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Food Is My Enemy

Along with Crohn’s and Celiac’s (like that’s not bad enough to deal with) I have another issue with food. Food Allergies. I am allergic to various foods / spices. According to the allergy specialist scratch tests I took back in 2003, I am NOT allergic to shellfish, or any of the ‘normal’ things that most people are allergic to. I am allergic to peculiar things like: mustard, strawberries, things with seeds, and certain nuts.

Sometimes the reactions are slight, easily treatable with a few antihistamines. Other times, not so much. I break out into hives all over my stomach and back, my eyes swell shut, my lips blow like a bad collagen job, my nasal passages close, I can only breathe through my mouth which becomes extremely itchy, I turn a bright shade red, my ears catch on fire, my tongue fills up my entire mouth, my hands inflate to the point where it looks like I am wearing baseball gloves. It feels like a million hot itchy needles stabbing every inch of my flesh. I want to rip off my skin. Scratching, while temporarily feels great, only makes matters worse. When a reaction like that occurs, not only is it incredibly uncomfortable, it is beyond scary. Words like anaphylactic shock, or death, run through my head as I check repeatedly to make sure my throat does not suddenly close.

And that’s just what happened at 6pm last night. Severe. Allergic. Reaction.

When that sort of reaction occurs I am supposed to use an Epi-Pen to counteract the symptoms and go to the hospital. But, did I have an Epi-Pen? No. Did I go to the hospital? No. Why? Because I am an asshole that never fills her prescriptions. And I am afraid of hospitals.

Instead, I called my daddy to bring me a slew of over the counter medications that have been known to work in the past. I took 3 Clariton, drank half a bottle of liquid Bennadryl, covered my eyes and ears in packets of ice and passed out. Bennadryl works on me much like Chloroform works for serial killers while trying to abduct their prey. It leaves me totally incapacitated and unconscious.

When I woke up this morning, all of my allergic reaction symptoms returned. Mid-shower my eyes felt itchy again. At first, I thought maybe it was the shampoo I had dripped into my eyes considering I was still so woozie from a medicated hangover. But as I proceeded to ‘get ready to go to work’ I became increasingly uncomfortable. By the time I was in my car, attempting to make my way into the office, it became obvious that was not gunna happen. I had to turn around to come home to ingest another round of Clariton and Bennadryl.

I have never had an allergic reaction come on so fast or last for so long. That scared the shit out of me. I have never had an allergic reaction that I couldn’t treat in one day. Nor one that seemingly went away only to return several hours later.

I broke down, smartened the fuck up and called the DOCTOR / ALLERGY SPECAILIST. The same one I haven’t seen in….Oh…4 years! I am heading out to the doctor / specialist right now. Driving in a Bennadryl haze and hopped up on coffee, in the pouring rain, should make for an interesting ride…

I will UPDATE when I return.

{REVISED}

I am back. Apparently, because I have Cronh’s disease, which creates autoimmune deficiencies, my allergic reactions, will now and forever be more severe.

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Great.

Then, they threw a bunch of MORE PILLS my way. Seriously, I could play poker with a hand like this: (5 more prescriptions. 5 more. 5)

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At least I finally have the most important one:

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And now I know that I am allergic to broccoli and corn:

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When the rest of the scratch tests came back inconclusive, they sent me for blood work. (See all those check marks? Thats all the different foods that I may be allergic too).

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I am running out of things to eat.

PS: *Does anyone have a cool Pez Dispenser I can ‘borrow’ to distribute the number of pills I have to take in a single day? Because right now, I look like a member of some pill pushing underground drug cartel with all of the viles that are currently in my purse.*

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  • Melz, my friend and sister, I expect a phone call when you get back from the doctor. Or at the very least an IM if you don’t feel up to speaking. I am even planning my errands and my walk for NOW, so I will be here when you get back. Don’t forget to ask the doctor about medicine interactions like we talked about.

  • I’m glad you smartened up! And get a few epi-pens while you’re there too, k?

  • Damn, that’s terrible. I hope they find the cause.

  • “Bennadryl works on me much like Chloroform works for serial killers while trying to abduct their prey. It leaves me totally incapacitated and unconscious.”

    hilarious.. me too! I agree with Dazd – stock up on your epi-pens!

