Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Food & Travel Update

I'm pleased to report that my food allergies did not impede my ability to enjoy my time in Barcelona.

My food emotions hit bottom in Venice last summer when everywhere I looked there were things I should not eat.  It was getting out of hand because I was turning every bite of food into a life or death thing when I was not anaphylactic to anything.  It was turning me into a freak.

To the point where I would almost starve myself instead of buying something to eat because there weren't any "good" choices.   I remember finally breaking down and buying something from a bakery in Riomaggiore at about 2:30 pm having not had lunch, knowing if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to eat until past 6 pm with all the ferries I was supposed to catch. 

I came home and told D that my travelling days were numbered if I could not see around the negativity.  I was questioning why I would continue to spend money and time to go when I could not eat the local specialties.  Sights alone didn't feel enough then. 

Even last Dec, when it came close to the time for our return to Munich, I was on the fence about whether I'd just ditch the trip.  D would have been fine going solo as he loved the city.  I just didn't need another reminder of what I couldn't do anymore.  I saw it becoming a lifelong disability.  When it is something you do on average 3 times a day for as long as you live, it's a big part of living.  And I felt myself denying its existence and fighting it mentally. 

We are nine months later (2 years since diagnosis) and I feel much more at ease mentally about the whole thing.  Part of it because we've had 9 more months of our new reality eating and feeling the cumulative benefits of staying away from certain foods.  It is also acceptance of what is.  Hard for me.  But incredibly healing when I am able to.  It took a lot of work to get myself to a better place emotionally as I saw it massively shrinking the enjoyment of the rest of my life. 

D has shown great progress with his allergies.  He can eat eggs again but not dairy, which he wouldn't if he could anyways having learning all he has about the stuff.  I seem to be able to tolerate small doses of wheat but still get stuffed up and itchy when I eat something with egg or dairy in it a few times.  I will enjoy an ice cream or a pastry when I'm away without being harsh with myself.   

Only had to take an antihistamine twice while away -- A record.  So I'm slowly starting to believe maybe I'm actually healing too -- A wonderful thing if it is true. 

Ironically the first meal I had upon arriving home set me off.  We stayed in the city that night as I flew in later than usual.  So we had a late dinner at an area restaurant.  I thought I ordered something safe but stuffed right up worst than after anything I ate in Barcelona (2 ice creams and 4 pastries). 

Really bothers me that food here can have so many things that have nothing to do with what it is.  Next time, I sticking with sashimi.  Other than the obvious soy sauce, it ought to be clean of milk, dairy, egg, wheat, nuts etc, right?!

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