No BLTs until Christmas

Thirteen days ago I started my Christmas baking.

Thirteen days ago I made the revered Biscuits aux Cerises de ma Tante, an annual Christmas tradition in my house. They are sweet, delectable and irresistible. With all my boys and their significant others coming home for Christmas, how could I not make their favorite treat?

One batch makes a complete cookie sheet full. When they came out of the oven the aroma was intoxicating: buttery shortbread base and cherries with cornflakes and a carmelicious topping.

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Oh my!

I usually cut them up into squares to be put away for when the family arrives on Christmas Day, and that’s what I started to do thirteen days ago.

Betcha can’t eat just one!

Right.

Before I knew what had happened, a whole row of cherry squares had disappeared! Just gone into thin air.

I thought of an old rhyme from my youth:

“Over the lips, through the gums,

look out tummy, here it comes!”

Yes, I ate a whole row. A whole row in a cookie sheet makes about ten squares. Yep that was what I ate. The first couple went down pretty good, but after that I was eating cherry squares by rote, automated, in a daze.

A little while later I felt so toxic and uncomfortable you can’t imagine. My tummy hurt, my head hurt; heck, even my feelings hurt.

I did it to myself.

The other eight rows of squares went into the freezer and I wondered how I would cope with the rest of the Christmas baking. Doing the calculation, I figured that after I made the shortbreads, soda cracker candy, Swiss cookies and chocolate chip cookies, I was in line for the most major sugar rush and weight gain imaginable if I continued to eat out of control like that.

I had to do something.

Thirteen days ago I decided to have no more sugar until Christmas.

And I haven’t had any.

Since the ‘cherry square day’ I have been to three pot lucks, an open house, two other gatherings of friends and two family dinners. Not only that, all my baking is done.

I did not have so much as one BLT (Bite, Lick or Taste) of sugar in all that time and I am so proud of myself.

Not only that, my digestion has been perfect.

Not only that, I feel focused and determined.

In addition, I have a little more energy.

And I’m finding my mood is more stable. That’s a lot of benefits from abstaining from sugar for 13 days, don’t you think?

But that’s not all. I have actually lost a couple of pounds at a time of year when most folk, myself included, usually gain seven pounds. I had to white knuckle it the first couple of days but after that it got easier. It became like a game to me.

In one more day it will be Christmas and you can rest assured I will have some dessert and a couple of sweets, but after that I think I will continue my sugar fast until Valentine’s Day.

Would you like to join me?

 

V.O.M.I.T.

 

The other day I was sitting at the computer planning Christmas things while listening to some easy music on the radio. The sun was shining for the first time in ten days here in Nova Scotia and I was thinking that right now life’s pretty good. My children are all coming home for Christmas, we’re heading South for a couple of months and we’re both healthy. What more could a person ask for?

The incessant ringing of the phone interrupted my reverie. Who would be calling on the house phone at this time of day? Most of our callers use the cell phone number.

I checked the call display to make sure it was a legitimate call and not a telemarketer.

Oh! It was the IWK hospital in Halifax. There is only one reason anyone from the IWK would be calling our house. And my mind flashed back to a couple of years ago…

It was January 2015 when I ended up in hospital with Bell’s palsy. The doctors weren’t satisfied that it was just Bell’s palsy because of a few other symptoms I was presenting. I languished four days in hospital while waiting to have an MRI of my brain, with dye.

Pure joy.

Finally my big day arrived and I was wheeled to the X-ray department. Darn MRI machines give me claustrophobia so they dosed me with Ativan and put a cloth over my eyes. I wrote a blog in my mind while in that tube, with all its attendant noises.

Finally it was over.

The result was that I ‘just’ had Bell’s palsy BUT “We noticed a lesion on your brain.”

Saywhat?

I said, “Calling it a lesion is just a gentle way of saying tumor, right?”

And they affirmed that was correct. And now because we have seen this tumor/lesion, you will have to be followed by a neurosurgeon. So now, in addition to having a doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, dentist, gynecologist and gastroenterologist, I will also have a neurosurgeon.

When I visited my neurosurgeon a couple of months later, he told me that there was indeed a lesion/tumor on my brain, but it was small and there was nothing to do about it, save to monitor it by MRI every year to make sure it was not growing. Then he showed me a picture of my brain! It looked something like this:

brain

He told me I could live my whole life and never have known about the tumor, unless, that is, if I started having wicked headaches and other nasty symptoms. It was only because of the MRI for my Bell’s palsy that they found it, and now that they know about it they have to monitor it. He said that in medical circles I was what they called VOMIT

Hello?

                               Victim Of Medical Imaging Technology

                                                       V.O.M.I.T.               

To date I have had two MRIs and each time I wait anxiously for the results. So when I saw IWK on the call display I knew what was coming.

Bravely picking up the phone I said, “Hello”

It was Dr Walling, my neurosurgeon. After exchanging the requisite pleasantries about impending Christmas and the weather while my heart pounded louder and louder, he said, “There has been no change!”

Breathe.

Done for another year with my V.O.M.I.T.

Yay!