November 3, 2009


About a year ago, Husband and I were eating at a restaurant we are big fans of and enjoying some delicious food sans small people. It was delightful.

Right up until I started to feel, uh, strange.

Nothing alarming, but at the same time just not right. And I developed a cough. And I remember sort of feeling a little off kilter – not full-on dizzy, but just not centered and playing nicely with gravity. (And, no, righteous herbs were not involved. Sadly.)

I didn’t think twice about it – perhaps a shrimp was not entirely good? But that’s not like that restaurant… Oh, well. No big deal.

Until the next time. When I felt wheezy and unable to take a good breath is without feeling the wheeze in my chest. The hell? Am I developing a shellfish allergy? Man that would suck.

I decided I would self-diagnose and lay off the shellfish altogether, which did suck. But, hey, something just wasn’t right with that. And I was fine.

Until the next time. When shellfish wasn’t in the mix. And I couldn’t breathe and pretty much scared the shit out of my lunch date as I bolted out of the restaurant to the nearest pharmacy. And ripped open the Benadryl in the aisle before paying it and slammed two down my throat.

Strike Three. Off to the allergist I go.

120 needle pricks later, it is not, as my 100 year old allergist guessed, shellfish. It is, however, the most random list of things ever. And a few of these things actually are out to kill me (some are not, and are only annoying at best):

(Cow’s) milk

Egg yolks







All zucchini and squash

All beans




Of this list, oranges are my most deadly foe. Go figure! And because of this and its accomplices up there, I am now a proud owner of not one, but TWO Epi-Pens that I must carry around. On top of that, I now also carry a rescue inhaler and take several prescriptions to keep the Citrus and its Merry Band of Deadly at bay.

It is a new way of life.

I’m not great at remembering to ask what’s in things, but I’m getting better. Husband is all kinds of stressed out when we go eat, but he’s getting better, too. I’ve had a couple of issues related to this and my latest medical adventure of Adult Onset Asthma, but it’s getting better as well. There are days I feel like a walking medical mess, others feel fine.

I’ll tell you this: a steroid pack fixes a lot of things. And BY G-D do you get shit done while on ’em. I could have re-sided your house I had so much energy. I now understand the upside to drug addiction. Coming off of ’em? Notsomuch.

So. Gone are the days of small, chic purses. But breathing? It’s a nice trade-off.

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3 Responses to “Afflicted”

  1. stephanie Says:

    Ack, that is a LONG list! I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t eat even half of those things. It must be such a pain to eat out now… I feel like milk and eggs are in everything.

  2. Knighton Says:

    Steriods! No kidding about the energy. I about drove my poor husband batshit insane.
    Also, the predisone disguised a severe antibiotic allergy until the day I finished the pack.
    Upside: when you walk into the ER looking LIKE THAT, they let you right in, no paperwork.

  3. Knighton Says:

    Random odd question: during your initial allergic reactions, did you ever experience swollen lips in absence of any other symptom?
    Because I can’t think of another logical conclusion for what’s going on over here.