Friday, November 21, 2008

IgE-nough already!

Allergies suck.

NewFNP, while having perfect blood pressure and pure, blissful euglycemia, is plagued with allergies.  All manners of cats, grasses and trees lead to newFNP's desire to scratch her eyes out with pitchforks and occasion a series of sneezes so violent that a lesser woman might wet herself.  These unfortunate symptoms seem mild when compared with newFNP's food allergies.  

While newFNP's aforementioned environmental allergies began in childhood, her food allergies started as an adult.  Apples and tomatoes were the first to develop and were made worse by newFNP's daily consumption of both snacks prior to figuring out that they were the causes of her swollen, vesicled lips.  Nectarines are the most recent victim of newFNP's jacked up immune system.

Why is it that newFNP could not be allergic to a fruit that she is not so fond of, such as papaya or naval oranges?  Hell, newFNP would even trade in satsumas if she could have apples back.  The only thing that made her evolving food allergies tolerable was her super hot allergist at her grad school's health center.  

NewFNP, however, is lucky as far as food allergies go.  Not-a-once has she experienced that dreadful tingling in the throat, angioedema and pruritis - to say nothing of the hypotension and polyuria - that are hallmarks of an anaphylactoid reaction.

The crappy thing about a food allergy is that one can enjoy something, such as a Pink Lady apple, for her whole life and then all of the sudden become sensitized to it.  The next bite triggers the reaction and from then on such an unfortunate soul must find another healthful snack.

So goes her thirty-odd year old patient who has, until now, enjoyed a lifetime of grapes.  

Delicious, full of polyphenols, easily transportable and a major component of wine = newFNP's seal of approval.  That is, except for when they cause your eyes, lips, tongue, soft palate and throat to swell up like you just walked into a beehive and you come into newFNP's clinic with a touch of respiratory difficulty, not yet distress.

For the first time in over three years, newFNP opened the crash cart and delivered 50mg IM of Benadryl to this gentleman's gluteus maximus.  

Truth be told, newFNP wasn't really expecting that he would perk up so quickly.  Within minutes, his tongue and palate were back to normal size and his previously swollen shut right eye was open and clear.  Lungs were perfect and respirations were not strained. 

Benadryl, people, is a wonder drug.  NewFNP kept him in the clinic for a few hours and monitored him repeatedly.  She wrote him a prescription for an EpiPen, tested him for other food allergies, told him to stay the hell away from grapes, gave him some Benadryl and precautions/ instructions for the road, and told him to come back for his lab results, sooner prn.  


What needs to develop is an allergy to McNuggets and Shamrock Shakes, to hot wings and chicharrones, but not to lovely fruit.  


Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I know a young man who is allergic to onions. One would think no problem and should be easy to avoid. RIGHT.. I have been reading labels and there is onion powder and bits of onion in just about everything! I live on Allegra-D or else I clear my throat continuously!

MegsNP said...

My husband went anaphylactic on me (911-lost airway and the whole shebang) one year ago tomorrow on peanuts. 41 years old and had been eating peanuts the DAY BEFORE. He's had food and environmental allergies his whole life, but never anaphylaxis. Sheesh!

Beth said...

too bad the allergy wasn't to "firey hot chitos" that would prevent a lot of GERD, haha!

Anonymous said...

Maybe not so much the fruit, but the pesticides and preservatives used to keep the fruit from rotting for weeks at a time. I can't eat a nectarine with the peel due to lip swelling and itching, but I sure can eat it unpeeled! It would be pretty hard to peel a grape though.