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Friday, September 12, 2014

nutrition is taken for granted

This post is a desperate attempt to rip myself away from twitter on my phone. I've been up since 2 a.m., thank you solumedrol, and now I need to pull all my focus into getting out my door in a couple hours for an appointment with a nutritionist, which cracks me up. Gonna be fun meal planning around nut/peanut (includes mangos bcuz in the pistachio family), all citrus (pervades all things that taste good, avoid 'natural flavors' that spike flavor in prepackaged foods including salad dressings, sauces, and condiments), the bananas-avocado-potatoes trio because of latex, and now wheat. Which I'm really not supposed to be eating anyway because I'm controlling my diabetes without meds, and wheat in everything spikes glucose as badly as sugar does. I'm looking forward to a very interesting meetup, and it had better be for $84, because insurance isn't paying for this one. I figure I need the moral support right now, though.


Since my parents didn't believe in doctors and I was so terribly aspie (failing to communicate well) through most of my adulthood, it took a really long time for me and my medical team to figure out I'd been living with food reaction induced asthma for several years. I lived on cough drops for a decade before I got an inhaler, and then lived on advair for 9 months before it dawned on anyone I might be having deeper issues. When I finally found out I'm diabetic and changed my diet, a lot of that went away because I was severely curbing the carbs, and I discovered a carb rich diet was also causing other problems like IBS and bad headaches. Lost 50 pounds and started feeling a whole lot better.

Then the airway problems ramped up. Cashews were first, and it was nasty. I'd been eating cashews for years, so that was a big surprise. I was already suspicious of peanuts and had stopped eating anything with peanut butter because I was tired of the itching, but that blew up along with the cashews, and now I can't even touch something else that has touched something with peanut in it without itching and actual swelling. I purged my house. Then came the lemon. I'd already cut out orange juice for severe heartburn and limeades because my mouth went numby and tickly, but I love everything lemon. When that finally scared me with airway, I was almost devastated to give up lemon juice sqeezed on crabcakes and the rare piece of lemon pie, my fave dessert in the whole world. It's terribly difficult to purge citrus. Lemon isn't legally bound to be listed as an allergen and can get away hiding in ingredient lists in the form of 'natural flavor' in everything from salad dressings to condiments and sauces. I started making my own salad dressing. I was thrilled to find Annie's condiments and dressings, I can finally eat ketchup again without a reaction. Click this pic to go the to Annie's site. It's my way of saying thank you to them for helping me enjoy eating with all this going on.



So. Now it's wheat. This is my second round of steroids in 2 weeks and I got the rash this time along with the itchy tongue and croup. My allergist told me last year to take 2 zyrtecs twice a day and eat anything I want, and if I have a reaction then throw in some pepcid and claritin, crank benadryl round the clock for a couple days, and if I decide I can't live with the reactions, go in for steroids. Well, besides no one being able to live on that much zyrtec (my regular doctor pulled me off it after 3 weeks because I was such a zombie he was afraid I'd have a traffic accident), it's actually kind of dangerous to just keep putting your body through continual autoimmune reactions. And dumb. And sucky. Very, very sucky. No food on this planet is worth the suck I've gone through.

Let's put this into perspective, for those of you without food allergies. I can't walk into a bar without risking my life thanx to nuts and citrus. I can't eat anything out of a deli, fast food, or restaurants because of cross contamination with allergens. (Believe me, I've tried.) I can't enjoy other people's homemade goodies or potlucks no matter how diligently they try to cook for me because they don't realize how cross contaminated with allergens their kitchens already are. I check every single package before I handle what's inside or eat any of it. I'm braced for a reaction 24/7 everywhere I go because people naturally eat candies and foods and touch everything without washing it off their hands. And NOW I'm facing no birthday cake or nibbling on holiday goodies. Not even an oreo, which is peanut-free if I stick to the regular Double Stuf.


I hope you guys appreciate how much I really don't whine about this. And I hope I never ever EVER become allergic to chocolate and dairy because Hiland chocolate milk and packaged cheese is my go-to on the road.

Ok, those thoughts are organized and pushed out of the way now, time to wash my hair and get ready for the nutrition counseling.