  • Lis

    Oh dear, that’s awful. I hope the docs find the cause and you feel better soon.

  • jennifer

    I DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY TO THIS.
    i feel bad your plagued with bad health.

    i feel bad that everytime God shuffles…he deals you out a shitty hand.
    at least you have your son your mac, and your fam.
    i loveyou more than life itself if i could give you some of my organs i would

  • Oh My! Please get that Epi-pen, that’s dangerous girl! I hope you are doing okay!

  • Marc

    GET A PEN! Get 2 or 3 just in case! Having been on that end of an allergic reatction I know what its like. And tell God to deal you a straight flush next time!!
    xoxoxo

  • Marc

    And on a totally other note.. everytime I submit my comment I get an error message, so I click back, hit it again and it then says that I already submitted. Whatever!

  • Hey hope all’s well please get those pens and update us on what caused it. It must have been scary as hell. I feel awful for you:(:(:(

  • Meleah

    LESLIE: Im OKAY. Just tired will send an email.
    —–
    DAZD: Got it.
    —–
    HAMMER: Tell me about it. this blows. (and not in a GOOD way)
    —–
    JEN: You deal with me and my everyday illnesses all the time. YOU must be SICK of ME.
    —-
    LIS: I feel better, but TIRED.
    —–
    DAWN: That was one of my finer phrases, heh!
    —–
    Mrs Schmitty; I DID. Thank you! (and thanks for the INVITE you sent me!)
    —–
    MARC: Its working, I am getting your comments. I have no idea what that means.
    —-
    RANDOM/AMBER: Very scary. Very. No more eating broccoli.

  • COME. SEE. ME. I can’t make you have a wider menu, but I can SERVE it to you and we can hang out and watch movies and bad television. 😉

  • OH, and Cyndy has stuff to tell you about food allergies – she’s a pro about it – her kids have them. She can help you.

  • DUDE!

    Okay, the corn allergy. You were slugging liquid Benadryl? Check the ingredients… that sweet sicky taste is corn syrup.

    I think you need to sit down with all the doctors and go through the meds one by one. I don’t have an handy link for ingredients in the US, but I’ll look when I get a chance. But corn is in a LOT of them, especially OTC stuff. It’s a very distinct possibility that some of the meds you are on are messing with the allergies which is making everything worse.

    Here’s a quick Canuck link on corn stuff: http://cornfree.ca/meds.htm

    I’ll try to dig up some other links, but all my allergy stuff is on the old PC.

  • Meleah

    LESLIE: You know just the way to my heart. Movies and Bad TV all fuckign day dood, all fuckign day.

    —-

    JD: I have to check labels for wheat / gluten which is in EVERYTHING and now CORN…. is in EVERYTHING else… What.The.Fuck. am I supposed to EAT? (There is only so much Yogurt, Hummus and Broth someone can deal with…yanno?)

  • Another link:

    http://www.cornallergens.com/

    This one is a great one… gives you ideas of what you can eat.

  • being from “god’s waiting room”,, some people call it florida,, i have to say i have seen more than my share of pill organizers… and the best one i have ever seen is this “week at a time” thingy.. it has a little compartment for every day of the week,, and you put all the different pills in each day in the correct amount,, or whatever,, and then you don’t have to carry all the bottles just the one handy dandy organizer… it is plastic and i think they have them at drug stores,… i am not saying this to be funny,,, it really looked like a good idea.. and i fully intend to get one if i am ever on a bunch of meds….

  • I have a week at a time organizer for my allergy meds and vitamins. It works the balls.

  • Meleah

    JD: THANK YOU… NICE LINKAGE, I have a lot of reading / learning to do.
    —-
    Paisley: Yeah I know those things, I just wanted something a little more, well ME, and not so OLD PERSON just yet. I though a Pez dispenser might make me laugh whenever I have to take these pills, but they are a BITCH to load, so that may not be the best solution after all. Im shopping for an antique-ish pill box. Maybe I will just get a PILLBOX HAT
    ——
    LESLIE: I cant bring myself to do the plastic case organizer! I cant!

