Hey, Hump Day!
Not your average hump day booty shot. Believe it or not, this heavy-duty, masking tape is actually concealing about 200 food samples—things I eat every day.
So, yeah, taped to my back right now? Tiny pieces of salmon, egg, spinach, red lentils, homemade salad dressing, pineapple and much more.
What’s the deal?
Well, the idea is to find out what exactly is making me sick.
For the last few months, I’ve had severe reactions to something and this will hopefully give us answers. The side effects from something I’m eating are nasty-- cramps, gas and debilitating diarrhea. It’s so bad, I’m left feeling like I have the flu.
Sunflower, say it isn’t so!
I’ve already completed one test and it did show a problem with sunflower seeds. Yep, I’m allergic. For the last few months, I’ve been roasting them at home, adding a little salt and devouring a few handfuls a day. Yum! Love that crunch! And they make for a great, healthy snack. But doc says I need to avoid them from now on.
Meanwhile, the allergy doctor is convinced there’s something else causing my problem. He suspects: nickel. Nickel is typically found in costume jewelry. My doc is really nice but doesn’t have much of a sense of humor. When he asked me if I ever get an odd reaction when I wear cheap jewelry. I put my best incredulous face on and told him this: “Who me? Why I’d never, ever be caught wearing that cheap stuff—only high-quality diamonds touch this skin.”
What? That’s gold! I laughed. But he wasn’t amused and went on to explain that the inexpensive stuff is made with nickel and can cause itching and other skin problems.
Nevertheless, I’ll be here all week folks. Tip your waitresses!
Nickel in Foods
No but seriously, turns out nickel is also found in many foods—and I’m not talking about just the processed things. It’s found in natural, holistic edibles, such as grains, seeds, tea and fish. Oh no! I eat salmon at least 4 times a week. It can be found in a lot more-- such as, 100% Cacao powder—which I also eat about twice a week.
So, here’s how this tape-on-the-back test works. I gathered tiny pieces of everything I eat in a week and put them in separate plastic bags. I’m a creature of habit and eat the same things over and over, so this was a fairly easy process. I took about 200 samples in the day before so nurses could prepare each piece and place it onto tiny slides. On Tuesday, they attached all of the food to my back. So, behind that tape is all of the food. I have to hang like this for three days. On Thursday, the doc takes off the tape and measures the red spots and hives produced so far. Then they attach all of it again and I wait another 24 hours. They after the third day they measure again. Hopefully we will find some answers.
I also got blood tests. These will help determine allergens that may be irritating my bowels. By the way, you may remember in my blog post a few days ago—I had a colonoscopy because of the diarrhea. It showed an enormous number of Eosinophils attacking a food in my gut. In other words, my gut doesn’t like something so these white blood cells are gathering to fight it. That’s how I ended up at the Allergist.
Meanwhile, I cannot get my back wet. No baths, showers or (gasp!) work outs. But hey, at least during the Coronavirus outbreak right now, not working out is not much of a problem for me. Sure, I have a hastily created, make-shift place to sweat in my garage but it’s not THE gym, you know?
If you know someone with food allergies or stomach problems—I hope you’ll share this blog with them. Together we might be able to help others.
And stay home!
We will get through this Coronavirus outbreak! Protect our loved ones by staying home.
Make it a great day!
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