THE BACK STORY
So, here’s the spiel:
10 days into my epic around the world trip, whilst staying with a dear friend (Gilar) in Jakarta (Indonesia), i overloaded my stomach with copious amounts of sugars and spices. Worst of all, one night whilst visiting one of Gilar’s friends in nearby Bandung we decided to dine out at a four star restaurant in the hills. Incredible location – but that’s another story. About three hours after consuming a feast of a meal i woke to chunder my guts out. Unfortunately i had eaten the Gado Gado dish (a local raw vegie salad drizzled with satay peanut sauce) that, i suspect, was not washed correctly. So i had quite the violent reaction to the dish, being up all night as my body went about the business of evacuating all known offenders.
The next morning i tried to shower and get active once more only to find myself doubled over on the tiled shower floor with the water spraying over me and Gilar and his friend hollering out to me from the neighbouring room to make sure that i was alright. I had blacked out. I couldn’t stand the smell of breakfast much less consume anything. I even struggled with the consumption of water.
So Gilar decided the best thing to do was to rush me back to his place in Jakarta and put me to rest. We went to the local doctor for i was struggling to keep a settled stomach on the drive to the train station. So the doctor handed me a bunch of antibiotics and hopped on a train.
I rested up for a couple of weeks at Gilar’s place to feel like i was strong enough to continue on my journey. Then, once i had postponed my flight for a week i decided i should continue on with my adventure.
Fastforward a month later. I’m in India, having just met up with a travel group to tour from Delhi to McLeod Ganj to Bir and back to Delhi again. After having had a couple of spicey curries i find myself up all night once again on the toilet. The group must travel on, leaving me to fend for myself cooped up in a hotel room. Thankfully the group manager (Lincoln), a close friend of the family, was a great support to get the ball rolling for medical attention. A doctor from the local hospital rocked up and prescribed an IV drip of antibiotics and fluids over night that an attendant from the hospital would monitor. Then another handful of antibiotics to get me over the next couple of weeks.
I began to recover once again, although, the similar feeling in my guts told me i should be careful with what i eat.
Fastforward again. I’ve just landed in Prague (Czech) and am staying at a couch surfers place just out of the city. I am beginning to feel a loss of appetite and having issues on the toilet. So i hurry my trip up and zip across to Salzberg for a quick tour of the city. My condition drastically worsens and i have stopped eating. I jump on a train straight to St. Gallen where i have phoned ahead to family friends who live there.
The next morning Kerrie, one of my mum’s closest friends who i am staying with, takes me to her local GP. After some blood tests the doctor asks us to come into her office. She tells me that i need to rush off to the hospital immediately for i am a heartbeat away from liver failure. Once she told me this it was as if everything hit home and the enormity of my health problems surfaced in my consciousness. I immediately became faint and had trouble heading out of the building to the taxi.
I rested at Kerrie’s house for a month. Hoping, praying, that i would recover in time to continue on with my journey. But as the days rolled over it became evident that i would need to jump on a plane back to Melbourne to seek further medical help and allow my body more time to recover fully.
Since being back down under i have had several relapses. One actually landing me in an ambulance and a hospital bed for a week. I developed a rare strand of urinary tract infection and encountered horrendous back pain among other ramifications of having such an illness. Chronic Fatigue disallowed the possibility of work or study for the rest of 2010.
After seeing countless practitioners both from the pathological world and alternative world i found a Naturopath/GP team South of the city who seemed to make a desired effect upon my condition. Their thoughts; to starve the parasites (presumably i still have these critters around http://www.badbugs.org/contact.htm) of salicylates (natural sugars) and nurture my digestive enzymes into a slow recovery seemed to work. Or should i say, IS working (knock on wood).
From the Vega testing (in layman’s terms: a machine which monitors what substances your body needs at that particular time) my Naturopath conducted upon me she found that i am intolerant to dairy and have been consuming too much sugar. From my understanding, dairy has an accumulative effect upon my body. A little bit over a long period of time will still put me in a compromised position of headaches, bloating, constipation and phlegm upon phlegm. So i have had to rule dairy out completely. This has incredibly lowered my body weight for i am no longer getting the large quantity of fats that are in milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Ruling out dairy (even goats and sheeps milk) is a tricky thing for butter is used in quite a few recipes out there.
Salicylates is also a tricky thing. In this list below i am needing to stick to the low moderate to low intake of foods in order to get by. It makes for an incredibly basic diet, however, i am finding my taste buds are opening up to the subtleties of each taste. It seems as though we are so used to disguising the simple tastes of vegetables and meats with harsher flavors (chilli, garlic, ginger) that we no longer appreciate the essence of the food that we consume. Quite the tragedy i think.
I am constantly surprised with the possibilities of recipes out there that are still completely nourishing and complex and still fit my bill. With every friend or family member who is up for the challenge i find a new perspective of looking at this challenge of a diet. It is inspirational to see such people take up the challenge and create something fantastic!
I am getting used to the fact of not being able to have deserts at the moment. This is not as bad as it sounds. For i still have some great fruit that i can transform into more wholesome deserts for myself and others if need be.