Monthly Archives: September 2014

My Gut Reaction to Allergies

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I was a dirty child. I spent a lot of time outdoors, I rarely washed my hands before eating, and I was not a picky eater. When using hand sanitizer became fashionable I refused to take part. I’ve always believed that there is such a thing as being TOO clean. And it appears that I might have been on to something! A new study shows that the presence of a certain gut bacteria  in mice can prevent or even cure food allergies.

“Environmental stimuli such as antibiotic overuse, high-fat diets, caesarean birth,removal of common pathogens and even formula feeding have affected the microbiota with which we’ve co-evolved. Our results suggest this could contribute to the increasing susceptibility to food allergies.”

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Bikini Body

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As the summer comes to an end I feel a bit of regret that I never made it into a bikini. The last time I wore a bikini was in April 2012, just before I ballooned up from some medication I was on.

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Playing toss the egg on a beach in Cancun

I’m more than halfway back to my normal weight, but I thought I’d make it before the summer was over. I have 4 bikinis in my dresser that haven’t seen the light of day- 1 that has never been worn! I know that many people wear bikinis at my size, but I am not one of them. Not only have I always been self conscious about my body, I’ve always assumed that if I don’t want to see it in a bikini then probably, no one else did either.

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Smoke and Mirrors

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Last week I had my first kitchen fire.

I was chopping vegetables when I heard the the oil I was heating ignite. I turned my head and saw the flames. No problem I thought, I’ll just grab the lid. I turned to grab the lid from the drying rack, turned back towards the pot and saw that the flames had TRIPLED in size.

That’s when I started to panic. I called Jay. He managed to get the lid on the pot and the fire died down. But that was far from the end of the ordeal. The top third of the kitchen was full of dark smoke. The fire alarm started to go off. That’s when my usefulness ended. I had to go stand on the balcony to avoid having a serious asthma attack.

I am torn. Half of my feels wonderful that I have a man who will protect me and help me when I need it. I am so grateful that I have someone in my life that I know I can rely on. I felt like a princess. The other half of me feels useless and pathetic; I couldn’t take care of the situation on my own due to my asthma. There was so much smoke I was forced to abandon the problem, even though it’s completely against my nature.

I’m one of those people who is great under pressure. Move my stuff out of it’s “spot” or leave crap all over the house and my OCD will freak out on you. But, when it’s serious and important I’m calm and collected. I have first aid training from multiple sources and have lots of practical knowledge. So, it stung a little to have to give up control and walk away.

Is my tough girl persona just smoke and mirrors? Am I really strong or am I  just weak and needy? I used to think I could do anything I wanted to if I set my mind to it. Since developing asthma I’ve had to accept that sometimes I am limited. No matter how badly I want the smoke to not bother me, I can’t control my asthma. I’m no longer the 100% unrestricted woman I used to be, although sometimes I like to test that theory. I often push the boundaries of my asthma by doing things like cleaning a little longer than I should. I’m just not ready for a blanket “I can’t.”

It’s Peanuts to Me

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People who do not live with a chronic condition often have a really hard time understanding what life is like for someone who does. Things most people take for granted become long drawn out processes with many risks and dangers.

I fly more than the average person but I hate it. Not because I’m in a metal box thousands of miles above the earth, or that it’s uncomfortable and boring, or even because I might have to use the bathroom. I hate it because I have asthma. What do I do if I have an asthma attack in the middle of a 8 hour flight over the Atlantic? The first time I flew after I developed asthma I gave myself an asthma attack just from the stress! Another time I had to wear a mask the entire flight because the man next to me had gone for a smoke just before he boarded the plane and he reeked!

It’s one of those things that gets easier over time, but you can’t let yourself get complacent. One mistake is all it takes.

I don’t blame people for not understanding. Even though it seems obvious to me, I realize that it’s not even on most people’s radar. What I do blame people for is not accepting or taking risks seriously. When I read this article from Allergic Living it made me angry.

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