As some of you who have been reading this for a while will know, I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome about 3 years ago, for a period of about 9 months. I considered only 9 months to be a very good run, as often CFS goes on for a lot longer than that!
When I had CFS, I was under the care of a very good Chinese doctor, who was both a GP (general practitioner) and a practitioner of TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine. Amongst other treatments, he suggested that I should not eat any dairy food. I came off dairy food, and immediately I started to get better. After some months, he suggested that I try some again, and immediately I got much worse. At that point we decided that I would no longer have any dairy. And I got well again.
About a year later, my daughter was diagnosed with a dairy allergy, so the two of us have been dairy-free ever since. We manage quite well, but I really miss cheese.
When we were in Tasmania during the recent holidays, we visited a sheep’s dairy farm. The other half of our family enjoyed trying the samples of cheese made from sheep milk. The guy who was serving them said that he too had a dairy allergy (discovered AFTER they started the dairy!) but that about 50% of people who are dairy allergic can have goat’s dairy, and about 98% can have sheep’s dairy.
It made me wonder, maybe I was one of those 98%? As I still had a class to teach before we went home, I was not game to try some, in case I had a bad and violent reaction to it. But we purchased some and because we had access to refrigeration where we were staying, we were able to take it home with us at the end of our stay in Tassie.
On my return, I had another class the following weekend, so I waited until after that and then decided to try the cheese. It was delicious! I had no immediate reaction. After a few days I was still ok, so I offered some to Rainbow Girl as well, for her to try. She was ok with it too.
After about a week, I started to notice dull aches and pulsating pains in my joints. It was reminiscent of the pains/aches I had during my CFS. It was a small worry, so I filed the information away in the back of my brain. “I’ll just keep an eye on that.”
On Monday this week, with cooler weather, I plunged into pain. My whole body felt like I was coming down with the flu. Maybe I was, but maybe this was CFS pain returning. I have not developed the flu in the following days, so I now believe that the sheep’s dairy cheese has caused a return of CFS pain. The last cheese I had was on Sunday, and I will not be having any more.
Rainbow Girl noticed an increase in stomach aches (a stomach ache that lasted several months was why we investigated and found her dairy allergy) over the time she was enjoying the cheese also.
We both really enjoyed having cheese again. However, a life of pain is not what I want. I’d prefer to go without cheese if it means I have a life without pain. I am disappointed that I am not one of the 98% who can have sheep’s dairy products. I won’t even bother trying the goat’s dairy. The pain is not worth it.
I am now hoping that the pain goes away soon. I guess it will take a while for the cheese to completely get out of my system. I will be pleased when it does!
I realise that this has nothing to do with needlework, but CFS was a big part of my life for quite some time, and drastically affected my life. I don’t want to go there again! And it does explain my silence over the past few days.