Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Year, New Layout (soon?) New Post!

I'm going to try to be better about posting more, especially with the latest thing going on in my life: Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE for short, and yes, I spelled it right the first time without looking!). Basically what's going on in my esophagus is there are an excess of white blood cells do to an allergic reaction. The problem is that the inflammation is so bad that food is constantly getting stuck in my esophagus and needs help to pass through to my stomach (usually in the form of whatever liquid I'm drinking). And when I say "constantly", I mean every time I eat. Especially dry things like bread. Now what the heck the white blood cells are reacting to I have no idea. My first appointment with my new allergist was today. That went pretty well I guess. I got the arm prick test thingy done, and they confirmed my allergy to shellfish (boy did they ever, that was the strongest reaction!) and tree nuts, both of which I was already aware. I did also have a reaction to peanuts (not aware), corn (partially aware and was already avoiding), and soy.

I'm now on an elimination diet to see if, in addition to Protonix (which is helping get rid of acid reflux and repair damage to my esophagus), one of those things is what's causing the inflammation. Corn is going to be tricky, right now I'm just avoiding straight corn, however it may or may not get to the point where I have to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I'm hoping I don't have to do that. I have a followup appointment with the doc in three weeks to see if there's been any improvement based on the diets/medication. I already know the medication helps a little bit, bigger bites are still getting stuck, but smaller ones aren't as often. Protonix got rid of my acid reflux (which didn't happen too often, but often enough to notice and apparently there was some damage to my esophagus) almost immediately, like a day or two. That's been really nice.

I also have my very own set of EpiPens now. I should have had them ages ago really, especially for the shellfish allergy, but it was never really diagnosed, more like "I'll just stay away from that" since my reactions never caused me enough discomfort to visit the hospital. The doc didn't like that, lol, she was like, "Yeah you definitely need to get those as soon as possible." But she's really nice and I like her a lot. She gave me a lot of good information in the office and also sent me home with helpful stuff. She also pointed me to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, which is a group that specializes in food allergies and they have a lot of really good info too.

Friday or Saturday-ish, I'm going shopping with my Bestie Amanda at Trader Joe's (which is the grocery store of all grocery stores!) and a couple other places because she is also doing a soy elimination diet (not for the same reasons though). As much as it stinks to be doing an elimination diet, I'm so very glad that Amanda and I will be able to do it together and go shopping together and share recipes and it's so nice not to be doing this alone. The hubby will be eating whatever he pleases, the lame-o. So yeah, having company will be very, very nice indeed :)