I don’t really remember exactly how long ago it was, but I do remember my first, real, allergic reaction. I had a prepared shrimp salad, as I recall it was very yummy, and all seemed well, but then about an hour later I felt a little out of sorts. I remember seeing a red splotch on my arm, eventually I ended up in the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror, and my face was starting to become all contorted. Immediately the movie “Hitch” came to mind – the scene where Will Smith had an allergic reaction and his face looked like a cross between The Elephant Man and, well, Will Smith. I went to the drug store, got some Benadryl, and started to become paranoid as some quick internet searches said that in a few minutes I wouldn’t be able to breath and my head might explode, but a few other searches at a few more reputable sites said that if I started to sense breathing problems that I best be dialing 911.
Happily the Benadryl did its job, but sadly I didn’t do the important thing at the time and that was to contact the people who made the shrimp salad and find out every ingredient, down to the last dash of salt, that was a part of it. Me, I just assumed I developed an allergy to shellfish, and even though I loved shrimp, the thought of my face looking like a kaiser roll again didn’t thrill me, so ever since then I have done my best to avoid shrimp.
Enter an allergy test.
Finally, after too many years, I visited a doctor and my starting tests were interesting. My overall cholesterol was good, my bad cholesterol was good, my good cholesterol could be better, I need to exercise more, and my allergy test came back clean. Yup, all of these years have gone by, and I might have been able to be eating shrimp, but then again I might not because, as she put it, the tests aren’t perfect. It appears that I don’t have a general shellfish allergy, which I figured was the case because the last time I had some lobster my head didn’t explode, there’s a chance there might have been some special spice in the original shrimp salad that was the culprit, or maybe it was just where that specific shrimp was from. So without a slew of allergy tests, it’s almost like searching for a needle in a haystack because I didn’t do the smart thing at the time and investigate the tastiness of my salad.
The thing is that over the years I actually wanted to try to eat some shrimp again, just to see what would happen, and I have a relative and a friend that both have allergies, so much so that they are supposed to carry this EpiPen thingy. There I was, ready to chow down, only to have both of them tell me that their EpiPens had expired, to which they both looked at me like “Yea, I know, I should probably have that thing current, shouldn’t I?”, but that wouldn’t help me if my own medical experiment proved shrimp was the cause. But now, with my clean allergy test, I have a dilemma: To eat shrimp, or not to eat shrimp? Maybe I’ll have to take a trip to Hooters and ask the waitress “Can I have ten shrimp, hot, with a side order of Benadryl?” or maybe I’ll just have the burger. They do have a tasty burger.
That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!