What started as a simple doctor’s appointment that warm day two summers ago, ended up altering my life drastically.
I’m Hamda, and I’m lactose intolerant.
Since learning my fate, I’ve started to see things differently. I have some minor and easily avoidable food allergies that I barely have to think about. Avoiding dairy is something that I actively think about every single day and I can’t help but think that nobody takes my dietary restrictions very seriously despite it being just that — incredibly serious.
If you’re lactose intolerant you don’t possess the enzyme to properly digest lactose, and if you do choose to be brave and eat a slice of pizza you will most likely either really want to sh*t yourself or have really horrible cramps.
Simple pleasures like getting ice cream with your friends on a hot summer day have been stripped from me. So I often sit back and ask myself a few questions, like “why does everything delicious have cheese on it”, “why me”, “is there a god”, and if there is a god “why me “(again).
According to Statistics Canada, the commercial sale of milk has decreased as the population increases. Alternative milk substitutes have been on the rise consistently over the past five years.
So why do I still feel like I’m annoying my barista when I ask for a grande vanilla latte with soy milk? I get that it must be annoying to hear a girl ask you five times if you did, in fact, make the latte with soy milk but it’s a very easy mistake that could give me a stomach ache and will ruin the rest of my day.
And yes: before you ask, I can actually taste the difference. Milk is super sour and smells weird.
I know that a lot of people are lactose intolerant but it feels very isolating at times. Nobody likes to hear a quiet “I’m lactose intolerant” when someone suggests to buy a pizza, and not being allowed to eat some of the greatest foods like poutine is truly devastating.
It’s been two years and I’m doing better coping with it; I’m more vigilant when it comes to consuming the little amount of dairy that my body can handle. I think it made me stronger mentally.
And if I ever really wanted to eat a whole pizza I could always hop on over to the drugstore and buy a $30 bottle of lactose pills I guess.