Family and friends and sharing time with them are the most important things in my life.
Among the things I love doing the most are going for long walks on sandy beaches, up our local mountain or in the countryside; the pleasure of cooking and sharing yummy food; the inspiration that travel brings, seeing a smile-making movie; immersing myself in a good book; doing Tai Chi. I'm also smitten with Tammy, the miniature wire haired dachshund who is the latest addition to our household.
Over the years I have worked for a French airline, a business newspaper, as a horticultural grower and exporter, a communications specialist, reviewed books and written lifestyle and business articles which have been published in a wide range of magazines and newspapers. It was a variety of experiences, often with a very funny side, that moving as city dwellers to a farm with our two daughters and standard black and tan dachshund Benji brought, that were the catalyst to article writing.
Sadly, over the years however, my life was curtailed. Every 3 weeks or so flu like symptoms would tire me out. With blood tests normal and allergy tests negative, several rounds of antibiotics, nasal sprays, inhalations, and pain relief medications were prescribed and an impressive range of natural remedies tried, but nothing helped long term.
Having exhausted all avenues with my GP I asked to be referred to a specialist. I am so pleased I did.
An appointment was made with an ear nose and throat specialist (an Otolaryngologist), who was the first person to link my poor health to a sensitivity / intolerance. The immunology specialist I was then sent to, spoke of salicylate intolerance, explaining salicylates (sals for short) are everywhere in the food we eat and products we use, including aspirin.
Unfortunately however, there is no easy way to test for salicylate sensitivity. The suggested formal aspirin challenge involving taking increasing amounts of aspirin under medical supervision did not appeal to me. Having felt unwell for months, inducing a more concentrated form of that illness is not something I wanted to do.
Instead I took the option of removing salicylates from daily life as much as possible to see if this made a difference. I got rid of products containing sals that touched my skin and reduced to a minimum, items I ate or drank containing sals.
For eighteen months, I scrupulously kept an itemised food diary along with a record of how I felt each day. This took real effort. But like a miracle, six months after starting there was very little negative comment to write under symptoms.
To make the necessary changes, at first, visits to the supermarket and chemist took forever. Every label had to be read thoroughly. Very few things made it to the trolley. Anything I wasn't sure about was rejected or checked out. Emails flew out to many companies to confirm content of food and beauty items. I was impressed with the helpful responses.
I now keep to food free, low or moderate in salicylates as much as possible but include the odd one from the high group and on rare occasions something from the very high group. It's a matter of adjusting the balance if I start to feel a little unwell again.
Today my life is changed. I now have control and the sheer joy of mainly feeling strong and well again.
My diet is healthy and well balanced while taking into account diet restrictions. I follow a successful daily beauty routine based on carefully selected products.
Looking back, it was very difficult to so often feel under the weather and not know why. It was especially hard as I was eating a healthy balanced diet, had regular exercise and did my best to address stress levels.
You may have been feeling this way for some time. You could find you too are suffering from salicylate intolerance. It's very much worth checking this out with relevant experts.
You might think Tammy is the general dogsbody but, far from it, she is always smiling and brightens every day. Tammy joined us in 2010 and enjoys quiet days in the office and frollicks in the park.
Linda & Alex
Linda and Alex are the real workers, Linda regularly posting to her blog and testing new low salicylate recipes. Alex looks after the website and vacuums the office carpet from time to time!
Garfield also known as Puss, keeps a sharp an eye on everything. He's either sleeping in Tammy's bed, warming an office seat or spread all over the latest paperwork.