Week 3: Wearing thin

Blah.  That’s what I feel today.  If it was good for anything, last week let me glimpse how life might be like without identifying emotions.  I’m finding it hard to decide just how I feel about GFCF.

When Logan was diagnosed with PDD-NOS about a week and a half ago, my husband and I mentioned to the clinician that we were trying a casein-free diet, and we asked her if she’d seen any results—positive or negative.  She both nodded and shrugged.  She had seen lots of positive advances with it, she said, almost always in language development and sleep habits.  But (and there’s always a but) Logan’s struggles are in emotional development and peer interactions—he articulates quite well and has always slept through the night.  So a CF diet might not be helpful for Logan, at least based on one expert’s opinion.

But we’d said we’d try it, and so we stuck with it … and somehow, it’s getting both easier and harder.  It’s easier to read labels and give Logan a different snack and it’s even easier to find dinner most nights (we’ve been having fish, steak, burgers, and other single-ingredient dishes.)  It’s harder because those items are becoming incredibly boring.  My husband is sorely missing anything sweet, baked, and ungodly horrible for your health.  He grumbles about it, and after knowing him for seven years, I can tell he’s about ready to give up completely.  He doesn’t believe any results will come from this diet, and probably never did.  Plus, he lives for food, as I’ve heard him say more than once.  I’ve often said that if I could simply take a vitamin and be supplied with all the nutrients and calories I needed in a day, I would.  Think about it:  no more stopping everything three times a day to think about what to make, cook it, eat it, and clean up afterward … God, that would be so much more free time.  But my husband loves food—bad food—too much.

He asked me yesterday if I could see any change in Logan.  I could tell it was a leading question, that he was trying to see if I’d say, “yes,” when obviously there hasn’t been any.  I told him no, but I didn’t think we’d been doing it long enough for there to be any change—plus, we still haven’t successfully ever had a week without casein.  We went from about 20 infractions in our first week to just five infractions in the third week, but according to what we’ve read, any amount is too much.

Speaking of yesterday … my plan had been to pick one recipe from The Autism Cookbook and make it for supper, as well as make a recipe for GFCF muffins.  I wrote down the ingredients needed and sent it to the grocery store with my husband while Logan and I went to church.  Here’s a shortened version of what we came home to.

“You wrote two cups of tomato.  I don’t know what that means.”

“Yeah, two cups of tomatoes.  You know, diced tomatoes or something.”

“Well, I bought a can of diced tomatoes.  But your recipe says cubed.”

“What’s the difference?  Can’t I just substitute one for the other?”

“No.  And you didn’t tell me to get basil.”

“Don’t we have basil in the cupboard already?”

“First of all, no—we’re out.  Second, even if we did, it wouldn’t matter—your recipe calls for fresh basil leaves, not dried, crush basil spice.”

“Oh.  Can I make it without it?”

“You can try, but it probably won’t be very good.”

Blah, blah, blah.  I’m actually quite attentive to details, but for some reason, not when it comes to food.  I simply don’t care.

So, despite having a wrong ingredient and a missing ingredient, I still planned to make my chicken-sausage-eggplant-whatever the hell it was.  But I had to work on homework again, and then the sun actually peeked out from behind the clouds, and I decided to take the kids and dog to the park.  I thought we’d be gone an hour, leaving enough time to come home and cook, but that didn’t happen, either.

“Do you know how long it will take to wash, peel, and cut all those vegetables?” my husband asked.

He might not have meant for it to sound pointed and accusatory, but it felt that way all the same.  We ordered pizza and cooked a frozen GFCF pizza for Logan instead.  We’d been craving cheese and pizza, and I was curious how the frozen version would taste.  Of course, it sucked, and because we deserved it, the pizza we ordered from a new place was awful, greasy, and delivered lukewarm.

And did I make muffins after the kids went to bed?  Nope.  More homework, and then when I finished, I realized my husband had gone to bed and not cleaned the kitchen—pizza was still sitting out, pear slices were browning on the counter, and kiddie cups with an inch of milk still perched in front of the kids’ chairs.

“It can stay like that,” he said when I woke him up.

He doesn’t care, I thought.  Can I do this by myself?  How could I cook and clean solo on top of everything?  Part of me wants to give up this stupid diet, and part of me wants to just try harder.  And most of me feels nothing at all.

Feeling: Worn thin

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4 responses to “Week 3: Wearing thin

  1. Trisha

    You can do hard things! Keep going!

  2. Grammy

    Have you considered trying just one diet (casein free OR gluten free) first and accessing the results, then adding the second diet?

    • We are only doing one — just casein-free. But many of the products that are substitutes for casein-free are also gluten-free because the two are almost always done together. But we felt that would be too difficult, and not as good of an indication which one might be giving problems, so we decided to eliminate milk first. But by eliminating milk, again because CF is usually combined with GF, he’s reduced his gluten intake though he does still get it.

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