Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On allergies and other nonsense

One of the [many] reasons that you lovely unicorns haven't heard from me as of late is because I am going through some frustrating health problems on top of being overloaded with preparations for the upcoming convention season. And it's annoying, and exhausting, and makes me feel like less of a person because my body is rebelling against itself and that just pisses me off.

My whole life I've always been kind of sickly. Typical geek stereotype, y'know. I've had an inhaler for as long as I can remember, I've never had a strong immune system, and in the summer time my nose is constantly running and my lungs are perpetually wheezing. On the evening of my 22nd birthday I had my first real food allergy attack: I ate SOMETHING (to this day I still have not identified what it was) that made me wake up at 2am covered in giant, itchy, miserable hives on every surface of my body, as well as inside of my ears, mouth, and every other orifice you can think of. I wanted to rip my skin off I itched so bad. It made me miss half of Emerald City Comic-con and I spent 3 days in bed in a Benadryl haze.

It happened again a few months later after I ate a cheese enchilada, and again I laid in the shower with ice cold water beating down on me, wishing for my skin to just STOP ITCHING.

Also around this time I started getting an itchy throat and mouth whenever I would eat some of my favorite foods: raw fruits and veggies. Cherries made my throat itch, apples made me get hives on my gums... etc, etc. Essentially any raw fruit, veggie, or nut that I ate would wreak havoc on my throat and the inside of my mouth. But I kept eating things I was allergic to because FUCK DA POLICE.

Well, I guess that wasn't the best option, because my symptoms kept getting worse and worse. Finally it all came to fruition about a month ago when I was at a friend's party: I ate a bunch of snap peas (one of my favorites!!) and I had the most AGONIZING pain in my throat. It felt like when you swallow something that is too big for your esophagus and it gets stuck. I made some fake excuses and rushed home, where my body fully rebelled and puked up the snap peas. I was involuntarily swallowing, hives were coming up on my lips, mouth, and throat, and it hurt so bad I was screaming.

It seemed I had ignored this problem for far too long, so off to an allergist I went. As the daughter of a Physician's Assistant, going in to a Doctor is a new experience for me so I get very nervous about it. I avoid making appointments because I hate needles (says the girl covered in tattoos). I just couldn't continue not knowing what foods would try to kill me or not.

I went in for two testings: One for environmental allergies and one for food, two weeks apart. They poked my arms with allergens and I determined that I would never survive in the wild:

Environmental Allergy Testing. I took this before it even started getting super bad.

Basically, I was allergic to pretty much everything on both tests (except mold - okay?). Even DOGS (my allergist told me that since I expose myself to a fluffy dog every day I've built up a tolerance). I came back extremely allergic on almost all fruits and veggies due to something called Oral Allergy Syndrome - where I am so sensitive that I'm allergic to the pollen in most raw fruits and veggies. Cooked? Okay. Blanched? Okay. But not raw. AHHHH.

So the solution to this is to get allergy shots, which will begin sometime in the summer and last for a year. Basically, they inject me with everything that wants to kill me and it, in theory, makes things want to kill me less. So that's exciting.

On top of all of this, my allergist referred me to a gastroenterologist, who I visited this morning. There's a very high likelihood that I have something called Eosinophilic esophagitis. I get to find out if I have this in a few weeks (only two days before ECCC!) when I get an endoscopy (where they put a camera down my nose and look at my esophagus) and a biopsy. So that's currently where I stand, hooray!

I know it's not anything particularly bad but it's very frustrating to have a list of food that I LOVE that I am not supposed to eat anymore. Some of the most devastating on this list have been hops (no more beer!), hazelnut (Nutella), all raw fruits and veggies (see my favorite food: salsa), and watermelon (fuck it I'm still eating watermelon *grasps Epi Pen, strikes a pose*).

Anyway, so all of this on top of being really busy and eating poorly has made me tired, cranky, and unwilling to take as many outfit pics. I've been hitting the gym but considering all I can really eat right now are carbs it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference. :-/ Guess we will see what happens!


  1. Boooo! I'm so sorry you're allergic to all the things, Molly! But hey now you can learn some exciting new recipes...? Or something?

  2. Hey, Molly. I hope everything gets figured out for you. All the shit you have to go thru first sounds so tiring, which I guess it is. Hang in there. *HUGS*
    Try to have fun in the meantime and things will get better!

  3. I wish you the best of lucks, I hope you can heal soon enough and that the things trying to kill you just stop trying to kill you :)

  4. Ugh! That stinks! I'm sorry you're allergic to everything. :(

    Along the lines of being allergic to a pet you own, I'm actually allergic to cats but have had mine for 16 years. Lol. I've built up a tolerance, too.

    Good luck on finding some new, yummy foods that you can eat!

  5. Totally feel your pain, I have the 'Holy trinity' of allergies too - hayfever, asthma and eczema, the eczema is a bitch as it flares up if I have to wash my hands a lot - I work in a cafe -_-
    I totally relate to the cold water treatment - do you find shaving your legs makes them unbelievably itchy no matter how much you moisturise?

    Wish I could get allergy shots, apparently here in the UK I'd have to go to a specialist clinic, not just my GP.

    Really, really hope the shots help xx

  6. Well I can't relate to shaving my legs (except this one time) but I can relate to allergy testing. When I was in fourth grade I had the pin prick test in my back, I was miserable. it hurt so bad my parents decided to get me the BB gun I wanted for Christmas. Yes, I was also allergic to just about everything.

  7. That's so awful! I have never had food allergies, but I did get hives once from my mom switching the brand of fabric softener for laundry. For future reference, Gold Bond itch powder is amazing at calming down hives.

    I recently found out that I have celiac disease, so there are a ton of foods that I'm not allowed to eat and it is super frustrating! Good luck. I hope that your allergy shots will allow you to still eat Nutella. (I am so glad that I'm still allowed to eat that one, unlike so many other delicious things.)

  8. Hi, just passing through as your site caught my eye on G+. Try the Perfect Health Diet!


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