This is a very personal post. It’s okay if you skip it. My medical health sucks. Check out [Poetry Archive] or [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] or anything else [About Cat Hartliebe]. I understand.
I had no idea certain foods made me sick.
That’s a lie. I knew food made me sick. I wasn’t sure which ones did the most damage. When I went to the doctor because of the issues I had, I was questioned. “Which ones cause the problems?”
“All of them.” That’s how I answered. Seven year old me answered with ALL OF THEM. He refused to accept such an answer. He suggested a food diary to my mother while questioning me again for an answer that’s better.
Come to find out, basically everything sets me off. Soy is in so many things. And it’s a serious issue. Stuff that shouldn’t affect people affects me. I hate it. Add in dairy and egg, is there things that don’t set me off? Things I can be certain won’t hurt me?
Raw fruit and vegetables? I had that, then second guessed myself. Because I’m also struggling with apples. So I went with meat, where technically I’m fine. Except sauces and breading are always a concern. All of them should have been my answer. I was unlucky to have every possible allergen in my genetic code show off.
Why? Why am I the sickling whereas the rest of my family does rather well? They’re not perfect. I know the whole family responds poorly to dairy. And Cyro has my soy active. And I have so many family members who could not eat certain foods while they were alive. My pickiness was not new. I only figured out why I was so picky. Why I would push aside my food and drop my head to the table. It didn’t matter what anyone said, I had to leave my head there. As I clutched my body and closed my eyes.
More… How did no one notice I was having such a bad reaction to food?
No. It’s lack of knowledge. Everything I am only finding out now is because of lack of knowledge. I had no idea what shock was growing up. I had no idea what allergic reactions really were. I didn’t get a ton of big red bumps everywhere. Sometimes I got a rash, but it wasn’t everywhere. Not until I got a reaction to antibiotics. That was the obvious reaction. I was tired and itchy mostly. I didn’t feel in fear of my life. Eating dairy, egg, and soy had me in fear of my life growing up.
My list has been getting more specific as I get more aware of how I respond. Not that I’ve tired everything. And certain things I don’t want to try or retry. Now some may not be allergens. They could just be an intolerance. But I don’t want to be in any level of pain, so no I cannot have them either. I just don’t have fear of death with them. And some of the allergens aren’t as threatening as others. When I removed dairy and soy from my life, it was as if things cleared up. I didn’t feel as horrific as I always did. That was just two: my biggest threats.
soy, dairy, egg, wheat, sugar alcohols, apple, barley, vanilla, (the list goes on…)
Of the eight top global allergens, I have four. But now that I’ve removed them from my life, things have been better. Not perfect, but I get days where I can function. It only has me more aware of what level I was in before. How did I manage anything like that?
Some of the ways I worked around it were to not use tooth paste. Almost every single one has something I cannot have. And because I started reading the label, I found one that was safe. And seriously, it feels as if I only found one that has fluorine and is marked safe to use.
Also, I would focus in on white rice any time I was feeling crappy. Rice is safe. I knew it was safe. I could have cream of rice with water for breakfast. I could have a bowl of white rice for dinner. Rice has always been safe. Steamed vegetables are safe. I haven’t found anything there that’s concerning. Same with meat. Steamed meats are safe. The moment fats are added, I have to assume I cannot eat it anymore. Soy is in literally everything. And I knew tofu was off limits as a child. I KNEW I couldn’t have edamame or tofu or tempeh. But I didn’t think I was also being hit by nearly every processed food ever because of soy. And dairy… Well, I never drank milk because of the suffering. However, cheese gave me enough calories to counter the amount my body used to repeal the invasion. Not sure why my body thinks dairy is an invading army, but okay. At this point I cannot even recall what cheese tastes like. And those fake cheeses? All of them I have tried are off limits. I don’t know why. I would say something in the creation process. So even though the ingredients label says it’s okay, I cannot have it. My life is like that. Anything “new” is taking a chance for me.
People who end up with several allergens normally have that feeling. This is new, there is a chance I cannot have it. Should I take that chance? Am I doing anything special in the next few hours? Mind, after living through shock, your body hurts. It suffers trying to keep you alive. When you’re healthy getting the flu means you suffer a week and go back to being you. But if an unhealthy individual gets the flu, a week of the disease and then issues for weeks afterwards. It sets off chain reactions and concerns. Or think of it this way. You have always been the type to do exercise. You spend at least an hour every day working your body. Then you must stop. You got sick and injured and cannot work out for a week, say. The day you get back, can you do the same level of work as when you last did? No. Your body needs to recondition.
For me and my issues, everything is like heavy duty exercise. My lungs and heart are weak from all the shocks I went through growing up. Not to mention I live in a pollution infested area. I struggle on a daily basis. And I know there are plenty others like me who suffer because life isn’t fair.
When explaining my health, I like to say I rolled low when making my character sheet. In D&D, a 10 is average. Well, I was unlucky enough to roll a four. I live in an environment that does not know how to find and solve issues. All they can do is keep you alive. Alive while half dead isn’t alive. I have received zero help from any doctor in my more recent life. They’ve managed to get me to seizure and get my heart to stop. They’ve called me crazy since my issues don’t show up on a normal blood test or monitor. Because in this world, scapegoating is the way through big problems. Chronic illnesses create mental illnesses. Because you can only be called crazy so many times before…
I want help! I don’t want to be considered insane just because I’m holding my stomach as pain engulfs me. I don’t want you to prescribe zoloft.
I support the medical field. I support doctors and nurses. I do. Several of my family members are nurses and EMTs. I’m a scientist. I love to study and review and learn.
But I don’t trust the medical field. I haven’t found a doctor I can really explain things to. Hell, I wonder if I can even explain it. Really within my goals I should say: Find a doctor who’s used to special needs and start the ball rolling.
My heart, lungs, and brain will only take so much more abuse. I should be on drugs to stabilize my body so I can function. I’m learning. I’m reading up on various things finding I’m not abnormal. Not really. I’m one of many. I get seizures, always have. I just didn’t realize they come in a low grade form too. Never found or explained by medical staff. But it’s okay. The blood tests and various other tests I was given came back perfect.
Thanks, doc. I’m only over here dying, but I’m glad you found nothing.
It’s easy to figure out allergens. I cannot stop my seizures. I cannot make my heart stay calm at all times. I cannot improve my lung function if it wants to cut out. I can remove food from my diet. That’s easy.
I really need medical support.
But I cannot get medical support. Not here. Not as I am.
Well… Then I’ll spend what little time I have left writing. Because even if I die tomorrow I can still support Cyro. My brand won’t die when I do. Cat Hartliebe will be around forever. Catherine Gillette won’t live much longer if life continues on this path.
One thought on “My health fails me”
I’m trying to get a list of allergens for myself. Not that I trust any chef besides me. I’ve been hit with a reaction when having someone else’s white rice (from a streamer).
Life is hard as a sickling.
sugars ending in -tol (ie sugar alcohols)