Thursday, July 30, 2009

A meal out

 I've been on holiday for a few days. It's been mostly self-catering but one night we thought we'd treat ourselves to a meal out. We found a little bistro tucked away in a Welsh fishing port. I took a montelukast before going out. Alarmingly it seems to have been my last. I thought I had a full sachet but it seems to have been lost en route. I thought I would have reasonable tolerance. The Ring has nearly gone and I felt quite healthy.

My meal consisted of goats cheese and sea bass, on a layer of spinach. Not much harm here surely. The chef wanted to "drizzle" the cheese in olive oil and pine nuts but I explained nuts might be a problem (even pine nuts). There was a lot more on both courses. The fish came in a balsam vinegar sauce. It was an incredibly tasty meal - of course it was as I haven't tasted half these ingredients for years. Today I am paying the penalty. My left jaw and tongue is swollen and my left eye is sore. Eating is quite uncomfortable.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Strange tastes

We've taken to making banana cake. The other day I ate a slice and tasted ginger, I tasted another slice and that also tasted of ginger.

Then there was the home-made fish pie. I ate it and it tasted peppery. I had a discussion with the cook - absolutely no pepper in it. Yet it tasted of pepper.

I wonder if I'm suffering from the amputee effect. Because my taste buds are deprived of any food with taste, they are making it up. If so it is going to make it very difficult to identify suspect foods. Cooks do not like being accused of using ingredients they have taken every care not to use.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Instructions for caterers

I went to a conference over the weekend at a venue I've been to before. This time I managed to get the caterers to understand the problem. This was the guidance I gave. I have never been so well looked after....

It's salicylate hypersensitivity, which you may not be familiar with.

In general:
no pepper, spices or herbs. Most fruit is out and quite a few vegetables.

Banana and golden delicious apple are okay as are chips, baked potato, cabbage, peas, sprouts, lettuce, leek and celery.

All meat, dairy and fish is fine, although fish is especially good.

Small amounts of chocolate as in cake or pudding are fine.

Only drinks are water or decaffeinated coffee. Nothing else.

The general principle I work to is that sauces and pies are dodgy. Plain meats, battered fish etc are okay.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Breakfast menu

 Breakfast menu:
one montelukast
one super-strength paracetamol
glass of warm salted water

Back to the dentist on Monday and a great deal of poking around my teeth. The dentist is convinced I've got tiny pockets of infection around the gums. All I know is that the process has left me in enormous pain.

I've now got a splitting headache on the left side of my face and back in the left eye - as I had three years ago.

This may have been aggravated by the meal I had on Monday night. We had a visit from some salespeople from Saladmaster. Their process involves chopping vegetables very finely and cooking them without water or much else in very expensive self-contained saucepans (effectively acting as miniroasters). It's all very interesting and mostly we managed to adjust their menu to meat my needs - that even included using Golden Delicious apples to garnish the chicken. It was meant to be apple sauce but did not come out  tasty or even saucy.

The only problem was  the potatoes.  In spite of my protestations, these were sliced very finely with the skin on and then backed with a cheese topping. It was quite tasty but there was no possibility of getting the skin off. Of course, for most people it is healthy to eat the potato skin. But it does, apparently, contain quite a lot of salicylate and I probably ended up eating quite a lot of it. We didn't buy anything.

So what's aggravating what? It could be raw nerves exposed by the dental treatment, it could be a reaction to potato peel or it could be further infection of the gums caused by the finely ground vegetables getting into the teeth.

Meanwhile I keep thinking, or rather hoping, The Ring is fading away. That's one reason for taking a daily montelukast - to zap The Ring.

If the problem is with the teeth, then I'm going to solve it. There will be brushing and flossing after meals as instructed. I'll also use salted water to disinfect. And montelukast and good diet will reduce inflammation from allergy. However I'd really like to know what facial symptoms are being caused by gums and what's being caused by what they call oral allergy syndrome.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Census of visitors

Many thanks to those who took part in the "census" of visitors to this site.

Out of 63 who filled in the poll, some 38 per cent identified themselves as salicylate sensitive. 33 per cent had other allergies and 20 per cent are food sensitive.

A whopping 34 per cent said they were still trying to find out - presumably that includes people trying to find out what exactly it is they are allergic to, just as I was two years ago.

There was a smattering of health professionals (4 per cent) and of relatives (7 per cent).

Finally, a further thanks to those who've said hello when they are passing through! It cheers us all up to know we are not alone.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Ring Trilogy

Nearly a week after giving up penicillin the ring on my chest is still there. I am trying to work out if it is slowly fading. It's not getting worse now so I do think it might have been caused by blue cheese/penicillin.

Looking back to two weeks ago I tried E45 and said it did not seem to work. Yet two days later on June 23rd I was reporting that the ring had almost gone. I put that entirely down to giving up Stilton but, maybe, the E45 worked after all. I will try some again.

That shows the benefits of keeping a diary!