Okay I know it has been a while since I last posted. The month of September and October have been a bit of a whirlwind!
When I saw my new gastroenterologist, Dr. Max Shapiro, in August we discussed reintroducing my body to “corn and its by-products” over the course of the next 6 weeks. He personally hasn’t seen corn as an EoE trigger in any of his patients. Side note: Whenever doctors tell me this, I immediately have a suspicion that they are due for a weirdo patient and guess what it’s gonna be me (if you know me, you know I sang this last phrase in Justin Timberlake’s voice). With so much happening during the month of September, I didn’t want to risk potentially flooding my biggest culprit into my body once again.
I decided on eggs and I loved it! Eggs are so good for you and with my limited calories I wanted to bring something in that is packed with nutrition. I know some people don’t like eggs, but I’m a serious breakfast lover. It’s one of the reasons why I firmly believe if Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson were real people we could be friends on that common link alone without factoring anything else into our friendship chemistry.
If you have EoE or are currently on an elimination diet to determine if you have any food intolerances, just know when you reintroduce a food, be prepared for anxiety. Even if it is a food that you believe is reasonably safe for you, you will still have fear. I tell you this so you are prepared and not caught off guard. The first time I ate eggs, I decided to go slow and have scrambled eggs made with only egg whites. I read research that suggests that many people can tolerate the whites, but the yolks might provoke issues. I scarfed them down and waited to see if my throat tightened or experienced any uncomfortable symptoms.
Inhaling your food is never a good idea, but when you are anxious you have a habit of doing this without knowing it. You just want to get it over with, so you end up inadvertently swallowing a good amount of air and holding your breath at times. This meant I had a lot of belching after the first trial, but I recognized that this would probably happen for a time because of my anxiety levels.
I decided to try eggs again and that experience was a lot better, and I didn’t have any unpleasant side effects. I started adding yolks to the concoction, and still felt really good. None of the symptoms that I had with potatoes appeared. If you aren’t familiar with my blog entry on potatoes, when I tried to reintroduce them 2 separate times, after one week of eating them constantly I started to have constant throat tightening, began to have trouble eating other foods that a week before I had no problems consuming, and had a full blown EoE episode where I felt like I couldn’t swallow. Once I cut the potatoes out all the symptoms went away, which led me to determine that sadly potatoes and I may never ever get back together.
After eating the same ten ingredients for the past few months, having eggs again sent me over the moon. I even found a cool recipe for pancakes on Pinterest! Okay, well not real pancakes, but still delicious all the same. You take one medium size ripe banana and mash it. Next, you add 2 eggs and mix it all together. Then you cook them like you would pancakes. You pour some of the mixture into a coated pan. I couldn’t use cooking sprays, so I used a little organic olive oil to coat the pan and it did the trick. You cook it over a low heat and flip it after about 2 minutes. After not eating anything close to this for the last few months, this tasted like a real treat. This tastes amazing on its own, but you can also add some cinnamon for some more flavor. I also added sugar during this trial, and sometimes I would add a little bit of sugar to the mix, especially when the banana wasn’t yet ripe. My husband spoils me with his amazing cooking, and he even started to make me a homemade strawberry glaze (organic strawberries and cane sugar) to put on top. So so good!
For this trial I ate eggs roughly every day sometimes multiple times a day. I would sometimes add them to my burgers, scramble them for breakfast, or most often I would make banana pancakes for dessert. I have a big sweet tooth, so this elimination diet has been really hard because without sugar nothing quenched the craving. Also, all you people that are like “fruit is such an amazing dessert” are all lying to yourselves.
For those of you wondering if I ever had trouble in the past eating eggs, yes I did. Eggs used to be difficult to eat when I was in the thick of my EoE, but during this trial I didn’t need any water or liquid nearby to help me swallow. Sometimes the foods that are the hardest to eat when your eosinophil levels are high aren’t actually the problem children. For example, I already mentioned potatoes. That reaction took a week of eating it before my body gave me major reactions and fully rejected it. Though it is smart to keep a food journal and watch your symptoms like I did, you still need to have an endoscopy performed no matter how you might feel.
Last Tuesday I went in to have one performed. Even though this is my third one, I still get so nervous before the procedure. After the procedure, I don’t experience a lot of pain. I’m groggy and really tired for a little while, but then I feel like me again. It doesn’t hurt to swallow after the endoscopy, unless I’m eating. Even then I feel it less in my throat and more in between my shoulders for some reason.
Today I received my final confirmation that I still have zero eosinophils after reintroducing eggs and sugar! This means I am one step closer to finding out what my culprit is or if I have more than one problem food. Currently, I decided to bring back almost all my yellow foods from the LEAP MRT. I want to see if the test was accurate for me at all because I didn’t test positive for potatoes, but I’ve ending up having to completely eliminate potatoes. The two big ones in this category are corn and caffeine.
Corn is in everything. It goes by different names, but basically if it is processed there is 85% -90% chance it has some kind of corn derivative in it. I’m super excited to be able to brush my teeth with regular toothpaste. Also, I really want a cup of tea, but I might switch to coffee. I love having milk in my tea, and I’ve read a bunch of blog entries on the taste of alternative milks in black tea. All of them said nothing is quite like milk, and that most overpower the tea.
Basically, my body is rejecting being Irish. No potatoes and no tea. Couldn’t it have rejected it by turning my pasty white skin into a golden tan?! Nope!
I’ve never been a coffee aficionado. The only coffee drinks I have ever drank are the ones from Starbucks that are basically sugar and corn syrup with a splash of coffee for color. So any recommendations for a coffee newbie would definitely be appreciated. I’m just so happy to be able to try a hot beverage again, especially with winter right around the corner.
I will let you know how this trial continues to go. I did add some bacon that is made with a corn derivative, but my body didn’t seem like a fan. Oh well, if at first we don’t succeed, try again. I’m continuing to take it one day at a time and trying to teach myself to hope for the best.