So I’m not really sure how to start this post. It’s very personal and I’ve kinda strayed away from posting about myself lately, but I feel like I really need to share this with you. Maybe it will help someone else. So here goes! I’ve been having really bad allergic reactions lately, I mean really, really bad. I’ve had allergies for years, but come on, I’m turning the big 5-0 this July and you’d think I’d be past the point of getting new allergies, right? Apparently not. The sad thing is I think this may have been going on for much longer than I’ve thought and it’s just really catching up with me. Maybe even years. So what’s going on?
For the past few months, I’ve been breaking out in weird bumps on my face that I thought were actual breakouts, but they’re not. The skin on my face has gotten redder and has even broken out in hives on several occasions and it’s so itchy when that happens I want to claw my skin off. Not only that, but I itch all over, even my scalp. So frustrating! I’ve tried everything to make the redness and itching go away, but nothing helps for long. I’ve had problems with redness for the past few years and I thought it was just dry skin but it’s gotten to the point where no amount of color corrector, concealer and foundation and hydrocortisone cream won’t cover it.
The next thing I’ve noticed is my weight. I’m a round ball at times. I could play Violet Beauregard! No matter how much I work out and watch what I eat, I can’t lose more than five pounds. I’ve even had a gym membership for over a year now and still nothing. If anything I’ve gained and I am rounder. I’ve sat in my bedroom and cried at times because I can’t fit into my clothes or it’s been another disappointing shopping day. I just look swollen all over. Even my kids notice that I’m swollen. It’s ridiculous!
I’ve had times over the past few months when I thought I was becoming sick and it turned out to an allergic reaction. I’ve run fevers, and tried allergy medicine and had to be put on prednisone to calm down reactions. I just can’t seem to figure out what is causing it. Then it got even worse and scary. Is it corn, soy, garlic? Ugh! I have no idea. Like I said now the reactions are worse each time.
Wednesday I started having pain in back around my left shoulder. I thought I pulled a muscle or even slightly subluxed my shoulder. After a night or two on a heating pad and ibuprofen, it wasn’t getting any better. Sometime between Friday and Saturday, I started having chest pain. Every single breath stang like crazy. Sunday was a little better, but that evening I was hurting. Then I woke up Monday morning and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It was scary. My daughter Emily is getting over pneumonia and I thought maybe she shared with me, so I decided to go to the doctor.
Good thing I did because I wasn’t prepared for what she told me. I was having a really bad allergic reaction that had been building for days. I had been having asthma symptoms and I was wheezing. For the record, I don’t have asthma. All three of my kids have asthma but I don’t. At least I didn’t. So now I have my own inhaler and I’m back on prednisone again and an antibiotic. Not being able to breathe is terrifying. This allergy has become scary.
Now I’m under doctor’s orders to go on an elimination diet as soon as possible. Good thing I’ve been reading a book about Whole30! My doctor agrees that I need to start now. Apparently, all these symptoms I’ve been having is an allergic reaction that has been building for years. The hives, rashes, skin redness, itching, constant congestion, stomach issues, IBS, swelling and weight gain have all been screaming at me that I have a massive problem that I need to take care and since I haven’t been listening to my body, it is now under attack and giving me no other option.
So here comes 30 days of no dairy, beans, soy, grains, sugar, or alcohol. For 30 days no baked goods, no sweet tea or soda, no rice, no Southern cooking. How is a Southern girl going to do this? One day, one meal, one bite at a time. For the past several years, it seems like each new year has had a kind of theme, I think this year, for me, it’s going to be claiming my health and body back. I have to do this. I have to heal my body. And since I can’t find an allergy doctor within 60 miles that does food allergy testing that my insurance works with, I have no choice.
I’m hoping that after 30 days, my body will be on its way to being healed and then I can start reintroducing foods, one by one to figure out this mess. Hopefully, I lose a few pounds in the process, but that’s not the main point for me at this point. I just want to know what’s causing all of this and maybe during this time, I’ll find an allergy doctor too. Hopefully, my skin will go back to its normal color, I will have energy and I will know what to avoid eating so I can go back to my normal life.
I plan on posting updates each day on how I’m doing and what I’m eating on my social media, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll post weekly updates here with meals, too. This is not a plug for Whole30, just what I’m doing. This is going to be hard, so hard; but not my husband having cancer hard, or losing my mom hard, but hard. But anything worth having is worth working hard for, especially my health.
I’m not sure how my family is going to take this change. Granted my kids are adults now and can fix their own meals and so can my husband. But I want to try to make at least one meal a day family-friendly. Here’s hoping! I am taking my health back. No ifs, ands, or buts. Wish me lots of luck and if you’ve done anything like this before let me know. Send me any tips and recipes you have that I should try and if you want any information about Whole 30 click here!