  • FV

    I don’t know what to say Mel,

    IF there is anything you need let me know please.

    xo

    🙁

    FV

  • Meleah,
    I have about 100 PEZ dispensers. Seriously, I’ll gladly mail you one if you’d like. Heck, I should be doing that with my pills! They probably double as a pill cutter too. Did you get to see Dr. Spaceman when you went for help today?
    😉

  • Girl, I say you yell at the cosmos and tell it to change the route on the shit parade, cuz you don’t want it going down your street anymore. Sheesh!!

    Sending you Broccoli/Corn/Gluten-Free Hugs

    If you can get epi-pens…there must be vodka-pens as well…I’ll look into it for you.

  • Ugh, what a mess! I love the Pez dispenser idea, or maybe even an Altoid-style case with a vintage print on the front, so you can remain fashionable and healthy simultaneously?

    And, just out of curiousity, have you ever seen a naturopath? I’m an eternal skeptic of prescriptions solving problems, and have even heard that chiropractic care can help with digestive/allergy problems. Just a thought.

  • I love food so I really feel for you.

    On the up side though, you’ve got nearly enough prescriptions and pills to start your own lucrative drug store on the side!

    Just think – you can start your new “venture” from home and no more NJTPK to contend with on a daily basis! 🙂

  • A pill-dispensing pez dispenser is such an AWESOME idea!

    Trust me on this; I have my own food issues that are no where near as severe or life threatening as yours. I will spare the description to avoid annoying your more sensitive readers. The only “blessing” in my new dietary regimen is that I have lost a needed 55 pounds! So, in the big picture, for me, this is a good thing. My diet is infinitely simpler (you can read that as BORING, but I call it simpler). Mostly vegan, fruits and veggies. No sugar, refined grains or overly processed foods. I am DEFINITELY not comparing my life to yours. Just wanted you to know that on a small level, I understand.

    I sincerely wish you the best!

  • Meleah

    FV: When I get the results of my blood tests I will have you work up a menu for me since after all you are a chef .
    ——
    MICHAEL C: No such luck on Dr Spaceman, but Ill gladly take that Pez Dispenser
    ——-
    SG: Find that PEN! Now thats a pen I wont mind using!
    ——
    EXPOSED: I am ready to do / try ANYTHING. I am desperate at this point. Thanks for GETTING the idea that I need a pill case that is fashionable and healthy!!
    ——
    DAN: Its nice to have someone UNDERSTAND food struggles. Just because mine are slightly more intense doesn’t mean you cant relate! Thanks for your support!
    ——
    GEEDOS: Yep. Im regular pharmaceutical company!
    —–

  • Just email me and I’ll send one off!!

  • Brian

    Stop smoking, drink soy milk, and enjoy life! I read somewhere that researchers have extended the life of labrats by starving them with ninimal feedings… I suspect you’ll outlive us all… Adieu

  • Meleah

    MICHAEL: I just sent you an email! THANK YOU
    —–
    BRIAN: You know how I feel about SOY milk… bleck! (but I am desperate enough to TRY it)
    —–

  • Try the Silk Soy milk, but watch for it… it may have corn fillers. I haven’t checked since we ruled out the corn allergy.

    In all honesty? You need a really good nutritionist and a list of phone numbers. There are so many different ways that they label this crap that it isn’t even funny. No offense, FV, but I have found that most chefs, unless they have multiple food allergies themselves, usually don’t have a clue what is IN things, even basic ingredients you think would be corn-free.

    It’s a crazy allergy… most breakfast cereals have corn. A lot of JELLIES and JAMS have corn. Until the new food labeling laws go into effect, you are sort of stuck with a crap shoot.

    Join FAAN if you haven’t already. And seriously? Take a weekend, join the Kids with Food Allergies forums, and read. You won’t find a more educated group of folks ANYWHERE about how to work around allergies… as parents, people often tend to be way more careful than adults are about taking care of allergies, and they are the BOMB. I would have been lost without them. They know what items have cross-contamination issues. Stay on top of recipe changes and let people know when they spot something new. And are even hip to the differences between US/Canada recipe differences.

  • Cyndy knows whereof she speaks on this one, Melz. 🙂 and I’m good at creating easy recipes and food stuff with allergies, so if you need help, call me. In fact, send me a list of your current known food allergens today and I’ll work up two or three dinners and how to find the safe ingredients, etc for you.

