Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: allergies

Health matters

I’m trying to put off gulping my migraine meds the minute I wake up, but it’s not going swimmingly. Some days, I’m able to stave off the headache, but sometimes, like today, my brain is throbbing very unpleasantly. It’s reaching the point where I need to take the meds or it’s going to get much worse.

Side Note: I used to take six Ibuprofen in response to a migraine. Obviously, that’s not a good thing to do nor is it effective, and it’s really hard on the liver, so I stopped. Instead, I started taking two Excedrin Migraine or the generic equivalent. Well, actually, three, but I cut back to two. Three is better, but two does the job as well. If I take it early enough, it drastically reduces the migraine if not eradicate it completely.

I read that Ibuprofen is more for generalized body pain rather than localized such as a migraine, which made sense to me. I discounted it as useful for migraines (both for me and in a general sense), but now I’ve read an article that it can actually help some people with migraines–50% of them. So, it’s useless to me, but not for others, apparently.

I worry about taking Excedrin Migraine every day.  The Googles has given me a long list of possible side effects to each of the three main drugs in it. The basic gist is that I should ask my doctor–which I will when I find a new one. My old one left, and I haven’t found a new one yet because it’s such a pain in the ass. I have a laundry list of things to ask my new doc, which isn’t making me any more eager to find one.

I’m worried that my health isn’t going to get any better. Or rather, this is the new base that I have to accept. I’ve dealt with being dairy-free and gluten-free, and it’s fine for the most part. Caffeine-free was much harder to do, but I’m fine with it now. I am having a very difficult time with the idea that I may have to give up something else as well. I’ve already given up so much! Do I really need to eschew, say, onions? I also feel like a whiny baby because I don’t have Celiac disease, and there are others who have it much worse. Yes, I know it’s not a competition, but I feel like a punk for not being able to soldier through. It doesn’t help that I am friends with several high-functioning people, and I can’t help but compare myself to them.


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The road is long…and bland

my heritage.
My lifeblood.

So, I’ve been doing some lackadaisical research into what I’m intolerant to because I don’t have the energy to do a deep dive. In addition, I’m resentful about having to cut something else from my diet. I didn’t like cutting out gluten and dairy, but it was fairly easy to do so. I had a harder time with caffeine, but I don’t miss it now. The problem is that I eat the same thing pretty much every day, and to cut out one thing from my staples feels inappropriately large. I think it might be something in the nut family. I’m currently enjoying a dark chocolate peanut butter that is the best of the chocolate spreads out there (of the ones I can eat). I have it on a bagel or a hamburger bun (which is cheaper than the bagels by half), and sometimes I slap some jam on it.

I’ve not had a problem with this, but I ate a few spoonfuls yesterday sans bread and jam. That didn’t sit well with me, and my bowels were not happy with me for the next few hours. It’s vegan and gluten free, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve noticed an itchiness inside when I’ve eaten nuts before, so I’m keeping my eyes on it. It’s not noodles, thankfully (rice noodles, natch), but I’m concerned it could be rice. I will not deal well with it if it’s rice. I already did not deal well with people telling me I should eat brown rice instead of white (I know, but I don’t care), and if I turn out to be sensitive to white rice, well, I am not going to be a happy camper. I’ll just leave it at that.

I’ve also noticed that I feel the worst in the morning when I just get up. Today, I had a piercing headache–the kind that turns into a migraine if I’m not careful–and a shallowness of breath. I still have the breathing issue, though I took care of the headache problem (it’s a minor headache now, which I can deal with). I’m exhausted, even though I slept for almost seven hours. That’s how I know I’m sick–when I sleep more than six hours.

