About 3 years ago I had my own episode of the movie Hitch, but we never figured out what had caused that reaction. Last night I experienced the sequel... but I can pinpoint the culprit this time...
Over the past few years peaches have gradually started causing me problems, but none have been severe enough to make me give up my favorite fruit. It started with mild itching in my hands and forearms when I would peel them, I just attributed this to the fuzz. Later this progressed to itchy lips and throat when I would eat them, but I could sap the peach in the microwave for a few seconds and it took care of it.
Then last Thursday, I got some peaches out of the freezer to make cobbler, after pealing and slicing them I got a pretty set of hives on my hands, but didn't really think much of it. After we pulled the cobbler out of the oven I snitched a few bites, but didn't eat much since it was pretty late. About an hour later while laying in bed reading I was feeling super itchy, and noticed that I was breaking out in hives and a flush rash up my neck, into my scalp, and all the pits - knee, elbow, arm... pretty much any warm place. So I jumped in the shower, took some Benadryl, and a few puffs of my inhaler and made myself lay in bed and be calm.
Well, because I love peaches so much, and am completely sutbborn, I refused to believe that it was the peaches that caused this reaction, so yesterday I pulled the cobbler out of the fridge and had a pretty good slice. With in 20 minutes I was having horrible stomach and intestinal pain. But I busied myself with some weed pulling and yard clean up. As I was doing these chores I was getting really hot, and itchy, but again in denial, assumed it was just the heat and weeds. A bit later Brian got home from work and commented on how red I was, and when I took off my sunglasses he immediately told me to get in the shower and take Benadryl. That's when everything went completely crazy and my tongue felt tingly and swollen and my lungs started closing.
So off to the ER we went... the whole way there I was still battling nausea, and as soon as I walked in the door I emptied the contents of my stomach... I guess that's a key to getting treatment in the ER more quickly- that and being the color of a stop sign- because they immediately took me back and got me hooked up to all the gadgets (pulse was racing at 127, and my blood pressure was really low) and an IV started with a drug cocktail of more Benadryl, Pepcid (also has a histamine blocker), and a steroid, and gave me a breathing treatment to open my lungs.
Once things seemed under control, and I awoke from the drug induced sleep, the Dr. discussed with me that I should probably avoid peaches (duh), and said that systemic allergic reactions like this just compound, meaning the next one might be worse, so he gave me an Epipen which I have to carry with me from now on. He also said that it is likely that my body will have another flare up in the next few days until the peaches are completely out of my system, so until then I have to take an oral steroid to help keep that from happening.
The worst part of all of this is not that I have to carry the stupid Epipen, or even that I can't ever eat peaches again(no more peach poppy seed cake from Slice of Life), but that our goal and dream of owning a peach orchard some day can't possibly happen. I guess it will have to be hops (which the nurse said would be a much worse allergy to have than peaches.)
So my plan now is to fast from fruits for at least a week, contact an allergist to see what other foods are in the peach family and possibly have more allergy tests. But I am seriously freaking out about eating anything right now...
Learned: Trust your body the first time.. .being stubborn and choosing denial really isn't a good plan.