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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A cautionary tale OR I should know better....

Yesterday was my youngest sister's ~ Jacqueline ~ 45th birthday. Our sister Marianne thought it would be nice to take her out to dinner and it was a great evening. It was a nice, cozy restaurant and along with Jacqueline, me and our sister Marianne, was Marianne's boyfriend Jim and our mom.  Our brother Michael, his wife Joanne and youngest daughter Brittney joined us for dessert, which is where the cautionary part comes in.

I'm allergic to a lot of different things, but my allergy to peanuts and walnuts is the worst of them. I've been to the hospital four times, the last three via ambulance. Scary? Yep, especially since the last time it was because, at the convention I was attending, they were serving Thai chicken.... with peanut sauce.  I hadn't even seen the plates as the wait staff was just bringing them in... I smelled the peanuts and within a couple of minutes was heading into anaphylactic shock.  Still freaks me out!

So I'm usually very careful. I rarely eat desserts away from home; but last night everyone else was having something and I saw strawberry rhubarb pie on the menu... well Yum!  When the waiter delivered the plate I was somewhat taken aback because there was a crumb crust rather than the expected pie crust.  My mom, who is also allergic, but not as severely, took a tiny bite and knew there were no nuts. I tried a bite and agreed.  But within 10 minutes or so, my throat began to itch, my stomach began to ache and my face started to tingle.  Well Shit!  Thankfully my mom had some benadryl ~ she has allergies to nuts and to mustard ~ so I took two doses.  I knew that the reaction wasn't going to get any worse ~ you get pretty good at knowing what's happening ~ so there was no panic.  But really.

So today I called the restaurant to inquire what nuts were used.  They didn't use any nut products in the pie or the crust; but the kitchen isn't nut-free and the case where they keep the baked goods has both nut and non-nut desserts.  Simple cross contamination.
What's really dumb is, as my husband mentioned, I don't usually eat desserts, period. 
But I'm lucky... this time.  Definitely a lesson learned and from now on unless I, or someone who knows of my allergy, makes the dessert I'm not eating any more sweets.  And anything that contains the warning "May contain traces of nuts" is off-limits.  I don't care how good it tastes, nothing's worth it!

So, that's my cautionary tale... and I definitely should know better.  Lesson learned? You're darned right!

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