I hate being like this. I hate not being really sick because I feel like I should fight through it. It doesn’t help that my mother is the type to ignore her health until she can’t. She had back surgery three weeks ago, and she was up and walking two days later. Now, she wants to walk 30 minutes a day, and I told her to pace herself. There are other issues including my father is being an ass to her. It was to be expected, but it’s still difficult. I’m thinking about going there for a week or two, but that would come at a great cost to myself. I’m worried about her, and while I knew what would happen would happen, it’s infuriating to see it play out in real time.
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Running out of patience

I’ve had enough with the sickness, but it has not had enough of me. Last night, I ate something that hit me hard. I’m pretty sure I know what it is as the symptoms came within minutes of finishing something, and it does not have wheat/gluten or dairy in it. You know what that means? It means there is something else I’m allergic/sensitive/intolerant to, and I have to do some more fact finding. I think you can guess how happy I am about that. I’ve had issues before, and I’m tired of it. That means I have to figure out the other thing that makes me shit my brain out*. It happened five minutes after eating this thing (not naming it because it’s not the fault of the product, which was actually tasty), and then I was running to the bathroom every fifteen/twenty minutes for the rest of the evening.

TMI, but the whole post probably is. It’s the kind of thing where you have to run to the bathroom and pray you’ll make it in time. My stomach is fine, fine, fine, and then GOTTA RUN NOW! Shadow did not appreciate that as he was on my legs the first time it happened. I didn’t shove him off exactly, but I moved my legs with quickness. He was not pleased, and he let me know about it, but I had roughly ten seconds to make it to the toilet, so I paid him no mind.

Side Note: I was describing the symptoms to my mother while she was here, and she said it might be her issue as well. She’s been having similar problems, and she decided to try to go dairy free/gluten free as well. I told her she could try my dairy-free cheese and cashew milk. She complained that they did not taste like the real thing, and I patiently explained to her that they wouldn’t. She had to not think of them as substitutes but as their own thing. After one day, she gave up because it was too hard.

Side Note II: My father has the opposite problem (constipation). As he was listening to my mother and I discuss our problems, he said, “I know this sounds strange, but I wish I had your problem.” I didn’t explain to him why he should not say that to someone, but I certainly thought it. I had heard similar things when I was anorexic/bulimic, and it always made me feel worse. Like, I’m dealing with this really difficult thing, and you so blithely make a joke about it? No thank you. I didn’t demur with my father, however, because I knew it wouldn’t make a difference.

Side Note III: It’s really interesting how invested Americans are in the idea of faaaaaaamily. I was explaining something about my father to someone, and they were saying, “Oh, maybe he’s trying to be sympathetic in a really awkward way”, and I said, “No, he’s just a narcissist.” The uncomfortable silence was palpable, and I swiftly changed the subject.

What was I talking about? Oh, right. My dodgy stomach. Hey, I watch a bunch of British YouTubers, so I’ve absorbed some of their lingo.


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Hating everything…including myself

I hate the summer. I hate everything about it. I hate it with the intensity of *irony alert* a thousand burning suns. I’ve tried to describe how much I hate summer, but it’s hard to find the words to do my feelings justice. If I were to try to use my words without filters, it would just be a stream of curse words whenever I think of summer. I know I bitch the most about the heat because I am a delicate fucking flower who wilts in anything above 70.

Side Note: On Friday, one of my taiji classmates said that we could go to the lovely park on Saturday for class. Quick context: we had been going to her condo and using the rec room for the last few Saturdays, but it had already been booked for this week. That’s when she said we could go to the park (my teacher offered her house, which was where we met on Friday as well), and I said with a laugh, “You can, but I won’t be there.” It was supposed to be ‘feels like’ 95 on Saturday, and while it ended up more like ‘feels like’ 89 or so, no way in hell I was going to do anything remotely physical in the heat. Right now, the ‘real feel’ is 81, and it’s not even 11 a.m. yet. I know I sound like I’m whining when I bitch about the heat, and I am. It has such a great effect on me, however, that I can’t even think after a minute or two of being in the heat. On the way back from taiji Friday, I stopped at the gas station to buy some snacks. That’s another post for another day. I step out of the car, and–by the way. The A/C on the driver side is broken. Only the driver side. That’s how I know there is no god.

