little pricks

umbrella

So, I went for my food allergy test today. I made an appointment in advance for 2pm,  (last week already).  When I got there with my already filled in form, the receptionist told me that the nurses were still on rounds in the hospital and would be back soon. I think “still in the wards” is code for on lunch. So I sat there and watched the waiting room fill up.  I felt a bit nervous because it filled up with old people and a pregnant woman.

After twenty minutes a nurse was there, my form was first, and I got called into a little room. When she looked at my form and saw that I was there for a skin test, she told me that another nurse would do the test.  I went to sit back down in the waiting room. I watched the other impatient patients go into the room one by one. I other heard the receptionist calling “my nurse”  asking her where she was, because there was a skin test that was supposed to happen at two. I later hear another employee that the nurse was still not back from lunch! Last time I checked the time it was 14:45 ! Eventually she arrived and we started the test.

The test works like this. You stick out the insides of your bare arms. The nurse sticks a piece of tape on each arm and makes marks with a marker in increments of about 1 cm. Next to the marks she writes the numbers of each food item being testing. She then drops a clean liquid, from each little corresponding numbered bottles, next to the tape, onto your skin. One of the drops is pure histamine (allergen) and another is antihistamine, these are the control tests. She then takes a blade thingy and pricks your skin with it. It doesn’t really hurt, but some parts of the arm feels more sensitive. It looks worse than it feels.   Then you have to sit with your arms like that for 15 minutes. After the test you get some ointment to out on your arms.

The result: MILK.  I’m lactose intolerant.

Yay I get to eat wheat and corn again.  I will probably have pizza this weekend before I cut out dairy in earnest again.

Getting somewhere. Slowly.

tranquility

After getting back inconclusive results for my food allergy test, I felt angry, depressed and hopeless.

Then my dad suggested that I ask my aunt, who works for a pathologist, to get some information about test options. She confirmed that the skin test does in fact give specific results. The price is also less than a private lab and the medical aid (insurance) normally pays for it (although I have exceeded my benefits). She said I’d have to call in advance to make an appointment. I also have to stop using antihistamine or any allergy medication. I should also eat things like wheat, milk and soy in the days before the test and not cut out any suspected allergens. My aunt was also able to access my blood test results and say that the results suggest that I have a high intolerance to something (this is EXACTLY what I need to find out)

I got myself together and phoned the doctor, I explained that I had checked with the lab and that I wanted a referral. She said it was fine and I stopped by yesterday afternoon to pick it up.

I phoned the pathologist and made an appointment for next Thursday (need enough time to clear out antihistamine, etc). So my allergies are bugging my but maybe a few days with less medication will be good for me.

I’ve been eating things like ice-cream (though probably shouldn’t because of the sugar), soy milk and regular veggie lasagna.

I hope I will have some more answers by next Friday. I also hope the lab will give me a copy of my results, so I don’t have to go to my doctor. I mean, she didn’t even know which tests to send me to.

Day 91 – Cheat Easy

lamington

I have not been sticking to the Candida diet…

After the whole thing with my stupid doctor and the useless test results, I felt pretty hopeless and discouraged.

I ate cookies. I found Lamingtons from my grandma in the freezer and I ate 8… then a few more throughout the week, though not as many at a time (Lamingtons are squares of vanilla sponge cake coated in chocolate syrup and coconut. According to a Google search they originate from Australia. They’ve long been popular in South Africa and my grandma has been baking them for decades. Along with ginger cookies they were my childhood favourite).. I ate KitKat. I ate cream cheese… and cheese. I ate caramel syrup over oats. I ate a big caramel chip muffin. These were not calculated cheats. These were just emotional cheats. Defeated eats. Angry eats. And the sad thing is the only person this hurts is me.

I think I gained a few kilograms. I’m probably still within my BMI range (if only just), but I don’t want things to escalate. My little brother is getting married early next year… and yes I want to look good for the wedding. Even if the day sin’t about me I want to look good.

I had my planned cheat day. Tin-roof ice-cream (vanilla, with chocolate sauce and almonds) and a Steers veggie burger with fries.

I am going to inquire further into the whole food allergies testing thing and get proper tests done. When I know what foods I’m really intolerant to, I’ll start to take this seriously again. I’ll probably start on Day One again. I have a cold at the moment, my sinuses are bugging me and I’m feeling pretty gross.

Day 81 – The Results…

cutting mangoes samurai style
image: flickrcc

 

Well sort of.

It’s been two weeks since I was tested for food allergies.  I hadn’t heard back from my doctor (GP)  about the results, so today I phoned her for the results.  She told me the results were negative (probably why she hasn’t called). Great news, but I needed to be sure seeing as these were expensive test.

So I asked her if that means that I didn’t have any food intolerance or sensitivities either. She said that I did have a normal count, it was quite high, just below the borderline… So I asked “Okay, which foods do I have high count for?” And she said I don’t know,  they just send me the general count, it’s a non specific food test.” WTF? WTF? WTF?, you bloody stupid woman!  WTF!? When I saw her two weeks ago I asked her about skin tests and she told me “Skin tests are non-specific, If you want to know specifically which foods you are allergic to you should do a blood test.” And yes I told her expressly that I did want to know specifically That’s why she refereed me to the blood tests which is more expensive than skin test.  And I tried to go to the pathologist first, but I needed to have a doctor’s referral. For fucks sake why didn’t she check if she was unsure or something.

