Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hive Girl

After three dozen years, I have decided that allergy-induced hives really aren't so bad.

Granted, they infest your scalp. They make wearing a bra somewhat unbearable. They prompt you to scratch your biscuit in public, to swell up inside your throat, to twitch your shoulders without warning. But sometimes I think any of those symptoms are worth eating shrimp or crab or tomatoes or oranges or -- in my latest case -- ginger.

I've decided to become part pioneer in my own health to rid myself of allergic reactions to these foods by introducing them more regularly into my diet. I've read studies that suggest this works. In fact, they say it has been successful for those with peanut allergies. Provide the patient with minute amounts of the toxic food and slowly, over time, the body will build up a resistance to its effects. Eventually, the patient can eat peanut butter to his or her heart's content.

Lately, I've been eating a lot of sushi as part of a nutrition plan, and it seems somewhat wrong to eat all of the wasabi but leave the pickled ginger. So this is partly of why I've decided to regularly inject these foods into my diet.

So I started with ginger. Usually, I discover a dish has ginger immediately after I taste it. It takes less than a minute to detect its presence. But this week I made pho and intentionally used ginger. Risky, I know. But in a controlled manner, it may just be manageable.

Pho and Ginger = Itchy and Scratchy

Let's see how the next several weeks go. Either I will grow immune to the root, or I will wear a constellation of red welts across my biscuit and beyond--scratching my way to foolish failure.

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