Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Things I Miss (Anaphylaxis Edition)

I started to develop food allergies in my mid-twenties.  Until that point, the only things that had been trying to kill me were the usual suspects:  dust, pollen, ragweed, mold, and hay.

And the one by one, my body decided different nuts and related foods were unacceptable in various degrees:  first coughing, then wheezing, then lips swelling and face getting red and blotchy as I tried to scratch my own throat out.  And lately I've been missing some of those foods.

  • Peanut butter toast -- especially when the toast was hot enough that the peanut butter would get a little melty in the middle
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter -- crunchy deliciousness that made you feel that you were "eating healthily" (ha!).  Oh, but don't pull any of that "Ants on a Log" crap.  Keep your disgusting raisins to yourself!
  • Pistachio pudding!  The taste, the color, the ingredient in so many "salads" we white people make.
  • Pistachio ice cream -- although I did feel a little jaded when some brands lacked the green food coloring
  • Peanut butter and plain (lightly salted) rice cakes:  I used to eat these all the time in grad school; I could "graze" and read/study at the same time
Organic peanut butter was actually the penultimate food that got scratched off my list.  But I found I could still eat some candies and things with "peanut butter" in them because, let's face it -- that's not real peanut butter.

Or is it?  My immune system decided it was "close enough."
  • Mini Reese's peanut butter cups -- how you taunt me during the holidays.
  • Reese's Pieces -- we had such fun during movies.  (Twizzlers say hi, BTW.)
  • Girl Scouts Tagalong cookies -- seriously?!?  This cruel move of Fate just started last year when I discovered I could no longer eat one cookie without the coughing/hacking starting.  This year I didn't even order any boxes so I wouldn't be tempted to try again.
    • Don't worry.  I made up for it by ordering ALL OF THE THIN MINTS
Now not everyone who is allergic to peanuts is allergic to tree nuts, and vice-versa (peanuts are technically a legume).  And not everyone who is allergic to those things is allergic to coconut.  Aren't I the lucky statistical anomaly?
  • Valentine's Day is coming up -- filled with bite-sized coconut truffles to mock me.
    • I also particularly liked the kind where the coconut was mixed in with the chocolate (rather than a ball of pure coconut dipped in chocolate)
  • my mom's Ranger cookies (that I also used to make).  They were yummy and I liked to tell myself they counted as a breakfast food because main ingredients included:  oatmeal, Rice Krispies, ...and coconut.
  • Coconut lip balm and other skin products -- how much is too much?  I don't necessarily miss these, but it does suck discover the allergy because your lips swell up on the way to work.
Now I'm both sad and hungry. You dear people:  don't take your snacks for granted!  They could be taken away from you, leaving you with nothing but memories that quickly fade from your taste buds.  Please go eat some for me.

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