Letting go of holiday traditions

A couple weeks ago, my brother texted me, “What can you eat?”

“Plain turkey and plain mashed potatoes made with lactose free milk,” I replied.

“Well, I want to make this,” he wrote and sent me a link to a recipe.

…for a maple-chilli-mustard turkey.

If my disease was cured tomorrow, I still would not eat a maple-chilli-mustard turkey. I’m not sure why he bothered to ask about my food allergies when he had his heart set on making a digestive bomb for any eater. Clearly, this was a warning, not an accommodation.

Before my diagnosis, I clung to traditions, even though the holidays were becoming increasingly painful. I do not recommend stuffing your body with Thanksgiving dinner despite knowing your intestines have already shut down. I definitely do not recommend following that up with Black Friday shopping. There is no joy in trying clothes on a bloated, cramping body at 3 a.m, in an ice storm.

At least now I know which foods to avoid. However, my triggers have grown to include scents, the cold, and stress. So this year, I’m letting go of holiday traditions where my mast cells can’t be accommodated and taking more time to rest.

I won’t be eating much this Thanksgiving, but I will enjoy the thought of my parents pretending to like that maple-chilli-mustard turkey.

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