One Day Can Change Everything

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One day can change everything!  EVERYTHING!

Last year, while attending Bloggy Boot Camp (a blog conference) in Las Vegas, my life was flipped upside down and it had nothing to do with blogging or the conference.  I struggled with whether I should say anything here, but I know y’all will notice the changes so I wanted to be open and share my crazy last three months.

In October 2012, I drove up to Las Vegas with my mom to attend a fun one day conference.  My mom came with me because I had a broken foot and we weren’t  sure I could drive the whole way (and she was hoping to attend the conference too).   I also met one of my best friends up there who was attending the conference too.  We decided to head out to grab some Mexican Food for dinner, but first we hit the gift shop to grab some Advil to help with my foot pain. Yeah, I forgot the pain meds at home.  DOH!  We had a lovely dinner and decided to drive up and down the strip to check out the lights.  Before we could get the car keys, my lip started to feel funny.  I peaked at them in the mirror and sure enough, my top lip was swelling.  Weird! But I still drove us up and down the strip…a 2 hour trip.  By the time we returned to the hotel my entire top lip was swollen. I went to bed early to get some rest for the conference.

MyFamilyTable & CelebratingFam

What I woke up to, was terrifying!  Both my lips were HUGE and my face was puffy (I’ll spare y’all the photo).  Scared, I called my doctor and we decided I must have had a reaction to the Advil (I’m already allergic to some other pain meds).  Take Benedryl every two hours and if it gets any worse go to the ER.    Luckily, after several rounds of Benedryl and the swelling went down and I was able to enjoy the conference.  I didn’t think much more about it….that it was some freak thing and that I would avoid Advil.

Fast forward two weeks!  The swelling started again after every meal.  So frustrating and scary.  Then huge welts would form all over my body.  I started to piece together that it was a food allergy, but WHAT?!?!?  How, after 37 years of life, am I suddenly allergic to something.   I looked back at my meals and I had a pretty good idea that I was allergic to dairy.  And then the denial set in!  I would test my theory and it would be confirmed…over and over.  So, off to the doctor for confirmation.  Unfortunately, it took over 2 weeks to get the results back.  It was extremely hard to be in limbo, especially over Thanksgiving.

Then the phone rang! I scrambled to get a pen and paper, but the doctor said, “Oh…it’s not bad, you can remember this.  You’re only allergic to 3 things.”  WHAT!??!?  Three things…they only tested for the seven major allergens and I was only expecting the dairy.  My heart sank.

So my results, I’m allergic to egg whites, wheat, and dairy!  {Jaw Drop} That’s like everything to me.  I’m a food blogger, I’m a baker, I’m a cake decorator, I grind my own wheat berries to make fresh bread.  Oh…and did I mention the doctor freaked out from the photos I showed him of my reactions and the level that I’m allergic to dairy that I have an epi-pen.

Food Allergies

I’ve been sad and depressed over the loss of these foods.  I’ve called my sister and a few good friends in tears several times.  What am I going to do?  I’ve done a lot of soul searching over the past 5 weeks.

Would I end AMFT?

Would I curl up in a ball and never eat?

Would I ever be able to bake again?

Would I? Would I? Would I?

What I did was start following some gluten free and dairy free bloggers.  I need new bloggy friends, but would they accept my little ol’ blog into their world?  I have no idea..but I’m gonna have to try to find my way.

AMFT isn’t going anywhere!

But you might notice some changes (in fact, I’ve already started…notice the navigation bar under my header) in the types of recipes I share.  I plan to share my struggles, recipes, new finds with y’all.

I’m scared that y’all will all run away screaming.  {Please don’t!}  I promise to share only great recipes still.

Okay….that was heavy and hopefully at least one of you read through the whole thing.  LOL!

Comments

  1. Good for you for taking the challenge head on! I can’t wait to see where you take AMFT next!!!

  2. Wendy, you will land firmly on your foodie feet! There are a couple of people you may remember on FG who have also had to stop grinding their own wheat due to their own or their kids’ allergies. It seems to be more prevalent each year. There is so much available now and you’re quick – you’ll have the subs and the new kitchen chemistry down in no time – if you haven’t already.

    • Thanks Kathryn! I sold my wheat grinder and stash of wheat berries…next on my “to be sold” list is my wheat grass growing kit. It’s so sad, but it’s for the best. I’m slowly figuring things out.

