Thursday, January 11, 2007

Remembering...

The subject for the Christmas journal on the 30th of December was to remember the past year, good and bad. For me there was one major thing that stood out (both good and bad). I didn't want my page to be about the design but about the journaling. I did lots of journaling (all tucked into a pocket at the back of the photo), it felt good to write it all down, and you can read it all below:

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Food intolerance.
It feels strange to write this down. It’s the first time I have done it. The biggest change in 2006, both on the good and bad side was my food intolerance. Between January and April I was feeling so ill. Almost constantly. I could hardly go out and we had to cancel plans many times. I kept a food diary and it showed about 10 “reasonable well days” out of 60!! It was even affecting my mood (lack of nutrients because I didn’t get to keep any food?) and my skin/looks. Not to mention how it wears you out, constantly feeling ill. In April I was so desperate that I went on a very strict elimination diet. Ross was sweet enough and did it with me - that meant so much!

After a week of pure torture I was in tears, I was still ill and didn’t know where to turn or what to do. The doctors were no help as they didn’t do intolerance tests. I knew it was something I was eating, I just couldn’t work out what. Neither was I aware of that you can react to something you are intolerant to up to 72 (!) hours after you have eaten it. During this time I had bought and read LOTS of stomach/intolerance books. Several seemed to suggest that a private IGG intolerance test was the way to go. But it cost a fortune. And would it even work? It has been on my mind for months.
Speaking to my mum on the phone in Sweden, being in tears as I made the decision to give up the strict elimination diet, she said maybe I should try the IGG test after all. If it would give me the right answers it would be worth any money in the world. But would it work?


She said she and dad would pay. This time I cried with happiness & ordered the test the next day. Waiting for the results were very scary & exciting. This was my only hope it felt like, I couldn’t think of anything else that I could try.
When the envelope came through the door I was so scared. I kept looking at it and looking at it. I was wondering if this would finally have the answers for me. I waited until Ross came home and opened it...
I cried and cried. Seeing the results were a nightmare. I kept saying “What am I supposed to eat? What am I supposed to eat?” The results were showing severe intolerances to: dairy products, gluten, wheat, rye, barley, eggs, almonds, hazelnuts, brazilnuts, haricot beans, kidney beans, yeast, cola nut etc and also “borderline intolerances” to things like maize, corn, white fish etc. I was devastated.

The next few weeks we learnt to read the ingredients of everything we bought. Have you ever thought of how MANY products contain things like gluten/wheat, dairy, eggs and yeast? Basically anything pre-made is out of the question, so is breads and cakes, most sauces, almost all candy/sweets/chocolate etc. Eating out is impossible.
Now, several months later, I have learnt to cope with it. Ross being so supportive and eating the same things I do help incredibly much. It’s not easy, it’s never easy, but I have learnt to cope. I read on everything I buy. Everything. I feel SO much better it’s unbelievable, my skin is back to normal (amazing what intolerances can do), Ross says I look so much better and healthier, my mood is so much better and I feel generally “myself” again. A feeling that is SO great it’s hard to describe.

Don’t get me wrong, writing shopping lists and finding FUN things to cook is still hard, and every few weeks I have a few hours when I feel really down about it and could kill for something like a slice of pizza. However taking the test was the best thing I did!


***

And for Chris, who asked me to recommend some "free from" books:
* "The AiA Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook" - Marilyn Le Breton This book is aimed at children with autism, but it works great for anyone with food intolerance. All recipes are gluten and dairy free and on top of that they are all marked as "egg free", "yeast free" etc (when that applies).
* "Cooking Without Made Easy: Recipes Free from Added Gluten, Sugar, Yeast and Dairy Produce" - Barbara Cousins I just received this book from Amazon the other day, so I really haven't had the chance to get an opinion of it yet. I think it will be worth it though because almost all "intolerance" books feature ONE food intolerance only...and when you suffer from several "big" ones, they are not much use.
Hope this was of some help Chris...

5 comments:

Peechy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peechy said...

ahhh hun!! IKHYF, I had to go on an elimination diet as a child. My asthma mild excema and severe migraines meant I had to give up most of my fave stuff.
I now "cheat" as I find it hard at times.

Ds1 has excema and during a horible, terrible flare up (it bled and got infected and he would wake up crying and screaming) I had to go thru the whole thing with him. no dairy was very hard for him he also had to give up red meat.... it got sooo bad and he was so sad and had no energy or motivation. I cried alot those days, I felt so helpless to help him and couldnt take the pain away.

ok I'm rambling waaaay too much, sorry!!

Just wanted to add a little Yayy!! for you and hope you find some good things that you like to eat xxx


ooops, I forgot to add that there's an allergy show every year at olympia that is very helpful, quite expensive for entry considering the size but you get to meet companies and people who know about allergies and also buy products.

I'll delete the first post as I dont know how to edit comments...

Dale Anne said...

Just a note to say another good book to read is "Eat Right 4 Your Type" by Dr. Peter D'Adamo.

No affiliation - just needed something better for my health and this is working for me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the book titles - will check them out
Hope they work well for you
Chris x

Helen said...

Thank you for the info. Our 7 yr old daughter was diagnosed a year ago with coeliacs and any info like this is brilliant. Hope you are coping ok with it all now!
I was only looking at your exploding box instructions and got carried away with your beautiful designs. Best wishes Helen x