Anyhoooo. Two minutes in the heat, and I’m a wreck for the next hour. Not only am I exhausted and sweating profusely, I am angry. Not just irritated, but actually angry. I’m enough of a bitch as it is; I do not need the hotness to shorten my temper. When I’m in the heat, I’m acutely aware of how miserable I am. It’s all I can think of, and my whole world has narrowed to how fucking hot it is. Earlier, I said that anything over 70 starts that miserable feeling, but if I were going to be real with you, I’d say 65 is really the upper limit of my comfort zone. It makes it interesting for me to read debates on hot vs. cold because even the cold people are more like ’65’ is perfect. I have my heat set for 62 during the day and 60 at night (in the winter). Some of the cold people were saying that 68 was good. That’s considered cold? That’s me shorts and a tank top if I have to be civilized.


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I’m my own worst enemy

I’m tired. My sleep is fucked, which means at least I’m not sick. My sinuses are still all over the map, and I’m squarely blaming that on the weather. It’s been 50 to 89 and everywhere in between. I’m loving the former, but not the latter, and my body really doesn’t like the rapid changes. I’ve also become even more intolerant of heat, and my love of the cold is gradually diminishing as well. I used to be able to keep the car windows open until it was well in the sub-zero temps. Now, I close it when it’s zero.

I have said that the problem with getting old isn’t that I can’t do what I used to (though that is starting to be a problem), but that it takes much longer for me to recover. I used to be able to get by on four hours of sleep a night (barely); I could go out until the wee hours of the night and sleep it off the next day. Now, I could go out all night, but it would take a few days to recover.

I also have to admit that my depression is back and not going away any time soon. It’s low key, and it’s not paralyzing the way it has been in the past, but it definitely permeates my mood. There’s an ever-present feeling of ‘why bother’, which seeps into everything. It’s frustrating as hell, and I know the only thing I can do about it is to go to therapy.

*deep sigh*

I do Not want to go to therapy. Not because I think it’s worthless; I don’t. I am a big proponent of therapy, and I have been in it many times in my life. I have learned a lot from therapy, and I know I could learn more. However, the thought of finding a new therapist makes me want to curl up in a ball and never get up.

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Fuck you, spring!

mainlining the tea.
All. The. Tea.

I hate spring. I hate summer more, but spring is almost as bad because everything is coming to life, and I’m allergic to all the green things. In addition, I’m still visiting Ian in upstate New York, so there is a bunch of native flora that doesn’t live in Minnesota. This is my long-winded way of saying that my allergies are on high. At least I hope it’s allergies. I think it is. My eyes are itchy and my throat is tickling. There is a drainage situation that is coagulating in the back of my throat. I’m feeling logy, even more so than usual.

The reason I’m hoping it’s allergies? Because the alternative is that I have a cold. Again. Or sinus issues. Again. Or any of half a dozen things that are worse than allergies. Allergies are a low-level energy drain. Sinus infection? That’s a massive hit in the gut. I also have a medium-grade headache that really intensifies right before I go to bed. I’ve taken two Excedrin Migraine (generic) almost every night I’ve been here which keeps the headache at bay, but it’s not something I want to do too often.

I have zero motivation when I’m sick/allergy-stuffed as well. I know I have shit I need to do, but I just can’t make myself do anything. Writing this post feels unbearable, and I’m just writing nonsense. I know I’m not, but that’s how it feels. I woke up about an hour ago, and I want a nap. That’s what makes me think I’m on the cusp of getting sick and not just suffering allergies. Allergies are annoying, but not soul-sapping the way getting sick is.

I’m flying back tomorrow, and I really would rather not have to do it while being sick. I’m sure the other people on the plane would be happier without me spreading the sickness as well.

Side note: Delta has this thing where if the flight is full, they’ll have you bid on your seat, meaning saying how much it would take for you to change your flight. Ideally, everyone would ask for the highest bid so someone will get that amount. Gamification theory indicates, however, that someone will lowball everyone so they will at least get something.

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I need a doctor

I’ve been feeling pretty shitty lately, and I’ve been open about it–here. Not in my real life because I keep that shit to myself. I wish I could talk about it, but it goes against everything I was taught. My mom has been calling me more often lately, and it’s mostly to complain about my father. Sometimes, she will perfunctorily ask me how I’m doing, but even when I answer with anything other than ‘ok’, she’ll move it right along to whatever is on her mind.

