What Can I Eat?

I’ve made up a new game.  It’s called “What Can I Eat”? 

Things changed drastically concerning my food allergies this past Monday when my new doctor told me that I’m not actually allergic to 15 of the 16 foods as I was earlier diagnosed.  I am allergic to wheat, intolerant to lactose, and sensitive/allergic to Salicylates.  Salicylates are an acid that is found in most fruit, vegetables and many seasonings.  There was, after all, a common thread.  Now things were finally starting to make sense.

There was a complication, however:  over the years of my illness, my system was hit hard.  In an effort to help it recuperate, my latest assignment is to cut out all foods containing Salicylates.  Hey, I’ve avoided wheat since 2005, and soy since 2007, and thirteen other foods since 2008.  I only have to do this for a month or so?  No problem.

That was said before I really reviewed the list of the foods containing Salicylates.  What are the foods, you ask?  It would be easier for me to tell you what they are NOT in:  meat, rice, water.  Pretty much anything with the word berry, melon, or the letter O contain Salicylates. 

I figure my new diet is a lot like Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s On First.”  You’re really not sure what’s what or who’s where.  When in doubt, don’t eat it.

Okay, luckily I found some great 100% rye bread, which toasts up wonderfully.  I’ll just put some jelly on it…um, no, I won’t, since it is strawberry;  well, how about some honey…nope, can’t have honey, remember the O rule;  what about cinnamon toast?  Nope, there’s that pesky O rule again.  Maple syrup?  Not on Rye bread.  That’s just gross.  Forget it.  Just slather some plain old canola-based margarine on there for me.

To me it is more than ironic that the orange Vitamin C smoothies, the mounds of blueberries piled high on my yogurt, and the ginger tea that I thought were helping me get better were actually doing me in.  All these years we wondered why my health wasn’t improving, and now, we finally know.  In fact, this week marked the 7 year anniversary of the spider bite that started the whole downhill spiral.  Seven years of a person’s life…at one point so weak that I had to use a walking stick and could work only a few hours a day.  It seems like a lifetime ago.

I’m only on Day 5 of not eating most everything.  I think I’m feeling a little better – I noticed I have more positive energy.  I also noticed that I’m FRIKKIN HUNGRY!!!

I will post more on Salicylates later.  Until then, you can read more here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salicylate_sensitivity

I hope, wherever you are, you are well.

What Would Howard Jones Think?

“You can look at the menu but you just can’t eat” are the first words of the brilliant song “No One Is to Blame” by Howard Jones.  I loved the irony of the song back in 1985.  I never in my wildest dreams thought that twenty years later, it would become my food allergy anthem.

Later in the song, Howard goes on to sing “Doctor says you’re cured, but you still feel the pain, aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain.”  Every time I try a new treatment or doctor – that is exactly how I feel.

I enjoy helping others with food allergies by experimenting with new recipes, exploring different food combinations and venturing into purveyors of good eats for food allergy sufferers.  I remember how I felt when I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  All my efforts are in hopes of helping as many people as possible not feel the same panic and isolation I did.

But sometimes the discouragement is overwhelming.  Usually I don’t let it get to me, but in the past couple of weeks we discovered yet another food I cannot tolerate.  Now I’m up to seventeen.  At this rate, the food of choice for me will be ice. 

I mentioned to my acupuncturist that I thought it was odd how I could be outside doing physical labor in 100 degree heat without eating lunch, sweating profusely, and not be losing a pound.  “Oh, that’s because it’s not fat, you’re just bloated from all your food allergies.”

“Great!” I said, taking a minute to realize that just because that meant I wasn’t fat didn’t mean it was a good thing.

So I broke down and called the food allergist that had been recommended to me.  It sounded like a bunch of hocus pocus, but if it works, who am I to judge?  But if it really works, then why isn’t this guy world famous?  Are all those testimonials for real?  If it doesn’t work, I’m out a lot of money.  But if it works, it could change my life.  But if it doesn’t work, wouldn’t the medical board have shut him down?  And so on, and so forth.  If you have allergies, you understand where I’m coming from.

How do you think Howard Jones would feel about my twist on his song?  I think it’s kind of sad.

You can listen to Howard’s wonderful song here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENB2eX-U3a8&feature=related