Reima was my mother. I am literally her pale shadow. One of the things I am deeply grateful for is that my mother passed away before she could see me like this. Two of my mother’s best friends at different times had MS and they both died. In fact, one of my earliest memories is walking with my mother and her friend and a stroller. I don’t think it was for me and there were two little brothers. I am not sure which one it might have been for. I was very, very little. Her friend had an attack and Reima had her walk with the stroller. Looking back on it, it must have been terrifying for all of them. They were young, alone with anywhere from 2 -4 little kids. She got worse and died before I was 10. We moved and there was a friend on our block. She became wheelchair bound quickly. She, too, died from this. So, when they told me that this wouldn’t kill me, I wasn’t buying any part of it.
More about Reima – she had a very high tolerance for pain. She thought childbirth was vastly overrated. She used to get her teeth drilled without anything. She maintained the same weight for just about her whole life – 7 pounds more than before she became pregnant with me. She made sure that she weighed the same every year when she went to the doctor. When she decided to quit smoking, she just stopped and yes, she didn’t gain an ounce! When she made up her mind to do something, she just did it. She came to this country essentially by herself because she wanted to.
So if my mother Reima was confronted with this and knew that it could be addressed with not having certain foods, it would have been done immediately, no question, no hesitation. And then there’s me. I want to, I need to and I am not. Well, I gave up gluten. I no longer have yogurt. Practically no eggs. Almost no red meat, never really been my thing. But no beans, no soy, no apples, no bananas (depending on who you read) no eggplant, tomato, maybe corn, no shellfish. I like fish and chicken. I like grilled things. Reima didn’t believe in deep frying. She was way in advance of her time in terms of food.
So, I need to think what would Reima do and do it.