Side Note: My father is a raging narcissist, and I’ve known this since I was a little girl. I might not have had the term for it, but I knew he was a self-centered man to the extreme. What I didn’t realize until very much later, maybe my thirties, is that my mother is self-absorbed as well. I wouldn’t say she’s as extreme as my father as she has some self-awareness, but she can’t see other people’s points of view very well, either, even if she keeps it to herself more. One time, she asked how I was doing. I said I had a cold, and after a minute of sympathy, she segued into how she had had a cold as well. Then, she was off and running about her travails with my father.

Side Note to the Side Note: I’ve gotten sucked back into being her confidante. I’d done better at setting boundaries, back when we had a more fractured relationship, but now that I’ve moved past much of the turmoil of our earlier relationship and let go of a lot of my resentment (which translates in me snapping much less at her), she’s taken to dumping all her problems on me again. It’s frustrating for more than one reason. One, I’m her child. Yes, I’m an adult and an Old, but I’m still her kid. I don’t necessarily want or need to hear about her problems at length, especially with my father.

Two, she has no intention of doing the hard work that would actually make her marriage better for her without sacrificing more and more of herself. She said something about her ‘not being allowed’ to do something or the other in her marriage, and I pointed out that she *could* do it, but it would just make my father extremely unpleasant to deal with. He’s learned that if he throws a big enough temper tantrum, he’ll get his way. He’s can be very cruel and downright mean when he wants to, and my mother is extremely conflict-avoidant as am I. She knows she’s enabling him. She knows that she’s rewarding his bad behavior when she does what he wants when he throws a tantrum, but she’s been doing it for fifty years.

Three, I know way too much about my parents’ marriage now, and there’s the added fact that there’s an elephant in the room as my mother pisses and moans about my father. His mistress. Who might or might not be his mistress any longer but who is still heavily involved in his project and therefore, they talk for hours every day. Yeah, they’re still involved, even if it’s not physical. I know about it because of his hubris (as I’ve explained in past posts), and my mother knows about it because she’s not stupid. She won’t actually say it, however, and when I’ve sideways confronted her about it, she’s both deflected and talked about it (without actually naming it) in equal amounts.


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My health is on my mind, and my mind is on my health

all the dumplings.
Oh, how I miss dumplings!

I am an idiot.

I recently read the ingredients in a veggie burger I commonly buy. I don’t know why I hadn’t read it at the time as normally I am very rigid about that, but for some reason, veggie burger in my mind equaled GF/DF. Which is ridiculous because I am the first to point out that vegan is not the same as GF. Anyway, it had both wheat and dairy (most likely traces), which is one thing that has been causing me problems. I am not going to eat it again, obviously, but it underscored how I need to be hypervigilant about what I eat. Which I definitely am not.

In the last week, I’ve had two episodes of eating something that previously had not caused any problems and then immediately having to run to the bathroom. Then, it was a half hour of communing with the commode while cursing out my stomach. It happened once before this a few weeks ago, which I wrote about. That time it happened, I woke in the middle of the night and had to run to the bathroom again. I barely made it in time because I was dazed with sleep, and I nearly fell asleep  while I was on the toilet. That was a surreal experience, and it’s one I don’t want to repeat again.

I thought it might be the peanut butter (all natural) that had caused the reaction, so I switched to cashew butter which has a milder flavor. I prefer peanut butter, but the cashew butter was a good substitute. It was fine the first few times I used it, but the third or fourth time, I had the same reaction and raced to the bathroom.

I’ve used that brand of GF bread with no issues for several months, so unless they changed their ingredients (which, you never know), it’s not that. I don’t think it’s the jam, but again, who knows? That’s the most frustrating things with food allergies–it’s a bunch of ‘who knows?’. The second incident happened after I made an egg salad sandwich with the same bread, lactose-free cream cheese, and egg salad from the co-op. There is no ingredient in the egg salad that I recognize as something I can’t have, but I’ve had a bad reaction to the egg salad before. I also thought it might be the lactose-free cream cheese because it still has < 1% lactose, which is greater than 0%. I’ve had the lactose-free sour cream (made by the same company), and I haven’t had any intense reaction to it, but I’ve had a squidgy stomach in general for the past few weeks.

