Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘allergy’

Cheap date

This has been a strange week. The list of things I react very badly to when ingested seems to grow by the minute. In a desperate bid to create even the vaguest hint of normalcy, this week I tried taking an antihistamine that many people had recommended to me as being the “only one with no side effects”. Well. Apparently I am SUCH a cheap date that even a single simple antihistamine can put me on my ear. I spent a day and a half feeling as though I’d had three glasses of wine and wrapped myself in cotton wool. Nothing in the world could penetrate, and all I could think was, “I have to drive later. I hope the world stands still by then – at least until I get home.” The drive from “work” to home is about 1km. So you see.

Now that I am beginning to regain consciousness, I know some key things:

  • I am allergic to coconut in all its forms
  • I am allergic to every version of biltong (jerky, but better. Exponentially better)
  • I can’t have commercially processed bacon, despite what I post on Facebook
  • I am allergic to nuts
  • I have really severe candida and can’t actually tolerate any sugar of any kind – even raw honey or fruit
  • I really can’t have any commercial meds and still expect to be functional

So my skin is bad, my brain is foggy and my abdomen aches with distention. My scope for caloric intake is impaired.

But at least we’re narrowing down both the issues and the options.

Sorry for having been quiet.


Our first SCD birthday

This week, Goldilocks hit double digits! I can’t believe we now share a house with a TWEEN – and I really can’t believe that I’ve been a parent for so long. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and a wonderful privilege.

Her Ladyship had a whole day of activities planned. For one thing, she was very specific about the kinds of food we should have: fudge, birthday cake (WITH frosting!) and, of all things, lasagne. How could I achieve all of this on SCD? And would there ever be enough for all of us?

I was worried.

I had thought to use the food preparation part of the day as a substitute for school, since we would surely all be learning a lot from the process. However, this idea was thoroughly vetoed by Goldilocks, who was determined to wake up to a surprise birthday cake, as is our family tradition.

As a result, I was up till 2am making meringues, fudge, birthday cake (with frosting), and chocolate. On the day, I made cheese crackers and lasagne. All of it was a resounding success, with left overs to last nearly a week! We had such fun: playing scrabble and monopoly (I was thoroughly trounced in both!), then hosting an elaborate tea party for Grandpa, followed by delicious lasagne and The Hunchback of Notre Dame II.

Everyone was satisfied and, in fact, full for the first time since we started this nutritional adventure. And three days later, none of us has yet had an adverse reaction.

Recipes to follow.

What an amazing milestone, Goldilocks. I’m so proud of you!

Short(ish) history

In high school, ongoing cramps, skin break outs and head aches caused my parents to cut wheat and dairy out of my diet. My mom had been diagnosed with these allergies, so it seemed a good candidate. Towards the end of high school my doctor prescribed the Pill for my irregular periods and bad skin. I’d been on antibiotics many times in my life for colds, ‘flu, tummy bugs and more. I was also put on Prozac for depression. Once I cut out wheat and dairy, my cramps and headaches improved, and so did my moods (although at that time I didn’t connect the mood swings with my diet). For many years I lived only on salad and fruit, and I felt fantastic. My school marks improved, and I had energy.

I lost a lot of weight, which wasn’t really a good thing, but it was a natural side effect of my strict diet. And nothing cured my chocoholism!

When I met my future husband in 1995, things changed. He loved pizza,  pies, pasta, coke and coffee. We shared red wine and Italian dinners and a lot of fun. I was young and in love, and felt as if things couldn’t be better.

Gradually, my brain grew foggier and foggier. My waist line expanded, and my face got puffy. I started feeling tired and lethargic. Slowly, I noticed that I was feeling less motivated and more “down in the dumps”. With a personal and family history of mild depression, I didn’t think much of it. I kept fuelling my lifestyle with coffee and chocolate and, having decided that I’d never been truly allergic since I’d never been properly diagnosed, I was merrily consuming every pastry, pasta, bread and cheese known to man.

By the end of 2000 I was regularly bedridden with killer migraines. My lower abdomen looked permanently 6 months pregnant. My husband and I tried to fall pregnant. Coming off the pill had only two effects: irregular periods and severe pain in my lower abdomen. Eventually it was so bad I could hardly walk.

A trip to the doctor led to minor surgery to deal with a lesion on my uterus, the result of either endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, or something else. We were told we’d never fall pregnant, so we stopped trying. Needless to say, a year later we had a gorgeous, completely healthy little girl.

I was exhausted. I could hardly get out of bed, and felt a constant need to sleep. My baby had been sleeping for up to 12 hours a night from a very early age, yet I felt as if I’d been hit by a truck. That’s when I went to a nutritional specialist. She “officially” diagnosed lactose and gluten allergies and advised that I avoid all sugar.

I heard and obeyed. Within two weeks, I had energy, I was upbeat, I could think, and things looked better than ever. Since then, we’ve had another child, and I’ve stayed pretty much gluten-free. However, I remain firmly addicted to chocolate, I battle with migraines, and my skin isn’t very good. So I’ve decided to do something about it, and this is where I’m keeping track of it.

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