Beef...It's NOT What's for Dinner
Okay…for those of you who've known me for a while, you know I've had significant food allergies for most of my life, especially over the last couple of decades. Bacon double cheeseburgers, which I think are just heavenly, and shamrock shakes, which are heavenly, too (just in a chemically derived, synthetically induced manner), will never again be a part of my diet.
Ever. And I'm okay with that.
Here's something that happened to me about ten years ago. I share it because it might help someone else who's been having food allergy or sensitively problems.
About ten years ago, I encountered a little touchiness from several folks who, for one reason or another, found my rapidly narrowing food preferences to be a little off-putting. So…to try to expand on what I could eat, I experimented with organic buffalo one Sunday afternoon in early January of that year. I was hopeful things would go okay.
Within about fifteen minutes, I started to experience a very familiar itchiness inside my ears. I can remember thinking to myself, Dang, the moment the itchiness began. I immediately took Benadryl to try to counter the allergic reaction; within a few minutes, my entire body became just one big hive. (Jumping ahead to later, when I was in the emergency room at Durham Regional, the ER nurses kept saying stuff like, "Impressive," as they surveyed the hives all over my body. I'm not quite sure why they used THAT particular word, but I will grant my hives probably were impressive.) Needless to write, things there in my apartment got really, really uncomfortable in very short order.
To help me pass the time (and get past my allergic reaction), I laid down for a few minutes only to get up as I began to feel my breathing deteriorate into a scratchy wheeziness. When this kind of thing has happened before, I discovered standing up seemed to help me feel a little better. So that's what I did. And it seemed to help. But, as my breathing improved, my mind quickly returned to my hives, which were, as I alluded to above, becoming really uncomfortable. To try to take my mind off my hives, I sat at my computer and tried to write some, which I did for about a half an hour or so. Since that seemed to work (as the itchiness seemed to subside a little during that time period), I thought I was finally on the mend.
Until I stood up.
And discovered that, rather than getting better, things seemed to have gone from bad to worse—much worse, actually—as I almost lost consciousness.
Everything—and I mean, EVERYTHING—around me got really bright; and, at the same time, I began to feel myself pulling back to somewhere deep inside myself. If you've never experienced such a thing before, it's a very weird feeling.
Anyway…as everything went light, I remember stepping back from my computer and putting my hand on the kitchen counter to steady myself. I kept having this sinking feeling that something really, really bad was happening.
And I was right.
I didn't know it consciously at the time, but my blood pleasure was tanking…dangerously so. I remember crying out to God and asking Him what to do.
Immediately, in my spirit, I heard, Call Chris and Kristen, which I did. On a phone, mind you, that had not been working properly for several days. This time, though, it worked perfectly—miraculously so. (Yep...God's Hand at work—Thank you, Father!!)
And here's another cool thing, too: I got Kristen just as she was leaving the third service at church. She made it to my apartment in about five minutes and drove me to Durham Regional. Her husband, Chris, who oversees all the church tech stuff on Sunday mornings, met us at the hospital a little later.
I spent about five hours in the emergency room that afternoon as the ER staff politely monitored my condition and pumped me full of things that really did help me feel better.
A couple weeks later, as I was sitting in my allergist's office, he talked with me a bit about the incident of two weeks before. What he said scared me. With a sternness that perhaps only a doctor, teacher, or parent can muster, he said had I NOT gotten myself to the emergency room it's quite possible someone might have found me in my apartment some several days later. THAT got my attention!!
So...in response, I got tested for food allergies. As it turned out, I'm severely allergic to the following foods:
Red meat (beef, buffalo, etc.)
All shellfish (except, interestingly, shrimp)
I discovered, too, I'm allergic (not severely, but enough to be a significant problem) to the following foods:
Add to all of the above, my lactose intolerance, and you've just eliminated from my diet a significant portion of the common American diet.
[Since the above testing, I've discovered I'm also allergic to all grains (quinoa, etc.) and soy. I also have problems with nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc.).]
I'm opting for maybe not. Here's why…
I now vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds in abundance as well as some fish, turkey, and chicken, and I feel the best I've felt in…well, probably my whole life. I'll be 53 in a month, and I can do things now I never dreamed I could do when I was in my twenties. In terms of how I feel (despite my recent Achilles tendon accident), I feel just pretty dang fabulous. I love what I eat, I eat until I'm satisfied—completely, which I love! I sleep until I no longer feel tired.
God is so very good to me, and I'm so very grateful to have acquired all this really useful information.
If any of you reading this have had food sensitivity problems, I'd love to hear your story.
Take good care of yourself, and God's peace to all of youl!
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