Today is day five of my ramping up my food challenge, as I am having an upper endoscopy on June 21 to see if I have eosinophilic esophagitis. This disease appears to be more recently recognized and has to do with multiple food allergies that might otherwise go undiagnosed. Since I have had crushing esophagus pain from some foods (oranges) and trouble swallowing at times, often choking on liquids (my nickname has been “RainBird”), my new gastroenterologist looked at my food allergy test results (skin prick tests done by an allergist) and decided there could be more to my food reactions than other conventional allergy testing has shown.
It’s really difficult, though, psychologically, going back and eating things I have avoided for the last 5 to 15 years. I keep looking at the boxes on the shelves in the store and wanting to read all the ingredients, and then thinking that I should just try anything I want. I also don’t want to “waste” this opportunity to eat the things I used to love by eating the stale bread that comes with meals at lesser restaurants, or fast food take-out that I didn’t even like when I did eat it.
I have actually been asking my friends “what’s your favorite Chinese restaurant?” or “where can I get the absolute best croissant in town?” and making a point of not going out of my way to get too many special gluten-free foods for the time being.
Even though I haven’t gone back to a full food challenge, I have been eating so-called gluten-free oatmeal every morning, as I react to oats, as well as having orange juice each day. I’m not planning on going for the hardcore gluten-containing products until May 17, the day I finish this semester’s finals, as I don’t want any negative reactions to cause problems with my studying.
So far, I haven’t been having very major reactions, but I am queasy pretty often and have confused signals about whether or not I’m hungry. I have also had some heartburn which I knocked out with some Pepcid. Today, though, I woke up feeling achy all over, something like the beginning of a flu or bad cold. I also have a headache that feels different from the ones I usually have. I’m feeling less-coordinated than usual, and having a little brain fog.
None of this is as bad as it gets by far, but the few things I am having are definitely having an effect. I think the oats are the culprit for most of the body/brain stuff, and the orange juice for the heartburn. I have also been eating more corn lately, which is another food that kicks up acid reflux.
Hoping I can keep it up and get through the challenge period, and that I don’t become too difficult to be around. And I also hope I learn something useful from the whole experience.
BTW – if you have celiac disease and can eat oats, I highly recommend the Bakery on Main brand instant oats. I have been enjoying the maple flavor ones for the last 5 days now and wishing I could keep them as part of my diet from this point on. 🙂
Some of my wishlist products (not all “healthy” or gourmet):
- croissant – both plain and almond-filled
- crusty baguette
- Round Table pizza – maybe pepperoni and double cheese?
- garlic bagel with lox and cream cheese
- clam-stuffed breaded and fried calamari
- Chinese food – almost anything
- Mexican food – especially chilies relleno
- old fashioned-style doughnut/maple glazed
- baked manicotti
- Grape Nuts/Wheat Chex
And that’s just for starters… it’s not going to be pretty, but I have to provoke a reaction. Might as well enjoy it while I can. 🙂