But recently I was going to a bunch of doctors for some actual real symptoms I was having. I had about four different sets of blood tests, each coming back with something different that they needed to follow up on. Because I go to a free clinic, I had a new doctor almost every time I went. My favourite would have to be a wonderfully straight-forward Vietnamese doctor who seemed to approach medicine with the attitude of someone selling fresh produce at a market. What follows is actually a fairly accurate transcription of the end of one of our consults:
Doc: Ok, I'll order tests for these things.
Me: Sure. Will I need to fast?
Doc: You wanna fast?
Me: I guess I could fast...
Doc: You fast, I'll throw in tests for cholesterol and diabetes.
At first it seemed most likely that the stomach problems I'd been having were caused by acid reflux, an after effect of that damn flip. So, I tried some treatments for that, taking the pills and drinking milk to settle my stomach, something I'd heard worked wonders. Unfortunately the problem actually turned out to be lactose intolerance, so I'm not sure the milk really helped too much.
It seems like a cruel joke to make me lactose intolerant. I love cheese more than anyone else I know. You've got a chocolate bar, I can take it or leave it. But a thick chunk of matured cheddar and I am all over that like a bitch on heat.
Here is a flow chart of how the average meal/snack worked for me prior to this lactose business:
One of my favourite hobbies up until now was shopping for discounted cheese, combining my love of salty dairy produce with my other true love: bargains. I remember once finding such a good deal on a wedge of blue cheese that I had to buy it, despite leaving for Melbourne later that afternoon. I managed to get through a surprising amount of that cheese in those short few hours before my flight and I regret nothing.
Not being able to eat cheese has seemed crueller and crueller as the days have passed. First it was finding myself hungry at a party, with little more to eat than Cheezels and Cheetos, two of my favourite foods that I can no longer consume without "consequences"*. Then, wandering to the shops and seeing a deli that suddenly had free tastings of French Roquefort, one of my favourite stinky cheeses that I haven't been able to afford for a while and now, tragically, can't eat. It all started to seem like an elaborate prank played on me by my stupid jerk housemates.
I even found myself gazing longingly at a picture of a big, round thing of blue cheese on a facebook ad. Until I looked closer and realised it was actually a hat.
I am officially a cartoon character.
P.S. Four votes on my poll have somehow resulted in a four way tie! Come on, children, don't let it end this way!