The Allergy Question Part I: It Begins
Here's the Deal
So here's the deal. I'm 26 and have a bunch of minor things wrong with me. But these minor things shouldn't be popping up for me just yet, in fact, I probably shouldn't have to deal with this stuff for another twenty years or so. But as it is, I have two bad knees that ache at seemingly random times. I have tendinitis in my left shoulder and have suffered two back injuries, both back injuries and shoulder issues are down to L and I claims at my former job due to lack of proper training or support to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.
I used to have severe ear infections when I was a baby. I had tubes in my ears. When I recently went in to see my naturopath, she cooed at how scarred the insides of my ears were from them (news to me!). I was a swimmer growing up, I spent eight years on the swim team. I finally gave it up because I was getting too competitive and stuck up, and realized the ugliness that was growing in me. I put it to an end. Part of me misses it, but not the competition. But, when you're swimming in school, isn't the competition the point?
When I was a swimmer, I had a hard time diving. If I went more than a foot or so underwater, my ears would hurt horrendously, and make awful squeaky noises in them, like Styrofoam rubbing on itself. The hurt would travel through my sinuses and down my throat. This worked to my advantage as a swimmer: it forced me to learn to not dive too deeply at the start of a race and not to turn too deeply.
A couple years ago, I lived with a roommate that had a cat that attacked the rat on my shoulder (don't worry! The rat was a pet!). When she did so, her claw was lodged in my right hand. She tugged at it and finally got it out, not even tearing the skin. It hurt, far more than a cat scratch should, but she didn't leave a mark. There was only the slightest puncture which could have been mistaken for a tiny freckle and I not known better.
By the following day, the ring and middle finger on my right hand had gone numb, on the surface. My fingers and wrist were experiencing a lot of pain if I tried to do anything with my right hand, and sometimes even when I wasn't doing anything with it. I finally went to the hospital about it after a week. After ten minutes I emerged with a $500 later, a suggestion I take Aleve for the pain and the wise words of "Maybe God will let you have the feeling back".
After another week or so, the feeling came back into my hand. However since then my skin has been tough between those two fingers, on the verge of being scaly but not quite getting there. Then this winter it broke. Eczema has spread over both fingers, reaching toward my wrist and down to the palm of my hand. The itch is maddening. I have tried everything. I make salves with all the things that should help, yet none of them do. I put lotion on, but it does nothing.
Finally, I went to a naturopath with all my complains, and she suggested a food allergy. Staring on the first of the year, I am go to without dairy or gluten. I will re-introduce one of them after a couple month and see how my body reacts. I will continue on without the other for another month and repeat the same thing. If it is neither of these things then we will go on to see what else it might be.
This is my story.
My goal is not just to find out what I may or may not be allergic to so that my knees will stop hurting and my hand can return to normal function, but I want to be more alert. I would like to be able to wake up bright and early and have the energy enough to get through the day. I would like to go along my life minus the brain fog which I seem to have accrued over time. I would like to lose this extra weight that I have certainly put on over the holidays. I would like not crave everything that will give me a heart attack when it gets to be that monthly time.
I know a lot of this is down to me. I understand that. I can't blame all of that on a food allergy. But it can be the first step.