Wheat Free and Feelin’ Good

I have been successfully living free of wheat for two and a half weeks and feel good. You see, two and a half  weeks ago, I slipped up when we went out for barbecue, and I ate two rolls as well as some macaroni and cheese. The next morning, I was itchy and had a sore throat and terrible body aches.

Yesterday, I didn’t take prednisone or allergy medicine before going to my doctor to get tested for food allergies. I figured I shouldn’t take them on the day of testing. However, my doctor informed me only after I got there that I was apparently supposed to be off of allergy medication for a week. I pointed out that when I made the appointment, her staff didn’t tell me about this, nor did the paperwork say anything about it. She really couldn’t say anything to that. I’m guessing someone dropped the ball. I probably should’ve rescheduled, but my credit card had already been charged $60.00, my co-pay for seeing a specialist.

The doctor said that since it was just Benedryl I’d been taking, she would have the nurse prick my arm with histamine to see if there was enough of a reaction for the allergy test to be valid. The nurse pricked my arm with histamine and after a few minutes, it swelled a little. The nurse said it seemed too close for her to call, so she had the doctor come in and look at it. The doctor said it was close but seemed good enough. She gave me a list of foods to be tested for. I chose wheat, eggs, milk, and white potatoes since I’m a pretty big fan of all of these. (I rarely, if ever, eat nuts, fish, shellfish, or soybeans, so I passed on getting tested for these common food allergens). The list was quite lengthy containing a large assortment of vegetables, fruit, and even meats like beef, pork, and chicken.

Shortly after being pricked in several places, I started itching. When the doctor came in to examine my back, she said that I seemed sensitive to wheat and especially to potatoes, but she wouldn’t call me allergic. No matter the results of the allergy testing, I know I need to stay away from wheat. I think I’m now going to make sure I avoid potatoes as well. Additionally, I’m going to keep noting what I eat as well as any reaction. Finally, I’m going to continue taking Pearls, a strong probiotic, which may help my gut improve, and subsequently, my immune system. Hopefully, with time, I will become completely symptom-free and go into remission from Dermatomyositis.

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