Thursday, April 21, 2011
Lance and Allergies
I was starting another blog about kids and allergies, but Annie had other ideas and started jumping on the laptop keyboard. I handed Lance the laptop and asked him to blog. After a second of protesting, I suggested he share his experience with allergies and how he feels about them. You'll detect a little bit of frustration in his tone, but overall, he's taken it really well and done a pretty good job of adapting. We need to work a little on the menu reading skills and awareness of hidden gluten ingredients, but those are things we learn over time, sometimes by trial and error.
Since Annie decided to jump in Cami's lap and on the laptop as she was trying to blog, a guest writer has taken over. This is Lance, Cami's husband. As a kid, I didn't have to worry about allergies. Most of my adult life as well. In fact, since I run so much, I could pretty much eat anything I wanted whenever I wanted. I stuck with this strategy and ate a lot.
I'm not saying that I was eating nothing but ice cream, but I was unrestricted in my diet and never had to worry about the consequences of any foods. However, I started getting a red rash on both my cheeks, and it never would go away. I was gradually getting more tired then normal. So I went in for allergy testing. For the food portion this consisted of scratch tests to see how I responded, followed by three weeks without the foods I failed on before a retest to see which ones mattered.
This was a disaster. Testing nine different types of foods, I failed them all. Most of them, I didn't fail severely, but enough that I couldn't have them. Wheat, soy, milk, and eggs I failed with a four, but I also failed rice, tomatoes, yeast, and corn. Most surprising at that point, I failed potatoes. How does an Irish guy fail on a potato allergy???
So it was a long three weeks before I could try the foods again. I had it ten times better then anyone else would have been in this situation with Cami's knowledge on all the replacement grains and ingredients, and her making all the foods I had never heard of before meeting her. I was still eating well. I still dropped 10 pounds, which is pretty significant.
However, when I was waking up in the morning, I wasn't feeling tired and groggy. I wouldn't crash in the afternoons, and I started feeling better. Once I started testing things again, I started getting most of the foods back. Rice was key, and opened up many options, and I was able to get potatoes again. I had recovered everything except soy, with only the wheat test left.
For this test, I popped in a Frosted Mini Wheat. This was a favorite cereal growing up. I knew instantly that it did not go well. My nose stuffed up, my face tightened, as well as my forehead. Redness engullfed my face. Losing wheat is a tough blow. You know what's made with wheat? Everything. All the convenient foods, flour, all baked goods, bread, and beer.
Having the experience of all the other foods that were missing, however, I knew I would be OK. It turns out, there are a ton of people in the same boat I am, and just about all restraunts have options, some even with Gluten free menus.
In the mean time, I feel much better, am not as tired, and more productive. There are definitly times where it's hard. Like last week, when they announced that our new work offices were moving above a restaurant and brewery that has stellar beer. However, I still have options, and I'm not the last person this will happen to.