I was finally going to get tested for food allergies on Tuesday 9th November. I had arranged for Sonuç to accompany Vanessa and I to get the blood tests at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye. My parents were also coming along and we intended on making it a bit of a day trip, with it being about 1 hour away. We left mine at 9.30am, with Sonuç and Engin our driver, in the comfort of the 6 seater. I was confident that I had eaten enough of the gluten and dairy, which I thought I was intolerant to, for the test to pick those out – I’d only eaten pizza so that I could put it to the test. I also had a dodgy stomach that morning as well as on arrival at the hospital. Sonuç was great as when we got to the international department area there was a big queue so we went to the locals section and got sorted there. I was surprised to see that the hospital was not only big but very busy for a Tuesday morning and I was slightly nervous. Even on the way there and before, Vanessa and I had been trying to predict what the results would say. I’m a fainter so obviously I was worried I might faint but they don’t mess about in the blood taking room. Vanessa was in less than a minute and went first as they shouted her first, then I went in. I shouldn’t have looked at one of the other ‘customers’ because then I saw the needle in him and nearly couldn’t stand up. Sonuç and Vanessa were great and got me out of a side exit before I could faint and then we had to come back at 5pm for the results. The cost of the blood test was 550 lira (about £40 at the time) and we weren’t sure exactly what foods they were testing for. I was still feeling woozy when we got dropped off in the town centre of Fethiye and so we went straight to a cafe for a Turkish tea for me and Vanessa, coffees for my parents.

We had a bit of impromptu shopping in the Turkish delight and tea shop where we all got a bit of something. Next we had a wander down the umbrella precinct area and found it to be almost empty everywhere so decided to go down by the harbour area for a drink. I didn’t fancy wine so I had a beer and, of course, I had a bad stomach so when we decided on having lunch at nearby Address I chose a safe option. Everyone else had pides which looked fantastic but I stuck to a chicken shish because I knew I still had to travel back again after we got the results. After lunch we had wine at a bar, Mom nipped in to Migros for some provisions and then we all walked back to the harbour to meet Sonuç and Engin for a short trip back to the hospital for the results. Vanessa and I were nervous but looking forward to finding out exactly what foods we would have to give up, we even joked about how bad it might be.

While we were enjoying our day in Fethiye our blood was being tested for food allergies. Below is a list of all the things that they tested us for (in Turkish and English) so you can do what Vanessa and I were doing – guessing which ones would be the likely culprits!

Yumurta akı – egg white
Yumurta sarısı – egg yolk
İnek sütü – cow’s milk
İnek sütü UHT – UHT milk
Kazein – casein (protein in dairy)
Buğday unu – wheat flour
Gluten – gluten
Pirinç – rice
Soya fasulyesi – soya bean
Susam – sesame
Yer fıstığı – peanut
Fındık – hazlenut
Antep fıstığı – pistachio
Ayçekirdegi – sunflower seed
Kabak çekirdeği – pumpkin seed
Kakao – cocoa
Portakal – orange
Çilek – strawberry
Elma – apple
Muz – banana
Kivi – kiwi
Dut – mulberry
İncir – fig
Domates – tomatoes
Havuç – carrot
Patates – potatoes
Soğan – onion
Şeftali – peach
Kiraz – cherries
Zeytin – olive
Yeşil fasülye – green beans
Balık karışımı – fish (mixed)
Deniz kabukluları – shellfish
Et karışımı – meat (mixed)
Tavuk eti – chicken

I thought it would be eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten and perhaps onion, tomatoes or banana that I was intolerant or allergic to. Captain Caveman thought I was allergic to gluten, dairy/lactose, sulphites, eggs and possibly banana. Vanessa knew there were certain fruits and vegetables that set her off, in addition to custard.

While we were still in Fethiye I got a call to tell me that my residency card was in Dalyan, so that was quicker than expected – I was happy with that as the official timeframe was 8 weeks, the Muğla immigration officer said 4 weeks and it had been 2 weeks and 3 days.
When we arrived back at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye to collect the results of our food allergy tests it was about 5pm but when Sonuç went in, there was a delay of 10 minutes. Vanessa and I were really nervous but I knew whatever it was that my body was intolerant to, I would have to give it/them up. I was ready to do that (as long as it wasn’t all alcohol) because I was fed up of never knowing when I was going to be ill and I liked going on day trips to places other than a tour of the lavatories. Ever the joker, when Sonuç came out with our results he pretended to give us news that we were allergic to everything on the list, plus a few more besides! But the real results were shocking; as we sat in the back of the taxi, Vanessa’s were revealed first – she was not allergic or intolerant to any of the foods tested! We were taken aback but could understand that due to Vanessa’s recent health issues that perhaps her stomach problems were caused because of her surgery so it could be possible. She also knew she was allergic to apple and had not eaten one for more than 6 weeks so, again, would account for why apple was rated a ‘0’ on the ‘0-5’ scale. I was next and thought I’d at least get a ‘1’ or ‘2’ rating on some things, however we were all flabbergasted to find I had ‘0’ for every single thing on the list, the same as Vanessa. I was so relieved to find I have no food allergies but, of course, this didn’t detract from the fact that there is something wrong with me – or was I just imagining it!?
The ride back to Dalyan was easy going and when we got back to mine Vanessa went home but my parents and I decided to ‘celebrate’ in Lukka bar. I had a red wine, they had beers, Mom was too full to eat but Dad and I decided to order food. As I have no allergies to food, I ordered something I have not had in years; Mac & Cheese, Dad chose a garlic pizza bread. My food didn’t look like a classic Mac & Cheese but it tasted very good, after half of it I was stuffed and so took leftovers home and put it in the freezer.
I was very pleased to say I had no immediate or short term reaction to the food I’d eaten and so I went to bed thinking I could probably eat whatever I wanted from now on. That would be amazing!!! I messaged Captain Caveman to let him know as he’d not asked how I was getting on (he rarely thinks to ask me) but I got no reply, despite not hearing from him since Sunday. I also messaged my sister, who is Coeliac, she didn’t want to worry me but reminded me that it took her years to get an accurate diagnosis. I had been tested a few years ago and wasn’t Coeliac and I could at least rule that out. So, tomorrow I would be back to the drawing board – writing down every food and every reaction to find out what could be wrong.

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