Sunday, December 5, 2010

Moving From Denial to Acceptance

My relationship with my dairy allergy has been a long and arduous journey.  You see, I haven't always been allergic to cow's milk.  In late high school I started feeling as if when I drank milk my throat felt thick.  My mother, however, assumed I was just trying to get out of drinking the three glasses of skim milk she'd been forcing down my throat my whole life.

Cut to college, my throat starts to feel very thick and close up a bit, making it hard to swallow when I'd eat certain ice creams.  I couldn't have Malley's ice cream, but could still eat Dove Ice Cream.  At this point I was thinking there was a stabilizer or preservative that some dairy products had and others didn't.

As I moved through college I had two major reactions and finally started to accept I couldn't have any cream, milk, or ice cream.  But I could still eat cheese.  Then Cheese started to bother me so I'd pull it off of pizza, put the pepperoni back on and eat it that way.

Then Friday happened... My students at school earned a "goal day" and requested pizza.  It was piping hot and looked delicious, and since I'd forgotten my lunch for the day I couldn't resist.  I grabbed a piece of pepperoni pizza and performed my normal pizza ritual of removing the cheese and replacing the pepperoni.  Within minutes of swallowing the last bite I felt the tell tale signs of my throat closing up.  Immediately I went downstairs, found the school nurse, and took two Benadryl.  It stopped the reaction from getting worse, but it doesn't reverse what has already happened.  So from about 1pm till I went to bed at 10 I felt like I had a huge lump in my throat.

I've come to the realization that I cannot deny that I have a full blown dairy allergy anymore.  I must accept it.  Luckily earlier this week when I went grocery shopping for the first time in a month I made a few new dairy free purchases.

1.  Silk Soy Milk in Vanilla - Up until now I'd only been drinking the chocolate, but I heard from a few people that using the vanilla in cereal is great so I tried it and I'm hooked.  I'd missed cereal.

2. Purely Decadent Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, by Turtle Mountain- I believe I tried their soy ice cream before and didn't like the after taste, but this coconut milk ice cream is delicious.  Super creamy and rich.  It does, obviously, have a strong taste of coconut, but I like that so it's great for me!  I'm thinking I need to buy some Malley's hot fudge to pour over top to really make it amazing.

What are some great dairy free products or recipes I should be trying?  Nut free too, as I'm also allergic to tree nuts!


  1. I've never heard of that kind of dairy allergy--only the digestive kind. I'm guessing those lactose intolerance pills aren't helpful?

    My only suggestion would be to ask a vegan. I know there are a lot of vegan cheeses and such...

  2. Yeah, the lactose is an intolerance... I'm apparently allergic to the proteins in cow's milk. I wish I could just pop those pills!