Sunday, January 05, 2014

Candida Cleanse, Day 4: How I Was Saved from Giving Blood.

So, like a big doofus, I thought I would give blood today.

It was kind of like an impulse buy, as we were walking into of all places Best Buy, so that the PP could return the fritzy stereo he had purchased for my birthday. (But props to the PP: he also dragged his ass around the basement and wired the house so that my study stereo, also hooked to the computer, can play throughout the house.) Anyway, I figured he would be in line for a while, so why not give blood?

Because I am taking diflucan for a possible fungal infection, that's why.

But please imagine the situation. The person in scrubs filling out my form on the computer asks me whether I am on any antibiotics. No. Do I have any infections? Well, now that is a harder one. I was never tested for an overgrowth of Candida, so technically I don't know. (This kind of detailed thinking always gets me in trouble.) So I say, "Well, I am taking an anti-fungal for Candida."

"Candida?" says the person in scrubs, "What is that?"

So I have to explain that it is this thing where, you know, your good gut bacteria get overwhelmed by a yeast, that is common and not harmful except when it overgrows, and this is an idea prevalent in the world of alternative medicine but doubted by the mainstream….

She started flipping through the laminated pages of her Big Binder of Conditions That Preclude You From Giving Blood.

I say, "I'm taking diflucan."

She says "That's what they give for yeast infections. Are you sure it's just in your intestines?"

I tell her that I have no idea. I do not tell her that I do not really know if it is there at all. She flips some more and finally says, "No."

And I tell you, I felt rejected, but a little relieved, because by then I had remembered that after you give blood, when you're feeling all woozy and prone to passing out, they give you juice and cookies. I would have had to say, "Have you got any water maybe with lime juice squeezed in it and a whole-wheat yeast-free cracker instead?" Which probably would not work the magic of the sugar, which is all pretty much the point.

I asked her whether verapamil, a calcium-channel blocker that I take for migraine, is on her list of prohibited meds, and it is not, though I should not give blood if I have a heart condition. I do not.

She also said that I should not give blood if I have had a headache in the last few hours, because the loss of blood would bring one on for sure.

And so I started wondering: Would "have you had a headache in the last couple of hours?" have been on her list of 50 questions, any one of which might have ruled me out? Because the problem there is that although I had actually had a pretty great morning, no pain, minimal sensory disruption, my sense is that my migraine symptoms--if that is even what this is at all--do not ever fully go away.

And then I would have been in the position of trying to decide whether I was strong enough to give blood and save a life, even though it might give me a whopper headache.

And frankly, I am glad I did not have to make that decision, because there is enough about this disease that makes me feel like a big selfish whiny baby, without that too.

(But maybe the time I spent in the UK during the mad cow years would have gotten me a break.)

Anyway, before all this, we did have a nice time at the Whole Foods finding yummy things I can eat, like Sweet Potato Chips and Brad's Raw Chips (Indian flavor! Tastes like real Indians!) and more rooibos and herbal tea and mustard greens and mild Italian pork sausage and pork bratwurst (the only 2 pork sausages we could find without sugar) and cauliflower and hummus and some more great stuff that I can't remember right now.

I did look mournfully at the cheese.

Oatmeal with butter and almonds
Rooibos tea

3 triscuits with almond butter

Leftover spicy beef stew (yumsville)
More rooibos tea
A handful of the sweet potato chips, because I simply could not resist.

Assorted salty nuts (not peanuts)

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