Indiscretion, And Its Consequences

I just tested the marvelous remission I have been having, of the enzyme shortage in my small intestine that necessitated taking enzymes made from pig pancreases (just for irony’s sake, since I keep Kosher).  During the last 4 years I’ve had to take enzymes with everything I ate, so as to be able to digest and absorb it and not have it just come out in just a slightly different form than it went in.

And I’m lactose intolerant.

And I’m gluten intolerant.

And fructose intolerant (fructose is the sugar found in fruit) to a certain extent–I can only eat melons, berries, and apples.  Anything else makes its way out with alacrity.

When I discovered that I am in the “donut hole” or “coverage gap” of my Medicare prescription coverage–if you have the good fortune not to know what it means, it’s too complicated for me to explain right now–so I’ll just say Medicare stops paying for meds at a certain point, and leave it at that.

I wish I could leave it at that.

It’s so irritating that I have to take fistfuls of drugs every day, and they all cost a fortune.  When my discount mail order pharmacy told me that my copay for my intestinal enzymes was going to be $1500, I bridled at that.  One thousand, five hundred dollars for three months worth of enzyme.  OK, it’s only $500 a month–my bad.

Then the pharmacy tells me that the price for the whole prescription was actually $4000 that’s four with three zeros behind it.  Th $1500 was only the copay.  Well, fuck me.

So I decided I was going to make a trial off the enzyme.  Maybe either God had worked a miracle and not told me about it, or my intestines healed themselves (which, if you believe in such things, is kinda the same thing).  Even if I still needed the enzymes, all that could happen is about 4 or maybe 6, if I was unlucky, hours in the outhouse while my most recent meals bailed out the other end.

So I just held my nose and dived into the deep end.

I ate lunch.

I waited.

Nothing happened.

I ate supper.

Nothing happened.

The next thing that did happen was normal and healthy.  More so, in fact, than when I was taking the enzyme.


So for the past few weeks I’ve been feeling pretty cocky, eating whatever I liked and going to the bathroom like a normal human being.


But it’s another Jewish holiday.  This time it’s Shevuot, which is all about the Hebrews accepting the Torah at Mount Sinai, which is now somewhere in Egypt, just to carry irony a step further.

One way we celebrate Shevuot is by eating dairy foods: quiche, ice cream, cheesecake.

I make a cheesecake that is obscenely delicious, so that’s what I made, to follow up a dinner of fettucccine aglia i’olio with fettuccine made out of mung beans (yeah, I know) because I’m lactose intolerant.  Lots of olive oil.  Olive oil is good for you.  Yeah, and then I had a gigantic slice of my sinfully yummy cheesecake, made with a pound and a half of ricotta cheese and eight ounces (I guess that’s half a pound, isn’t it?) of sour cream.

Fat grams?  Oh, please.  Don’t harsh my buzz, OK?  I learned that expression from a shop girl who was on her cell permanently while I completed my purchase.  Calories?  Hah.  It’s a holiday, right?

But I forgot about the sour cream.  Only has four grams of carbs per serving, but guess what those carbs are?  You guessed right!  Lactose!  And guess what else?  I do not have even one gram of lactase, which is the enzyme that digests lactose, in my body.  Anytime I want to eat a lactose-containing food, I have to consume several lactase enzyme tablets along with it.

Can you believe it, I didn’t even think about lactase enzyme!  I just tucked right into that wedge of cheesecake, made of pounds of dairy delectables, and did not think a thing about the lactose intolerance part.

Hey, it’s a holiday, right?  Why would I still not be able to digest my food?  Seems like on a holiday I should be given a general dispensation to eat like a normal person.  And this is not a holiday like the Fourth of July, either.  This is a big one, that was commanded on Mount Sinai.

So why should I have to take all kinds of digestive enzymes in order to digest my holy holiday food?  It doesn’t add up.  That’s why I’m not so religious anymore.  Yeah, I thought it was a “test,” too, at first.  Then it stopped being holy, and started being just plain awful.  So much for the depth of my faith.

So as I’m writing this, in between trips to the outhouse–it’s dark and only lightly raining–I’m parsing out, in my mind, what this particular episode could be about.  Pig enzyme deficiency?  Oh, I hope not!  That would further dash my faith in the Almighty.

