I’m Erica and I am a senior in high school. My younger brother, mom, and I have chronic health issues. In a twisted way, I have been blessed with family who are dealing with similar health problems, because they are a built-in support system. I attend a public high school and play softball. I love to hang out with my friends and volunteer when I am not busy with family, work, or school obligations. I have gone on a few mission trips and hope to travel to countless countries in the future.
I have had health problems since I was young ranging from ear infections to food and environmental sensitivities to cystic acne and cracking joints. I struggled with chronic joint pain or inflammation since fourth grade, which intensified the older I got. I am a softball catcher and before diet restrictions, I struggled to play because the pain was so bad. I would come home after every practice and game and ice every major joint from my ankles to my shoulders.
Starting in 2011, I began to see a functional medical doctor who took me off of dairy, gluten, sugar, corn, MSG, and soy. Since then my diet has been changed multiple times and I am currently (summer of 2013) eating about 20 foods. Although this journey has been incredibly difficult at times, I have learned a lot and made huge improvements in my health. This year as a junior in high school, I played my first softball season without pain since seventh grade.
Does this sound like you or someone you care about, maybe my story could help. Find A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions: A Practical Guide to Keep from Going Crazy on Amazon as a paperback for $5.99 and as an eBook for $1.99. Also, you can read more of my story on 20 Something Allergies!