Strawberries: A Story of Allergic Proportions
Last week something really scary happened to me that I want to share. I had some Activia yogurt, the “light” strawberry version, and within 10 minutes I blew up. Jamie Lee Curtis promised potent digestion, instead, I got an oxygen tube up my nose and an IV in my arm.
It happened so fast. My stomach got upset, my eyes started to burn then swell, and I couldn’t see. Then my head and hands began itching. And my throat and ears started to close. I truly panicked. Was this anaphylaxis shock? I had no idea. This was the first time anything like this ever happened to me. I read that’s how it can happen. You can eat something your whole life, then all of a sudden your immune system can be sensitized to it. It produces immunoglobulin E (IgE - an antibody) and histamine to respond to the allergy. The first time can be mild; the second time can be fatal. Your reaction can happen quickly after the exposure, can be severe, and can involve the whole body. That was me.
Years ago a little girl from the town over died from a reaction to nuts. I don't think anyone who lives around here will ever forget it. My oldest daughter's father did a story on it for the local paper. I imagined that one minute she was happy and joking with her friend, the next she was struggling to breathe. I read she didn't have her epipen and had eaten something with "filberts" embedded in the ingredients. This was before the FDA warning labels. But search the Web. There are still so many stories with the same outcome. Even after we supposedly know so much. http://www.allergicchild.com/legislation.htm
When I had a little girl and she went to school, there was a "peanut free" table. It was treated as a very special table, and they rotated who could sit with the children who had these allergies. There was actually a waiting list. I have to be honest and say I felt so blessed my child did not have that allergy.Continued on the next page