Today my doctor told me I may be allergic to Arwen. Imagine that, allergic to my Arwen. How did this happen you may ask? Arwen has been with me since August 14, 2010. Why now? How now? Apparently there is a price to be paid for eating as if there is no price to be paid. I have managed to compromise my own immune-system by being a greedy little bollix. As I count down the months and weeks to my fortieth birthday, it appears this year will be the year I finally have to take my health more seriously than I would an occasional hobby.
I am overweight, I now have chronic rhinitis, I have a few tiny sores on my legs, which refuse to heal, reflux and acidic indigestion and I feel lethargic a lot of the time. And eight hours are not enough when until recently, seven hours sleep was plenty.
If tests should confirm that Arwen is the cause of my eye watering, neck stiffening, shoulder tensing and facing aching fatigue then that’s tough for me, because she sleeps on my bed and has done so since she moved in, so I’m just going to have to adjust. Take my meds and thank Gandalf I can afford them.
The annoying thing was that within minutes of getting home I had thrown my entire chocolate biscuit stash in the fire (burning calories the easy way. Anyone? Anyone? Well Paula laughed) and was looking up fad diets. Oh how I love fad diets, anything that involves me not having to think for myself everyday, make decisions every day, take responsibility for my own actions, everyday. Oh please can I have someone take me by the hand and do the grown up stuff for me.
Gallingly, this need for reasonable dieting coincides with finally having mastered a few dishes I’d happily (yet nervously) serve my foodie friends. Granted one of those is steak, but oh my Odin, people who like food have no patience for less than perfect steak. It also coincides with having belatedly discovered some very good food in Tralee. And it is happening in a year where I intended eating my own weight in French food as hey, it’s my birthday.
Most importantly, it is a reminder that I am in fact now at an age where I can no longer merely complain about my weight, then go for a second and a third helping. I am now seriously courting danger. That terrifies me, but like Global Warning, my human brain cannot easily compute what may happen tomorrow, when a feta-cheese risotto is staring me in the face today.
Yet it is not a terror of death, but a terror of a slow decline given extra pace. I do not wish to spend the next 20 years back and forth to the doctor, I want to spend the next 40 years living. I do not want to spend the next 20 years with a chronic illness, obesity.
I threw my chocolate biscuits in the fire. I have paracetamol ready if I get sugar withdrawal. I am going grocery shopping tomorrow. I am trying to work out what vegetables I’ll eat, when not smothered in garlic butter. I am trying to find some vegetarian options that don’t appall me. I am trying to hold onto the fear just long enough to create a new lifestyle.
And I am hoping my blood-tests show I’m allergic to sugar rather than Arwen. Wouldn’t that be serendipity?