No, I’m fairly sure this is a lactose intolerance issue.  It has the hallmarks: the tell-tale sudden onset of cramps so intense that I can’t breathe and break out in a sweat–don’t ask me if it’s a cold sweat, a hot sweat, or just a regular sweat–when in the throes of it, one doesn’t pay much attention to such things.  And then the panicked runs to the facilities.  I won’t say “toilet,” because I don’t have one.  I remember when I did.  It was convenient, and one didn’t have to worry about bears, etc.  Don’t laugh.  Up here on the Blue Ridge, we have all kinds of Things That Go Bump In The Night.

Yes, I’m getting more sure by the moment, that this must be lactose intolerance.  For one thing, the pig-enzyme deficiency deal does not come with cramps or desperate running to the–whatever.  It’s more of a leisurely thing: “Oh say, I think I have to shit again.  How many times does this make?  Ten?  Twelve?  Oh, shit–it doesn’t matter anyway.  Soon it will be over and I’ll just stay in bed for a couple of days drinking mineral water until I can walk without holding onto the walls.”

So far I have taken 6mg of Loperimide, fondly known (by me) as “Anti-shit.”  It’s a very important weapon in my arsenal.  I keep it on hand, in cupboard, in purse (all of them), backpack, everywhere–in case of dietary indiscretion and its consequences.  Even when I needed the enzyme (see, I’m being positive), sometimes I would miscalculate the dosage, and there you go.  Or there I go.

Oh please, all I want is for my body to digest things like normal.  Like I used to, some years back.  Or like most people do.

The comforting thing is that I will eventually shit all of this out, and although by that time I will be dehydrated (yes, I am drinking mineral water even as I type) and exhausted, and tomorrow morning I will be afraid to eat breakfast because I have to drive somewhere.

The good news?  Since I’ve been having this digestive vacation, my ass has got so big it has its own postal code.  So if I go back to being afraid to eat for fear of the consequences, maybe I’ll lose a few pounds.

Leave a comment


  1. I feel your pain unfortunately. In August I contracted the Alpha-Gal IgE allergy from the Lone Star tick. It’s very “new” and all the research being done is in Virginia at the university. It took forever for me to convince my doctor that I was allergic to meat. In fact, until I went to an allergist and had them test me for beef and pork, no one believed me, even though I was having horrible stomach pain, hives, swelling, and anaphylaxis after eating meat. It has progressed to the point that I can’t use lip balm with lanolin, eat anything with gelatin or “natural flavoring”, let alone any actual meat product. Fish and fowl for me, and I hate fish and chicken. So I basically eat nuts and berries and at 5’7″, 135, I’ve lost 15 pounds, down to 120. I used to love to eat — now I’m scared to. Now I’m having esophageal problems due to the allergic reactions…add that to my chronic pain, fibro, depression, anxiety, and ptsd, and I’m a fucking mess. But I DO have a bathroom indoors, lol! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) *hugs* hope you are feeling better soon.

    • I am SO sorry that this has happened to you! How absolutely awful, not to be able to eat even WITH enzymes. You’d probably be allergic to the enzymes, anyway. Allergic to meat–oh no! Will you go near tofu? How about the new pasta products that are made from things like mung beans, aduki beans etc.? Any possibility of getting desensitization treatments (allergy shots)? When I was a pediatrician I saw several children who were allergic to essentially everything–even nuts and berries. It was really hard to keep them alive. I dearly wish you a complete healing. Thanks for your well-wishes! And I am very glad for you that you have indoor plumbing, LOL!!! Ah well, next time I have it, I’ll appreciate it all the better!

      • I do eat a lot of beans. The doctors don’t really know too much about it yet for sure. Some say the allergy goes away or lessens in 6-7 years if you don’t get another tick bite (I have 3 right now) but my allergist says she has never had a patient who got better. I just have to be really careful. There are a lot of things I can eat, I just have to cook most of them from scratch, lol!

        • Umm, that’s a lot of tick bites! Do you have a way of preventing them, like maybe moving to some place they aren’t?

