Milk fucks with my body.
When I was young, nothing would get my grandmother’s anger going faster than me trying to ditch my cereal, or yogurt, or porridge.
I hated milk as a kid.
The taste of it sucked.
It always tasted metallic and acidic to me.
It made my stomach sore.
Within an hour of drinking milk my asshole would become extremely itchy.
The cramps sucked.
So, I used to try to dump my cereal into the toilet.
But grandma caught me and after that she would hover over me and would crack the back of my hands with her wooden soup spoon.
I even tried to discretely dump my cereal into the garbage.
I had to eat my cereal out of the garbage when she caught me.
I once tried to hide my cereal in the floor register.
Got caught and had to scoop it out and eat it.
After grandma moved out, Richard and Sue would leave for work early and leave my brother and I at home to get ready for school by ourselves.
I’d eat my cereal dry and flush the milk.
After I moved out of the house when I was 16 I didn’t really have steady housing until I was about 23. So I never had the need for milk and never drank it again.
As a child, I only had ice cream on the rare occasion. Ice cream always tasted nice.
Well, between the time I moved out and the year 2000, I had never really had much in the way of dairy or ice cream, but I got bit by the ice cream bug while I was living on Barclay St. in the west end of Vancouver.
Went into the Dairy Queen for some totally out of the blue reason and I had a sundae.
And then about 5 minutes later I knew I was in trouble.
I barely made it back to my apartment before all hell broke loose.
It was like my colon exploded.
The smell was rancid.
And the amount of blood was disturbing.
So, off to the doctor I went.
“Anyone in your family lactose intolerant?”
“Well, why don’t you wait a couple of weeks and try some dairy again? You might have just had a stomach bug that coincided with you eating ice cream. I wouldn’t worry”
So, I waited about two months and challenged ice cream again.
Went back to the doctor.
“Well, I don’t think we need to waste time testing you, it’s fairly obvious that you can’t process lactose. You might want to stay away from dairy”.
I did some reading on lactose intolerance, and pretty well everything that was indicated as being a symptom of lactose intolerance, I had.
I wondered if grandma knew that I was lactose intolerant.
Did my father know?
Or so I thought.
In the summer of 2011, after I had obtained my social service records from the Alberta Government, I started filling ATI requests with other provincial governments.
In my hospital records from the IWK children’s hospital were numerous notes about how I would become very colicky and I was exhibiting rectal bleeding.
After a few rounds of testing it was determined that I was lactose intolerant and that I was to be placed on a dairy free diet. This was in 1975.
Two years before grandma would come to live with us full time.
Two years before she practically started funnelling the fucking crap down my throat.
I don’t know how many kids were forced to eat cereal out of the garbage, but I still dry heave when I think about it.
Richard would have written my lactose intolerance off as being just a way for me to get attention. But then again, he just really didn’t give a fuck.
Grandma? She had a lot of issues. Maybe she was too drunk to remember being told that I was lactose intolerant.
These days I survive just fine.
Having ice cream like treats isn’t a problem as there are dairy free soy based products, or even treats like sorbet. And even lactose free dairy exists.
There are still the occasional screwups no matter how careful I am.
I had a donair platter a couple of weeks ago. The store I go to has two styles of Tzatziki sauce. Regular and lactose free. They goofed on the order and gave me regular tzatziki sauce. Yep, it was as painful as could be after about 10 minutes. And I just barely made it home in time.
I drink soy cappuccinos and soy hot chocolates. The baristas at the local coffee shops are great, but occasionally a mixup is made. Usually the acidic taste will tell me that they used real dairy.
One of the side effects of lactose intolerance is malabsorption. The more lactose one consumes, the more inflamed their small intestines become. The more inflamed the small intestine becomes, the less able it is to absorb required nutrients and minerals.
Probably explains why I was an under weight runt for most of my childhood and why the docs at the IWK noted that I was anorexic.