Street Musician Daniel: I Butter Not

  • Broken Plate
  • Broken String

Unbelievable how many hits on a blog post you can get (181 on the last one) just by mentioning something like “hand grenades” in the title. I guess people are Googling such things these days…

Butter Fingers

I watched a Youtube video about cooking oils in which the guy panned certain oils as being “poison.”

These were the exact oils that I had grown to suspect myself as having an intolerance, or outright allergies to, years ago.

What had complicated the matter of using elimination diets in order to determine which foods might have been bothering me was a fact that I have only recently come to fully understand, which is that oils can take up to 10 days to leave the system.

I would stop eating a certain thing for a few days, but then would apparently react to a different substance which I would flag as being an allergen, unaware that it was just the offending oil in the body that was still interacting and becoming a co- allergen.

One example was when I once had a bowl of cereal in milk, and then broke out in hives an hour later after drinking a glass of orange juice.

“Orange juice can cause hives,” it is said. So can tomatoes and strawberries and almost any other citrus fruit.

Inventing The Weal

Except orange juice never gave me hives (or weals, as some medical literature referred to them, as in “a crop of weals” -I always hated that term, especially when beset by them) when I drank it on an empty stomach, or especially without having milk in my system.

Another time, after drinking milk and petting a cat, I put lotion on my face, and it was as if the oil in the cat’s fir combined with the lotion and sunk into my skin making my face itch as if a thousand mosquitoes had landed on it and were biting away.

Never having been allergic to oranges or cats (I now have an orange cat, for Pete’s sake) I theorized that it was the presence of the first allergen, milk, which was combining in some way as a co-allergen to the reaction.

“Nonsense, son; you drink all the milk you want!” a dermatologist, whom I was paying something like 80 bucks per hour, told me at the time.

Spaceman Dan

He prescribed me something called Atarax and gave me injections of hydrocortisone, I believe it was called -it was pink and looked like a syringe full of Milk of Magnesia, I recall.

For the areas effected with eczema, my hands and forearms usually, but not unlimited to other places like my face, I was given what looked like a Vaseline based salve and told to apply it to the rash and then wrap the areas in what looked like Saran Wrap, and to sleep that way, so that the skin would become hydrated overnight.

The pink shots made all itching stop, as immediately as a shot of heroin might hit a user of it. “How do you feel now?” the dermatologist would ask, after injecting me, and with a smug grin that kind of implied that he might add: “How expensive does 80 bucks an hour seem now?”

That was his ace in the hole, the pink stuff, along with the antihistamine pills that he warned me, might make me feel drowsy. Everything else, the salve and the plastic wrap, and his advice to take only lukewarm showers, never hot; and to pat myself dry afterwards, never rub, were things that I could have taken upon myself to practice without having to visit the good doctor every 2 weeks, so he could look at my skin and then ask me: “So, are you still taking lukewarm showers and patting yourself dry? Good, keep it up; that will be 80 dollars…”

But, after about the 3rd visit, he was pumping me full of what looked like 3 times the original amount of pink stuff, and indeed the Atarax had made me drowsy to the point that my nickname, given alongside the photo in my 8th grade yearbook was “spaceman.” That was kind of a surprise to me, as I didn’t really feel like I was a spaceman, probably because I was totally unaware of myself as I daydreamed and stared off into…well, the cosmos.

I continued to take the Atarax and to eat my trays of food alongside my fellow students in the cafeteria every day. It became a ritual; put the tray down in front of you; open the little carton of milk, and then start eating.

Thanks to the power of the human mind, though, I had a breakthrough.

During my sophomore year, I started having bouts of nausea, at random times that epileptics would understand, along with the fear that comes from that randomness. What if I’m up in front of the class giving an oral report, and I suddenly puke? What kind of “oral report” would that be?

There were a few occasions when I had to jump out of my chair in the middle of class and make a beeline for the boy’s room, perhaps casting a glance towards a bewildered teacher and pointing to my stomach on the way out; leaving her to wonder: …if TS Eliot has this effect on him; what’s going to happen when we get to EE Cummings?

But then, as soon as I had gotten to the boy’s room, I would feel fine; In fact better than fine, I would feel like I couldn’t puke even if I tried to make myself..

Let The Body Do What The Body Can Do…“-Wim Hof

This went on for a couple weeks, and I was just starting to develop a constant foreboding of when the next time would come when I was sure I was going to cover my desk in puke but then would wind up alone in a bathroom feeling just fine .

Then, it so happened that I was in the cafeteria and had just put my tray down in front of me and was reaching for the carton of milk, when I felt the nausea welling up. I withdrew my hand, preparing, I thought, to make another run for the boy’s room. But, when I took my hand away from the carton of milk, the nausea went away. Then, as an experiment, I reached for it again, and I could actually feel the nausea going up my arm and heading for my stomach area.

That was when I discovered that thing about myself and milk. I don’t know whether to call it an allergy or an intolerance.

I stopped drinking milk and, within a couple days, all the rashes cleared up.

I even felt like I no longer needed to see a dermatologist and it was during my next visit to mine when I gave him the wonderful news about having discovered what I thought was causing the eczema and the histamine, etc.