          • Lol. Not really. We put that gross stuff down in our yard to prevent them and of course treat our pets and use bug spray, but I live in the middle of the woods in Arkansas so…not much I can do except stay inside. It’s not really that bad. I would find it very interesting if it wasn’t happening to me!

            What you were talking about with the enzymes, I’ve never heard of that except for a friend whose daughter has cystic fibrosis and she has to take enzymes.

            My mom has a liver disease and ulcerative colitis and she gets in that donut hole. Her liver meds are outrageously expensive, and she’s supposed to take them 3 times a day. She cuts down to 1 or none a day during the donut hole and usually ends up in the hospital, but she just can’t afford them. This is a real problem, and it sucks that so many of you are dealing with it.

            • Right, they’re the same enzymes that people with CF take. Interestingly, I’ve had sweat chloride testing twice and both times it came out like one tick under the level that says yes, you definitely have CF. And I am a carrier of the main gene. So I guess this is probably related to that. I got hit with Cytomegalovirus back in 2009, and at the same time we were having a war and I could hear the “dump….dump” sound of the bombs and mortars from my bedroom in Jerusalem. I think my body had been compensating for the genetic thing pretty well, and then the combination of the viral infection plus the war (my mind was filled with terrible images, and I don’t even own a TV) tipped me over into decompensation. I also think the virus damaged my small intestine, so that means it’s possible to heal! Rebbe Nachman of Breslav says, “If you feel that it’s possible to destroy, then know that it’s possible to heal.” I try to live by that, but of course I fall down and have to be hauled back up many times a day.

              That is horrible about your mom. I feel so sorry for her, that because of this stupid, ignorant government policy she has to get so sick that she ends up in the hospital–now, the government doesn’t give a shit about people, just about money, so let’s do the math and we’ll discover that it costs a whole lot more to hospitalize someone than it does to pay for the meds that will prevent it. Government seems to me like a huge, stupid juggernaut that stumbles around blindly, causing destruction wherever it goes.

              • I’m sick right now or I’d reply more in depth – stupid, but I drank milk and now I feel like dying, lol. I love that last thought about the government — my sentiments exactly.

              • Uh-oh, indiscretionstrikes again…hope you get over your milk quickly and with a minimum of pain!

  2. Oh, man, I really feel for you. I’m on wicked expensive drugs too–one of mine costs around $1200 per dose (but you only use two doses per month, typically), and I’m about to ask my doctor to switch me to one that costs $20,000 per dose (but you only get it once every 4-8 weeks).

    And I can definitely sympathize with the GI issues, too. Not a lot of fun, is it? I spend way more time with my toilet than with my friends. When it’s really bad, I take my laptop in the bathroom so I can still get some work done.

    Here’s hoping your donut hole is small and your guts start behaving themselves soon.

    • Holy crap, Batman, I no longer have anything to complain about. I admit to having long telephone conversations while sitting on the john. A memorable one was when I lived in Israel and was talking to my dad in America, telling him how fine I was. The donut hole is about $6000. After that you go into what’s called “catastrophic coverage,” which actually pays for pretty much everything. But you gotta get there first. Do you have insurance that pays for your medications, infusion therapy, etc? Working in the bathroom. And not in Jacuzzi, either! That just sounds miserable. Sending you blessings for healing–I think I already told you about my acupuncture patients with UC who got SO much better? And it’s cheaper too 🙂

      • You’re still allowed to complain. Everyone is allowed to complain, especially on their own blogs.

        I assume the drugs I mentioned are wicked expensive because they’re both biologic immunomodulators. They’re cloned human antibodies or human/mouse chimeric antibodies. I don’t totally understand the science of it, but it sounds complicated. I imagine the research was incredibly expensive, and production is probably complicated and expensive too. Plus you have to keep it refrigerated constantly, which I imagine adds to the manufacturing cost.

