Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Too Much Information Alert

  If I am known for anything, artistically speaking, it's as a food artist.  Clementines, mussels, raw chicken...I have painted them all with love.   I have a complicated relationship with food, loving it, apparently, to excess.  Painting it, writing about it, devouring it.  I looked forward to every meal of the day. "Five a day" fruits and veggies/whole grains/ high fiber was practically my religion. 
   I need a new religion.  I have lymphocytic colitis.  They don't know how to treat it other than to carpet-bomb the colon with steroids for three months.  My perky doctor told me I could expect 3 to 4 attacks a year.  (Do the math: 9 to 12 months a year on steroids.)  Usually I have a month between attacks. This last one came on after only a week and was particularly vicious.  My acupuncturist used this as further evidence of my spleen qi deficiency.  (Previous evidence, food cravings, heavy menstruation and bruising).  I could no longer ignore the diagnosis.  To build up qi and rid the 'dampness', she has banned all cold foods, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, dairy products, garlic and onions, sweets, red meat and alcohol from my diet.  I'm left with white fish, chicken, rice, bananas and root vegetables that have boiled and beaten into a submissive mush.   How can I give up tomatoes? And arugula, and apples?
  She said I have to develop patience. I'm pretty much known for my impatience. But I'm trying.  I meditate and drink ginger tea.  And I wonder at the irony of being a food painter sustained by mush.

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