Today was the BIG day! Since my anaphylactic episode in November I have been anxious to find out what actually caused it. If you don’t know what I am talking about, I will put the link here for you to have a read.
The reaction occurred on the 27th of November last year. I received a letter in the middle of December which told me that my tests would not be taking place until the 28th of March (today). I was shocked that it was going to take that long. How was I going to live without nuts, mushrooms, most cheese and goji berries for four months!?
November 28th 2018, the day after the reaction.
I am actually so proud of myself for my patience and persistence through this process. It has been a lot of awkward conversations with waitresses, special considerations at weddings, a lot of creativity in the kitchen and self-control at dessert time.
I woke up this morning with a little spring in my step to find out what is actually going on with my body. The plan was to go alone but my nonna quickly put a stop to that, “you no go by yourself, I cumma wit you.” We took the tram together to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and went straight to the Department of Immunology. After being called by the Doctor three times (I had to pee and we got a little lost) we finally started to get some answers.
The Doctor asked me to recount what I ate, so I did for the hundredth time. I told her everything I ate and the sequence of events that followed.
Apparently when I had my reaction they took a blood sample for testing (I must have been a bit out of it). The blood tests came back positive for an allergy to goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. Not ideal but I can live with that (or without that). She said the blood test also showed that I am not allergic to almonds, but that result needed to be backed up by extra evidence.
I was taken into another room for skin-prick testing. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit excited. She drew a table up on my arm and labelled each box with different nuts, sesame and soy. She placed a drop of oil in each box and pricked each dot of oil once with a pin. She also put another drop on my arm to test my body for the presence of histamine.
I eagerly waited for 15 minutes for something to happen. One of the boxes went red and the spot was itchy. It was the box for histamine. Histamine is involved in the body’s inflammatory response. If a person is anaphylactic then their levels of histamine will be high, which made sense in my case.
The results from the skin-prick test came back negative. No nut allergy. I was beginning to have a bit of a party in my head before I got told there is a third test. In a few months’ time I will be admitted to hospital for the day. I will bring some almonds with me. The nurses will put me on a drip and I will have to eat almonds over a period of time, checking every 15 minutes for signs of an allergic reaction. This means no nuts until that point.
As for the mushrooms, the Doctor really doesn’t think that is what caused the reaction. Next time I have mushrooms I just have to try a little bit to check for tingling on my tongue and if nothing happens I am in the clear!
Goji berries will require hospital admission to get completely checked, so I am happy just to avoid those for the moment. Nuts are definitely the priority.
I will have another appointment in six months’ time with the Doctor I had today to track my progress.
Overall I am really happy with the outcome. It is no nice to have some clues as to what caused the reaction that day. I feel very blessed to have such a supportive family that have accommodated my needs for the last few months and dealt with me during intense almond cravings.
Believe me, when the nut allergy gets cleared (it WILL be cleared… I hope) there will be tonnes of new recipes. My family has actually been tasting my recipes with nuts in them and giving them the tick of approval to share with you. You guys are going to taste some of my recipes before me hehehe!
This is just another stepping stone in my journey of health and vitality. Thank you so much for all the kind messages and for following this little story.
Smiles for the negative results to nuts in test 2... I look like i have a dodgy tattoo hahaha