  3. Wow, that’s scary that it came on all of a sudden like that!! Once in a great while I’ll have a weird reaction to either coffee or granny apples where my throat closes up on me, but that’s it. I can’t imagine entire groups of things having to be steered clear of. Good luck during your transition!! :(

    • Thanks. It is scary, but I haven’t had my throat close up yet…that would totally freak me out. Hope you figure out which is causing you problems. :(

  4. We’re here to support you too! I remember the day I confirmed food allergies for my family. Lots of tears and angst. I’ve learned a lot more about our food, and still love making foodie things – safe for everyone!

    • Thanks Jaye! I’ve shed lots and lots of tears. Lots of anger too! But, I’m starting to move on and I’ve made some super tasty food now too!

  5. Food allergies are *so* hard. I went through a bit of mourning when my oldest was diagnosed. Fortunately, there is so much more available now than there was even six years ago. And the products keep getting yummier and yummier. Caden really loves when I make him a cashew “cheese” sauce for noodles :)

    • Yes…I’m in mourning…that’s what it is. It has gotten easier in the last 5 weeks, but I have my moments. I have to admit…I really REALLY miss cheese and all the good stuff it goes on.

  6. Wow, how crazy is that!! I’m glad you got to the bottom of your allergy, but sorry for the huge adjustment you’ll have to make because of it. :( I’ve been trying to eat more foods that are gluten free, so I would absolutely love to see what you are able to come up with! I love your blog and certainly won’t be going anywhere! Good luck!

  7. Wendy, I can’t even imagine how hard this is for you. You’ve had to deal with K’s food allergies and you did that very well, and she is better and healthier. Now it is time to focus on yourself and your own health. You will be able to make the changes – hard as they are — and you will also be better. Whatever your struggle, I am here for you. I believe that AMFT will evolve into something even better and you will be able to help others who are also struggling.

    • It took us a year to get used to the dye-free way of life, so I’m giving myself a year to mourn the loss of my favorite foods and find new tasty things to eat. :)

  8. You know I love you, girl.

    But, I think it will turn out to be a good thing for you (don’t dump me please!). It will cause you to reevaluate the role food plays in your life, how you think about food, and how you feel about nutrition. One thing going vegetarian did for me was to give me pause before I eat. I also have to accept that there are places I will go where I will not be able to eat. So family events have become less about eating and more about family. I still enjoy eating, but I have more of a take it or leave it attitude about most foods.

    Also, you are a successful food blogger and this will take you to the next level. I truly believe that!

  9. Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry says:

    You are so strong and amazing! I love your site, and will always follow you! I am so excited to see all your new recipes and read about all your new adventures. :)

  10. I feel bad that this happened to you on one hand, but on the other it makes me excited to read what is next, the struggles, the triumphs and the overall journey. Life put this in front of you and you will be able to use your skills and community to work through it. Good luck to you! I believe you will come out on top. :-)

    • Thanks Stephanie! It’s still frustrating when I think of something else I can’t have, but I try to think of all the tasty things I CAN have! It’s definitely a process….

  11. I totally understand the mourning process. While I do not have true food allergies like you do, I did have to give up all dairy and grain to better deal with my MS. I had a mourning period as well. Its totally normal.

    I see your fabulous blog heading in new directions! Maybe you’ll have a fabulous allergy-free blog or maybe even Paleo (that is the hot topic these days). Whatever you decide, know we are your supporters! You are an amazing woman! You got this!

  12. I completely ‘get’ the mourning when life throws you a curve ball. You seem like you’re in a good place to swing at that ball, though, with such an extensive knowledge of cooking/baking etc. that I am positive you’ll emerge on top.

  13. Wendy, thanks for sharing your story. I recently found out I have an intolerance to wheat, dairy, eggs, and chicken. Not as severe, it sounds, as your allergy, but it definitely threw me. I had to change my whole diet. I will definitely be browsing your site for helpful recipes!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] I was diagnosed with my life-threatening dairy allergy, I would buy a few Tofutti products to have around because I heard from friends that they were […]

  2. […] years ago I was diagnosed with wheat and egg allergies along with a life threatening dairy allergy. It was life changing in more ways than one! I’ve learned a lot over the years from research, […]

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