Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Man cannot live by milk alone... but woman can

I had a patient complain of constant bloating after eating. So I encouraged her to eat small meals all throughout the day and get lots of good, green veggies daily. She smiled. But then she said she drinks milk.

I said great. Milk is good for you. But make sure you get a nice varied diet – like pumkin leaves and kale. She smiled and repeated, “But I drink milk.” Okay, so you drink milk. Try to drink as much water as possible each day as it prevents UTIs and ... yada yada yada.

Again, smiling wide as her cheeks would permit, she repeated, “But I drink milk”.

It’s at this point that my translater finally tells me that she only drinks milk and milk is her only food.

Huh?

I asked her to explain. She said that she lives on the cattle camp. Their only food and water is milk – morning, noon and night.

Really? I had heard of this but she was my first patient that subsisted on milk. So I took the opportunity to ask all my silly questions.

Me: How much milk do you drink a day?
Her: Oh a small bucket (roughly a gallon or two)
Me: Do you like eating only milk?
Her: (giggles) Oh yes!
Me: Do you add sugar or salt or seasoning of any kind to the milk?
Her: No. Just the milk. (Big grin that the Kowaja would want to season milk! Ha!)
Me: How long have you had just milk?
Her: Oh... since April.
Me: April!? That’s... wait, let me count... one, two, three... four .... FIVE months! You’ve had nothing but milk to eat for five months?
Her: (laughing pretty hard by now) Yep.

This is not something that my midwiferying training prepared me for. I might have to look into my nutrition books to find out what supplements to give her. She looked healthy enough... but is she getting the trace minerals she needs?

I don’t know. Any nutritionists out there that want to chime in? :- ) I’m totally open to suggestions.