Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Rupture: Part I...

My digestive system BEFORE Rupture
Day.  Mad props to the Incredible
Hulk for standing in as a sketch
model on such short notice.
No, don't adjust your screen.  That's not a typo.

Last month, my wife and I survived Rupture Day...  because that's what happened to my large intestines.

And that's what's going to happen to our poor couch if we don't stop eating cheese and other dirty dairy products.

For all intents and purposes, the couch is already ruined.  I may as well toss the cushions by the curb and burn them.  We can't light candles in our family room any more because the whole couch would go up in flames if we dared to light a match.

But for now, we're going to keep the damn couch.  We really can't afford to buy another one, at this point.  Besides, I doubt that our trip to Raymour and Flanigan would be as entertaining as it was the first time around.

And wouldn't you believe it, Rupture Day actually occurred on Rapture Day.  How's that for cruel irony?

The world was supposed to end on Rapture Day...  or something along those lines.  Frankly, I can't imagine that Rapture could have been any worse than the filthy cloud of death that's still lingering in our family room, almost two weeks later.

At this point, Rapture still sounds like a pretty good alternative.

But if Rapture was for real, I'll bet it decided to pass by our house when it caught a whiff of the dirty, hovering stink.

Rupture Day began just like any other typical Saturday.  I rolled out of bed, fed the cats, and started brewing a full pot of coffee.

     "Hey, isn't the world supposed to end later today?" my wife asked, as she opened up the family room blinds and cracked the windows.

     "Oh yeah, that's right.  But...  I don't think that's scheduled until six o'clock tonight."

     "Good," she said.  "That means you've got time to mow the lawn."

     Awesome, I thought to myself.  Might as well make the yard look presentable before it gets swallowed up by the earth.

Unlike the miserable baseball team that
plays its home games about eight hours
south, these Orioles are fun to watch.
As the coffee continued trickling into the pot, my glance drifted out the dinette window towards our new redneck bird feeder, which I recently installed.  Two large doves were perched on the roof of the feeder, and a male Baltimore Oriole was pecking away at the orange half that my wife had left on the 'feeder balcony'.

     "Honey, the male oriole is here again."

     "Yeah, I know," she said.  "I just got a few more pictures."

We've been in our house for almost four years, but we hadn't seen a Baltimore Oriole anywhere near our yard until just a few days ago.

My wife first noticed the male hopping around our back yard earlier in the week.  Knowing that Orioles have a preference for sweet, gooey delicacies, she immediately sliced up an orange and left it on the feeder.  Within ten minutes the male was happily feasting.  Later in the afternoon, the female showed up.  And when I got home from work that evening, there appeared to be a juvenile male at the feeder.

I called my sister, the bird expert, to find out if we should expect to see juvenile orioles this early in the year.  She didn't think so, but she asked me to send me the pictures.

     "Nope," she said.  "That looks to me like a female.  It's still too early around Western New York for juvenile Orioles to fledge from their nests."

Big Sister says it's NOT a juvenile.

Fair enough.  I always defer to Big Sister when it comes to birds.

Anyways, once the coffee had slowed to a struggling drip, I poured two cups and dumped the rest into a stainless steel carafe, to keep it hot.  I took a sip from my mug.

     Hmmm, not bad, I thought to myself.  If this is my last ever cup of coffee, I can't complain.

As we headed to the couch with our mugs in hand, the birds continued dancing and chirping away outside the back window, unfazed by the rapidly approaching Hour of Judgment.  Perhaps they had no idea that the world was going to end just around suppertime.

I suppose I should have been worried, but I was a bit more concerned about the gurgling, grumbling noises that were coming from within my belly.

     "Honey, what was THAT!?"

     "THAT...  was my stomach."

All of a sudden, I didn't feel so hot.  It felt like a gang of rabid hamsters was crawling around, nibbling on my intestinal walls.  Every ten seconds or so, one of the hamsters would lob a hand grenade and take cover.  A few moments later, a loud explosion would shake my mid-section.

     "Honey, what is WRONG with you!?"

     "I told you," I said, holding my gut in discomfort.  "It's my stomach.  We probably shouldn't have had any ice cream last night."

     "Dave, you only had a quarter cup."

     "Not even," I added, holding my sides in discomfort.  "But that was two nights in a row."

As recently as last July, we were both enjoying a big bowl of ice cream, sometimes topped with glorious whipped cream, at least four nights a week.  When we gave up meat in August, we hadn't really planned on cutting out the dairy, as well.  But while reading up on the health implications of eliminating meat, I stumbled across extensive research indicating that dairy is probably worse for us than beef, pork, and poultry.

Then, I read 'The China Study', by T. Colin Campbell.

Just a word of warning...  if you like your cheese, milk, and ice cream, I'd suggest that you skip this book.

Among other eye-opening conclusions, the research conducted and reviewed by Campbell shows a strong link between casein, the protein found in all dairy products, and the activation and progression of dormant cancer cells within our bodies.

In fact, casein was shown to have a much greater influence over the development and activation of cancer cells within our bodies, than other factors that we've traditionally viewed as the primary culprits...  such as genetics and environmental contaminants.

When my mom was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor at 53, the neurologist told us that her particular type of cancer had been studied extensively for over a hundred years, but a cause had still not been identified.

Mom didn't drink, never smoked a cigarette in her life, and took a brisk walk five or six days a week.

LOTS of scary charts in this book...
...charts that the dairy industry probably doesn't want you to see.

When she died just over fifteen months later, we were all baffled as to what could have possibly caused her illness.  My sister and I didn't spend a lot of time wallowing in self-pity, asking 'Why?', 'Why her?', and 'Why us?'.  But we did, and still to this day, wonder what we can do differently, if anything, to avoid the same circumstances.

Until recently, we didn't even consider that Mom's diet could have been a factor.  For years, we always assumed that the typical American 'meat, dairy, and potatoes diet' that she'd enjoyed all her life was healthy.  (Actually, potatoes are very nutritious and don't belong with the other two.  Unfortunately, they've gotten a bad rap via Atkins, South Beach, and all those other nonsense low-carb diets.)

All of the reading and research that I've done over the past eight months suggests otherwise.

Ever since I finished 'The China Study', I've been trying to cut most of the dairy out of my diet.  I'll still have the occasional bowl of ice cream.  But now that my body is not used to large servings of dairy, this causes raging fits within my stomach, intestines, and bowels.

     "Ugh...," I moaned, as another grenade was discharged within my intestines.

The coffee was delicious, but it certainly wasn't helping me win the war against the hamsters.  Caffeine does a bang-up job of jump-starting peristalsis within the lower gut.  The gurgling and churning noises were getting louder, and the contractions of my gut were now spaced about eight to ten seconds apart.  My anus was dangerously close to dilating.

     "Ogghhh...  ," I groaned again.  "OUF!"

     "Um, Dave.  Do you need to go upstairs?"

     "Oh, I don't think I'm going to make it 'till after breakfast," I said.

Click HERE to read Part II...

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