Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving... don't put that in your mouth

First off, happy Thanksgiving. I'm particularly grateful for my family and friends, the abundance of the Lord, and the way that God keeps me on my toes by continually throwing me curve balls.

Ok, I might not be exactly grateful for that last bit. But Blake has been a super-sweetie the last two days, and he is SO PLEASANT to be around when he's behaving and obedient and has a good attitude. We've been having a great time with lots of hugs and kisses. Rob has even been included, whether he likes it or not!

The latest curve ball (the one I'll divulge to the internet, anyway) is the news I got yesterday. Just in time for the holidays, yessir. I had some blood work done last week, and the results came back. The lab was testing for food sensitivity - as in, which foods induce my body to produce IgG antibodies? These are not allergies, but sensitivities, and the doctor guessed that some of my symptoms are due to unknown sensitivity to foods that I eat at least regularly, and that cutting them from my diet could help with the acne I've been experiencing, as well as some of my back pain and general fatigue (among other things). I was willing to give it a go, since I saw a different doctor months ago to try to get the same test done. He sent me to a dermatologist.

After sitting down with me, the doctor (Amy) said she'd never seen a workup like mine. This, naturally, reassured me to no end. She showed me the results and sat back.

Now, there are four levels of response: None, Very Low, Low, Moderate, and High. Her advice is usually to give up all foods that elicit anything above "None" for three months to see how your body feels, then gradually and slowly add back some of the "Very Low" to "Low" foods to see what happens and how you feel. She cannot recommend this for me, because I would have exactly nothing to eat. She sympathetically advised me to start with the "Highs" (because they are "banned for life" kinds of foods) and possibly the "Moderates," but said it was completely up to me.

Here's how it broke down and broke my heart:
High Reaction
  • Artichoke (I LOVE artichoke!)
  • Apple
  • Cabbage
  • Celery (WHAT? This is just water in green form!)
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce (Again with the green water.)
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Tuna (I only eat it in sushi, but it's all I like for sushi.)
  • Pork
Moderate Reaction
  • Grape
  • Papaya
  • Pear
  • Avocado (This will never work.)
  • Beets (Well, I'll give these up. If I HAVE to.)
  • Green Pepper
  • Onion
  • Spinach (Seriously, no more salads for me.)
  • Sardine (See beets, above.)
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken (See beef, above.)
  • Turkey (See beef, above.)
  • Corn
  • Pecan
  • Soy
  • Cashew
  • Millet
  • Watermelon (Ok, so this time the water's pink, but STILL.)
I won't get into all the stuff I still CAN eat, just because those are slightly less interesting lists (rye?). And technically, I shouldn't be eating them either. Amy said she's never seen someone react to EVERYTHING, and her guess is that because I eat the bold stuff very regularly, my body has enough inflammation to react to any little thing. Now I'm wondering what it would be like to drop all the High/Moderates and see what my blood work came back with after three months.

I took some consolation in the fact that the foods I was most fearful of having to give up (milk, bread, beer, coffee, grains, cheese) got off easy with Very Low/Low ratings. And generally, I already notice that eating some of the above foods makes my mouth hurt... but I just thought it was due to acidity or something. My biggest problem is my protein options: I have none. Looks like scrambled egg whites and lamb stew for Addie from here on out. And I need to start hunting again, since they don't test for venison.

Turns out ignorance really IS bliss. Humph. Who knew?

P.S. I'm having turkey today. Yes, yes I am. Also, apples, onions, and pecans. It might kill me in the long run, but I WILL DIE HAPPY. And blissfully full and grateful.


Andrea said...

Welcome to the PARRRRTTAAYYY!!! Lol.
Oh honey, I rode this atrocious ride months ago myself. Believe me, I fully sympathize. :)
Hang in there babe, it gets better, and no...without the yummy food, your teeth won't fall out, your eye lashes will stay in place, your toes won't fall off from the cravings, and your stomach won't actually eat itself up. (Highly dramatic expectations from some allergy sufferers out there..riiiiight.)

Lindsey K said... fun...but just think how you will feel when you get it all out of your system!! I have recently taken some things out of my diet and while it has been really hard, it has made me feel so much better and also in a spiritual sense it has reminded me that I do not need the things I think I do :)
when are you guys going to come dancing with us!?!

T said...

oh my oh my! the good news is that if you eat nothing then you may waste away to nothing and have beautiful skin to boot. so yeah...think of those things.

and, i too feel your pain. what is with this madness?