        I’m really lucky as far as insurance goes–Massachusetts has great insurance programs for poor people. (Maybe for non-poor people, too, but I don’t have any experience with that.) My Medicare Part D pays for almost all of my meds; I have a copay of $1.10 for generics and $2.50 for name-brand. MassHealth (Medicaid) covers some of the drugs Medicare doesn’t. I had to get prior authorization for Humira (one of the really expensive ones), but they approved it within days. The only med I’ve had to fight to get covered was, for some reason, Zofran. First they totally rejected it, and that went on for about a month. Then they approved it, but only for 15 pills a month, when my doctor prescribed it every six hours. Obviously that math didn’t work. After another month of fighting, they finally approved a reasonable amount. I’m not sure if they’ll cover Remicade infusions without a fight. I’ve heard a lot of people have to fight their insurance to get it covered, but I haven’t been able to find anyone in Massachusetts with the same insurance setup to ask their experience.

        I really wish acupuncture were more affordable, but in my situation, it’s not. With my insurance, I have no copay for office visits to people they consider “real doctors,” but acupuncture isn’t covered at all. There used to be a sliding scale acupuncture clinic in my town, but it closed down about two months after I started going. I haven’t been able to find anyone else I can afford on my very limited budget.

        • Oh man, you are on the really “big guns!” Does it help? I’m so glad the state picks up most of it. If you’re in Boston, I know an AMAZING acupuncturist there, who combines craniosacral therapy with four-needle
          acupuncture. His
          name is Aaron
          Ashkenase. He was my
          own acupuncturist in
          Israel. Now he’s in
          Boston. He’s always
          been great about
          sliding scale fees. His
          fees tend to be very
          low comparatively
          anyway. Let me know
          if you’re interested
          and I’ll FB him and get his details.

          • Yeah, definitely the big guns. It’s hard to tell if/how well the Humira is working since I’m on on Entocort and 6-MP as well. The 6-MP is what’s helped the most, but it’s also the one that gives me the worst side effects–losing a lot of hair, severe nausea, puking. I also suspect it’s a major factor in my fatigue and possibly the orthostatic intolerance.

            But even this combo or meds isn’t doing the job as well as I want/need it to. I’m going to talk to my doc about switching to Remicade because it’s been a bit more effective than Humira in clinical trials. I’m hoping it’ll help enough that I can decrease the 6-MP and maybe even eliminate it altogether. My doc wants me to get off the Entocort first, which I get, but that’s not my priority since it’s not causing me any problems right now.

            Unfortunately, I’m pretty much on the other end of the state from Boston. It’s a three hour drive, and I don’t have a car. Western Mass has many great qualities, but access to medical care is not one of them.

            • Yow, you’re Little Orphan Drug Annie! Listen, I’ve been delving into the science of good ol’ cannabis, and the stuff is amazing. There is a specific action on the colon that has proven to be very beneficial for the spasms associated with UC, and it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory. In fact, my ex-husband, who is a top-of-the-pile University professor who did the research that resulted in Vioxx and Celebrex (which I grudgingly take, but only because it helps my arthritis immensely), has just signed on as a board member for a pharmaceutical-grade cannabis production and research outfit in Canada. Irony font: the guy has never used cannabis nor taken a puff off a cigarette of any kind in his life. He’s happy to use pharmaceuticals though, and this cannabis stuff has caught his attention. If it’s caught HIS attention, you know it’s gotta be real. Just wanted you to know. Love and Blessing to you!

              • Yeah, there just aren’t many drug options out there for UC. The FDA did just approve vedolizumab as a second-line drug for IBD just a couple weeks ago, but I imagine it’ll be a while before it’s widely available and covered by insurance. It’s exciting because it targets the gut and doesn’t suppress the entire immune system as much as the other biologics.

                I know there’s a lot of research showing cannabis can help IBD patients, and Massachusetts does allow medical marijuana. However, it’s expensive to jump through the hoops necessary to get it legally. It’s $200 to see the only doctor in my area who’s legally certified to prescribe medical marijuana, $50 for the card, and another $100 for a hardship cultivation license, which I’d need because there are no dispensaries in my area so far. I’m trying to save up money a little at a time, but most months it’s just not possible because disability doesn’t give me enough money to really get by. I’d be too scared to get it illegally–I’ve never actually smoked pot in my life. (I’m a unicorn!)

