Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Saga of the Greens..

One month ago I made my last post.. which is a summary of how crazy my life has been since then. That was right before our February vacation from school, and right before I headed down the long and frustrating road of food allergy diagnosis. It's funny how you can get used to a certain state of "being", no matter how crummy it might be, and just accept it for normal. On Feb. 20th I started an elimination diet to discover what I was eating that was making me feel so poorly. It might have been a little drastic. I could have just eliminated certain food groups to see how I felt, but when you don't have a single clue, it's a little more tricky.

The plan was to cut out all reactive foods, and eat only "non-inflammatory or low reactive" foods for 12 days, then start adding foods back one at a time and see how it went. You note any effects, and then go forward.  This includes coffee, tea, sugar, all refined foods, alcohol chocolate, the top allergens and a host of other things. The "safe" food list was short, but I felt good about being creative. The hardest part was the headache that started that night (Sun the 20th) and lasted until Tuesday morning from caffeine withdrawal. After that, I felt awesome. No word of a lie.. better than I have in years. As my body started to heal however, it became painfully obvious, that I was reacting to some of the so called "safe" foods. Because even though 90% of food allergies are caused by 8 foods, you can be allergic to anything. On Friday, I had to abandon the plan as written. I won't get into the long sordid details of why, but I decided to do a more modified plan. Add back the foods I was sure was safe, try some earlier than I was supposed (such as gluten/wheat which I was never concerned with) and build my available food choices back up.

There are still foods I need to challenge (it's hard because I don't want to have to try them at school, or if I'm home alone).. but overall, it's going Ok. It's frustrating, and hard, and I've fallen apart in the arms of my wonderfully supportive husband who keeps telling me that it will all be worth it in the end when I get the foods that don't work for me out of my life. The list just keeps getting longer. I am allergic to Sunflower Seeds, Soy, Chickpeas (crazy, right?!), and Hazlenuts for sure. It's starting to look more like it's not just Soy/Chickpeas, and it might be a legume allergy which covers all beans/peas/and other stuff that's crazy like Roobio's tea (which I had an issue with a blend of) which is the leaf of a legume plant. This makes me incredibly sad. On top of that, I have Oral Allergy Syndrome, which means things like raw apples, carrots, celery, grapes, oranges and other things I haven't even tried to enter back in yet make my mouth itchy or tingly after I eat them. It's hard to come home after school and want a snack, and not be sure what you can eat safely. It's impossible to eat out right now, and it's nothing but frustrating. I'm starting to have more "good days" as I figure out what to avoid, but some days it's just overwhelming and I fall apart.

In a nut shell, (or not, I haven't challenged nuts yet).. that's where I have been this past month. We have made good progress on The Boys™ radio room, and the snow has finally started to melt, and we went for a walk before dinner for the first time in months. I have stuff to share, and blog about, and I promise it won't be another month before you hear from me again. In the meanwhile, Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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