Readers of my blog may recall that I discovered periodic bouts of “stomach flu” or obstructed bowel (requiring hospitalization) were due to an allergic reaction to capsaicin, which is, in the form of red pepper, chilis, and bell peppers, in almost everything: canned, heat and serve, and restaurant fare. When I restricted my diet, problem went away.
On Wednesday evening, I had dinner at a favorite Japanese-style diner, where I was “careful” to order my made-to-order bowl with the non-spicy sauce. (I realized later that I watched the employee use the mixing spoon, that had been used previously with a dish made with “poki fire” sauce, mix my bowl.) Just a tad of indigestion the following morning. On Thursday however, at lunch, I had a large bowl of vegetable soup from our work cafeteria. As is my custom now, I inspected it for any chunks of green pepper that might have been tossed in “vegetable” soup. But I should have asked my friend the chef about it. I have learned that soup steeped with bell peppers can be as problematic as actually consuming them.
By evening, I ate a small dinner at home because I was curiously not hungry. I took an allergy pill just as a precaution. but it was too late to prevent symptoms. By midnight and through the morning hours, I was definitely suffering the technicolor consequences of a capsaicin allergy. As my wife says, even running the shower doesn’t muffle me hovered over the toilet.
For the last several hours, after dozing most of Friday, I am vertical again. But only just. If there is anything darkly amusing about recovering from a food allergy, I found that I remarked to my wife that at least, I wasn’t obsessing about work, Then dreamed about work for several hours. This morning, I am thinking about the ghost in The Sixth Sense who was slowly poisoned until she died. And how unpopular leaders in medieval times – and probably some today – employed food tasters to prevent them from being poisoned. But I am cherished by my family, so this is definitely self-inflicted. Be very particular when it is food that I have not prepared.
Or I could be smarter, like Comet. He “knows” that the canned food he was eating with the dry caused him diarrhea and refused to eat it. Dexter has no such hesitation so his very sensitive sniffer would be no use to me.
If I can only train Comet to sniff out capsaicin.