Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Of allergies and genetics

Last night we had friends over for fondue. I was psyched to find a recipe to mimic Coq Au Vin from The Melting Pot to cook our meat. They brought the cheese—I was shocked and amazed you could buy it already made in a bag, complete with wine—and bread. It was fabulous, until I touched my face. Apparently I touched my face near my eye, next thing I knew my eye started itching, when I mentioned it DH and the friends told me I probably needed to take something (and of course Gman wanted to take a picture). I freaked out when I got into the bathroom and my face was swollen and red and the eye nearly closed. I popped one of Ellie’s Benadryl strips and tried to enjoy my dinner. At some point my stomach was really crampy as well but got better with the Benadryl. Most bizarre was that the strip made my tongue a little numb, good to know before I give it to my kid.

I am guessing genetics have caught up with me. Sometime in her 30s my mother developed a shellfish allergy. It started as a gastrointestinal thing and then it moved on to hives and swollen lips. For years I’ve joked that I better eat it while I can because some day its going to revolt. Now, I am afraid its begun. I have inherited all of Mom’s other medical oddities so why not this one? I have been putting off dealing with the allergist for years, it was good enough to know that something would control my hay fever, I really didn’t need to KNOW what was causing it. I feel some serious empathy for Chris over at Notes from the Trenches who is finding out she is allergic to a whole host of things—things that are in nearly everything we eat. And Builder Mama and my friend Lisa who have kids with serious peanut allergies who have to watch everything their sons eat. At least you can avoid shellfish if you need to, although you don’t have to like it. I’m going to see my GP this afternoon and try to figure out what the heck is going on with my body. I’m hoping I will get at least one gold star for being 10 pounds lighter than the last time I was there!

Dinner was good, although I felt a bit like I did when I was in college and we'd play "I never." Someone would say I never ate a goldfish and everyone who had drinks. I sat for long dry spells never touching my drink as I was pretty naive and inexperienced. As they traded awful ex-spouse/mother/in-law stories last night I realized how glad that I could just listen and laugh and NOT have a thing to say (and for me thats HARD).


aimee / greeblemonkey said...

GASP! Is crab a shellfish????????????

Meg said...

As someone with really bad allergies, can I suggest one thing? If you ever come into contact with something that causes that reaction topically don't ingest any of it... it can cause some slightly irritating side effects - like your throat closing and you ceasing to breathe.... I know this from experience.

And if it was an allergy, the numbness wasn't from the benedryl, it was the allergy.

Sorry about the allergy... that sucks.

Tree said...

Oh, man, that would scare me! I am glad you are okay, but I agree with Meg - stay far far away from shellfish.