Allergies are funny things… I am sitting here typing this with an itchy left eye, which means that the pollen has started, it is uncomfortable, however it will be easily solved once I get to a chemists and pickup some Piriton, in addition pollens help flare up my asthma and eczema, I stayed with my Mother for a while whilst I was suffering a bit of misery, and could barely walk after about a week because of all the trees she has around the house. The best my asthma and eczema have ever been was when I was living in the smog of London .
On Saturday I went to a chums flat, and his lady friend made some very pleasant snacks, pinwheels, crudités, halloumi wrapped in pancetta which were all very toothsome, and some backed mushrooms with garlic and cream cheese, they were supposed to have some pesto in them as well, the ingredients included cashew nuts, against which I have another allergy so that was left out, so the taste was mainly of grilled mushrooms. As the evening went on my tummy started to swell (or at least feel as if it were swelling) and I became most uncomfortable, in fact I had to make my excuses and leave. I remembered as I was driving home, having let my belt out a couple of notches, that I have never liked baked/grilled or raw mushrooms, and I am guessing that they were the cause of my discomfort, Oysters have the same effect on me, and they used to be one of my favourite things, Mater took me to Whitstable for my birthday once, and I have half a dozen oysters, and had to get rid of them quite quickly.
On the other hand, if I eat nuts my lips go all buzzy, and my throat constricts, as a good allergy is supposed to me. I have known about this for over 38 years, and so I avoid nuts.
There was an article recently on how doctors were desensitising children to peanuts by exposing them to small amounts and then increasing that by a small amount each day. Funnily enough this is what I have done with a number of things, not ones that I am violently allergic to, but things like eggs and bread which does make life easier. However it does seem that for most things I would need to start off smaller than one egg or one slice of bread, after all I was around the trees for a long time and my reaction never really decreased, my steroid intake went up instead. Although now I think of it I did have an oyster at the Fat Duck and didn’t have a reaction to it.
I don’t really understand why I can have three (or maybe four) different reactions to different allergens.
Actually, whilst I am on the subject of allergies I am going to vent on my worst of all time.
When I was about 12 I went on a diet where all one could eat for two weeks was, Cod, Lamb, Broccoli, and Pears, and all one could drink was distilled water, these being the things that fewest people were allergic to. One can get very bored of steamed cod and steamed broccoli very quickly. After that one could add a new food a week, and see if one had a reaction to it, I particularly remember the week when soya beans were added as uninspiring.
Anyway that was not the bad diet. When I was about 5 the doctor decided that I must be a coeliac, I think it was the flavour of the month at the time, anyway this meant that I could not eat any baked goods, excepting “gluten free” bread, and cake. The cake was very nice, the bread, one had to get the bread from the chemists, it was in a red tin, and it is still one of the most revolting things I have ever tasted, I LVOE bread, I love the texture and the taste, this stuff came out of the tin stale, dry, and just horrible. I coped with this diet until I was about 11. When somehow it was discovered that I was allergic to gluten, now you may thing that “gluten free” would be OK for me, you would be wrong “gluten free” was created for coeliacs of whom I was not one, and they have no reaction to a small amount of gluten, whereas me, I may as well have been eating normal bread all the time. /whinge