I want to write out a long post right now, not so much for anyone other than myself – but I need coffee – so a long post and all the details is not happening BUT I need to vent.

I have emotions I want to process and this is one of the best ways for me to do that – writing it out.

I’ve been doing allergy shot therapy for the past 6 or so months. The goal was to help me with my year round seasonal allergies and also with my oral allergy syndrome.

Things seem better at times but I still felt like something was off.

I have not felt like myself running, for almost a year. The exact day I really realized how off something was not just with my body but with my running as well – was at B & A Trail Marathon 2013 when I felt like someone was literally squeezing my chest while I was running and causing me to not be able to breathe.

I reasoned that I started out too fast and was running a dumb race but in my heart I knew I didn’t run a dumb race. I was in shape to run my goal time and had my plan laid out. In hindsight I now realize that most of what I ate the day before and what I ate the morning of, I was allergic too. My body had a bad reaction and I couldn’t breathe properly. {my allergist went over how to use my epi pen again yesterday and explained that there are situations you don’t just tough it out for} I’ve had this feeling many times since that day. It’s why I didn’t have any time goals going in to my fall marathons. I wanted to be happy and run the day because literally that’s all I can do these days.

Two days ago I ran my first tempo in a long time. 3 mile warm up – 4 miles at 6:58 – 1 mile cool down. It didn’t feel good but it didn’t feel bad. It was just the running kick I needed and helped boost my running confidence a tiny bit.

This morning I got on the treadmill to run and made it one extremely painful mile before slowing down and walking up hill for a mile. I’m in better shape than a one mile run, yet I honestly not exaggerating couldn’t push myself past that mile. This past weekend I ran 16 miles on the treadmill for my long run. I never know what the day will bring me and that makes it hard to train for a marathon properly with any other goal than just finishing.

I was diagnosed in 2013 with IBS yet I didn’t really feel like it was IBS – I felt that there were foods causing my problems. I was told I was classic text book IBS and was sent home with a prescription for probiotics. They have helped some, much like the seasonal allergy shots but, I still feel off.

I gain weight and lose weight like a crazy person – one day I’m swollen and weigh 10 lbs over what I was the week before. It’s not a normal swing of a couple of pounds – it’s drastic weight gain and loss – so much so that I can only wear black leggings when I am up because none of my jeans fit. I look at pictures on instagram and find myself sitting there baffled as to how one day I can fit in to a pair of jeans and two days later I can’t get them over my knees.

It really has been miserable living in my body recently.

On the plane flight home from Vegas Marathon I was so swollen my skin hurt. I wore a dress home because it was the only thing I could get on and my body looked unrecognizable to the fit girl I had felt like just days before. Eric told me that I didn’t look like myself and so not to stress – I was just swollen and I would be back to myself soon. I believe I was sw0llen from eating foods that reacted badly with my body.

Yesterday I got some confirmation.

I am allergic to:

  • wheat
  • peanuts
  • eggs
  • shrimp
  • tree nuts
  • sesame

I go back next week for more testing. They are going to see if I am allergic to the whites of eggs, the yolk or both, in hopes I may be able to eat part of the egg. I also will have more in depth testing that will identify further allergies. {if I have more}

I am on an allergy diet for the next week that includes no coffee. This is the only thing that I care about right in this exact moment – headache and all. No coffee for one week? This may sound insane to complain about and YES there are bigger issues or things that could be wrong, but coffee is my lifeline and to quit it cold turkey when I KNOW I am addicted to it is not going to be easy and to be completely honest I am not sure I can do it. I’m already counting down the hours till I get to curl up in bed and go to sleep and it’s not even 8 am. Part of me keeps reasoning with myself that there is no way coffee matters and I should be able to drink it and still be able to figure out other food allergens.

I’m wavering between wanting to jump for joy to finally have confirmation of what I have long suspected and wanting to cry because I want coffee so bad. I’m also sad about the loss of some of my favorite foods.

Forgive me in advance for the whining post, I just literally feel like crying right now even though I know it’s so lame to cry over finding out something that is going to make me feel better and hopefully give me my running legs and body back.

I know in the long run this is going to HELP me and I’m going to felt better than I’ve ever felt before, but right now in this moment it’s hard to focus on that.


Chloe’s Snowman


  1. I am so sorry. As a parent of three kids all with life threatening peanut allergies, I definitely feel your pain. However, I’m so glad you decided to go confirm the allergies before anything more serious happened, I think it is important for those who are unaware or unfamiliar with food allergies to become educated. So many people don’t realize they can be life threatening, i.e. People can die! You have no idea how many well meaning people have just brushed it off, claiming how it cannot be true, and then proceed to offer my kid(s) a pbj or something, when in fact our frantic ER visit will tell differently., I have strong feelings about this issue but I’ll reign it in for now :)

    I am bummed you can’t have some of your fave foods :( and the coffee thing would do me in… But my hope is that coffee that nothing to do with this! and that you can continue to mainline that deliciousness…

  2. Oh wow! On one hand I am glad you finally figured it out but I’m sorry that some of your favorite foods are included in there! I know once you get used to it – it will get easier but I am sure that is no consolation now! Just take it a day at a time!

