doubt that one of my very favorites (Lindt 70% cocoa) is one of them. Ingredient list:

Cocoa butter
Soya lecithin (I'm thinking this is the culprit)
Bourbon vanilla beans

That is a relatively tame list as far as processed food goes and has been my one indulgence. Whatever the trigger is, it causes stomach and esophageal spasms within a short time of consumption. The spasms last from 15 minutes to 40 minutes and leave me exhausted. I have battled this problem for years (along with multiple other symptoms including chronic joint and muscle inflammation) and have paid thousands of dollars to "experts" (allergists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, etc.) to help me identify it... with no success. Within two months of this elimination diet, I have been able to effectively manage some of the most severe symptoms.

I would give up chocolate for that.

This last week has been my toughest yet with the elimination diet. I have struggled intensely with the desire to shove handfuls of fish crackers into my mouth. And chips. And pretty much anything that is crunchy and poison for me. But this chocolate moment... is a gift. For whatever reason, some things make me very sick and I am grateful to do without them. Thank you, Lord, for the reminder.

I know there are other mothers out there who are struggling with chronic mystery illnesses. I know that sometimes, all you can see is what is undone... and you wonder if you are really the laziest mom in the world. You wonder, like me, if you are just a huge hypochondriac failure. Or maybe, just maybe, there is a reason that you don't seem to be able to keep up in spite of the fervency of your desire and will. You remember a time when your body was more cooperative and illness wasn't a daily event.

It is confusing to be a perfectly healthy person on paper with chronic mystery illness in reality. To be on top of the world one day, making plans... and clinging to the edge of the couch the next. I don't expect to ever be completely free of it. It seems like forever since the battle has begun and, honestly, it draws my attention to the eternal rather frequently. Some day, please God, I will be free of it forever. In the meantime, I will fight for health...

... and give up chocolate. Thanks be to God!

Related links:
Goodbye Pizza
Chocolate allergies linked to Cockroaches (yuck.)
Soy Lecithin dangers???

Posted on June 4, 2012 and filed under "diet", "elimination diet", "health".