Monday, May 23, 2011

Why MSG makes me angry

Let me preface this post by first saying that it is rare that I use this blog to rant.  That said, a dose of the day to day never hurt anybody.  Maybe it's the mosquitoes or the monsoon rains we've been having, but I'm feeling feisty.  Isaac has been in his usual picky eating mode today.  When he asked for a bed time snack tonight I saw it as a chance to get some more protein into him.  I asked if he wanted some of the turkey kielbasa that was leftover from Andrew and I's dinner.  Yes, he did.  I heated it up and cut it into little pieces and he liked it immediately.  "Win!"  I thought to myself.  Then the panic set in.  Wait- did I read the label on that sausage before I gave it to him?  I rushed to pull out the package from the garbage and scanned the ingredients.  Monosodium glutamate stared me in the face.  I grabbed the meat back from Isaac saying "Sorry, mommy was wrong. This will make you sick."  He pouted a little, but looked like he understood.  MSG: is it gluten or isn't it?  The internet is no help with it's conflicting opinions.  I found this article and have decided that I'm glad he only got away with eating two pieces of the meat before I took it away. 

Let's hope he sleeps well tonight and has good behavior tomorrow.  That's all I can say.  No, wait.  That's not all I can say.  I can also say that sometimes it gets annoying that I have to dig things out of the trash to read labels, and that Isaac's college fund is being trumped by gfcf food prices.  I can say that I hate that my child's ability to function is dependent upon my ability to read food labels, and that I hate feeling like the mean mom when I have to take food away from him.  I can say that sometimes it's annoying that nothing is really simple for us, and that it's hard to explain to people who don't get it.  This does not exclude doctors.  I had a physical today.  I think it was just an excuse for my family practitioner to get a second look at my mystery bug bites and be able to bill my insurance company at the same time.  We were going over my medical history and what surgeries I've had.  The tubal ligation came up and she asked in a mock-sensitive way if I just didn't want anymore kids.  She even tilted her head to the side and softened her voice like she knew she was treading somewhere kind of muddy with a woman who may or may not be a little hormonal.  "You were so young when you got it done" she said.  "Yeah, I was really sick when I was pregnant with Isaac and we thought we'd adopt after him.  And we tried fostering and Isaac has PDD-NOS.  And..." 

I wanted to ask if she had a couch and a degree in counseling, because that is what it's going to take to excavate this topic with me.  The short answer is that, of course, we'd love to have another kid.  We'd love to be able to not worry about being terminally ill again with another pregnancy.  We'd love to not have to wonder how we'd manage (financially and otherwise) with another kid on the spectrum, if that's what happened.  We'd love to say that it wouldn't bother us if that kid was completely normal and Isaac wasn't.  Just like we'd love to say that the topic of this article wasn't very real and present in our thoughts and conversations these days.  We'd love to say that we don't sometimes feel cheated out of what is such a simple question for other people, but sometimes we do.  And that, my friends, is why finding MSG on a food label makes me angry. 

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