Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Home For Maya's Happy Place!

For those of you who knew my site before, this may be quite a change. Don't despair, the same information will be posted within the next few days. I wanted something that was more coding friendly and so I transferred everything here.

I will also be writing in alot more often about new foods, articles, research and anything I find out that is important to you.

I'm a frog. Frogs breathe through their skin. Frogs are very fragile. So I'm a frog. If you are living with severe soy or peanut allergy then you are possibly a frog, too. Whatever happens in our environment or anything that we come into contact with can easily hurt us so we have to be very careful. You can be mad at me and say, "Well, my son is not a frog and for you to say that is absolutely ridiculous. He is a human being." I never said he wasn't. Its a comparison to what its like to be this sensitive to the world, not a comparison of species. If we are not careful, we go first. I know that may be a cynical way of looking at it but it speaks to me, so maybe you will understand, too.

Soy has infiltrated our world. The soy industry is apparently booming despite its' toxicity. In 2004, The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act was passed. It seemed soon after, EVERYTHING started containing soy or nuts or was made on or near equipment. The truth is it was already there, but very few (.4% of children) were reacting. This was back in the 80's and I was in that percentile.

The number of people living with peanut-allergy has gone up to 1.1% in adults. The percentage of people living with soy-allergy is .5%. My childhood was spent believing that I could only eat baked or steamed chicken, broccoli and rice which wasn't really the case, its just that nothing was labeled. I could have probably had chocolate, but with a reaction everytime I ate any chocolate and most candy (because of soy-lecithin or cross-contamination with equipment), I didn't find out I could until I was well into my teens.
Since I was a baby, I've had anaphylaxis to peanuts and some tree-nuts. I also am very allergic to soy and anything in the legume family (peas, lentils). I am allergic to red food coloring (red #40) and used to be allergic to milk but not anymore. Environmentally, I was allergic to tree pollen, ragweed, dust mites and mold. I used to be allergic to dogs and cats. I was allergic to most fragrances and any fabric that wasn't cotton.

 As a child, I had the worst case of eczema anyone had ever seen. I was covered from my face to my toes in oozey, weepy rashes that I wouldn't stop scratching even as blood stained the 100% cotton, freshly laundered, white blankets. No matter how careful we were with what I ate, something was making my body react. Family stayed up all night with me scratching me in every way that was possible so as not to damage or break my skin. Slapping the itch was my panacea of choice and I had to wear socks on my hands at night to minimize the scratching. Sometimes I cried myself to sleep. An AC or a fan kept me cool at all times so that my skin didn't sweat out whatever I was allergic to and react again and again. I 've gone through every treatment, medicine and even several holistic therapies and have come to the sad conclusion that the best therapy is abstinence and avoidance of the allergen in any and every form.
Be sure to check out my soy derivatives list, peanut list and household products with soy derivatives list. These are the most important tools for you or your child to stay healthy. It is definitely possible to live a wonderful life again. Food allergy can be monitored and controlled but will take some patience with others as well as yourself. Some people might not understand, so it is up to us to tell them.

 I was at a restaurant once where the sushi chef yelled at me because I didn't use the tongs for fear of contamination from the tofu about two feet away. Who knew if someone used the tongs on the tofu? There was no getting through to him because he didn't speak proper english and he was red-faced and so angry. I was mortified and wanted to cry so I told my waiter what happened. He disappeared to the back and came back with a brand new set of tongs.

Things like this will happen. It is up to you to speak up about your health. Never be embarrased to speak to a waiter, management or even someone who has invited you for dinner. You have's a matter of life and death. I will help you as much as I can. The rest is up to you.

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