Food Allergies

Jack Deatherage, Jr.

I occasionally notice connections in my life that set me to thinking. (A bad habit thinking is, often leading to more trouble than itís worth.) For example, a book Iíve been studying, FOOD Allergies, by William Walsh, M.D., has caused disturbing thoughts about what I eat and how it might affect me. Iím wondering if Iím the way I am because of the foods I eat. (So much for my theory that Iím a homicidal maniac trapped in a pacifist body.)

Iíve been enjoying sinus headaches, various muscle spasms and cramps for about 15 years now. (They may have been occurring longer than that, but a beer-induced haze obscures much of my memory/misery before 1985.) Iím thinking now that I made some major changes in more than my drinking habits 15 years ago.

I gave up tobacco in Ď82, began drinking diet cola and eating stir-fried meals with lots of soy sauce. In fact the sugarless sodas eventually replaced beer, and soy sauce became my favorite seasoning.

As the alcohol haze slowly lifted, I began eating foods I hadnít bothered with since my childhood. To my surprise I had trouble eating some of them. (Iíve always had a problem with walnuts, bananas, raw carrots and celery causing my lips to swell and my throat to feel raw, as if I were getting a sore throat.)

One evening I lost my voice after eating some of the best watermelon Iíve ever hadóhomegrown, to add insult to injury. My Aunt Hilda urged me to have another slice as soon as she realized what it was doing to me. Never had I had that kind of reaction to any food! (I occasionally take flowers to Hilda now, hoping to find something she is allergic to.)

Since then Iíve reacted badly to raw button mushrooms, salads, raw sweet corn, broccoli, peanuts, pistachios and horroróHAZELNUTS!

I could live without most foods that make me feel bad, but HAZELNUTS? Now that ainít fair! I just found a recipe for seasoning nuts and now I canít use it! I eat them once a year at Christmas time, except this year when I found them by the pound at a supermarket in November. I ate one, just one. A wave of nausea and dizziness sent me staggering for the porcelain throne.

My lunch stayed put, the attack passed, but I knew my life had changed direction again. Hazelnuts are now a memory. I wonder, how many other foods I enjoy will become memories? Fortunately I think senility is setting in so I wonít remember any of this tomorrow anyhow. Which leads back to the foods I may be having trouble with.

Some foods are believed to cause a breakdown of nerve cells and may (Continued from page 23) cause senility or help it along. Of course the foods that aid in crippling the brain are among my favorites and Iíve been eating or drinking them for years. I think.

Oh well, I donít smoke or get drunk anymore. So now I can look forward to not enjoying foods that may cause me to forget- something- uh. Um, I had a story about dogs and curry, but the editors didnít- uh.

Books can cause you to think. I read one once, I think. Excuse me, I have a headache. I think Iíll lie down now. Lying down is good for you isnít it? I canít remember, but Iím going to do it anyhow.

Maybe Iíll reread FOOD Allergies. If I can find it. I seem to have misplaced it, AGAIN!

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