Friday, March 02, 2007

The World is my shrimp, my crab, my clam, and my oyster

Well, over a year ago I had a test done, it was a CT scan on my Kidneys and Adrenal glands. It involved a scan with and without contrast, sort of before and after. Somehow or another the test showed my Adrenals were functioning fine and had no abnormalities to my knowledge. Of course the Kidney stones I knew I had showed up as predicted, and they too were non-obstructing so we did nothing about them and I still have them all 5 of them.

Now on or about 5-7 days following this scan, I had a severe allergic reaction to something and ended up in the Emergency room. A rash covering the whole trunk of my body and some on my arms. No breathing problems but as freaked out as I was it was probably next.
I had eaten shrimp for a few days in a row on salad and enjoyed it immensely. Well, immediately the emergency room doctor said it's a shellfish allergy and that's that.

I tried to explain, I had a CT scan and it involved contrast. He would not hear it and said then that it was probably an Iodine allergy also. I thought "What?" This never has set right with me. Everytime I walked past the seafood counter or drove past Tony's Seafood Market I longed for my favorite foods only to remember with a sobering mind adjustment, the next reaction could be worse and could kill me. Deep Sigh...

I love to go crabbing, and do things like this. Most of all I'm a cook, I have been told by many, A good cook. Shellfish and seafood have been a mainstay but not limited to ingredient in my cooking repertoire to this point. But no more.
We quit going crabbing, we virtually eliminated all ways that I would come in contact with shellfish out of fear. Needless to say not fun, and my poor Mr. also suffered, Oh, he would have some from time to time when out to eat, But he felt wrenched with guilt by having it in front of me knowing how I loved it too. So he has suffered right along with me.

Well, as you all know last month was Valentine's Day and the Mr. knew I was doing the Weight Watchers thing, so candy was out. Flowers are always nice. But he suggested I go have shellfish allergy testing done as his gift.

I made my appointment, had blood drawn, and made the plan to test for Shrimp, Clam, Lobster, Oysters, Scallops, Crab and Iodine.

The results are in:
Shrimp- Negative
Clams- Negative
Crab- Negative
Oysters- Negative
Lobster- Slight reaction- no biggy, still eatable.
Scallops- Bad reaction- allergic, but no tears on my part, I never liked them anyway.
Iodine- Negative

So YAY, I'm not allergic, Well, to the foods I actually want to eat.

No more dreams of having seafood and actually tasting it in my sleep and freaking out about it and waking in a panic and sweat, Somewhat similar to the coming off cigarette dreams, Sheer withdrawals.

Now things are going to start making sense to me hopefully, I didn't mention I was taking Metformin a Diabetic drug at the time of my CT scan which has been known to produce these symptoms. I asked my specialist at the time "Could this have been what caused the reaction?" His response without missing a beat was No but eating the shellfish so many days following the test could have pushed you over the edge with an iodine sensitivity. I left it at that, and continued to research this.

Now in my research, I find out Metformin alone does not cause this, Mixed with iodine it can cause Lactic Acidosis (Serious problems) But rather it's the effects of the leftovers of the contrast in your system that has not flushed before restarting the Diabetic drug Metformin, I.E., (Creatinine clearance had not been established) or adjusted back to normal due to kidneys that don't filter up to par before resuming the medication. So after resuming the meds it posed a reaction. This is my best guess as to what happened to me. I wonder how close I actually am?

Either way I'm not doing the contrast again and I seriously modified my diet to get off the Metformin which made me ache anyway.

I called the specialist back and left my results and asked for an explanation to this, I'm curious to see what they come up with. Maybe I'll finally know after all this time.

I wonder what shellfish I should have for dinner at long last?

I'll have to make the Mr. a really nice shellfish dinner, I love him.

3 Left A Love Note :):

Jeannie said...

Now see, I have learned not to trust flippant doctors. They do an injustice to people with the fast, off the cuff answer. I'd have flipped to find out I was allergic to scallops as they are my very favourite with lobster next then shrimp. I don't like crab at all. Strange. I know I did once but must have had some bad stuff. Can't bear it now.
I think I'd have asked for an epi pen and did my own trials rather than wasting a year of good eating.
But I'm glad you're ok. Couldn't they treat those stones with ultrasound?

Sweetilicious said...

I no sooner posted my Post and my allergist calls and says I think we should do some delayed reaction testing to shellfish.

I'm Bummed!!!!

So no shellfish till Thursday or Friday of next week, Maybe....Deep Sigh...
I hope I didn't count my chickens before they hatched.

Marianne said...

Oh Sweeti! Keep us posted on this!! My gosh, I can't imagine! We love our seafood here too. Gulf shrimp....mmmmm.

Good luck on the test results.

And good on the Mr. for getting you a wonderful Valentine's Day gift!