A Non-Training Update

So… the training has once again fallen to the wayside due to some life stuff.  At the beginning of this year I developed some weird rashes on my torso and neck, I finally made an appointment with my dermatologist, had a biopsy and they determined it was a form of eczema, and he also recommended getting patch testing done to find out what was causing the eczema to flare up (more on that later).

My neck is just a little rashy (and omg itchy).

After being on 10 day round of prednisone all seemed clear.   Until a week later when the rashes popped up again, but also on my eyelids and eventually causing some serious swelling in my left eye (I have a picture but…man it’s a bad one, so I’ll spare you from that).  Back to the Dr I went, they put me on a another 10 day round of prednisone and things were once again ok (the NP also had me change deodorant).

The rashes on my body were pretty much clear (so I’m thinking the deodorant was the culprit for those) but the ones on my eyelids were out of control.  Fortunately (finally) my insurance approved patch testing, so I had that done last week.  In short, two Monday’s ago they put (for me at least) 125 tiny patches on my back with different substances.

Patches!  They actually look like watch batteries.  JMR thought I looked like a robot.  Also, usually they put them on the top of your back, but mine had a huge rash so they had to be creative with their placement.

They kept them on until Wednesday, where they took them off and the Dr. did a preliminary reading.  Then I went back on Friday (no showering/getting wet/sweating until then) for a final reading, and the results kind of had me floored.  I was itchy during the week so I was hopeful it meant I was allergic to something causing my rashes, but didn’t expect to be allergic to 15 substances.  Nickel, Gold (adios wedding ring 😦 ), Formaldehyde (it’s in more than you would think), Propylene Glycol (ohmyword…it’s in sunscreen, makeup, soap, lotion, shampoo, liquid detergent….the list goes on and on), Balsam of Peru which is in some condiments like ketchup and then 10 other random ones.  The nurse gave me a handout of information on each substance I was allergic to, then a packet of ‘safe’ products that didn’t contain the substances, and a ‘safe’ list of medications.  Oh my.  I would say it was 50+ pages of information.

I went home and started to read, and the more I read, the more overwhelmed I got.  I was really sad about the wedding ring, worried about my garmin buckle (which I called the company that day and they confirmed it’s stainless steel…phew) and allll of the products I would have to replace and foods I would have to avoid.   I will admit, I moped around the rest of Friday but Saturday I was determined to start the process and headed to the store with a list of safe products, however the only one I could find was a safe deodorant (of three safe ones available).  We were also having my family over for dinner for my mom’s birthday on Sunday so I was a little overwhelmed with that too (we don’t live in filth but we also never have company over, so some serious spring cleaning was needed). I called my mom crying about the dumb list and she told me to come over with it and they would try to help divide and conquer whatever needed to be replaced.

When I brought the list over I think she and my dad understood why I was so overwhelmed.  Basically I can’t eat a lot of foods because they are either contain nickel (ex: lunch meats, peanut butter, all beans, lettuce, salad dressings, chocolate, soy) or has naturally occurring formaldehyde (ex: bananas, apples, grapes, potatoes, spinach, beef, pork, poultry, cheese, cod, shrimp).  It was just so overwhelming.  So my dad agreed it was ridiculous and we would just start small: no wedding ring (it was already off), avoid the foods with the highest nickel content (peanuts, chocolate, beans and oatmeal), replace all of my personal products (ex: detergent, cleaning supplies, soap, shampoo, toothpaste) and go from there.  So with the internet being my hero, I found a replacement for all of the products (VMV Hypoallergenics is the most amazing site ever!!!) and by today, Wednesday, they should almost all be here and by Friday I should be 100% compliant with our plan.  I see the dermatologist in six weeks, so hopefully with these drastic changes my skin will be better by then.

So with that weighing on my mind, I haven’t really cared much about training… BUT I have IMWI that I still really want to do, and my parents are even coming (and maybe my sister too), so I need to change my focus now that the skin issues are hopefully taken care of and buckle down and get back to training.  Thanks to prednisone and probably a little post-predinsone caused depression (unlike some people who seem to lose their appetite, I eat my feelings…alll the feelings), I now have 10+ lbs to lose by September 10th (sounds far away but it isn’t….aaaandd….I have other races coming up and it would be nice to actually fit into my new kit I ordered.

Back in the pool tomorrow am…. I’ll let you know how my ‘homemade’ anti-chlorine spray works (vitamin c e-mergenC+ water), since I’m allergic to my anti-chlorine shampoo and soap (darn you propylene glycol).  All I could find was tangerine flavored packets so I have a feeling I’m going to come home smelling kind of fruity 🙂

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