After three weeks of twelve-hour days at the Klinik, mommy and I decided it was high time for a change in scenery! I stuck on a Nicotine patch and we headed for Zurich. Dr. Rupp explained to me that because of mutations in my N-acetyltransferase (NAT) 1 and 2 genes my body falters in the enzymatic activity involved in transferring the acetyl groups from acetyl-CoA to arylamines. Acetyl-CoA is referred to as the “Hub of Metabolism”. Its main function is to convey the carbon atoms within the acetyl group to the citric acid cycle (also known at the Krebs cycle) to be oxidized for energy production. Without this function the biogenic synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is severely impaired. A nicotinic agonist is a drug that mimics the action of acetylcholine at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Therefore, scientific explanation aside…my body, constantly deficient in acetylcholine utilization, craves nicotine as an assistant to produce energy. In the words of Dr. Rupp, my neural networks have reconfigured themselves in a way that Morphine has little to no effect on my chronic pain, but instead Nicotine does the trick. He warned me against the illusion that Nicotine will sustain my body long-term and emphasized the notion that it is only a quick-fix. However, for this weekend, I threw caution to the wind and strutted around the beautiful streets of Zurich with a patch on my hip.
I am thankful beyond belief for, at least a momentary, break from the never-ending pain and overbearing cloud of fatigue. Even more so, though, my tummy is grateful for the delicious dinner we treated ourselves to tonight at the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. Hiltil has been in existence for 115 years, now run by the family’s fourth generation. It includes three floors of expansive kitchens and buzzes with electric-like vibrancy. The best part of the evening was the vegan Panna Cotta and big carmel “sundae” that mommy and I split.
Anyone who has dined with me in the past fews years knows it is rarely easy to find something on a menu that I am able to eat. As is the case with many autoimmune conditions, my body has developed pretty extensive food allergies that severely limit what I am able to digest. For this reason, I’ve been forced to adapt to an entirely vegan, gluten free, soy free diet. Hiltil was one of the only places we’ve found that could accommodate these restrictions and could do so without compromising gratifying taste. I would go as far as to say, they indulged me! I imagine this will be one of the only things I will miss upon our return home next week.