  3. Can you sub green tea for the coffee? It may help with the caffeine headaches.

  4. I wish :( sadly for the next week I can’t have any tea, coffee, etc. not even hot water with lemon :(

  5. Oh you don’t have to reign it in – I love the people who tell me to just take a Claritin and my seasonal allergies will be ok. People who don’t have allergies or who don’t have family members with issues often do not understand. Praying that she says next week I can have coffee/caffeine again – it really brings me happiness. As silly as that sounds. Do you have any food allergies? Do they think it runs in your family with your children? I ask because I’m wondering if my son has issues with wheat too :( may need to take him in for testing!

  6. Of course you’re upset and frustrated! Absolutely understandable. Allow yourself to go through the emotional process of having to give up those things. It is hard to adjust to a special diet but once you start feeling better (I bet it improves digestion, energy, running performance and recovery) and finding replacements and new foods/recipes and a community of people with similar restrictions will help. It’s really going to affect your ability to eat out, which is frustrating. It’s tough feeling like the “special case” and having to accept that you need special treatment and that there will be effects on meals with your family/friends, what you keep in the house, etc. There will likely always be things you miss, but over the years (3+ years gluten free, a year paleo-ish) it gets better. I’ve had a rougher time of it mentally through this holiday season for some reason, missing things, feeling deprived, feeling unsafe (some places don’t take gluten free seriously enough). I’m guessing sometimes that just happens. I’m very gluten-intolerant (test for celiac negative but think it was screwed up), lactose-intolerant and on a special diet for GERD/ulcers. I was still having some tummy troubles, I’ve also gone paleo-ish (except for whey protein) and thus given up all grain, legumes, other dairy. I can’t have citrus, carbonation, spices and found I eventually had to give up coffee and chocolate a year or so ago. I have found I can’t eat many vegetables raw – mushrooms & zucchini only, or even fruits (bananas & apples have to be frozen, cooked or dried). I’m really sorry for you about nuts and eggs – those are staples for me. I’d miss shrimp but not much. I’m afraid to get any allergy testing as I’m not sure how many more restrictions my DH could take! All my restrictions have come through other diagnostic/symptom assessments, not allergy testing. My digestion still isn’t perfect but it’s much improved.

    If you can’t have coffee for a week – can you have tea or even something like FRS chews to blunt the caffeine withdrawal? (my “coffee” is now Teeccino gluten-free dandelion “coffee” in dark/french roast or vanilla, with cashew milk and stevia or sugar-free flavored syrup – it’s not Starbucks, but it’s what I can have)

    In our local area, I can recommend Jaleo as taking allergen-free VERY seriously. They have 5 different allergen-free menus (gluten, dairy, egg, tree nut and I forget the other) and the servers/management will speak to the chef for any questions, customization – and will not make you feel like you are a burden. I’ve been there 3 times and it’s been a terrific experience each time. I think you could even eat a few of the dishes I eat (hanger steak w/o cheese, cauliflower & dates, sorbet)

    Please feel free to contact me if you want to chat, vent or need support. I’m not an expert, just on my own “nope, can’t have that” journey. :) Wishing you all the best.

  7. I don’t have any food allergies (peanut butter by the spoonfuls at work!) but my immediate family all suffer from seasonal allergies and irritations from certain fruits (cantelope, apples, kiwi, etc…); everyone except me! My husband has some food sensitivities as well. My youngest (5) had a dairy allergy (no, no lactose intolerant as many people assumed. annoying) as an infant and now he has a serious aversion. My daughter (9) has a sensitivity to dairy but I wonder if that is just our Asian genes. 😉 My middle one (7) is the guy who sent us to the ER by eating some peanuts out of the garbage disposal.. Just.. I don’t even know…

    It wouldn’t hurt to take your kids in for allergy testing especially since you tested positive. I think it is better to be 100% certain, one way or the other. Every time I see a parent feeding their baby/toddler a pbj sandwich, I get major anxiety. There is a reason to avoid those things until a certain age! Gah, sorry. now I’m getting all harpy.

    Again. strong feelings.

    Hmm, maybe you DO want me to reign it in.. just a little. :)

  8. A friend of mine found that she had tons of food allergies (she has soooooo many that she basically makes all of her own condiments, spice mixes, etc.) so she started to chronicle her adventures along with a pal that also has food allergies (and they don’t necessarily overlap). every recipe is marked with what type of allergies it is safe for. Plus she does reviews, and posts about allergy friendly products.

    I’m grateful I don’t have a food allergy like that and I can only imagine how annoying and difficult it must everyday food, but hopefully for you it also means an end to the mysterious body changes. Good luck!!!

  9. So sorry to hear this, but as the spouse with someone who suffers from the same thing I KNOW there is consolation in finally knowing you’re not crazy!

    It is a pain – I regularly play the ‘jeez is there anything WITHOUT apple as a filler in this aisle?’ game in the market, and people still think putting ‘just a little’ nuts in a recipe doesn’t count, and so on.

    The swollen-belly is just something else. My wife has never weighed herself on those days, but the bloating is just amazing.

