I went to Rubio’s for a fish taco lunch today with my wife and several friends. Sounds pretty innocent, right? But not for me. Imagine if you were out somewhere and you saw a sign that the area has poison ivy. Would you deliberately roll in it? Or more specifically, if you had a peanut allergy, would you deliberately have a PB & J sandwich?
Normally, I am very cautious after determining in 2015 that I have a food allergy. I have a skin reaction, angioedema, to the trace chemical capsaicin found in chili peppers, bell peppers and paprika. All my life I have eaten spicy Chinese or Mexican food containing seasoning or cut up peppers – all containing capsaicin! For the most recent six or seven years, I had periodic ‘stomach flu’ which a couple times a year would result in a hospital stay. And then over a couple years, I would have angioedema – bloating in my face, lips, tongue, feet and elsewhere randomly appearing in between the flu.
Imagine my surprise, after a allergist appointment finding nothing unusual, that my symptoms disappeared UNTIL I ate food containing chilis or green peppers! These have been a staple at my house for decades, so now I get separate dishes with onions , radishes and garlic to provide the kick I enjoy but cannot stomach. I avoid anything remotely containing vague spices or chili powders and sauces, or bell peppers.
But today, armed with the knowledge I can mitigate my “Elephant Man” reaction with Fexofenadine (Allegra) and Benadryl, I threw caution to the wind.
Anybody can live dangerously. It takes a special kind of fool to deliberately get in the ring with a food allergy. But I am my wife’s special kind of fool.