I Made A Friend

Over 12 years ago I developed horrible stomach issues. I visited the doctor and had several endoscopy tests. I had so many of these tests that I actually looked forward to them, because I can’t express to you how much I LOVE the medication that is used for sedation. The medication used is Midozolam, it’s also called Versed.   This drug induces drowsiness, relieves anxiety and prevents one from remembering the events. How I love thee.

Every time I have a unfortunate lifetime event, I think about how if I were psychic and if I had endless access to this medication, well, life would be WONDERFUL. Every time I woke up after one of these procedures I felt as if my mind just had a vacation. I would leave from this outpatient incident feeling like a woke up from a month long vacation where I was not required to use my brain once. The reality was that I just didn’t remember any brain use. I find this equally blissful.

However,  once my mind recovered from its vacation after the procedure, my stomach would return quickly to its crappy state, and the test never told me what was the matter.  I tried eliminations diets, not allowing myself to eat or drink anything that made life worth living. Nothing really worked, and the only thing I regretted was the food, wine, and coffee that I restricted for as long as I did. I drank straight aloe vera juice, popped expensive probiotic pills like Tic Tac mints . Still nothing seemed to stop my stomach from churning in its sick like way. Imagine having a nauseous, upset stomach from sun up to sun down regardless of what was eaten. Even plain water upset my stomach.

I am not sure if I searched the internet or if a friend told me to try kombucha. For those who may not know what kombucha is, it is a drink made by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. I started by buying a few bottles from my local grocery store. It became evident that after a few weeks that my stomach was acting less bitchy, so I bought more. However, at almost 4 dollars a bottle I thought deeply about making it by myself, and a friend eventually gifted me with a starter kit to make my own.

The kit is simple. It comes with a big glass jar, sugar, tea, and a SCOBY. A SCOBY stands for: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This is the one of the most necessary ingredients for making kombucha, aside from the glass, tea and sugar. The SCOBY comes in a small shape that looks like a round, tan frisbee. When all of these ingredients are put together, after a few easy steps, the fun starts.

I have been brewing kombucha for 10 months. The small SCOBY has grown, big. Actually, it’s massively terrifying.  I have two batches of kombucha brewing at the same time. I used the original SCOBY to make a brother or sister to keep the other one company.  They both sit in my living room, because it tends to be the warmest place in my home, next to my fireplace. Their placement also ensures that my guests don’t stay too long.

These fermenting vats look like a holding tank for the blob. If you ever saw the movie, you know what I am referring to. The movie frightened me as a child. The remarkable difference between the blob and the SCOBY is that the SCOBY looks more like flesh. Every week, I need to remove it from its home in order to harvest its hard work. I can’t help but get full body chills when I have to touch it. It seems to want to hold my hand when I grab it out of the jar.  I pretend not to mind. I don’t want to make it feel bad.  I’m sure it has grown some feelings over the last 10 months.

I also think it might have grown some sort of brain over the past several months, because it seems confident. I often tell Ella to seek math advice from SCOBY when she has homework.  At the least, I think SCOBY likes the conversation and simple math seems to be something that it might be able to manage.  SCOBY seems engaged during the conversations I tend to have with it. I wholeheartedly believe that it listens to everything that is said, kind of like Alexa or the Echo devices that people have in their homes. I can only assume at some point SCOBY will begin to answer my questions about what the daily weather forecast will be or maybe play my favorite song.  I have high hopes.

I believe that SCOBY will be my best companion as long as the temperature remains between 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer will be tough, I hope that our bond is strong enough to get through it without air conditioning as Portland summers keeps getting hotter and hotter. Once it grows arms, I have all these knitting patterns that we can try and I have an endless amount of weeds that it can assist me removing.  Now that my gut is cooperating, the options will be endless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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