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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
Tonight was my first time in a restaurant since I had the testing done and realized that corn is a big problem for me. In the week since, I have tested myself with small things just to make sure. It is absolutely corn, and even a small amoutn seems to be a problem: I was telling myself yesterday that maybe I could live with the occasional small reaction (especially since it mostly shows up as skin things), but otoh I do not want things to escalate, so I have pretty much decided to avoid all obvious sources (corn, corn flour, corn starch, corn oil, corn meal, popcorn) and read food labels etc. and try not to worry about anything else for the time being.

Anyway, today I made arrangements to meet my mom to go Passover shopping with her, because I don't have a car and she does :) I was actually quite excited because I heard that since corn is not kosher for passover, you can get a lot of things which normally have corn starch but are made for Passover without it :) I also got some potato starch so I could experiment at home---I miss chocolate pudding already, because it lets me take banana to work without it going brown, and it's a fairly low-cal way to get my chocolate fix :)

So anyway, we met at Mom's office, which is near my apartment, then met my stepdad for dinner before going.to the store. It was one of those generic type places with a twentypage menu full of all sorts of things (The Pickle Barrel, for you Toronto people). It was harder than I thought to find something reasonably healthy but which I could eat! ALL of the entree salads had nuts in them (I have never reacted to nuts that I know of, but I tested positive on a skin test for them and try to avoid them as a consequence). And I did not want to get a burger or something really unhealthy. I was interested in a stir-fry and when our very cheerful weaitress came, I asked her if the one I was eyeing had any corn products in it.

So, she very loudly and chirpily replies "Wow, that's a really good question! I;ll go askt he chef! Are you allergic?" And my mom, just as loudly, answers back "YES SHE IS," pointing at me. I was so embarassed :) I know it's not my fault or anything (and I still have sores on my face from the last reaction, so I am not just being a hypochondriac or something!) but I just felt like one of those annoying weird people or something, and while we waited for her to come back, I tried to justify to my mom that really, my reactions are not THAT bad, and it's mostly just rashes and cold sores and maybe an extra puff on the inhaler, and Mom is being all dramatic and saying I should TAKE NO CHANCES and WHY TEMPT FATE and all of this, and maybe I should just get a burger every time I go out because at least we know it has no corn in it!

Finally, the waitress comes back and says there is no actual corn in the dish, and the chef was confident (although not certain) that the noodles didn't have it either, but they could not 100% promise me that the kitchen was 100% clean and that nothing in the dish had even the remotest chance of being a little but contaminated. Under that reasoning, I figured the "safe" burger was no safer, and went witht he moderately healthier stir-fry (I am not anaphylactic, so tiny amounts of particles or whatever are not as big a concern).

It's now two hours later, and I feel okay. I think I am still not completely detoxed from all my prior skin stuff (I had over a year of severe skin problems which I am nearly 100% sure were caused by/related to the corn problem) and I did have a bad reaction on the weekend to some vegetable stock that it turns out had corn products as its first four ingredients. So I think the residual skin stuff right now is maybe related to that. I was able to go out and eat normally and stuff, but until the problems started with the corn and fruit, all my allergies were the tree nut ones, which as I said I have eaten many times and ever reacted to except on the skin test. So my attitude to them was "avoid, but if your eally want something once in awhile and it's baked in there, oh well." But the corn, I really do see a connection and feel consequences if I eat it! So I really do need to avoid it, and forever after, I will have to be that annoying person askign the waitress all sorts of questions. She was nice about it and everything, but it just was a little bit embarassing, and Mom alternately freaking out and probing me about it like I had the plague was maybe not the most helpful reaction :)

Still...it could have been worse, I suppose :)

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I can only imagine how challenging it must be, especially at the start. I don't know if it gets any easier... for one thing I'm not the one with allergies in our family, and for another, we pretty much totally avoid restaurants so we don't have to go through the whole "is it safe?" ordering exercise.

I guess the good thing is the you now know what foods are really not good for you so you can avoid them... (Trying to find a bright spot here.)

Take care,

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Yep, it takes awhile to get used to dealing with the allergies in potentially embarrassing situations. They sound fairly cautious about allergies at the Pickle Barrel.

I love pudding, too----I now make it with a mixture of tapioca starch and rice flour. (I use 1/6 of a cup of tapioca and 1/6 of a cup of white rice flour to 3 cups of liquid.) I've tried just using tapioca starch . . . it turns out a little gummy that way. I like the consistency better with the rice flour added. In Toronto you can buy tapioca starch and rice flour at the Specialty Food shop at the Hospital for Sick Children.

I'm not sure how potato starch will work as I'm allergic to potatoes.

I can't have arrowroot starch either, but I bet it would make a nice pudding.

Then there's always tapioca pudding. And rice pudding.


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