                • Ouch, that’s a lot of money out of a disability check! You’d have to take on some cash job on the side to afford it. What, I can’t imagine. It must be hard for you to leave the house, some days. BTW there are many ways of taking cannabis besides smoking, which is actually wasteful of the material and makes me cough terribly. There’s vaporizing, and making cannabutter to cook with (I make some killer chocolate truffles and chocolate lollipops! Almost said “lollipots,” LOL maybe that is their true name). You can make all sorts of edibles. Then there’s tinctures. I haven’t quite perfected the art of making a THC-potent tincture, but I think my tinctures are full of CBDs which are the pain and spasm relieving molecules in cannabis, and they don’t cause a “high.” For me that’s a real plus, since I have too much to do to sit around stoned; on the other hand, when my spine is acting up I’m completely unable to move, so it’s a trade-off. For those of you who are reading this and going into some kind of shock, I’d like to say that I’m not taking the stuff recreationally. I’m making use of thousands of years of traditional wisdom, which is now being backed up by good hard science. I love it when that happens! Thankfully my state is millimeters from becoming “legal,” so I hope I last that long so I don’t get busted and end up rotting in jail in agony because I can’t get my medicine. It works much better than the gabapentin the spine doctor prescribed, which knocks me off my pins and makes me feel like I’m moving through cold molasses until about 2 pm, at which time it makes my eyes close from sleepiness, except I can’t sleep. I don’t think it’s doing much to help the pain. The only thing that really works is to ingest one of my edibles. So it goes.

      • Good Grief! All this discussion about ‘donut holes’ etc, is totally incredible to us Brits, who still have a (more or less) functioning NHS, where everything is free, especially for the over 60s. In fact, my wife was scheduled to receive a course of Cetuximab (anti-EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal), but had a mutation in the KRAS genes, so was unsuitable. She would have received that on the NHS ie free of charge, despite the fact that a course costs 80, 000 dollars! And it’s not clear if it has any real therapeutic benefits. Downside is that it gives you bad acne on your face. She would have welcomed that, if it prolonged her life. In fact, she had friends queuing up to help squeeze out her zits (or plooks, as the Scots call them).

        People in Europe have never understood the attitude towards health care in the world’s richest country. It borders on the masochistic, if not frankly cuckoo.

        Mind you, our present government, having gone a long way in dismantling the welfare state, has got its eye on the NHS. Because IT COSTS TOO MUCH MONEY. Surprise surprise. And its budgetary needs grow inexorably year by year, like Topsy.

        BTW is it kosher to have human-mouse monoclonal antibody injected into you if you are Jewish? Only, kidding. I knew the immunologist who discovered the technology for making monoclonals, Cesar Milstein, who was at LMB in Cambridge. In fact, we collaborated for a while.

  3. The Grundlands

     /  June 5, 2014

    oh boy…me and the shitter have been well acquainted as well for the last two mornings…and let’s not even get into the size of MY ass…oy voy voy…but of course the emotional eater glutton in me still decided to eat THREE peanut butter, oatmeal, butterscotch, chocolate chip cookies for ‘breakfast’ with my coffee…but the cookies were made with spelt flour so isn’t that supposed to even it all out?!? refua shleima my friend. xoxo

    • Oh dear…sweetheart darlin’ baby child, I wish I could give you big squasher squeezer hugs and then stab you with needles twice or three times a week, and get your spleen back in its place instead of hanging out going “More cookies! Bourekas! How ’bout some kubeh? No, just felafel!” I am tentatively coming for the Chaggim or part of them, maybe Sukkot because last year I got so bummed out with the repetitive tochachah of RH and YK…I can’t fast, so YK seems like a joke, even though I’m told the opposite is true. I find I can’t get into the state that brings dveikut if I’m not fasting. I have to drink water because of the Lithium and other things, and I get hypoglycemic and fall down so my doctors have commanded me to eat–so no fasting. How did I get on all this? Oh, right. If I get to come I will of course bring needles. We can have a lightning bolt tune-up party during Chol ha’Moed Sukkot. Did you know my birthday is Yud Tet Tishrei, which is the middle day of Ch”M Sukkot? So I can’t stay here in Schmutz la’aretz for that (thank you Judy for the play of words). I can manager RH and YK by myself, but my birthday….that’s another thing!

