Hi, friends! I’m switching gears a little and writing a bit more personal today. I don’t do that very often, but I think I need to do it more! It helps me get stuff off my chest 🙂
This past week has been an interesting one for me… I found out I have another food intolerance, except this time I think it’s an actual full-blown food allergy. I ordered a bottle of pumpkin seed oil since I read that it could help with bladder problems and I wanted to see if it could help my IC. I found some from a great brand and I took some on Wednesday, but that night and Thursday morning my entire face was itching sooooo bad! I thought it was an allergic reaction but wasn’t sure, so I stayed away from the pumpkin seed oil for a couple of days, then tried it again on Friday to see if that’s what was causing it (at that point I had cut out a few other things to see), and Saturday my itching worsened and spread to my neck and chest.
I went to the walk-in clinic and they gave me prednisone to manage my allergic reaction that I had to take for a while. I’m still taking it, and I still have itchy episodes, but the prednisone has it’s own side effects I’m not too thrilled about. I can’t wait for it to be over! I have never reacted that severely to foods or supplements before 🙁 I have been using pumpkin seed protein powder lately and haven’t seemed to have too much of a problem with it except for a small rash on my arms and neck that I thought was from something else. I wasn’t sure what was causing it at first but now I think it’s the pumpkin seed. Such a bummer since I was really enjoying the pumpkin seed protein in my homemade protein bites!
It’s odd that I would react worse to the pumpkin seed oil than to the pumpkin protein, usually it’s the other way around, but my body isn’t “typical”. It’s frustrating since I feel betrayed by my body, and it’s just another food to add to my no-eat list. But life moves on! I’ll be heading to a new allergist next month to get an ongoing treatment plan set up. Allergy injections make me feel pretty crappy, but I need to stick it out and get them to see if that would help me with my seasonal allergies, and maybe that will help my other allergies, too.
My recent health frustrations have me thinking about something lately: the power of a team and how life can change for the better when you have a group of people helping and supporting you. I am very much a let-me-fix-it-myself person and I take charge of my own health. I have been to plenty of doctors who only treat the symptoms and don’t search for the root causes, and some doctors have blown me completely, so I have often been reluctant to see doctors and I’m guilty of trying to figure things out on my own too often. But lately I have been reminded that my good health requires a team effort. I can’t do everything on my own, and if I have to search and search for a good doctor who will listen to me, then that’s what I’ll do.
I have the start of a good health care team right now: I have a great GYN and general doctor, and I’m scheduled to see a better allergist (our current allergist isn’t super helpful), but I may need to find other GI and autoimmune specialists to run more tests. I have been pretty good about eating a balanced diet with all my dietary restrictions, but I think it might be time to see a clinical nutritionist periodically to make sure I’m where I need to be. I know a great health coach that I should meet with regularly to make sure that I’m staying on track mentally and physically to meet my goals. When I have sports injuries, I see an excellent physical therapist that helps a bunch, and it makes a difference!
Health teams are great, but it’s also awesome to have social, emotional, and spiritual support. A group of people who can walk with you, talk with you, and pray for you. As much as I try to do everything on my own, I have to remind myself that I need other people. There are great things about taking charge of your health, but I have to accept that I can’t do everything myself and I don’t know it all. I can’t fix it on my own and I need to build my teams and my support systems. When you’re battling things or reaching for new goals, it makes a difference to have family and friends who support you.
Reading through my ACE health coach study manual and reading The Power of the Other by Dr. Cloud gave me that very important reminder that I need other people in my life who can support me but who I can also support. “Need” is a very difficult word sometimes: it shows vulnerability and openness. But there is freedom in realizing that we it’s okay to need others. It doesn’t make us weak, it just means that we admit that we can’t do it all, and two heads are better than one when it comes to problem solving 🙂