    Good luck with the testing – and also it is funny but also not funny about the coffee. Because it is something you WANT, but understand that they need to control … ugh. My wife has no wheat issues but they had to control that during testing years ago and she was majorly HANGRY.

  10. Have you had your thyroid checked? What I’ve learned about food allergies that depending on the time of year, you can be more or less allergic to certain foods from testing. With all your tiredness and other issues, maybe it’s a hormonal issue. I know several people who have been misdiagnosed with other issues (allergies, fibromyagia, etc) before finally figuring out that they had hypo or hyper thyroidism. Just a thought. Hope you feel better soon!

  11. My mom had to go gluten free for a few years…and she has been doing the allergy shots for a few years, as well. Eventually she was able to start eating gluten again. That is so awful that you are allergic to some of your favorite foods, and that you had to be off of coffee for a while (I would feel the same way about coffee), but I will be praying for you! You are such a strong woman, and I know you will persevere.

  12. My mom had to go gluten free for a few years…and she has been doing the allergy shots for a few years now, as well. Eventually she was able to start eating gluten again. That is so awful that you are allergic to some of your favorite foods, and that you had to be off of coffee for a whole (I would feel the same way as you), but I will be praying for you while you are on the journey. You are such a strong woman, and such an inspiration, I know you will persevere.

  13. I have the swollen belly and the lack of energy, wondering if I need to get allergy tested. I was diagnosed with IBS and that has not been helpful with providing me relief of symptoms : (

  14. I am so sorry.. Both that you are going through this and that I can relate. I was diagnosed with IBS-C and never felt like the medicines were getting to the root of the issue. I had days when I was asked when I was due because my belly was so bloated. It was only after I went through the fodmap elimination diet and identified more foods that I was reacting to, that I found relief.

    You will need to find what works for you – most everyone somehow feels like they are an expert or knows someone who just (insert bad idea here) and they ‘got over it.’ Bad idea fairy beatings abound in the realm of IBS. When you have a better sense of your allergies, I would encourage you to work with a nutritionist who understands ibs and food apps.

    There is a whole community behind you.

  15. Fodmap, not food apps.

  16. Though i am sorry so many are struggling, there is comfort in hearing so many with the same issues as I am facing. Clearly there is a lot of us struggling with misdiagnosis and food sensitivities or allergies. The bloating just takes me to the rock bottom for some reason. I have tried to fix soo many issues to find there is a bit of relief but the out of nowhere, it reappears. I can identify with you stating you felt your running was off Dorothy. I have felt the same way for around 2 years. The odd time I will see what my body can really do when it is a good day. Mentally, I tell myself that I am giving it 100% with a body that is 60% or how ever it is that day and I need to be happy with that. It goes back to your post on contentment. Thank goodness, we are discontent and want to improve ourselves and situations otherwise we could be in a crummy state forever but there is danger in allowing discontent to take root because of expectations from others or comparisons we make. We are walking a fine line. Let’s strive to learn and improve our health so we can better understand and help others but lets not get down on ourselves for not being “more” than we can be. Everyone in?

  17. I’m so sorry to hear about all your allergies! I haven’t been to an allergist, but I know for sure that I’m allergic to cranberries. I break out into hives every time I eat them. Which really stinks, because I LOVE cranberries! My cousin recently found out that she’s allergic to a lot of the same foods that you are. Don’t worry, there’s light at the end of the tunnel: now that she’s following a strict diet, she says she feels 100% better!

  18. This is so frustrating!!! I know something has to be up with me, too. I can be fine for awhile then be unable to make it a mile without feeling like I am dying. I always have digestive issues. I cut out a lot of carbs Sept 1 and 3 months later I had lost 17 pounds. Also in that time I got sick about October 1 with a cold or something and was a mess for a solid month, and haven’t worked out since because when I tried to run a mile on a treadmill once in october and once in november I threw up. Basically, almost everything makes my stomach hurt, the number of times I’ve gone between 115 pounds and 140 pounds between teenage years and now (31) is crazy…and I don’t get why I can run 5 miles and feel great sometimes and then the next week Im gasping for air and every step is painful.

    I always wonder about allergies, intolerance of some sort, etc. My body just seems so quirky and sensitive and erratic! Maybe I should see a doctor about it…. Good luck with everything

  19. Oh no, so sorry!!! I’m glad you are working on narrowing it down, it might not be as bad at the end. Just keep thinking how good you feel once you have it all figured out. Hang in there!!

  20. Not even Yerba Mate? That helped me stop drinking coffee. I used to drink something like 5-6 cups a day and with Yerba Mate I had no withdrawal symptoms what so ever.

  21. My heart aches for you. I have an almost 5 year old that has major food allergies to dairy, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts. It is so tough. It is scary and it is much more important that you were diagnosed and now can begin to become healthy.
    Good Luck!

  22. You must keeping running as it is one of the most helpful workouts because it boosts your cardiovascular health. It also adds 5 minutes to your life.

  23. Sorry to hear about this. Hopefully, you can find all of the foods you are allergic to and then modify your diet to remove all allergens. I am sure you will be back to 100% then.

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