I used to be a reader. I read all the time. Then, life got busy. Then, life got busier. Then, television got more convenient as a way to wind down. And my books got dusty.

Part of the issue of my non-readership was not being able to figure out what to read. As a kid, I would get really involved in different reading topics or different authors. I would inhale every book written on my subject of choice, and then eventually move on.

As an adult, I've encountered some books that aren't well written or worth my time. I believe that we have to be careful what we put into our minds as far as visual media, because it can inhabit our minds for possibly forever. But with books, it might possibly be even more imporantat because the memories and experiences created somehow form a serious bond in our brains.

A book conjures up worlds that not even media can produce. How many times have you heard someone say, "The movie did not give the book justice. The characters weren't the same. So many parts were left out." It's because a book involves imagination and so many other parts of the brain. Reading can be a serious business.

Hence, I don't like to read garbage. I don't want to read a book that is going to put images in my mind I can't erase. I read a book for a book club once that seemed innocent enough, but one of the scenes is forever stuck in my mind. I didn't even see the movie even though it had one of my favorite actresses. I really did not want to relive that moment in any form ever again.

After all of this pontificating about reading, my original topic was to announce that I've been reading a new book via Amazon Prime on my Kindle. It's officially grabbed my attention where I will sacrifice sleep to capture one more chapter.

I hope I keep up this habit. Reading is good for the soul (except in the incidences I mentioned above). I have done some unofficial studies based off of my high school friend's ACT scores that it makes you smarter, too. My friend, Emily, was an avid reader and blew the rest of us away in the ACT and even achieved academic greatness on the LSAT. So there's my proof. Reading makes you smart.

I'm hoping writing has the same effect as well, so that's what I'm blogging a bit more again.

For about 22 years, I have been dealing with issues swallowing my food. I clearly remember the first day it started. I had ordered a special croissant sandwich from a nearby restaurant and was going to attempt to eat it during my senior year lunch period. I took a huge bite of the sandwich, and as I gulped it down, something went wrong. The bite didn't go down, but got hung. And it was very painful. After that time, I had periodic experiences of the same thing. I figured, it was just something odd about me.

Many years passed. For friends that knew me well, I would give them a heads up at restaurants that if I abruptly disappeared during a meal, I was okay. I just had to relax and get my food to go down, then I could enjoy the meal.  It was embarrassing. No one likes to disappear into a bathroom for long periods of time.

As Paul and I dated, he decided I needed to go to the doctor. I did not want to go. I went once before, and the solution was to stretch out my esophagus. The procedure was expensive (even with insurance), so I had cancelled the day before the appointment. I heard from some a physician I worked with at the time, that he had the same thing, and it would come back.

After Paul's prompting, I finally went to the doctor and tried to explain what happened to me. During this time, my sister also attended a conference about EOE. So, I had a scope put down my esophagus and a biopsy done, and ta-da! A diagnosis! I had EOE (my sister said she knew it already--sister's always know everything).

It was nice to know I just wasn't crazy. The real name of EOE is a really long name, eosinophilic esophagitis. It's kind of like too many white blood cells that gather after being triggered by allergies--most of the time to food. The problem is figuring out which one.

Because I have had years of data experience, one day I was finally able to deduce that I have issues with soy and possibly other legumes. I put this all together because every time I had a Starbucks soy latte, I had horrible heartburn and couldn't eat the rest of the day. And each time I had tuna fish, I would always get the first bite stuck. Also, when I had sushi the same things would happen (I thought it was because the rolls were too big).

I did some research and exploration and discovered that tuna fish is packed with soy! It's not my favorite food, so I didn't encounter it that often, but each time I did, I would have an issue.

Since the discover I have had some sushi (I love sushi). But I ate it sans soy sauce. And nothing got stuck!

I had an issue swallowing a different brand of fish oil the other day, so I looked at the label: soy.

It feels freeing knowing that I can eat without fear. I tended to avoided some things anyway, but now I know that it's not the texture or the too big of bite, it's EOE.