I was planning a post about my Fall Bucket List today, but then life happened. Well actually, dairy happened. Which when you have an allergy to cows, or any food based allergy, kind of makes you stop in your tracks. Living with a food allergy changes your life, you have to be aware of everything that goes into your body. And I mean everything.
For those of you who don’t know my allergy story, I talk about it more here. It’s something I’ll be sharing more about, now that I have to change the way I cook and bake. I’ve also found some inspiration in other dairy-free blogs, so maybe there’s a little part of me that hopes to help someone with my story. Allergies are a tricky business and even though I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy I am not a doctor. I’m happy to share my experiences but if you think you have a food allergy it’s best to contact an allergist or your doctor so they can run some tests.
There’s another thing that I should clarify. I am allergic. Not lactose intolerant. They are two different things, and they have different symptoms. When I eat something with dairy in it sometimes it takes me up to two days to feel any symptoms. When I do I feel run-down, kind of like I have the flu, but without the fever. Other times I feel the effects almost immediately after eating, they are violent and painful and basically wipe me out for an entire day. This is what happened last night.
We hardly ever order out since it is so risky, but last night we decided to get pizza from the only pizza place that delivers and offers vegan cheese. I ordered my pizza and made my substitutions while crossing my fingers and making a wish that they would get it right. There are many things that make eating out beyond annoying and one of those is asking for ingredients to be left off or substituted on an order. I usually get a 75% accuracy rate across the board.
They didn’t get it right. When this happens I just have to weigh my options, decide how hard it would be to remove the offender or if it’s possible to pick around it. The offender in question was pesto sauce, I had substituted regular sauce but it came with pesto, something that is pretty hard to get around on a pizza. I decided to eat it anyway, since I had actually eaten it before and in my starving state could not recall any noticeable symptoms. Now I probably should have known better, pesto by most recipes, contains parmesan cheese. But I was delirious and like I said, I had eaten it before.
About 20 minutes later I started to feel sick to my stomach, which was my first warning sign. At 45 minutes my heart rate became irregular and I was extremely dizzy. Thanks to Grey’s I know that this is called anaphylaxis, and it’s no joke. I called the restaurant who confirmed that there was milk and cheese in the pesto (they also refunded my entire order) and then I started trying to calm my heart down. Honestly when I’m in the middle of an attack like that my body just kind of takes over and I don’t really know what I’m doing.
Last night was one of the worst reactions I’ve had. The nausea and abdominal pain didn’t leave until around 3 am, and when my alarm went off this morning I was exhausted. My body felt like it had just been in a rumble and even though I tried as hard as I could I had to stay home and rest. I don’t like calling into work, and this week was probably the worst timing, but I had to. I also had to miss my favorite class, and a lab. Luckily my professor, who also has a food allergy, completely understood. Mister was a great caretaker, as always when this type of thing happens, he’s always so supportive and tries his hardest to help me feel better. But really I spent whatever time I wasn’t sleeping watching day time talk shows. Did you know Ricki Lake is back? Love her!
But really I spent most of my day with this girl:
One thing about having a blog is that you can pick and choose which parts of your life you want to share with the internet. I had juggled sharing this type of experience, but it’s my real life and you guys deserve some real talk.
Thanks for reading.