The real reason I’m writing this book… escapism
I’m never the type to feel down on myself and denial has served me well in my lifetime. That being said, health wise, I had a very real scare last night.
I was diagnosed back in March with EE – I’ll try to spell it out, but my spelling is crappy – Eosinophilic Esophagitis. It is basically white blood cells attacking my esophagus and causing it to close with scar tissue. It is triggered primarily by a food allergy, but can be aggravated and made worse by aero-allergens as well.
I’m mildly allergic to some tree pollens, some grasses, some mold, dust and my new kitten. Since the kitten has discovered the joys if the woods, we don’t see him much and I survived my last cat for 18 years, so he’s not going bye-bye just yet. With all of these vague air allergies, I ignored taking the daily pill and the nasal mist, because, let’s face it, I have survived this long without even knowing they existed and I can stand a stuffy nose now and then. I really don’t think my air allergies are the problem.
They would not be effecting my digestive tract (the allergists words, not mine), so I must be allergic to a food and I’m unaware of it. Hence all the testing and now the food elimination route.
Well, apparently, the doctor was right. I think. About the aeroallergens making my EE worse.
I never realized how much I ignored in my body until after three years of digestive issues, I one day said ‘enough’ and went to a doctor. Once the right questions were asked, I realized the difficulty I occasionally had while swallowing could be indicative of something else. I’ve been ignoring it for so long, assuming I was coming down with something or ate too fast and didn’t chew my food enough, that I don’t even know how long it’s been going on.
The doctor’s think it’s been years based on the strictures I had in my throat. How can that be? How can I be so totally clueless to my own body? Because denial is easy. It’s why I feel pain when I garden and why my back hurts when I’m too sedentary, I’ve gotten lazy and preoccupied and put my whole family first. Look where it has gotten me – to the drama of last night.
The day was gorgeous and I was in the backyard with my kids and laptop (working on chapter 17!! almost done!!) for over two and half hours. Around six, my husband comes out with a lite beer for me and we discuss what he’s going to make on the grill and I’m going to make inside. Two or three swallows into the beer and my throat feels funny, kind of tight. I ignore it, cause that is what I do so well, and go in to make the side dishes.
While I’m cooking I feel it again and start to review everything I’ve eaten that day. Could it be something I had earlier? I mean, I have a beer almost everyday, so I was sure that couldn’t be it.
Over dinner, my throat starts to tighten in waves and it dawns on me by the end of the meal that I’m having an allergic reaction to something. I make a few frantic observations like “Holy crap, I can feel my throat closing,” before the first aid training kicks in and I get up from the table to take a Benadryl. I pour out the last half of my beer and switch to water.
It takes two hours, on that full stomach, to get the relief I need, but it’s not tightening any worse and Pete and I have had time to discuss what it could be. Perhaps I inhaled enough aeroallergens yesterday in the yard to irritate my EE. I ate nothing out of the ordinary and have not had my elimination food for 2 1/2 weeks (tomato).
Today, I took my allergy pill and used the nasal spray. I’m going to listen and get off the denial train.
I really thought, and the doctor did too, that with chronic diarrhea for three years, the air pollens and such weren’t really the culprit. I’ve always believed less medicine is better in the long run and I hate having to rely on anything. Well, I was scared last night. Almost, “take me to the hospital” scared.
On one hand, it’s a good thing we’re not going away this weekend. Pete had too much work and school work to do and he was not his normal laid back self at all yesterday, so we canceled. But what would four days have done to me out in the open air in the woods?
SooOoo… Drama averted and lesson learned. I’ll keep you posted on the ‘spots’ on my lungs and ‘possible uterine fibroids‘ that showed up on my CT scan last week…
It’s a joy, right? And now you know why I’m writing the book – to keep my mind off all this crap.