In the interest of full disclosure on this here blog, I have something to ask you guys.
What costs approximately $3,000, four months of itch and anguish, two doctors, one short-term disability claim, countless missed days at work, and a couple ice packs?
A FRICKIN' DAIRY ALLERGY, that's what.
(Mold and almonds, too.)
Yesterday I got home and opened up a bill from LabCorp, the company who did all the blood work that my allergist prescribed, and I laughed uproariously at the ridiculousness that was my bill. I was being asked to pay, after my insurance chipped their part in, $35.97 out of a close-to $3,000 lab work bill. Hilarious!
(In all actuality, having to only pay $35.97 is a blessing, and I'm uniquely fortunate to have excellent insurance and a fantastic allergist who knows/knew what to ask for when it came down to the enigma that is my health issue.)
I found out the new about my dairy allergy approximately two months ago, but since I haven't posted here, I haven't really shared it with the world. And world, let me tell you, it's not easy giving up something so ingrained in your experience of life, so specifically essential to your life's fulfillment, so creamy and delectable. I haven't had any dairy (knowingly...an not including those five Tootsie Rolls I accidentally ate a few weeks ago) in just about two months. I can't say I've lost weight, but I didn't really care about that. I DO feel less bloated, less crampy and significantly less phlegmy. I'm also pretty much hive-less, which is the most delightful part. While still on my massive regime of suppressant meds, I still feel like kicking the dairy habit has been a fantastic blessing in disguise.
A really craptastic disguise, sometimes. I can't lie. There is dairy in EVERYTHING.
Fortunately, I now live in a dairy-free home thanks to Em giving up the poison too. We're eating salads, cheese-free risotto (which is to die for), balsamic-glazed chicken, sushi, and lots of delectable vegetarian treats, too. Our friends have been really understanding and supportive, and even going out to eat is fairly easy as most restaurants want to avoid lawsuits and will clean the grill just for ME in order to prevent an allergy attack (thank you, Sweetwater Tavern!). All in all, and despite my whining, it hasn't been so bad.
There are parts of me that desperately miss cheese. It was such an enormous staple for me that it's hard to imagine I've cut it out completely. We walked by the cheese counter at Whole Foods the other day and I just about cried. But every day it gets easier. And I hope that in seven years or so, my body does that miraculous shift and I can once more tolerate the nectar of the Gods. Until then, dry cereal it is.