I woke up sick for the sixth day in a row today. I haven’t taken a sick day to take care of myself since the school year started in September. Amazingly, I’ve now been ill every weekday of my winter and spring holidays. But, that’s not what this post is about.
I ended up pushing through and having a really fun day with my family. We went out to breakfast and spent almost three hours at the National Railroad Museum, conveniently located in our hometown. It was a blast. We climbed into ancient engines like the Big Boy, a Pullman Car, and at least a dozen other relics of bygone rail days. Then, we took the boys out for ice cream. While my wife caught a nap with our 2 year-old, my 4 year-old and I pulled out an Insanity Max exercise video and rocked the basement with our sweet moves. But, that’s also not really what this post is about.
Following all the fun, I began to break out in hives. Actually, the hives started during the fun. My wife came downstairs while we were wrapping up our exercise routine and she noted that my body was covered in red streaks and raised hives. It’s been a while, but the old symptoms are back. So, it is again time to play detective.
Could it be the vigorous exercise? That’s been a cause in the past.
Could it be the Thin Mint I finally snuck (the roll has been sitting on the counter taunting me for two weeks)? Gluten showed a positive reaction in IGG and IGE tests in 2015.
Could it be the oil used to cook my potatoes at breakfast this morning? Soy also showed a positive reaction on my 2015 blood tests.
Could it be spending time out in the cold rain this morning while not wearing waterproof gear? Weather changes, including heat, cold, and dampness have all seemed to trigger similar reactions in the past.
Could it be a virus that I’ve been carrying all week finally presenting in the form of hives? That’s also been a suspicion over the years.
I don’t want to completely give up on exercise, the occasional cross-contamination of food, or spending time outdoors in all kinds of weather. But, I certainly don’t want to push things to the level where I have to go on steroids again. I thought I’d bought myself a few slip-ups by living rather clean for the last 15 months. I’m totally that soy- and gluten-free vegan guy they made fun of on the Prairie Home Companion Thanksgiving episode. And maybe I did have a few recent slip-ups already, and I just didn’t pay close enough attention. It would be great to find a way to hit the reset button on my immune system so that I could be more present and enjoyable for my friends, family, and myself. And that’s what this post is about.
So if there’s someone with a magic wand, or a university that wants to use me as a human research subject, shoot me a message.