Man, I love kefir. It comes in a portable bottle, fills you up, and makes it so that you can digest everything you eat. Kefir forever!
For the past — I don’t know — since the whole time I’ve lived in Tucson, I have had a terrible stomach. That’s ten years. Ask both Roman and Josh who have had to live through this stuff. The basic scenario was that I would eat something and then I would writhe around in agony for a span of five hours or three days. I would writhe and my shoulder would hurt and I would be nauseous and burp a lot. Attractive. I tried cutting out every conceivable food group (even coffee!) to make this stop happening to me. It didn’t stop.
I googled “shoulder pain” and “burping” and came up with a working hypothesis about gall bladder disease. I took this hypothesis to a young resident osteopath who wanted to specialize in internal medicine. He was really nice and spent a lot of time with me. He remembered every detail of my personal life the second time I visited him. He told me he hated “Dr. Google” and had me do shoulder exercises and keep a food diary. The first day contained both ice cream and bacon. I conveniently forgot to ever show it to him. “Yes, but I think I have gall bladder something,” I said. So I got an ultrasound that turned up… nothing. Then, I got a shrug and a prescription to Prilosec. It worked.
So, the working theory was that if it worked, do it. He said I didn’t really have reflux, but.
So, yes. A two week regimen of Prilosec would make it go away for awhile until this fall. This fall, it wouldn’t go away. I made the probiotics connection somehow through furious googling about both the Prozac and the high-estrogen birth control I had started taking. Which one was causing it? The birth control. Because there is a link between hormones and bacterial imbalances.
I have to give Roman credit for first discovering probiotics for me. I remember him bringing me these glass bottles of acidiphilus. “Yeah, this seems to be helping” I offerred. “But, it costs fifteen dollars.” Later, after I lived out here with Josh and Jonah, he gave me a bag of giant weird black pills that he told me had been super expensive and were chock full of bacteria. I took them. They helped, for awhile.
I decided to perform a probiotics onslaught this November. I bought a few bottles of this stuff called “Good Belly” and five or six bottles of Kefir. This is all I ingested for three days. I’m better. I’m not kidding.
There had been an evil, burning pain under my diaphragm for as long as I could remember. So long, I forgot to notice it. I felt it dissipate. I actually felt it un-knot and disappear. Since that day, I haven’t had the thing again and it’s been at least a month and a half. This is a record.
So, not wanting to be someone who constantly buys something called “Good Belly”, I fell in love with Kefir. It has a charming story. It is grains of bacteria grown in milk and originated in the plains culture of the Caucasus mountains. Something about how, in a petri dish, Kefir took down every dragon thrown into the rink. Something about how kefir loves you more than your mom does. Something. I love it. You can get all nerded out in kefir grain trading communities. You can make a blog post about your stomach.
I had a kefir run-in that caused me to have to explain divorce to my son. There was a cute guy working at Safeway. He wasn’t a college kid, he had a moustache and was at least thirty. Dark hair, Hispanic. He was super-clean. He might not play for my team. He asked me about my kefirs. “Are these good?” he asked as he wiped a mysterious blue substance off of his hands. “What is this stuff on my hands? Have you ever seen this before? I can’t just let it stay here. What is it? Is it okay if I stop ringing your groceries while I clean off my hands? Is that stuff any good? I don’t want to pay for it if I hate it.” After I told him that you can get it in any flavor, sweetened or unsweetened, I took Jonah out to the car.
“I wonder if the guy at the cash register wants to marry me,” I dumbly mused aloud.
“Yeah, he does.” Jonah helpfully replied.
“Oh, well, that was a joke. I’m married to Daddy.”
“You could marry both of them.”
“No, that’s not how it works. You aren’t actually allowed to be married to two people at the same time.”
“You could get rid of Daddy.”
Thus ensued a super long conversation about marriages and divorces. It turned out that he kind of wants us to get divorced so that he could stay the night with his dad all the time and they would be free of my bossing and nagging. As if.
So, I drink Kefir every day. I think if you put Kefir on your face, it would cure your acne. I think if you put Kefir in your eyes, it would fix your eyesight. Plus, it makes it so I don’t actually have to concentrate on finding and preparing food during the day. It totally fills you up. Win.