Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dairy/Wheat/Eggs again!

After talking with my allergist (and being crazy restricted for two weeks), I'm back to only avoiding the things I tested positive for (shellfish, treenuts, peanuts, corn, and soy), yay! Thank goodness because I was getting tired of that menu. After work, I tend to not want to make anything too complicated, which on the super restrictive diet was just hot dogs or hamburgers and chips. That gets old fast.

I am on a new medication, however, Flovent. Yes, the asthma medicine. Asthma sufferers have the same thing going on in their airways that I do in my esophagus, the eosinophils are hanging out wreaking havoc. The difference though is instead of inhaling the Flovent, I'm swallowing it. It's not in a liquid form or anything, I puff and swallow instead of puff and inhale. Two puffs, two times a day. This method can take a while before I'll see any results at all. Currently my doctor is just trying to get the inflammation under control before we start more methodically searching out the cause. Since the Big 10 (10 most common allergens) have been eliminated with no success, and since there's not much data out there for those of us with EE, so much of this process is trial by error. I've been trying to be the good patient and asking questions, but the questions I'm asking don't have any definitive answers to them. I would have to be the difficult patient that gets some disease there's no data on. Oh well, that's my luck.

*Knitting Update!*

My scarf is getting super long (I'll post a picture soon)! I've also started an additional project, something a bit bigger and more adventurous (I'm changing colors frequently!!), but it's a surprise and I don't want to ruin it. I will say that the pattern called for 5 skeins of yarn and a circular needle, all of which I got at Michael's for right around $20 because the yarn was on sale <3 I'll definitely post pictures once the present has been given, it's definitely going to be super adorable!

I've had a ball looking at patterns on and can't wait to practice and do some of the cooler, more complicated stuff! I've got patterns saved for fingerless gloves, a hat or two, several shawls (there's a really cool Celtic lace-knit one!), a poncho, and a bunch of other stuff.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Poolside Knitting!

My last several posts have been depressing even me so I thought I'd do a post on something I CAN do: knitting! I had a very eager and patient teacher who has now unleashed a monster now that I've become a member of!

My first project is a Garter Stitch Scarf, something very simple that I can do without having to sit and watch my needles. I'm to the point where I can do it very easily by touch which is awesome! After a couple of weeks of knitting on my own, I invited Theo of Arcaneknits (my awesome teacher ^_^) over to my parents' house where we could both knit pooside :)

What a lovely idea that was! The weather was perfect and even though neither of us did any actual swimming, it was nice to dip our feet in the water while knitting perched on the edge. Theo, at the time, was working on a very cute hat and she has since finished it. Much to her delight, it did fit after all (she had been worried it might be too loose)! It's a round design knitted with cables, which looks way too complicated for me just yet, but I hope to get to that point soon! I've been looking at patterns and things on Ravelry and can't wait to learn how to do all these cool things! I'd really like to do a lace stole, but you've got to walk before you can crawl (10 points if you get the movie reference). Fingerless gloves are next up in my queue and they'll match my scarf--all will go quite nicely with the lovely, red pea-coat DH bought me for Christmas :)

(well, I picked it out, but it was still a present from him!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Well then what CAN I eat?

Visited the allergist again last Tuesday. Since the soy-free didn't seem to be helping my dysphagia (food getting stuck in my esophagus), she put me on an even more restricted elimination diet. It's only for two weeks, but it's going to seem so much longer! I still have to avoid soy, peanuts, and corn with the newest addition of wheat, milk, and eggs. I'm basically going to be the most difficult and weird vegan ever. No soy but meat's ok! Lol.

I've been on it for a week and have been doing ok. I've cheated, not going to lie, but I think with an even more restrictive diet it's also important to let myself have little cheats here and there (like margarine on my potatoes once) because otherwise I'll just go crazy. My mother-in-law brought over a whole bunch of groceries for me last Wednesday, she knew I was struggling with the idea of shopping with the new restrictions, so happy to have family close by! :)

I was doing some research tonight and found something interesting. I've never been crazy about raw fruit, or just fruit in general. I think it started with being a picky eater as a kid (although now I'm wondering if being a picky eater was a result of food allergies) but I never really grew out of it. I knew apples made my teeth hurt if I ate them raw--in a pie they're totally fine--and since I wasn't thrilled with any other fruit, I didn't notice any particular reactions. Since being put on this super restrictive diet, I've tried to give raw fruit another chance. I knew I liked pineapple juice and orange juice, so those seemed like good places to start. Bought a pineapple (not buying a whole one ever again, btw, definitely will be buying the pre-cut pieces) and a bag of oranges and did my best to give them a shot. Had part of an orange with lunch last week and even gave the pineapple a try over the weekend. Didn't particularly care for the way both fruits made my throat/mouth feel, not like an allergic reaction, just not right. I thought maybe I just wasn't giving them enough of a chance. I soaked the pineapple in some delicious cherry rum, maybe I could entice myself, the flavor was ok, but the same thing happened, strange feeling in my mouth/throat. For what I decided was the final time tonight, I made a smoothie with the pineapple (mold had grown on one of my oranges so that turned me off of them for a little while) and some cranberry juice I had in the fridge. Same exact thing again.

I apparently need to try things in threes before I'll get the message that my body truly doesn't want something. This isn't the first time I couldn't take the hint (thankfully no hospital visits related to allergies). I hopped online and started researching. I can have all the cooked fruits I want, fruit-flavored things, you name it, just not raw fruit. I stumbled across OAS, Oral Allergy Syndrome. Apparently, my strange reactions aren't so strange after all and there are lots of people who have the same problem with raw fruit. When I talk to my allergist next week I'm definitely going to mention the raw fruit issue (we had tested me for an apple allergy, which was negative) and bring up what I've read about OAS. Apparently, adults who suffer from hay fever allergies can have problems with raw fruit and vegetables. The proteins the fruits/veggies contain are structurally similar to the pollen or whatever your body is fighting off so they attack the protein too. Cooking and heat usually kills whatever protein the body reacts to (which is why soybean oil and peanut oil are usually safe for people with those allergies) and that's why only the raw fruits/veggies give OAS sufferers problems.

One big reason to talk to my allergist about this is (based off what I've read) so that she can test me for the pollen allergens because that's how the OAS diagnosis is made. It also could be completely unrelated to my EE. Joy. Another thing to add to my already lengthening list of medical issues...