Monday, June 30, 2008

Red Letter Day

It was a Red Letter Day for me on Saturday! I can't even begin to describe just how excited I was. Let me walk you through it...

During my pre-teen years, my family lived in Kenya for 2 years. Up until that point, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted. However, it only took 1 fateful night for that all to change. My family and I were on a much needed vacation on the coast of Mombasa. Per normal, we had picked up a ton of fresh fruit and vegetables for the day. Right before I went to bed, I snacked on a juicy and tasty mango. I promptly went to bed, not knowing that my entire world had changed. I woke up almost an hour later with a panic I've never known. I couldn't breathe, my face and eyes were completely swollen, and my throat was completely closed. I rushed into my parent's room in a panic. Thankfully, my mother, a trained RN, leapt into action. Although we had no Benadryl or anti-histamines, she knew enough to throw me into a hot shower with steam to try and ease my labored breathing. I spent almost an hour in there, gasping for breath. Finally, my breathing returned almost to normal, but my face was a different story. It took almost 2 days before my eyes and face returned to their normal state.

After that, any stone fruit I touched was pure Kryptonite for me. Pears, peaches, plums, cherries - all off limits to me. The fall apple harvest meant nothing to me. And being a vegetarian only made it more ironic.

But even though I'm severely allergic to them, I've always felt I would outgrow the allergy. About 5 years ago, I started trying a tiny bite of stone fruit every summer, just to see if it was over. Sadly, it was not. However, since I've been a vegetarian for the past few years, and trying to eat more vegan in the past year, I just knew this was the year for a breakthrough.

Food 016


And guess what? I was right. I purchased some local cherries from the farmer's market this weekend and gave them a tentative taste. I tried 3 and felt barely a tickle in the back of my throat. I then moved on to a plum and felt nothing. So I kept going. And in the space of 24 hours, I consumed almost a pound of cherries, 4 pluots, and about 8 plums with nary a tingle.

You want to talk about excited?? I went to the grocery store and for the first time, gave my attention to the 3 rows of fruits I have been avoiding for 17 years. It's like a whole new world has opened up. I didn't want to push it too much on my first couple of days, so I stuck to the cherry/plum thing. But tomorrow I plan to add peaches and eventually pears and possibly some apricots.

I'm crazy excited. So don't worry if you don't hear from me for a few days - I'll be stuck somewhere in a bowl full of cherries....

12 comments:

Judith said...

How thrilling! I hope it lasts. Seems so strange that you'd suddenly outgrow the allergy, but awesome. I'm glad your mom knew enough to save your life.

LJ said...

I am so excited for you!

Kalyn said...

That's great that you've outgrown the allergies. Enjoy the fruit!

jodi said...

Wonderfulnews! Soon you'll be developing fantastic mango-based recipes.

Joel said...

How great! Isn't life amazing?

Fiber said...

Judith - Me too! Fingers are crossed that it lasts. So far, so good.

LJ - thanks!!

Kalyn - thanks! I've been gorging myself on fresh fruit the past couple of days. =)


Jodi - I'm hoping so. That's last on my list to try since it was so awful the last time.

Joel - fresh fruit is definitely amazing!

Nabeela said...

How nice! Kids often outgrow their allergies in a few years....it's more of a problem if you develop the allergy in your adulthood.
Enjoy your fruts! :)

Special Sauce said...

Why do I suddenly picture Lina sitting in your kitchen with her face covered in cherry pits, as you dance around in triumph? CONGRATS!

ana dane said...

I'm eating sweet cherries, icy cold, right out of the fridge now- and just polished off the last piece of sour cherry pie for breakfast earlier.

So glad you're back in the stone-fruit club. Welcome home.

linda said...

Oh, I really hope that will be me some day. I developed the stone fruit allergy in my early twenties. It breaks my heart because I grew up in orchard country and I can't tell you how much I miss that fruit.... For some reason, I am safe if I eat it cooked, but it just isn't the same....

Elaine said...

I am so happy for you! I am a vegetarian as well, and cannot imagine not being able to eat so many fruits. Just think of all the yummy recipes you can now try. Yay!!!

Cindy said...

What wonderful news! I'm glad you can now share in one of summer's great joys. :-)