Well, it has been a while since I have talked about my allergies and my diet. I’ve been having a lot of sporadic minor reactions, as I have been trying out a few of the foods I am intolerant to to see if my body has adjusted toward I can eat them. I can eat soy again in limited quantities, but I discovered that sunflower butter is totally out of the question. Once again, as soon as I tried it I bloated up, my asthma increased, and I had the stomach ache from hell for two or three days.
The last time I had a major reaction was some weeks ago — about two or three months. And I wasn’t sure what caused it although I suspected strawberries might be a factor, but I had eaten them with something else so wasn’t sure which item it was. This happened a couple times.
Now, my mother was anaphylactic to strawberries, and my sister is anaphylactic to strawberries so I have been very cautious with them because I have suspected a reaction for some time. I didn’t test reactive to them a few years back, that’s no guarantee given my body and my history. So, last night I decided to give them a trial run.
I hadn’t eaten anything for a while, and hadn’t eaten anything during the day that would cause a reaction. I felt fine during the day. I bought organic strawberries and washed them very carefully. I ate some. Immediately my mouth started feeling weird, my lips started tingling, and my body started itching even though I didn’t see a rash. I decided to see how it would go, and about twenty minutes later—by the time my workout partner got there—I was starting to get that spaced out feeling that leads into a panic attack that I get with certain reactions.
Jo took one look at me and said “Take your Benadryl now.”
As I stood up I realized I should have probably taken it right when the itching for started. I was dizzy and lightheaded. So I took a good dose of Benadryl and Jo brought me some lotion from my bedroom, which I started using to soothe my skin, instead of scratching. Luckily, the Benadryl calmed the panic attack, although I was still spaced as hell. Obviously, I did not work out.
Slept heavily and when I woke up this morning, everything felt a little bit off kilter and has all day long, but that’s common after a reaction. The itching has subsided for the most part although I have blisters inside my lip, which aren’t any fun. And I am bloated as hell — another delightful reaction I get from allergy and intolerance issues.
Oddly enough the night before I ate the strawberries I had an allergy-anxiety dream. The dream was a direct warning to trust my instincts and not to mess around when I noticed something going on.
Which brings me to my point of: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO. But I’m going to really work on it. It being: When I have a reaction, I need to immediately deal with it.
I will not as sit around waiting to see how it goes. I’ve been fighting this tendency since childhood. Most of you know I had a rough childhood, and I was allergic to a number of things and foods from birth. My stepfather believed it was all in my head, even though we had the results on paper, and he would make me eat the things I was allergic to. Yes, he was that cruel and stubborn. But the result of growing up with that is this: Sometimes I don’t even trust myself when I’m having a reaction. I will wonder if I am exaggerating, when I clearly am not. That’s why I waited so long in 2012 to get to the doctor and was so messed up from that. (Reminding you of what I looked like at that point here.)
So one of my goals is to TRUST MYSELF AND MY INSTINCTS.
And right now that means that I am going back to a very basic allergy diet for six weeks, one that my doctor has me follow every time I have a major reaction in order to clear out my system.
This is a never ending labyrinth it feels like, every time I turn around something triggers me off. But I try to remember there are a lot of people who have allergies a lot worse than I do. And I have an EpiPen in my purse and one by my bed, and I have plenty of Benadryl and it’s okay to use it when I need it. So for the next six weeks I will be eating very low impact foods for my body — mostly meats and poultry, a few vegetables that are low reaction for me, a few fruits, limited rice and rice products, a little maple syrup for flavoring or sweetening. At least I still get to have my caffeine, with unsweetened rice milk.
And a note: I appreciate all of your ideas, but please—my doctor and I have been working on this issue for years, and as we find our way through the labyrinth that is my very odd body, I’m not asking for or entertaining suggestions for trying new products or this or that…seriously—one size does not fit all.
So today has been very unproductive in many ways, but it always is when I am recovering from a major reaction. Benadryl hangovers leave me feeling off kilter, but thank gods I can take that medication — there are so many I can’t. Right now I’m just grateful for that.