I remember this moment as if it was yesterday, it was Mother's day lunch at an Asian restaurant in Templestowe Lower.
There were about 10 people at the table and it was with my husbands family; back then, we had only been together just under a year and it was one of my first family events out with him.
We started with an entree of soup and within minutes I felt hot, sweaty, and my vision began to blur. I excused myself and went to the toilet.
We had been drinking the night before, so I thought 'maybe' I was just feeling off from that...
In the toilet, I felt like I was going to vomit, my throat began to tighten and I felt my asthma coming on or so I thought.
I wanted to make a good impression with Nathan's family, so I was really quick in the toilet trying to freshen up but came back out feeling worse then ever; I was not OK. I went back to the table and told him we needed to leave quickly as I wasn't feeling well, he complied.
All the symptoms continued to get worse as we drove to my house; my mum met us at the front door.
SHE WAS FURIOUS...
I had always suffered from odd food symptoms such as hives, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting and feeling lethargic after certain foods. But this was next level.
My mum working in her industry had seen these symptoms many times - I was going into anaphylactic shock. She was furious as she was frightened that I let the symptoms come on this bad and didn't call an ambulance.
This moment isn't necessarily about body image, however this moment plays a huge role into my obsession with 'good' and 'bad' foods. For the next 2 years I was analysed by doctors, assessed over and over, pricked and prodded.
Within the first year, I went into shock another 4 times, and was given an Epipen to assist with my allergies which the doctors couldn't work out 'what' I was actually allergic to.
I had to keep a diary of anytime I had a rash on my chest to anytime I went into shock - what I had eaten that day and what was in the food.
Not being able to control my body and the confusion from doctors of what I was actually reacting to, was the hardest part as I couldn't manage my environment at all. FINALLY, we had a doctor find the outcome.
I was allergic to MSG and Flavour Enhancers.
At this time in Australia I was the 3rd person to be diagnosed with this condition, it is very rare.
For anyone wondering what MSG is;
WELL... it's in everything - from soy sauce, potato chips, meats, salami's, biscuits and almost anything in a packet.
I had no choice but to learn every ingredient in anything I ate - reading numbers from 621, 635, 637 and the list goes on. I couldn't eat fast food because similar to a nut allergy, if it's cross contaminated - I will react. My reaction time is 7-10 minutes before my throat swells over.
Understanding food isn't just a passion for me, I need to understand everything I put to my mouth to stay alive. From this moment and to this day, I still suffer from anaphylaxis and have to access every piece of food that I eat. Lucky for me, I enjoy fresh and real food.
Stayed tuned for Moment 4....
With Love, Sarah xoxo