That was when, instead of telling me that was great, uttered the infamous: “Nonsense, son. You drink all the milk you want!” statement, and then went on to tell me that I needed the protein and the calcium and that there was no such thing as someone being allergic to milk.

It took a bit of courage for a 15 year old to go against the opinion of such a learned man; but I continued to eliminate milk from my diet, and never needed to go back to his office for another pink shot.

This led to me discovering how deeply certain beliefs had become entrenched in so many people as I encountered a lot of head shaking and some derisive chuckling from people after telling them I didn’t drink milk; And even one guy of about my age who, direly warned me: “I’m gonna tell you what’s gonna happen; one day you’re gonna be walking down the street and the bones in your legs are just going to snap in half! “

Moving forward, I started to become more sensitive to milk; Having eliminated the daily half gallon, or whatever, of it that I was having foisted upon my as part of The American Diet, my body became more finely tuned so that the presence of a little bit of the stuff in anything would cause eczema to flare up.

It was befuddling at first, when I would start to have reactions to all kinds of foods that seemed to have no rhyme or reason, until I read the ingredients. I’m allergic to pudding now, wtf?! Oh, yeah pancakes are made with milk, you didn’t know that? Same for French Toast and scrambled eggs.

It got the point where I was mainly just eating oatmeal, rather than foray into the minefield which the grocery store had become. I avoided restaurants and diners, rather than learn that “We always add a little milk to the oatmeal; to thicken it up, otherwise it’s too bland” a few hours after leaving the place, when the glands in my throat started swelling up and the itching started.

I preferred the blandness of plain oatmeal to that just fine.

Some Esoteric Stuff

Then, during my senior year of high school there was a talk given in the auditorium by a chiropractor and nutritionist named Doctor Delisle.

He was roundly perceived to be a quack by just about every one of the hundred or so students who heard him. He denounced The American Diet and pointed out the danger in what most of those present lived on; the kids who ate white powdered donuts washed down with Coke a Cola for breakfast and then ate the school lunch before having a bag of Doritos on the way home from school along with another soda, and then maybe went to McDonald’s for dinner.

One girl was in tears after he described the damage to fetuses that could through a mother’s poor dietary decisions occur. That’s kind of how we all found out that girl was pregnant…

But, Doctor Delisle ended his talk by raising his voice and announcing: “You’d be better off living off nothing but oatmeal!”

So, as all the other kids exited the auditorium shaking their heads, mumbling and saying things like: “He can pry my white powdered doughnuts from my cold dead hands!” I approached the table that he was gathering his papers off of. I was the only one there.

“Hi, I live off nothing but oatmeal,” I said.

“Oh, so you’re the one,” he answered.

Doctor Delisle was into “some really esoteric stuff,” as a Catholic priest (who taught at the school I had come from and who liked to fondle teen aged boys) once put it.

He was a devotee of some Indian based religion and would make a yearly pilgrimage to sit at the feet of the Dali Lama, or whomever it was.

He meditated for a few hours every day and had had some kind of vision during that morning’s one. Through it, he had gleaned that, while he would be giving a talk to a hundred or so high school kids, he would essentially be there to make contact with just one individual. I guess he would know him (me) by the fact that he ate nothing but oatmeal.

And, so began a new chapter in my own spiritual growth as I began to have my bones cracked by a guy who didn’t believe they were going to break in half because I didn’t drink milk.

That whole saga is mostly written and is slated to post itself automatically at some point which was in the distant future when I wrote it 7 years ago (although, I think I need to reschedule it, because it is set for April of this year: 2022).

But, back to the present.

I saw the video about the different fats, with olive oil and coconut oil being touted as healthy; and all the ones that I have discovered through using my own body as a laboratory to be poison, being designated as just such by “the guy in the video” (a very well credentialed doctor of some kind).

Those bad oils would be canola, corn, soybean and “vegetable” (soybean, again) etc.

To the 2 healthy oils, he added butter, which kind of surprised me. He made the point that it must come from grass fed cows, otherwise it might be just as bad as the bad ones. The olive and coconut oils must be organic, for the same reason.

I had never gone so far as to try grass fed butter, and so I bought some grass fed Irish Butter at Rouses; it was even on sale.

I made a kettle of popcorn and added some of the butter to it.

I hadn’t eaten more than a few kernels of it when Harold appeared at his feeding spot and meowed.

It was then that I grabbed his favorite plate from a shelf, which immediately slipped from my buttery fingers and shattered on the counter.

I should have taken that as a sign, but instead, ate all the popcorn and have been suffering the past 3 days from eczema that reminds me of the old “Nonsense, son; you drink all the milk you want!” days..

I am about to do a guided meditation for “positive energy” I think it is; and then will cautiously and without regard for the outcome, go out and bus from maybe 9:30 until as long as I can go. I will bring a list of songs I know with me and try to put together a 3 hour “set” of music.

I broke a string last night -the first one of the year; and continued to play but quit after just making 8 bucks because the sound of the guitar, after having done a haphazard repair to the broken one was not up to my standards.

I got Harold 2 cans of food and myself 2 shots of Yukon Jack and rode home.

My biggest regrets are the Yukon Jack and the half box of cereal that it made me eat upon getting home. In water, with a little honey added, not milk; that would have been nonsense…

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