In my research for improving my gut health after H-pylori treatment with antibiotics in 2018, I learned that as a C-section baby, I had a weaker immune system in the gut. Most C-section kids catch up on vaginal-birth kids in gut bacteria by age seven, but I had an ear infection at age three, pneumonia at age four, so my gut must have been damaged by anti-biotics before I entered elementary school.
I believe I was about five years old when I got sick in a restaurant. We hadn’t even ordered food yet. The memory of pain and shame was such that I became afraid of eating outside my home. I’d watch people eat, and my stomach was gurgling, but I refused to eat lest I got sick again.
Elementary school provided lunch. Miss Kuwama, still remembering the post-war scarcity, told children to finish the food they were served, and if they did not finish them, she would either make them stay till they did, or shame them for taking the abundance for granted.
I wanted to tell her it wasn’t that I was unappreciative, but it was just that I couldn’t eat the amount they gave me. If I forced myself to eat, I would throw up, and that’d be painful to my body, so I’d rather have a hunger pain.