Jessica called me tonight as Kris and I were heading out to dinner. Doyle had called earlier (well, texted) with an invite for dinner and Dave & Busters, and we were heading out to join the group for dinner. Given that I had declined about six other invites from Doyle, and figured he'd stop inviting us out if we didn't actually accept one or two, I insisted Kris head out with me for at least dinner. He was too interested in WoW for us to actually spend an evening away from the computers, so dinner was it.
Jessica had had an okay day, and seemed to be checking in, see how things were going. For a moment, I thought there wasn't much particular point to the conversation other than checking in. Then, she busted out with, "I have to tell you, you're a freakin' genius."
I paused and smiled, wondering what I had done this time. "Uh, thanks?" was all I could manage, slightly confused when I couldn't figure out what I had brilliant accomplished.
"You don't seem too surprised."
"Yeah, well, I'm wondering the source of my brilliance."
Turns out, it started when I was back in Indiana.
I had declined many of the items Jessica had offered me to eat or drink. I drank mostly water, declining the diet and regular sodas. I declined the Crystal Light, too. Except the water, the drinks offered had aspartame in them, and, as we all know, aspartame triggers my migraines. So, I declined.
The gum she was offering also had aspartame in it, so I declined it, too. Jessica asked why, why would I decline the gum she was offering. I took the package, flipped it over and showed her the Phenylketonurics Contains Phenylalanine message. "See that? Contains aspartame. It's one of my biggest migraine triggers."
Now, Jess has had essentially a six month long migraine. She copes WAAAAAAAY better than I would if I was going through a six month long migraine. I'm fairly certain she doesn't have the extra special aura bonus I do, but her headache is essentially one kabillion times longer than my headaches are, so she wins in the sucky-suck competition.
I hadn't explained why until she offered me the gum when she visited last week. When I explained, a little light went off. She's had this six month migraine, right? So, that adds stress. When she's stressed, she pulls out the gum and chews away. You see what's going on here, right?
When I explained why I didn't chew gum, at least none that have aspartame in them, she threw her hands up exasperatedly. Might that be her problem, too? One way to find out: she stopped chewing gum, and threw out all that had aspartame in it.
Five days later into the experiment, and she's migraine free. Five days gum free and five days headache free. It's like the clouds parted, the sun came out, the choirs started singing, and all was glorious again. Her life is just that much better.
And I am a genius.
A freakin' genius.