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It could be said both food and joy are essential to life.  We need food to live and we feel most alive when we are full of joy.  No one can eat for us, just as no one can express joy for us, and happiness abounds when the two spring from love and gratefulness.  When something is wrong with our food, or when something interferes with our joy, our bodies suffer.  Ailments occur and offer clues, or so I have always believed.

Citric Acid is added to these foods....

Citric Acid is added to these foods….

For the past two years I have puzzled symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, so weepy I had cuts and felt like an apricot poodle with permanent eye stains.  At times my eyes burned in a fever.  My friends would plead as they winced at my eyes, “This has gone on too long.  Get to the bottom of it.”  The allergist was stumped, except for telling me to avoid mold and cats.  The dermatologist prescribed cream for the symptoms.  The source remained a mystery.  Then, the answer came on the happiest of days when joy and food crossed paths.  While my sister, Susan, pulled off a baby shower at my house, for KT, my daughter, I drank soda, which I rarely do, and dipped repeatedly into Rotel.  The skin around my eyes grew redder and redder.  The next morning I woke as Will Smith in Hitch with eyes and lips so swollen I could barely talk.  Same as in Memory Lake, Susan and KT took charge.  They quizzed me on all I had eaten.  They rummaged through the recycle bin, reading cans with a magnifying glass.  I searched the internet.  They found citric acid as the common additive.  I found mold as its source and a name for the swollen face, Angioedema.  Turns out, citric acid, is not the kind occurring naturally in fruit.  It is derived from black mold, in a lab, and is added to nearly everything from soda pop to tomato sauce.  Finally, an answer!  Within a week of avoiding citric acid, which remains a real challenge, my eyes returned to normal.  I am careful about everything that goes into my mouth so they stay that way.  I’m grateful for my body telling me, over and over, and for the joyful occasion that brought it all together.  I’m happiest of all for the easy fix, and will gladly live without Rotel, though I will miss Ranch dressing.

The only additives I want in my life are the ones I’m putting in my ears to mask the sound of waterfalls!

The right one receives sound and it sends it to the left via Blue Tooth!

The right one receives sound and it sends it to the left via Blue Tooth!

My old hearing aid buzzed when I wore a hat, augmented clinking silverware over conversation, and hurt after a few hours.  These new Phonak are so light, I accidentally showered in them!  The Blue tooth technology has brought me surround sound which I have not heard for 15 years.

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