Archives for: May 2006, 28
I've been noticing a lot of new food allergies lately. You know, kind of like how pineapple can make your mouth numb? I've also had a lot of back pain. My diet wasn't great (at this point in the story), and I had been glutened fairly recently out of my own carelessness.
Ok, now, my back started tingling, like bugs crawling under my skin and then went kind of numb.
Within a couple days the same thing happened in my feet and lower legs.
By the time I went to my osteopath, the tingling was on my right shoulder. He said, "You may not need an adjustment, we need to do an MRI to rule out MS" Of course, I freaked out a bit, though I tried not to. That day the symptoms worsened, and I realized other symptoms I had or had previously experienced, and there were many. My strength and endurance started to leave, my face started to tingle and went numb, and I was afraid.
The moment I heard MS, I went back on board BTD with hypercompliance. I'm talking beef and greens, mostly greens, at all times. I can count on one hand the avoids and neutrals I have had over the last week, and it was less than a few grams total (and these are the lesser avoids, I won't even look at processed foods, restaurant rhoulette, corn derivatives or dairy again). I also made it a point to get out and walk with my boys every evening...didn't know if it would help, but with the numbness now travelling over my body, I wanted to enjoy life and feel the breeze on my face. Every time I kissed my children, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to feel the kiss the next day. On night I woke up with the numbness in my upper legs for the first time, and some difficulty going to the bathroom. I freaked out once more.
Then, I had the crisis and the breakthrough. I found true north once again, and was determined to fight this. I prayed and got blessings from all around me. This helped me, I relaxed, and started to have a few more steps forward than back...kind of. Every time I felt better I was afraid to celebrate because I knew in an hour I might feel worse again. I cannot stand unpredictability, I want to know what's next!
6 days after the doc appt, I got in for the MRI. I hated waiting, but unless I was in terrible pain or paralysis, it wasn't considered an emergency.
Soon after the MRI I got a pretty bad case of diarrhea, but that's no biggie for me. This time I chalked it up to more fiber in my diet.
Next day I got word that the MRI was fine, and though this didn't necessarily rule out MS, it was promising. As long as I continued to get better, I wouldn't need more tests, just watch out for the symptoms in case there's a next time. More unpredictability and uncertainty!
When I started feeling worse again, taking more steps backward, I was determined to get to the bottom of all this. Could be gluten ataxia or celiac neuropathy, but my symptoms didn't quite jive with what little inforation I could find on both. Most like neuropathy, but isn't that just the extremities, not the face?
Google and search, over and over. Then I tried searching for facial numbness: broken nose? Nope. etc. etc.
What would be the right question to ask me at this point?
Ok, are you ready to ask me the right question? What did I fail to mention to my doctor, that might be important here? What would House ask (of course, once I was on the brink of death, for drama's sake)?
What foods gave me a numb mouth reaction?
Bingo! Shrimp and crab (one or both)
Shellfish Poisoning. With all the press and thoughts on allergies, I forgot about food poisoning, it's not something I had much experience with or thought much about.
Think pufferfish, fugu...well little did this inland-dweller know that all bottom-feeders can accumulate a bit of this toxin, or a similar one. So, moral of the story is, if you ever get tingling or numbness after eating any type of shellfish (and even some types of fish), go to the ER. I can't stand the thought that other people can go through this and worse. I never gave too much thought to my nervous system, but now I'll always be thankful to feel the breeze, a kiss, even a little discomfort now and then.
Here's the most informative link I could find.
When I said I felt my food was poisoning me, I wasn't kidding! I'm continuing in hypercompliance for at least 3 months, as I want to recover fast and stop stressing my body with any other poisons. Beneficials certainly are medicines too. I felt better after every beneficial, and worse when I hadn't eaten enough of them.
I don't know if I'll ever eat shellfish again, and you couldn't pay me ten million dollars to try fugu...