I spent a bit over a month egg-freef or Ronan.

His eczema totally cleared up. Of course, he was also egg-free. So with a nice, clear baseline, I introduced eggs into my diet. Not even eggy eggs, but baked goods containing egg. I just wanted to see if we had a transfer situation with breastmilk. And, y'know, eggs were an integral part of my diet pre-Ronan's reaction.

You see, Starbucks now has individually wrapped gluten-free orange almond cakes. And they're soy-free.

So I bought one on Friday. It was a lovely novelty, but I really don't care for orange-flavored cakes. Still, kudos to Starbucks for delivering a product with excellent texture.

When I saw no evidence of a reaction on his skin by Sunday, I had a second one. (He did scratch some Saturday, but it might've been sweat. Or sand. Or anything.).

And this evening, I saw his skin flushing. Unmistakable signs of early eczema rash. Plus he was scratching like mad all evening.

So I guess there's no orange cakes in my future (which is okay, again, I just don't care for them). Sadder still, no mayo.

That's the final list. Of them, I eat all but pistachios on a near daily basis.

The allergist said I could try keeping only cooked tomatoes, but I've been carrotless for a week and a half, raw tomato-less for several days and am still itchy, so I'm afraid even cooked tomatoes will go.

I'll think about these again in several years, after I've had another hormonal shift.

Until then, I'll amuse myself by coming up with alternatives to catsup. Nomato is out--it's primarily made of carrots. I'm going to try roasting peppers and a beet and then mixing them, cooking them, reducing them with some spices and sugar, pureeing . . . . we'll see. I bet I can manage a reasonable sludgy sauce o'savory supremity.

I wasn't tested for any other nightshades and I won't worry about them unless the itchiness of doom doesn't settle. So tomatillos and peppers are still my friends. For now. I found some salsa verdo that is free of tomatoes. Thank god. And instead of growing my beloved tomato plants this year, I'll plant pineapple tomatillos and other ground cherries.

I reserve the right to break into tears this July and August when the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes are in season.
The dress airing out in here is one of the few absolutes in my life, it seems. It's an atrocious piece of fashion: ankle-length full skirt with four tiers of ruffles, thin horizontal jewel-toned stripes, and a peasant blouse which matches it. It's a size eight, so I wear a corset over it, which hides the fact that i can't close the skirt in back. I often think to myself that, no matter where I go--that dress will always be hideous.

My new allergist informed me yesterday that I'm no longer allergic to soy or strawberries. I'll be honest--I never thought I *was* allergic to strawberries. My previous allergist told me I was, by virtue of the RAST results. Soy, however, has plagued me for three years. Even soybean oil and additives derived from soy--things which should have no soy protein--cause me breathing difficulty and eczema. Edamame, tofu, and TVP led to breathing difficulty, hives, and other lovely joys of anaphylaxis. I had a positive RAST at the same time I tested positive to strawberries... And I've felt so much better since I've cut it out of my diet.

And this new guy tells me, "nope, you're not allergic according to the skin prick test." So many things are going through my mind...

Did he test me for one or 14 soy proteins? Did he use organic soy or GM? Was the protein extract old and degraded? Do I trust him? He treats me like a kid and seems to think I'm a lazy, unemployed housewife. He also claims lecithin and soy oil can't cause reactions in soy allergic individuals.

Then again, maybe I'm not allergic anymore. This is one of the best food allergists in the area. He should know what he's talking about. My expertise is Russian language and culture--his is immunological response. I wouldn't expect him to understand the linguistic development of Slavic languages, so why should he expect me to understand IgG and IgE pathways?

And my UV allergy mysteriously disappeared this month. It appeared in December of 1996... Is my soy allergy related to my estrogen intolerance and are both related to my UV allergy? Maybe I can tolerate all of that stuff now. Maybe I can't tolerate it, but now that I've allowed my liver to detox, I'm no longer symptomatic.

I don't know. I'm confused. I'm worried.

My hubby has told me two things... He will not allow me to risk my life by sampling soy. He's seen what it does to me in the past. I can't blame him and I have no right to risk hurting someone he loves--especially me. On the other hand, I'd like to know if my life is still endangered by soy.

The other thing he's told me is that he won't be seen with me in public if I wear the hideous dress.

I wore it to the Voltaire show a few weeks ago, though. He accompanied me. And we both decided that this dress is actually kind of pretty.

I'm becoming convinced that the only absolutes in life are death and confusion. Everything changes.

December 2016

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