The foods in the “mix”:

  • Egg white
  • Egg yolk
  • Milk *
  • Trout (wtf?)
  • Wheat *
  • Soy *
  • Hazelnuts
  • Shellfish (not cutting this out, BUT I DON”T EAT THIS BECAUSE I FIND IT CRUEL)* Cutting these out already

This tests were supposed to HELP me know which stuff I really needed to cut out, This doesn’t help me one little bit.

It was a good thing I got the results over the phone because I felt extremely pissed of.  I feel like going there, demanding my medical file and never going to that ridiculous doctor again.

This is not the first time I was pissed of at that woman. She often has her dogs (this doesn’t bother me though) and children around the practice.   Once, she was giving me a pap smear, as she was finishing her little boy knocked on the door. She said “Not now”. but the little shit entered anyway! Luckily my legs were down by that point and I had a little sheet over my lap.  She din’t even attempt the smallest word of apologize,

I was crying for hours.  I’m feeling hopeless and sad and angry.

I really wanted some chocolate, so I had 2 fingers of dark chocolate Kit-Kat, because that’s what’s in the cupboard. I also had a teaspoonful of peanut-butter.

Day 67 – Cheat Treats

icecream
                                                                          image: flickrcc

I still haven’t gotten back my test results (for my food allergy blood test).

I had a (planned) cheat for dessert today. “Choc Due” (white & milk chocolate) flavour ice-cream. I had quite a big scoop. A bit too big. But Now I don’t want ice-cream anymore. It’s not so great after the first few bites…  Okay then I admit, I had some unplanned treats.  Two  cookies from my grandmother (she’s an awesome baker and she’s not going to be baking forever, so why her cookies are in the house… but I had one each of two kinds of cookies) and a strawberry whirl cookie.  At this point the cookies were too sweet, but I don’t want to extend the sweet cheat gap. For the moment, I’m cured.  Maybe for a long time.

I’ll allow myself a cheat meal during the weekend. Maybe a veggie burger or a pizza. I haven’t had bread in more than 3 months.

I was disappointed today when I wanted to get some Fry’s Butternut & Almond bites  (soy and gluten free)  from the vegetarian section of the store freezer. I didn’t want to take the pack at the front of the freezer, so I reached for a pack an arm’s length behind it.  When I got home I saw that I bought Fry’s  chicken style veggie burgers (with soy and gluten).

I hope to get my results soon so that I can better adapt my diet.

Day 72

close

It’s 11:30 pm-ish and I’m drinking coffee. I used to do this years ago (even straight before bed), but I’ve have stopped having coffee after 8 pm quite some time ago. Tonight I feel I need a cup though.

I didn’t even bother to weigh myself today. I didn’t do much at all. I stayed in bed past lunch time. I got up made a nori wrap, watched DR. Oz and then took Gabi for a walk. Then after that it was pretty much just more vegging in front of the TV.

I still haven’t gotten back the results of my food allergies test. I’m so sick of this candida thing. I’ve been sitting with this for years. I’ve tried pretty much everything: diet, having my IUD removed, anti-fungal pills, -creams, doctor prescribed stuff, homeopathic remedies and probiotics. I wish I never had my IUD removed now I still have candida and horrible periods (sorry guys). Ladies, if your doctor suggest removing your IUD for candida, get another opinion.

I’m beyond frustrated. I guess it doesn’t help that I’m broke and can’t spend money on self improvement. The depression doesn’t help even. I get the feeling that between the candida and my anti-depressants, I’ll be libido-free and celibate for the rest of my life.

I’m just so thankful for my Gabi, even though I suspect I might have a slight pet allergy, she saves me every day.

If I sound too negative and complain too much for your liking, sorry…  I just don’t feel like faking it today.

Day 67 – Getting Tested

I started eating corn and oats again last week and alternating goats milk with soy milk. Have some symptoms, not sure which of the foods cause it.

draw blood
image: flickrcc

I decided to get tested for food allergies. It is expensive, but at least I’ll know if I need to be spending money on alternative products.  I won’t have to worry about whether something is an allergen, or not.  I’ll just have to worry/ care about if a food has sugar (or glycemic index), mould or yeast.

I went to see my doctor (GP – general practitioner) today.  We discussed a skin test as well, but it’s non-specific (will only say IF I have an allergy to one of 7 foods, not which one. So I decided to

I went to the pathologists to have blood drawn. They took only one vial of blood. I should have the results within a few days.

I’ve been eating a munching a lot. I don’t know if it’s just emotional eating or if I’m feeling dissatisfied in my diet. When I weighed in on Monday, I had gained about an kilogram or so.

I’m very curious (though maybe a bit anxious) about getting the test results. Hold thumbs!

Got Milk?

A friend posted this link on facebook about milk and I have this to say about it:

smoothie

It does make things difficult… All store-bought vegan alternatives have sugar/ fructose and thickeners added to them (I tried to make my own nut and oat milks but they didn’t work in coffee).

I was so used to soy milk and it works best in coffee (but I’ve now stopped using soy completely, because of my candida diet).

I don’t think I have ever seem milk that specifies it’s grass-fed anywhere. I’m not sure whether there is no grass-fed milk in SA, or if it’s just not labled as such (though the only dairy I use is plain yogurt at the moment, because I’m avoiding lactose – also because of the candida diet). If I do use dairy though, I make sure it’s labled hormone-free (meaning no hormones fed to the cows).

At the moment i’m using full cream goats milk and I’ve gotten used to the wild taste… but it’s not always available (though I guess this is good news because this probably means it is not as mass produced as cows’ milk and the goats probably are not machine-milked).

Ideally I’d be using a non-animal milk alternative for the sake of the animals), but it seems to have too many additives.