It’s really depressing because it makes me not want to eat at all. If every time I eat I have to worry about racing to the bathroom and staying there, well, that’s a disincentive. My asshole has been sore and my digestive system has been grumpy. I know I have to figure out what exactly is fucking me up, but I don’t have the energy to do that.

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What a drag (on my health)

whiling away the hours.
My new home.

I’m afraid this is my new normal, being roughly 60%. Every time I get past that point, something happens that sets me back. For example, last night, and TMI for possibly grossness, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I’m twelve–side note: why are PB&Js considered children’s food?–and a minute later, I had to run to the bathroom. Exploding diarrhea all over the place (hyperbole! I made it to the toilet), and I stayed there for at least ten minutes. A half hour later, I was back again. I went to sleep a bit later, then was jolted awake in the middle of the night (not sure when) because my body was urgently telling me I needed to go. Again. I was more than half-asleep, and I almost fell down on my way to the toilet. I almost fell asleep on the toilet. I almost fell asleep on my way back to the couch. It was a surreal experience. I was basically pooping in my sleep, and I was just happy I made it to the bathroom first.

What was it that did it? My instinct is the peanut butter, but it could be the jelly. In fact, it’s more likely the jelly. I’ve had the peanut butter before, and I’m not sure I’ve had this brand of (blackberry) jelly before. It’s not the bread. I eat that all the time, and it’s not a new loaf. So, I’m going to do a controlled test today. I’m going to eat the jelly on its own, an then I’m going to try the peanut butter. Of course, the fact that I think it’s the peanut butter might unconsciously bias me.

I woke up grumpy and exhausted today. My energy is extremely low, and I just feel so blah. I’ve been trying to write this post for over an hour, and every word is begrudging. It’s not like me at all. I’m verbose to an extreme, and I can usually toss off a two-thousand word post in an hour or so. I currently have 350 words, and I am already running out of steam.

On a related note: I’m struggling with the second book of my current trilogy. The first one is finished. It’s rough as hell, but I really like the energy of it. The second one never really came to life to me, and I’m 92,000 words in. I’m thinking of scrapping it and starting over. I’ve had writer friends incredulous that I would actually throw away whole novels, it’s not an anathema to me. I wouldn’t literally throw it away or delete it; I would simply start another story. I might take some nuggets from the first story, but I would go in a different direction.

Side note to the related note: When I write a novel, I have an outline in my head. I write mysteries, and going into it, I know the perp, the victim, and the motive. I don’t always know how I get from Point A to Point B, but I know in broad strokes what my chain of events will be. I’ve had times when the motive has changed or shifted as I’ve written, but for the most part, the motive I go in with is the same one that remains at the end–more or less.

In this case, I started the first novel with a firm idea of all of the above. I even know mostly how I was going to get from Point A to Point B. About halfway through the novel, an idea came to me that I couldn’t ignore. It led to the main thesis of the second novel, and it recast everything in the first novel in a different light. Of course, I had to keep in mind that the first novel had to be able to read on its own. I finished the first novel with the second one in mind, and I was excited when I started the second.

Goddamn it. I just can’t today. I’m so tired and bone-weary. And my innards are still grumbling. That’s all for today.

A Little Squirt Here; A Little Squirt There

Still sick. Bought the Flonase generic equivalent and squirted myself. Instantly felt shittier–like a fever, intensified body aches, and a slight shortage of breath. I looked up side effects, and those are all included. The fever was like a flush, however, and it’s subsided. Normally, I would look up side effects first, but I’m desperate at this point. I have been getting pretty sick during fall/winter the past few years, and it’s not fun at all. I also saw my first Christmas commercial a few days ago, which makes me even Grinchier.

Here’s a video of ‘Teddy Bear’ the porcupine enjoying his corn on the cob. When the person asks if he’ll share, you can hear him say, ‘Back off’  (at least it sounds like that to me), while grabbing the corn fiercely. Teddy Bear doesn’t like to share!