Thursday, March 24, 2011

Background History

For as long as I can remember, well back to 4th grade I had allergies.  At first it was environmental stuff and dust mites and I would get awful stomach aches from tomatoes, beef, dairy and a few other things I don't remember.  I do remember getting really sick every time my mom would make her beef barley soup... I grew out of most of the food ones until around 2006 (mid 30's) when I was diagnosed anaphylactic to Almonds and Brazil Nuts.  It was kinda funny, I would eat almonds every day and I guess I really just got used to my throat being kinda swollen.  In 2008 I was diagnosed anaphylactic to peanuts.

I traveled a lot to Italy last year for business.  I was always very careful and Delta always kindly added it to my flight register, but what can you do when bowls of nuts are passed around with glee in business class???? Take some ben*dryl and fall asleep of course.   I got by, enjoying my life, traveling for work and eating what I wanted to as long as it did not have nuts.

I went back to Italy the end of January this year and had a weird reaction to lunch one day.  Hmmm, I ate green beans, cannelloni beans and a bite of this really spicy pasta.   The skin on my throat was bright red and my cheeks were flushed, not to mention a slight swelling in my throat.  I took 4 of my CVS brand ben*adryl and it subsided in about 3 hours - BUT WHAT CAUSED IT??? My diet was really good, I was practically a vegetarian who occasionally ate some fish or some vension.  I thought there were nuts in the pasta, perhaps, but my Italian colleagues assured me there were just a few ingredients: pasta, olive oil, parsley and red pepper flakes.   Hmmm, well not the red pepper flakes because I love BWW Spicy Garlic sauce on my pizza and am always fine with it, not parsley.  THEN WHAT???

On March 22, 2011 I visited my friendly allergist.  She gave me a full round of skin testing and the culprit was identified as most likely the cannelloni beans!  WHAT?  I love beans, remember, I am practically a vegetarian.  Next, she said cabbage.  Really, cabbage?  I don't get any stomach upset so how could that one be?  Carrots, lettuce??? Pork, ok who really cares about that one, lol, not me.  The list kept growing!!!  The results of the skin test were:

High (Must carry epi-pen and avoid per Mrs. Allergist!) (3+)

  • Peanut (ok, knew about this one)
  • Barley (Yea, ok I remember 4th grade and the soup)
  • Pea (Who can be allergic to the lovely little green gems that come out of the pods each summer to eat?)
  • All Tree Nuts
  • Clams (Seriously?? So much for the Fisherman's Way dish at Lo Squalo)
  • Lemon (UM WHAT?)
  • Buckwheat (Can't say I have ever eaten this to my knowledge, but since I have researched it I found it is somewhat common in Italian pizzas)

Medium (2+)

  • Soy (Not really a big fan of the soy industry so don't really eat this, but like it's corny friend who has been GMO'd like crazy, Mr. Soy lurks everywhere too)
  • Carrot (UGH, you were so lovely shredded on a salad)
  • Lettuce (Odd, people say it is to the pesticides but I eat mainly organic - also found on yahoo that it can cause anxiety issues)
  • Cabbage (So much for Kimchi)
  • Tomato (UGH!  Well, this really sucks)
  • Coconut (Always kinda suspected this one so no big surprise)
  • Green Pepper (What am I to dip in my Hummus?  Wait, I probably can't have hummus due to the bean relation, not to mention the tahini)
  • Sesame Seed (This is a new one and I was shocked)
  • Scallop (Not that I eat them a lot, but they are yummy)
  • Trout (Don't even like trout!)
  • Mustard (Well, not like I can have sandwiches at this point but goodbye store bought horseradish and pickles)

So, there you have it my friends.  I got home before Hubby and the kids (Sweet Pea and Monkey) and when they got home Monkey said "Mama's Allergic to Everything!!!"  Great, thanks

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