8.05.2013

Life Before Anaphylactic Shock

I tried to start this post weeks ago but couldn't find the words. Essentially, I am not sure where to start and have questioned if I should but then I think - telling my story will help me process changes in my life and perhaps be beneficial to someone else. And hey, perhaps one of you have been in the same boat and will be able to give me some awesome support/advice/comments.

This story will have three parts just to save you from reading the world's longest blog post. Today I want to reflect back on life before anaphylactic shock.

I have always been an everything in moderation type of gal. Yes, I would indulge in chocolate and other treats but I aimed to be healthy 99% of the time. This wasn't always the case as my quest for health has been ongoing throughout the years and has been inspired by just wanting to be the best me I can be. I have never done any crazy diets or anything like that. I would rather incorporate excercise and a well-balanced diet to achieve my fitness and health goals.

With that said and done, on June 20, 2013 I took a leap I never thought I would. I was going to ban a food group from my diet. Now don't get me wrong, this is the first time I banned something. The first was my mission to never consume fake sugars again. Bye bye diet coke. But this dietary trial was different. I was going to go dairy free for a couple of weeks.

But first, let's rewind a couple of months to when my stomach started aching almost daily. Sometimes miserably bad. I couldn't bare for darling daughter to lean against it at times. It wasn't fun. I went to the doctor. Tests were performed and we weren't really finding why. Being the scientist I am trained to be, I started taking notes. My first question, was it the VegaSport I started using? I doubted it since issues started about a month after me starting the product but I had to ask. My notes were simple. Write down everything I ate, when my stomach hurt, and what time of day. No link between VegaSport and my tummy woes was found. Awesome!

Shortly thereafter I read a post from Run to the Finish and thought, okay, I can do this. I can start a log with a food elimation diet and my gut told me to start with dairy. (Did you like the pun?) I didn't want to be on the antacids daily like the doctor had me taking (twice a day by a way) and I stopped them the day before my endoscopy. My heart told me they would find nothing. I saw the no eating phase before the procedure as a perfect cleanser to start the dairy free challenge. I took notes like crazy. The log looked scary but also doable. I noted, I charted, I paid attention to how I felt 30 minutes or so after eating. I monitored everything. This was big. And a pattern began to emerge on that very first day. The day I could eat dairy. The day I felt stuffy or bloated after every meal with dairy. That was June 20th.

June 21st marked my first day without dairy. On June 22nd I ate a bowl of cinnamon chex with soymilk and felt stuffier within minutes. I found out later it had dried milk in it. On June 23rd I woke up less stuffy and by the next day, my head was draining like crazy. Later in the month, or perhaps early July as I wasn't taking notes anymore, I got a soy chai tea latte from Starbuck's but once I looked at the cup later I realized they gave me skim milk...not soy. My stomach was bloating up and I felt an odd sensation in my chest. It made me worry a bit but I calmed myself down and finally burped a few times. I felt much better.

My doctor knew of my dairy free challenge and supported me in the mission. She suggested after going the 14 days without dairy that I do the real challenge and consume some to see what happens. I don't know if it was the reason for the tummy issues or just a coincidence that it was resolving when I was embarking on this challenge. I did know that I liked being able to breath and not waking up stuffy every single day. I was convinced this was a better path for me. I was going to stay dairy free.

It isn't easy saying no to things you once ate and to look at what really goes into the food. I commentend to a good friend that it was indeed hard to not have my bagel with cream cheese and jalepenos or other dairy treats. She supported me and I found comfort in that I was doing this by choice and that it wasn't imperative for my health. I knew some people out there had to avoid foods due to allergies. I was on a mission to just feel better with what I ate....and to be able to breath through my nose!

You may read Part 2: Anaphylactic Shock: The Episode HERE. Part 3: Life After Anaphylactic Shock HERE. Part 4: Allergy Testing Changed my World...again HERE.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Bucky Joe - our new family parakeet!
Daily Affirmation: I am at peace with myself. 

3 comments:

  1. It can be hard elimination favorites from our menus... I am right there with you on that. But so far, nothing life-threatening for me...

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  2. I've had to eliminate lactose and apart from missing ice cream I haven't actually found it that hard. I also had to eliminate bread for a while - now that was hard!

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  3. It's awesome that you've found the key to being the healthiest and happiest you! I can't imagine how difficult eliminating dairy must be, especially when it comes to eating from restaurants etc though I'd like to think that people are more accommodating these days. Stay healthy and happy!

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