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Nuts to allergies

Topics/tags: Autobiographical, short

I’m allergic to tree nuts. The allergy is fairly severe. When I eat nuts, my lips swell [1], my nose runs, my body temperature increases, I start to sweat [2], and I feel both a lump in my stomach and the urge to vomit. More recently, my breathing also gets shallower. It’s clear that my body is doing everything it can to fight off what it considers an invader. In the process, it informs me that I should be more careful and should do my best to never eat nuts.

It’s not like I try to eat tree nuts. I really do my best to avoid them. It’s become easier now that I am avoiding deserts as part of my more general attempt to limit the amount of refined sugar I consume. But I make mistakes. And others also make mistakes. I remember going out to dinner with Michelle and some friends at a new restaurant in Chicago. I recall that I found a dish that looked good, informed the wait staff that I was severely allergic to nuts, asked whether the dish contained nuts, and was told that it did not. However, my second bite of the dish contained something crunchy. And, when I looked at the dish, it was full of walnuts. When I pointed it out to my wait staff, she said something like I guess I was wrong. I hope this won’t affect my tip. Let’s see … you could have killed me and, in poisoning me, you ruined everyone’s dinner. Yes, it affects your tip.

It seems nuts show up in my food at the least convenient times. Tonight, I was at a special Chef’s dinner. The first course was a delicate semi-liquid on an almond crust. Despite what Google says, almonds aren’t really tree nuts and I eat them daily. So I ate it. I ate it in one bite, like they told me to. I shouldn’t have. I immediately started feeling sick. But it wasn’t supposed to have nuts, so I decided it was just something different. I made it thirty minutes. But my body was insistent that I had eaten nuts and that it was not going to put up with it. The Chef first insisted that the dish only had almonds. Then he said that even though it had almonds, they served me one without almonds. My body insisted otherwise. Perhaps they substituted hazelnuts for almonds. Who knows? [3].

In any case, I wasn’t feeling well enough to sit at the table. I missed most of dinner. I worried my wife and dinner companions. I’m sad that I missed a dinner I’d been looking forward to. I’m sadder that I made it less fun for my companions.

I’m not sure what else to say other than nuts to nuts or perhaps nuts to nut allergies.

[1] My lips are big enough that it may be hard to imagine them swollen. Trust me, they well.

[2] My body temperature increased; it makes sense that I sweat.

[3] About thirty minutes after I wrote that paragraph, Michelle got the recipe from the cook. He didn’t want to give it to her, but she said If it doesn’t have nuts, then there’s something else he’s allergic to. That was clearly an anaphylactic reaction. [4] So she got the recipe. The third ingredient on the list was Hazelnut flour. Michelle pointed it out to the chef and he said, Hazelnut isn’t a tree nut. But I’m glad to know that there’s not something new that I’m allergic to.

[4] Okay, I’m not sure exactly what she said. I wasn’t there. But she was able to get the recipe.

Version 1.0 of 2018-06-12.