  4. Wish all Patients could read your blogs Laura. Very serious and expensive conditions presented with full of humour. I’ve found myself recommending your blogs to some of my Patients with similar conditions. I surely never miss them. Keep them coming please.
    Mustapha Tahir

  5. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  June 5, 2014

    I’m cruising down the Hershey Highway right there next to you! 💩 IBS and anxiety don’t allow for much digestion and no physical evidence of disease makes for difficulty proving to Dr’s you’re ill. Got a good one now who believes. Illinois did just approve medwauna (as I call it), however I’ll admit to self medication. I have gotten better avoiding chemicals and processed foods, but anxiety can make any food item a bomb.
    If you’re still having problems finishing that cheesecake. .. I’ll take it off your hands. .. Ha!

    • Well, just cruise on over. My son and his GF were supposed to be here this weekend, and I was planning to feed it to them, so I have LOTS of the white delicious substance on hand. Happy for any help digesting it LOL! Sorry that you’ve got the awful combo bomb…yay for legalization of our medicine, state by state, yay for our constitutional freedoms! Glad you’ve got a good Dr., hope s/he gets a license to prescribe…or heck, you’re a gardener extraordinaire…!

      • Oh I forgot to say that they’re not coming, and THAT’s why I have lots up for grabs. Of cheesecake, I mean 😉

      • Midwestern Plant Girl

         /  June 6, 2014

        Thankfully, cheese doesn’t cause me issues. Believe me, I’ve thought about the cultivating aspect. =-) It’ll be a few more years before it is easy enough to grow w/o the bureaucracy.

        • Heck, all it takes is a few good feminized seeds (Indica if you want the smooth muscle relaxation effect, the closer to Afghan Kush the better), a well-ventilated yet closed-off space, some cultivation know-how, and off you go…about ten weeks later, your own private supply of medawana! Nice not to depend on dodgy weed that has been treated with who-knows-what chemicals. I don’t believe anybody who says their for-sale meds are organic. Pyrethrins are accepted as organic, because they come from toxic plants. It’s neem or nothing in my book. I guess I’ve outed myself here, and I seriously hope no one will bust me. Even if people don’t believe in legalizing the medicine, they need to consider that for people like me, it’s the only thing that takes away the agonizing pain of pinched spinal nerves; and what would they have me take, opioids that are dangerous and addictive??? And they don’t work anyway. No one has ever died from marijuana, and it has never been shown to be addictive. So for people whose nervous systems are fully developed–that means people over 18 years old–what’s the problem? That’s why states are one by one legalizing the medical use of the beautiful plant.

  6. savemefrombpd

     /  June 6, 2014

    Crazy stuff right there. As shocked as ever regarding the cost of medications in the States.
    Then your own physical well-being, I’m so sorry – It sounds highly unpleasant in the least – I can only imagine how horrible it is.

    Wishing you well and I darn hope you enjoyed that cheesecake!! Belated CS.


    • Thank you, dear, for all your well-wishes. Yes, I enjoyed it thoroughly, but not enough to justify the pay-back. Next time (tonight, as a matter of fact) I will be attacking it again, but this time with lots and lots of lactase enzyme, so I’m hoping I will have a Shabbat Shalom, as I did not have a CS at all 😉 but hopefully will have a peaceful Shabbat, as I hope you do too. Love and blessing to you, and SS!

  7. Laura never knew that there were so many health issues you were battling. I hope you are better now.

    • Thanks, Ashu. I’m trying to avoid battle and find gentle solutions to my challenges. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes not. I used to try to battle them, and that just made things worse since whatever power sent them is stronger than I am, and I just got sicker.

  8. Laura – I am (as my blog attests) a complete novice in the blogosphere. Treading very cautiously, where angels fear to tread, so to speak. Meaning I have a morbid, irrational fear of Trolls, espcially genuine Norwegian ones. I therefore came across your blog via mine, as it were. I find it quite brilliant and very funny. It is quite apposite to me, because I underwent a ‘bipolar period’ some 7 years ago. Which almost led to my suicide, and certainly caused the breakup of my marriage. The latter was mended, and I ‘recovered’. However, I have a sneaky feeling that this illness is a bit like alcoholism (with which I am all too familiar). In other words, you may be recovering, but you are never curred. I fear that I may (as a direct result of my wife’s death, be slipping into another manic phase. Hence the blog writing at 3am. I’m not yet sure whether this is A Bad Thing, or A Good Thing. We shall see.
    Best, G.

