My "Allergy" Story

Today, I do something that I never thought I would do….EVER.  I’m posting a picture of myself for all to see without makeup in full-blown “allergy” mode (hence the mugshot look).  I use the term “allergy” loosely because after seeing many (I’m talking over 50) doctors (dermatologists, naturopaths, gastroenterologists, etc.) no one can really tell me what I have.  Over the years I have repeatedly been tested for FOOD Allergies - both scratch and blood.  For many years, my “allergies” were constantly changing, but generally the milk, wheat, yeast and soy stayed with a few other stopping by for an occasional visit.  Shortly before the birth of my first son (at age 30), I had my yearly allergy test and it came up clean.  I honestly thought the doctor (my cousin) was bullshitting me.  But, then I saw the paper.  Nothing - not even tree nuts to which I have an immediate swelling of the mouth (ironically, tree nuts have never come up on my allergy test - go figure!). So, I began eating “normally” - another word I use loosely.  I discovered I still have a severe sensitivity to soy.  I can have the lecithin used to preserve products but once I see that soy protein isolate term, I run the other way…fast.

It all started back when I was 15.  First, I became very sick with some unknown, undiagnosable stomach “virus”.  I lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks because I could not keep anything down - not even water.  I was in the hospital for dehydration and I took a medicine (whose name I do not recall) that tasted like a banana milk shake.  That seemed to stop the stomach issues.  But, then I started having big, ugly, painful, red cysts on my face (see picture!)  I was beside myself because previous to that I had been the equivalent of the Noxema covergirl and never had any skin problems.  My mom took me to dermatologist after dermatologist and everyone told me I had cystic acne (except for the one doctor who told me I needed a shrink because I had psychological problems and I scratched at nothing on my face) and I needed Accutane, a poison medicine which causes birth defects which I was unwilling to take.  I tried rounds of all kinds of antibiotics and nothing really helped.  Same with the creams.  Over the counter stuff was even worse.  Benzoyl peroxide makes my eyes swell shut and Salicylic Acid turns my entire face bright red. My mom ordered me every acne product from TV  - again more problems.  I went to high school with no make-up and creams on my face.  The kids were cruel.  They asked me if I had everything from AIDS to cancer.  I used to come home from school and cry - every day. Then, my mom starting sending me to every “natural” doctor she heard on our local talk radio.  One of those doctors in NYC diagnosed my “allergy” problem but the passed away unexpectedly in a car accident.  From there, I never really found anyone who could treat me properly.  I tried acupuncture, drank crazy, nasty tasting health drinks and was treated for an internal yeast problem.  Most doctors still deny the fact that my “allergies” are possible.  They also can’t explain why I suddenly have psoriasis (which incidentally only appeared after my laundry list of “food allergies” disappeared).  Over the years, I have figured out 2 things - 1) the doctors still don’t really know what my problem is and 2) I know my body better than anyone else.  So, I now avoid soy like the plague except when I eat it unknowingly (like I did in that damn Hillshire Farms sausage the other night - why is there soy in meat anyway?) and I take the good with the bad.  This week being the bad….very bad to me since it has been a while since I’ve had an episode like this.  My face hurts like hell and looks like crap (and my psoriasis is also in full swing).  But, thankfully, I have a great makeup to cover it all up.  God bless the people over at Janet Sartin for making a product that I can actually use on my face without issues. Needless to say, I continue to watch what I eat and am strongly thinking about having an allergy test done again, something I haven’t had done in over 3 years.  Let’s hope this was a just a bad soy day and not the re-start of something.

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6 Responses to “My "Allergy" Story”

  1. Sandro wrote:

    Nice blog…

  2. Erin wrote:

    I have had similar problems since I was 17. Prior to that I did not even have a blackhead. I go to my plastic surgeon when I have a really bad one and he is king enough to drain it and put a little shot of steroids in there. That usually does the trick. I also take antibiotics like a Zpack. Still no known reason as to WHY this happens. I am 29 now and have had really bad cystic break outs from Sept- Jan the past two years. Best of luck to you. This crap sucks!

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