Sunday, October 20, 2019

Me Versus Hazelnuts...

Lisa took Willa to the vets today to get her nails trimmed. When she left, I began my usual Sunday routine of baking snacks for Lisa's lunches, meal prep for us and the kids, and finishing up what little housework was left. One of the snacks Lisa requested was my homemade brownies. I decided to take it up a notch.

We had a bar of dark Swiss chocolate with hazelnuts that our neighbor friends had bought us while touring Europe in September. I decided to cut that up and fold it into the brownie batter.

Before cutting it up, I put aside 2 squares. One for me. One for Lisa.

After putting the brownies in the oven, I grabbed my square of chocolate and sat down at the kitchen table. I let it melt in my mouth and then crunched down on the tiny bit of hazelnut.

My square had less than a single hazelnut in it. 

I have not eaten hazelnuts in at least 10 years.

I'm not a huge fan of nuts.

I love pecan pie, but I don't make it because Lisa hates it.

I love walnuts in cookies, brownies, and banana bread, but Lisa hates walnuts so I don't use them when I bake.

I love peanut butter. Lisa and our kids do too.

I enjoy honey roasted peanuts every now and then. We always have those on hand because I use them when making homemade granola bars.

But, that's about it.

Less than 5 minutes after swallowing my square of chocolate, things started happening.

My face began to swell and turned bright red.

My cheeks and ears burned and were hot.

My eyes started swelling.

My slips swelled too.

My tongue burned and felt as if it was getting bigger.

I knew immediately what was happening.

At this point, I need to back up to well over a decade ago.

I was talking to my Mom on the phone and she told me that the night before, she had an allergic reaction to a nut.

She went line dancing and they had celebrated a friend's birthday. People brought refreshments. On the way out, my Mom grabbed a small handful of mixed nuts. She ate them on the short ride home.

When she got home, she had an allergic reaction. Thankfully she had Benedryl in the medicine cabinet and took a couple of those.

In the meantime, her tongue and throat were swelling. She ended up crawling to the phone in her bedroom. That's when the Benedryl kicked in.

Of course, I lectured her about not calling my brother who rented one of her apartments upstairs or 911. And I demanded that she get an EpiPen immediately. 

She did make an appointment with her doctor because she had never had a reaction to any type of nut prior to that evening.

Her doctor told her that it's common for adults to develop allergies to bees and/or nuts especially if they had Eczema as a small child.

My Mom had Eczema as a child. So did I. We both grew out of it before our teen years.


There I was sitting at our kitchen table knowing damn well what was happening.

I crunched down on an allergy pill and chased it down with water.

I sent Lisa a text but didn't hear back.

Lisa didn't get the text because Willa had escaped her collar in the examination room.

I am still giggling at that because of the timing, right?!?!

By the time Lisa and Willa arrived home, I was about 50% better.

When Lisa read her text, she panicked a little bit. She suggested I take another allergy pill. I did.

The second allergy pill did the trick!

Aside from my lips being dry and cracked from the swelling, I was okay.

I'm not going to lie. That experience was scary.

Lisa was thinking the same thing I was. What if I had eaten more than 3/4 of a hazelnut?

Lisa put her foot down.

"I don't want you eating any type of nuts in any form unless I'm home. I know you love peanut butter, but I'm not taking that chance."


I agreed.

And, I'll probably be getting an EpiPen very soon.

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