Adulthood sudden-onset food allergies, anybody?
hey all, back again (though new to this subforum)...
As a lifelong sufferer of allergies towards mold, cat dander, ragweed (honestly that one's the biggest reason I hate living in the Midwestern US), and general large particulates (e.g., house dust and pine pollen), I was never actually expecting anything *new* to pop up suddenly at my current age (a hair under 25). My 'childhood-onset' allergies are pretty much almost always rhinitis/itchiness/stuffiness/etc. du jour, but this one wasn't.
A couple weeks ago, I was out of town (to see a tertiary clinic for my neurology issues, incidentally) and at dinner one evening, ordered a mixed drink that I do recall contained some sort of cantaloupe/melon flavor.
As my father and I were having our appetizer (and I was sipping my drink), I started to feel full very quickly. This was counter-intuitive for me, as normally mixed drinks tend to up my appetite. I barely touched my main course, feeling too "full" to deal with it.
When we returned to the hotel, I took a look at myself in the mirror and noted that my face was quite puffy. I thought I must have somehow gotten fat the two days I was out of town, and I was also starting to have trouble breathing. I have had on and off trouble breathing as it was anyways the past several months (not associated with any sort of food or even eating, it actually comes on when I bring my knees towards my chest), so I assumed that nothing out of the ordinary was happening. My first sip of the "offending" drink was around 6PM, and the episode was completely gone by 10PM.
The next week, my father had cut up a cantaloupe, and I was eating a few pieces. My mouth started burning a little, and the same sequence of events that went down the previous week occurred again. This time I realized something was Very Wrong(TM) (my mother is allergic to cantaloupe/honeydew and gets burning around her lips if she eats it) and all the logic fell into place: I was having a sort of anaphylactic reaction.
Having never had such a reaction before (save for the prior week), I never carried around an epinephrine pen, so I took the closest possible alternative, a few puffs from my albuterol inhaler (that one is on hand for my rare once a year asthma attack). I then took my typical rhinitis dose of generic Zyrtec, and figured, hey, let's hit the H2 receptor as well... and a good dose of generic Zantac (an antacid I'm on high doses of anyways due to gastroparesis+acid reflux).
The breathing issues went away quickly (no surprise, inhaler and all) and the fullness/swelling were gone within 30 minutes (had they persisted, rest assured I'd have had one of my parents take me to the ER!).
Anyways, that's my story... but what I really want to know is that if anybody else here has had a "new" allergy suddenly pop up on them in adulthood. As far back as I can remember, I have had a very cordial relationship with cantaloupe and this negative reaction is something new.
(And before people panic for my health and/or I get yelled at for not taking more urgent medical action during my first allergic reaction... please note that I have a tendency to, in the medical emergency sense, be EXTREMELY cavalier about things, namely as I hate hospitals, especially ERs. When I got a major gash on my thumb a few months ago courtesy of a chili can's lid, my very first thought was "oh God, no blood on the carpet, do not get blood on the carpet, OH GOD I GOT BLOOD ON THE CARPET! WHERE'S THE CARPET CLEANER?!?!")
*Sorry if I take on the order of weeks to reply to posts or messages. I have verbal difficulties now and it's hard to write.*
Neuro issues: Peripheral (1999-) and brain (2002-) neuropathies w/parkinsonian syndrome, chronic infection w/fever (2001-, fevers became daily in 2006), major depression (1993-), neuropsychiatric bipolar disorder (2005-)
Other: Marfan-like disorder (congenital), VSD (congenital, fixed 1984), Existence (1983-)