Here a Hive, There a Hive…

hive on hand

Can you see that? It’s a hive in the middle of the palm of my hand! I mean, really?

Really. WTF?

Fellow sufferers, you know what I mean, right? Here I am, sitting in my living room watching the dregs of summer tv and perusing the ‘net, when I start to itch. First it’s on my thigh, high on the inside, and it comes out in two huge hives. Does that happen to you? The itch before the hive? That’s how it goes with me. Then, the palm.

I start the investigation: what did I eat today to cause these hives? The question of why they pop up where they do is one I might never be able to answer; I mean, really, two inner thigh hives and one palm? How does that make ANY sense at all?

Anyway, I go through my day: eggs and a cinnamon roll this morning, yeah, cinnamon is high on the salicylate list, but I don’t think three hives would pop out all of a sudden nine hours later, right?

Then, since I don’t eat lunch (b’fast is kinda late for me), I had a lovely lentil/chicken/carrot concoction I made last night for dinner. It’s so healthy and I think those are all safe, tho maybe not…but again, I didn’t break out right after I ate that.

I did, however, break out about half an hour after having a Root Beer Float.

rbYep, it’s the RB. Damn. Even tho EVERYONE says not to “drink your calories,” it’s what I do. I’d rather drink them than eat them. True story.

Anyway Salicylate Sensitives…this is just one of many mistakes I’ve made recently that have had me pretty hived up all summer!

And the worst part is I don’t cheat eating the healthy stuff (tho I do sometimes, have blue- and strawberries, which I suffer for); for the most part, tho, I’m cheating with wine and soda and hot dogs even. I only have myself to blame.

Ah…now the back of my right shoulder is going…I feel the itch, I feel the big bump under the itch. When–and WHERE–will it end? It’s anyone’s guess.

I look it up: lentils and chicken, negligible. But carrots are moderate.

Root Beer: okay, not on the list, although I know most sodas are. I’m looking it up on http://www.salicylatesensitivity.com and you can, too. It’s tough, at first, to keep it all straight but it gets easier.

Eventually, you’ll learn that almost everything healthy is bad for you and lots of other stuff is, too. If you’re an SS, let me know what’s up with you…I wanna hear what you do, what you don’t do, and how you keep it all together.

Because I am also allergic to aspirin, I live in fear of pain. I’ve been getting headaches and take Tylenol Sinus and Congestion, or something like that, and it works. But Tylenol itself doesn’t work for pain. Have you found something that does?

Let’s work together here…and I’m hoping to hear from Patricia in Ireland. Tell me what you’ve done so far, Patricia, and how you’re faring!! Cheers!

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Gluten-Free and Going-Broke

Alright. Now this whole Organic-healthy-gluten-salicylate-free thing is getting to me. First, for the obvious reasons: I am tired of breaking out in hives every time I eat something I don’t even realize is bad; I can’t keep track of everything that’s in everything; my eye swelled up so badly last week that I stayed in for two days. I mean seriously, it looked like someone punched me in the eye.

But there’s something else that’s making me the only kind of nuts I can eat: walnuts! Every time I go to the store, I spend at least $100 on 3 bags of food. Three. And though I will admit there’s more than healthy food in there, this healthy stuff is expensive!

Take Organic milk, for example: Wegman’s $5.69 a gallon. And I don’t even drink milk! It’s for the kid. I have to buy watery, weird coconut milk and although I previously blogged about it being better for us all, I don’t like it so much. It makes my cafe mochas made with Ghirardelli’s powdered mix taste weird. And I love this stuff. Not healthy but oh so good.

At $6.99, it’s a bargain compared to outside mochas. But with the coconut milk, not so hot. But I digress.

Organic fruit and veggies are, of course, way more expensive than regular, supposedly dirty, filthy, ecoli-laden ones, but that’s okay. I got 2 lbs. of blueberries today for $6.99 but since they are like the ONLY fruit that’s not covered in salicylates (or has them inside, I still can’t understand what these suckers are, actually) I need them. The pound of strawberries I got for my son was only $1.99. Whatever.

My ayervedic doc told me that zucchini is great for the liver, so I got two organic ones today, $3.98. And two sweet potatoes b/c they’re also good for us, $3.58. Organic celery hearts $2.69; Organic spinach/spring greens mix $3.99. A head of regular broccoli was only 69 cents and a big bag of regular green beans was $1.21.

