For the past 4 years I have started noticing that my body has become sensitive to certain foods that I am eating, the main culprit being white cheese. I don’t remember if I have always been so sensitive but it has definitely been getting worse through my adult life.
Now I love cheese just like the next person, probably a bit more, but enough was enough and I knew I had to do something to find out why it was making me so sick.
After several Google searches and trying my luck on “Muscat where can I find” the only place that appeared to run food allergy tests in Muscat was their own Muscat Private Hospital. I usually attend Starcare hospital but I thought that i’d give MPH a bash and phoned to make an appointment.
Arriving for my appointment I am told to pay 33 rials (£55) upfront before I can even see the doctor, never mind that I have Bupa Gold that should cover me for everything. No guarantee’s that I’ll ever see that money again either. So I wait for 55 minutes dealing with rude, bored and incompetent admin staff who are insulting and obviously favour their own kind over the white girl at the desk inbetween texting sessions. I sneak a peak at appointment schedule, I should have been seen two patients ago and oh wait whats that? Yep, they just called in another Omani onfront of me. Surely my money/insurance is just as good as these people? Ahh I see, they all know each other – great.
So after 55 minutes I am called into the doctors office where she asks me “what do you want?”… sometimes things get lost in translation so I brushed it aside and kept talking. She kept asking me “where is the rash?” Ermmm I don’t have a rash and no one mentioned a rash? For being a doctor I was surprised at her attitude and lack of understanding so i broke it down for her in English as best I could using words such as shit, cramps, poop, vomit. Then she told me that my Insurance doesn’t cover this test, no problem I’ll pay it myself? Ohh the test is 300 rials (£506) Hmmm, Ok I’ll wait in the waiting room while you phone Bupa and check my insurance.
So i’m back in the waiting room, again, waiting to hear if the cost of my test is covered. I look round to see the doctor leaving to go home in the elevator with her handbag over her shoulder, the elevator doors close and I loose my cool. The mild mannered white girl isn’t as patient as she was an hour and 20 minutes ago and storms upto the admin desk. That got their attention and the mobile phone has been put down. With alot of umm’ing and ahh’ing no one is sure what to do now the doctor has left to go home so one of the nurses wings it and takes my blood without approval, I don’t care I want to go home. So they tell me two weeks and I’ll have the results once they come back from the lab in France. No problem.
I should have known it wouldn’t end that easily…. two days later a phone call from some nugget at the hospital telling me that due to a breakdown of communication between the hospital and the lab in France that they are no longer working together and now they have to use a lab in Dubai instead. Oh and they wont return my blood sample to Muscat either, so who has my blood sample?! So that day once again I was back at the hospital getting a second blood test to be sent to Dubai. My arm now looks like a junkie.
Anyhooooo………. about 10 days later my results are in and I go to pick them up. No doctor to explain them, just a 9 page document in an envelope.
So, I’m not exactly allergic to white cheese as I first thought. I actually have to completely avoid:
– Cow’s milk
Wow I didn’t expect that! These foods when tested showed a severe reaction to my blood and must not be consumed, I never thought it was that bad! I’ve been having bread and milk every day since I was a tiny tot.
Now the project is how to cut these things out of my diet. I will never manage completely and I don’t really want to be that boring but at least I know what to avoid from now on. I’m sad that I really can’t eat things like macaroni cheese, I would be allergic to every single ingredient in it!
It also showed partial allergies to:
– Cashew Nuts
The 9 page report was very interesting at tested the patient with foods from pineapple to tomato and octopus to lobster. Very interesting indeed!
So in summary, I am working on avoiding foods that trigger my allergies and please don’t take me to MPH again unless I am seriously dying.