Sunday, August 21, 2011

What? Not My Pizza!


I have suffered with food allergies and intolerances most of my life. My children have them, too, but because I recognized the symptoms when they were babies, I was able to limit their damage. They still can't do dairy and citrus, my son adds apples and chocolate to his list, but those are pretty manageable.

I haven't been so lucky. Living in Houston is not for allergic people. We are surrounded by chemical plants, there is little effort made as far as mass transit and the year round summer adds to the serious air pollution problems. That alone fills up my allergy tank. Then I developed a trio of "invisible" illnesses (Lyme, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome). These only complicated an already stressed immune system. Each year, it seems, I add another food to my huge list of things I simply cannot eat. Each food has its own reaction, too. Some cause asthma, some cause hives, some cause abdominal pain and some cause migraine. Just to give you an idea here's a few problems: eggs, soy, fish, shell fish, chocolate, all tree nuts, peanuts, coconut, oranges, grapefruit, poultry ... there's more but you get the idea.

Unlike my kids, I have been fortunate to tolerate dairy. Cheese, yogurt, sour cream, milk--none of them cause problems, thank goodness. But Thursday night, I ordered a pizza. I love pizza. Next to a good steak, it is probably my favorite food. I alwlays top with onions, bell peppers and pineapple. No meats, since they all have nitrites and I am allergic to those, too. As soon as I finished my second piece, the hives started. On my face, my neck and my arms. Within fifteen minutes I had a migraine. Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the last few years, I have noticed my hands get red and itchy when I handle tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes didn't seem to be a problem. Until now. The next time I order pizza--who can live without pizza???--no sauce. We'll see what happens (and see how it tastes). Ordinarily I would take an antihistamine after a reaction like that, but since I get absolutely loopy for days after taking any kind of antihistamine, I chose not to take one. I have a book due and I must be able to write paragraphs that make sense. I still have lingering hives on my face even three days later. It's a sad day when you lose your pizza, my friends. A sad, sad day.

How about you? Any allergies or intolerances (like chocolate giving you a migraine like it does me) that make you want to cry?