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my life has changed

I don’t feel well.
I cannot remember a day where I felt GOOD. I constantly feel sick, extremely fatigued, and have little to no energy. I have always suffered from bad migraines, serious digestive issues, awful skin issues… heart palpitations/chest pain… lump in my throat… the works.. I never feel good. It’s such a minute-to-minute battle honestly, and there have been numerous times in my life, I have felt ‘crazy’ for ALWAYS feeling so sick. I rarely discuss how I’m feeling with others because at what point will others stop believing you when you’re always feeling sick??!

I think this is ONE of the reasons I hate the question… How are you!?!? Because I ALWAYS want to say… Actually, I’m not feeling well.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had numerous tests… from brain scans, to stomach procedures… etc — never any answers.

I’ve had doctors tell me that I was depressed even when I told them I felt HAPPY… but I just felt SICK.

My chest often feels heavy and tight like I’m having a heart attack.
I am constantly ‘sick’.
I have NO energy.
I am tired upon waking up.
Medicines make me feel WORSE. 

NOTHING HAS EVER HELPED.

NOTHING. 

For the past year and a half, I have not voluntarily eaten dairy. I began tracking my foods and found that by not eating dairy, I felt slightly better. And although it was only a slight improvement, it was better than NOTHING.

——-

I often don’t get a good night’s rest….

I wake up in a panic every few minutes thinking that I am going to die.

Because just a few months prior, I actually thought that I was.

That particular night I thought to myself… ‘I should tell my family I love them…’ – It felt like I was having a heart attack, I lost feeling in my left arm…. Every thing that I laid my eyes on in the room was spinning at a speed faster than I drive. My chest was tight and I continued to say the Lord’s prayer over and over again as my heart skipped and stopped and raced faster than it ever had.

I truly thought that was going to be my last night with my family.

I called the DR the next morning and we agreed I would never take that medicine again… a medicine that was prescribed to me for serious vertigo symptoms I’ve been dealing with for six weeks…. A constant dizzy and room spinning sensation with periods of bad episodes of vertigo and moments where I would literally fall down… I’ve had intermittent hearing loss amongst some other awful symptoms.

I’ve since had a series of tests done – to include three days of allergy injection testing (intradermal testing with needles), patch testing and prick testing.

On the final day of intradermal testing, I sat in the doctor’s office and I cried…. And at that point I had no idea of the overwhelm that would soon fall over me in the hours to come.

I’ve accepted (and had predicted) that I am allergic to almost everything in life… the nurse even joked that I was allergic to myself, but sadly she wasn’t completely joking. Out of 52 needle injections, I am allergic to 48 allergens…. which explains a lot of my issues.

But my food testing results are what have left me speechless. Honestly, I’ve been extremely overwhelmed by the results.

I have sobbed…. months later, even the grocery store floor has felt my tears.

So the results…..

Not only am I severely allergic to pork (which I can be totally fine with and makes perfect sense)….

I am severely allergic to corn.

CORN.

You guys, I am crying. Ironically, corn happens to be my FAVORITE vegetable….. and that’s why I initially sat in the doctor’s office and cried, I told the nurse, she was stealing my corn on the cob… my favorite vegetable…. I was ‘ignorantly’ upset.

But what I failed to realize… is that corn is literally in EVERYTHING.

Everything from PAINT – toothpaste – ICE CREAM (lots of dairy products) — to MEDICINE….. literally everything. Preservatives and additives… are corn derived…

And yes… medicine. The medicine that was prescribed to me was full of CORN – and the night that I thought I was going to die. I actually almost did. I was having an allergic reaction to the medicine, and I had NO idea. I cry because I’m so grateful I’m still here knowing how serious things were that night.

This is why medicines have always made me feel WORSE – because they’re mostly ALL made with corn or a corn derivative.

Everything that I have been putting in my body my entire life – with the exception of fresh fruits/vegetables and chicken/beef… I’ve been SEVERELY allergic to.

I am crying…. Again.

So in addition to my severe allergy with pork and corn – I am also highly allergic to yeasts…. So anytime I would eat a sleeve of Oreos… or sugars/breads/pastas (MAC N CHEESE) and FRUITS — My body was attacking itself. So any carbs/sugars/starches — increases my body yeast levels, which means I am truly… allergic to myself… as my doctor confirmed.

I’m overwhelmed because I’m recollecting all of the times I literally felt like I was dying because I felt so sick….. and now I know why…. All of the medicine I’ve taken that made me feel SO SO terrible when it was supposed to do the opposite. When I was told I was allergic to my CONTACTS and could no longer where them…. when I had ulcers upon ulcers all over my cornea and eye lids from my contacts… it was because of the CORN.

I literally still cannot completely understand this – I’m so overwhelmed… even after all of these months. I have for the most part figured out my corn allergy – with the exception of inhalants… I can’t control other people drowning themselves in perfume, so being out in public can be very difficult. My yeast allergy has proving to be super difficult… it limits a LOT of the fresh vegetables and all fruits because of the natural sugars/carbs. So I am down to only a handful of foods at this point.

Corn and pork are not one of the top allergens…. Food companies do not have to list them in the ingredients. Corn is literally in EVERYTHING – even household products. I’m really anxious about it all – pork seems like it will be easy to steer away from, it’s never been my favorite anyway….. but I’m scared of feeling so sick again or worse…. I’m scared that one day I’ll accidentally eat something or inhale something that will send me back into the ER.. or worse.

I am scared…. And that’s okay – because at least I see a light now…. I’m getting answers….

My amazing allergists have decided to send me to a Mast Cell Specialist at VCU, so I’ll be visiting them next month to hopefully get some more insight into this crazy new life journey I’m on… until then — you’ll likely not see me at the grocery store, and I won’t be able to meet you for lunch anymore!

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