It’s getting harder and harder not to panic.
In less than two weeks, I have an appointment with Dr. Eos. This one is at my request. A yo-yo year of budesonide up and down–plus esophageal yeast in first, second, and third blooms–finally gave me the push to possibly decide to want to perhaps consider diet as an alternative to meds. Maybe.
In practice, diet is far more consistent with how I like to do things. It’s non-toxic. It can be done locally and organically. It doesn’t come in a plastic bottle. Besides, I love a challenge.
Challenge? This one would be a doozie. The skin prick testing that I did two years ago yielded positives for:
- Peanut, coconut, and every kind of tree nut (except, bizarrely, hazelnut, but I’d say all nuts are out);
- Milk (a known issue for other reactions and already 100% out of my diet);
- Eggs (another known issue unless in baked goods, but also unknown for eos);
- Beef, chicken, and lamb;
- Shellfish (generally don’t eat anyway for other reasons);
- Oats and malt (already suspected as allergens, and largely, but not completely, avoided);
- Rice (rice!); and
Knocking out the other “big 6” allergens would also rule out soy and fish. That presumably leaves vegetables, fruits, beans, and less common grains. Teff anyone? Oh, and potentially turkey.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now as the clock ticks down, every meal takes on a dimension of finality. No more pie? Chocolate chip cookies? Thai food? Can I do this at age 44?
On the college campus where I work, summer break means the conversion of all those “we ought to have lunch” niceties into actual lunch dates. Friendships and business take shape around food. There are upcoming planning retreats with meals. A dinner with former colleagues is in the works. Tonight, I baked my husband a birthday cake. Is it goodbye to all that?
In more lucid moments, I try to remember that a) a whole lot of people deal with diets that are a whole lot more restrictive and b) the positive skin tests may have no relation to the eos, or to any other symptoms and c) this might not even work and d) this is entirely voluntary, with the option to back out at any time.
If only my feet would just warm up.