I did find a sort-of bargain today, though. Schar (with two dots over the a), the makers of those yummy cheese bites I mentioned before, has a little package of pretty good hazelnut wafers for $1.99 (1.8 ounces)>>>>>

And Van’s gluten-free apple-cinnamon frozen waffles, which I have yet to try, was only $2.99. I’ll let you know.

So, it’s getting expensive.  And last week, I ate a sandwich (which was a treat in itself) made with Organic Turkey and I broke out like crazy. The salicylate list says all luncheon meats are no-nos, so I guess even organic ones can’t make the grade.

What’s funny is that sometimes I’ll just say the hell with it and eat something shitty and I don’t react at all! Although I have had to give up McDonald’s Mochas; I dont’ know what’s in them, but my lip swells up every time I have one. Took me a loooong time to put two and two together, though.

Thank God I have not yet reacted to my most favorite drink on earth! And if I ever do, I will ignore it. There are some things we just can’t live without >>>

No Advil? No Way!!

Salicylates. Ever heard of ’em? I guess I had, but didn’t really know what they were until the allergy doc said he thinks I’m allergic to them. He thinks it’s what’s causing my lip and facial swelling.

You take Advil? he asks, knowingly. Well yes, doctor, yes I do. I take Advil. Every day. Sometimes every four hours. I live on Advil. LIVE ON IT!

Well then, he says, leaning back in his chair the way men do when they’ve just been validated. Stop the Advil.

Oh sure, no prob– WHAT?!!! But I LIVE on…oh. I get it.

Since I have been covered in hives for months, my lip often looking like botox gone bad, it stands to reason that something I am doing ALL THE TIME is causing all these problems. But Advil? Oh my, this just got ugly. er.

So, what is a salicylate anyway? It’s “a salt of salicylic acid;” that enough for ya? No? Yeah, me neither, but it’s all we got. It’s like aspirin and it’s everywhere! So, the first thing to go was aspirin and all things aspirin-like: Advil, Alka-Seltzer, Midol and Pepto-Bismol, for instance. But that’s just the beginning.

Here I was, trying to eat healthier, and all I was doing, apparently, was making things worse b/c salicylates are in: almonds, apples, apricots, black-goose-rasp and strawberries, cherries, currants, grapes, nectarines and peaches, oranges, plums. Beware of raisins, prunes, cucumbers, pickles and tomatoes, too.

WHY? Beats me, but there’s more: they are in soda, tea, gum, antiseptics, cider, vinegar, and in anything containing artificial flavors and coloring: ice cream, cake mixes, jams, hot dogs, all luncheon meats…J-E-LL-O, for goodness sakes!

But it gets worse. Salicylates are in WINE, BEER AND ALL DISTILLED DRINKS except Vodka.

Well, bring on the Cosmos! But don’t let me drink too many b/c, you know, I can’t take an Advil when I get home. Oh, and I also can’t brush my teeth with toothpaste or swish with a nice, minty mouthwash. Brush your teeth with baking soda and salt, they say. No thanks, I say…I’ll take my chances.

Actually, after a few days of no toothpaste (the brushing action is what really cleans your teeth anyway, according to research), I decided that was something I couldn’t do without. I use it sparingly and rinse really, really well. So far, my lip has maintained its normal shape and size, which is great, b/c for awhile I was afraid it was my morning McD’s mocha and THAT I really can’t live without.

SO, if you’re having trouble, ask yourself if you’ve reacted to perfume (yep), felt itchy after eating cloves (yep) or started to swell from a lozenge (yep). If you have, you might have a salicylate allergy and I’ve just saved you $500 in allergy testing. Don’t go in and try to get shots, you don’t need them. Just cut out the offending foods for awhile and see if your symptoms abate. Then, to test the theory, re-introduce them, one at a time, to see if you swell up/hive up/itch yourself silly.

Another thing to remember is that these type of food sensitivities tend to flare up during bad allergy seasons, as this spring has been. In the dead of winter, you just may  be able to chug-a-lug to your heart’s content and remedy a hangover with your favorite anti-inflammatory. That is my fervent wish for us all.