    • Oh Gerry, I am so sorry to hear of your wife’s death. And yes, I get the feeling that your thoughts might not be so organized…I hope that you have a good support system and good doctors, should this mean that you are slipping into mania-land…and I certainly hope that I have not done anything troll-ish on your blog! Sending healing thoughts in your direction….Laura

  9. Oh sweetie. . .

    (Sorry, right now that’s all I got. You know what I mean. )

  10. My goodness. Is it bad that I am laughing hysterically instead of being all worried about you? Well, it is your own fault for writing all kinds of funny shit (no pun intended).

    Um….. er…. I hope you feel a lot better by now. I really do. But I am not gonna deny that I am still laughing…

    • I’m so happy that I tweaked your funny bone! What else can we do when the shit hits the fan???

      • hahahaha

        I am stumped. Dunno any other shit puns…

        • If you need shit puns, I can help with that. It’s my coping mechanism.

          But nobody can tell me I’m full of shit anymore. It won’t stay in my system.


          • Ha! I do need shit puns. Lob ’em at us!

            • Most of mine are pretty dumb–you know, “I feel like shit,” “My body needs to cut this shit out,” and so forth.

              But my personal favorite was one day when I was taking a stool sample to the lab, and a friend and I heard a story on NPR about George Bush having some fairly routine cardiac procedure. We started talking about how weird it would be to have national press reporting on your health, and my friend joked about how the paparazzi would be taking photos of me with a bag of crap in my hand.

              I said, “Then we’d have to call them the pooparazzi!”

              I still giggle at that one. Apparently I’m an 8-year-old boy.

    • Oh, and I do feel better, thank you. I even tried the cheesecake again ( brave mortal that I am), a much smaller piece, and this time with lactase enzyme. Suggested just fine, thank you.

      • Oh good. Now I don’t feel that bad for laughing. By the way, how does it work with the pig enzymes? Do you get a special dispensation or something?

        Also, the good thing about being a Jew is that one can be a good Jew even if one doesn’t believe in god anymore. As long as one follows the law

        • So about the pig enzyme…the Chief Rabbi of England poskined (declared into law) that since one is taking the pig enzyme as medicine and not for enjoyment, it’s a medicine and not a prohibited substance. Likewise with other porcine-derived substances like heart valves replacements and porcine surfactant that is injected into the lungs of premature babies so that their lungs can work right and they can live. Interestingly, the pig is biologically the most similar to humans, among all the living creatures, and often works better as medicine than the corresponding human part, because it often does not cause an immune reaction! Maybe that is one reason why we are not allowed to ear it–too close to cannibalism. Go figure.

          In any case, even without the English Chief Rabbi’s declaration, the pig enzyme would be kosher because it is used as medicine and not for enjoyment as food.

          Another example is that if one were sick and the only food that would heal them was pork, then it is permitted to eat pork; similarly, if one were in a situation were pork was the only food available and a Jewish person would starve or become mortally ill if they didn’t eat, they are permitted to eat pork.

          As far as being a Jew, we are born that way, so we have no choice. As far as being a “good Jew,” you are right in saying that as long as we keep the mitzvot we are being good Jews. There are examples in the Talmud of great and holy teachers (Acher is one–he is called Acher because that means “other” or “outside the group” who lost his faith in the Master of the Universe and started doing things on purpose that were against halacha (Jewish law) such as riding his horse on the Sabbath, but he was so holy that one of the other students of Rabbi Akiva, I can’t remember if it was Rabbi Yehuda or Rabbi Chanina etc., ran along side him as he rode, and they discoursed regarding aspects of the Torah).

          So as far as being a good Jew–Rabbi Akiva said that the core of Judaism is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is often attributed to Jesus, but since he was a student of Rabbi Hillel who was Rabbi Akiva’s teacher, that is actually a Jewish saying. So if you go by Rabbi Hillel/Rabbi Akiva/Jesus’s words, you are being a good Jew. Fair enough?


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