  • Meleah

    JD / CYNDY: I can not thank you enough for the advice / links / places to go to get real education / information. The internet is great but it is ALWAYS better the hear / read / learn from those who LIVE it.
    ———
    LESLIE: You are THE BEST. [THE. BEST.] Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  • So sad! I hate that for you, Mel. Are you allergic to dark chocolate? As long as you can have dark chocolate, you have quality of life.

  • Meleah

    E-Babe: I don’t know about chocolate until my blood work comes back next week. In the meantime I am STARVING because I am way too scared to eat anything. Its been nothing but broth all over again. I have a lot of research (see above) to do over the next few days to try to figure out what I can and can NOT eat. Ands I am not willing to take any chances until I get the results of all my tests back.

  • Many chocolates have Glucose and Dextrose. Just two of a million things derived from derived from CORN. Sodas have it. Many alcoholic beverages and fruit juices have it. Etc. Read those labels Melz. And don’t forget that a lot of things have Gluten and gluten erivatives too to hold them together (the Celiacs/Crohns).

  • Meleah

    LESLIE! No shit! Why do you think I am SCARED to EAT.

    E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G has S-OM-E-T-H-I-N-G I am allergic to in it.

    And I thought I was already too skinny. I will look like a damned OLSEN by the time I figure out WHAT to EAT.

    *sigh*

    This. Blows. (and NOT in a GOOD way)

  • You have had a positive effect on my bad allergy attitude. I was bumming about my new shellfish allergy, and how it is used in vitamins, shampoos, conditioners, medicines, and more to hold it together. But at least the government acknowledges that shellfish, peanuts etc is a “real” allergy and LABELS THE FUCK OUT OF SHIT NOW when it has it in there!

    You’re going to become a real label reader just to save your bacon, because no one is required to label gluten/corn. I am PISSED OFF on your BEHALF, believe me.

  • Meleah

    LESLIE: I love you. I just LOVE YOU.

  • Oh you poor baby!!!
    I can’t believe it!
    How HORRIBLE!!
    Wish I could invite you over for some good therapy – Epi pen at the ready!!

    Kisses and big hugs XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  • Meleah

    MINX: One good thing… I can still have SUSHI and VODKA. wheee……

  • I am so sorry to hear about your allergies. It must be very worrying for you. I have moderate to severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome as a result of Endometriosis and find that difficult to deal with, so I can’t imagine how you cope with the threat of anaphylactic shock. My hubby was recently hospitalised with severe gastroenteritis which turned out to be an allergy to rice. The specialist told us they have seen an increase in this type of allergy and they suspect it’s linked to the creep of genetically modified foods into the food chain. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Hey, I’m glad you’re okay. That is awful that you have so many allergies! I have gone into anaphylactic shock twice in my life – one time down in Mexico. Not fun. Be sure to keep at least two Epipens with you just in case. Of course, I say that not having filled my last Epipen prescription…

  • The best friend

    The P.S., was the best.

  • Meleah

    SELMA: Thanks for being so open / honest and for the support in your comment. I have Crohn’s so I know what IBS feels like!! I am going to check out your blog!
    ——

    HOLLY GL / STEPH: You did?!! NO WAY! How scary is that! GO FILL YOUR SCRIPT! 🙂

    —–
    JEN: Glad you liked the PS. But seriously, I need something pretty or funny to get through THIS!

  • Well if it ain’t one thing it’s another! I’m sorry that on top of it all you now have THIS to worry about. A pez dispenser may come in handy. And I bet there are more side effects to come but hopefully they will be mild or non existent. Damn that Crohn’s stuff and I never heard of the Celiac thing before but it sounds awful. Hang in there.

  • Yah, my oldest son is right up there with you. Just saw him yesterday and he’s getting over bronchitis. And the whole asthma attach thing that he doesn’t see a doctor for and buys over the counter inhalers. Jeez. Crazy. I hope you’re doing at least a bit better after all the meds. Are you?

  • Meleah

    RICARDO: I finally got a Pez Dispenser! I am doing my best to hang in there.
    —–
    KELLYPEA: A little better, but the meds give MORE side effects, and they mess with the crohns meds to. All this interaction is enough to make me SICK. Not to mention that I am STARVING.

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