My Allergic Reaction Today


Today I had one of those experiences that we all dread. I am currently traveling by car across Canada, from Ontario to British Columbia. I met a relative for lunch this afternoon in Calgary, and I experienced an accidental allergic reaction to peanuts at the restaurant. I consider myself an expert at living with a peanut allergy

On Sep 21, 2005

I'm so sorry that happened to you but I'm glad you posted your experience. It sounds as if you responded in a textbook like manner. I hope I can be that calm, level-headed and thoughtful if DD has a serious reaction. After reading your post, I might just be that calm.

Stay safe

On Sep 21, 2005

How scary, I'm glad you're okay. Post again when you figure out where the contamination came from so we can all watch out for it.

Personally, I've never considered it safe to go to anyplace "Mediterranean." I was never sure why, but it just sounds like something I'd have issues with (I also avoid shellfish, and Mediterranean sounds decidedly fishy). The only foreign foods I know anything about are Mexican and Italian, so I avoid everything else.

On Sep 21, 2005

You went to the bathroom ALONE????????????

never NEVER [b]NEVER[/b] go to the bathroom ALONE when having a reaction.

You can feel hives, you can feel itching. Your companion saw them. Use some shiny dishes, whatever - but DON'T GO TO THE BATHROOM ALONE.


Rant over. Glad to hear you are OK.

On Sep 21, 2005

Thank you for sharing your story. It is a perfect example of how in a restaurant even if you are extremely careful, you just never know. Glad to hear that you are okay---what a scary story. Just curious, why did you use the Benadry before the epi? We were told to do epi, then Zyrtec (a faster acting antihistamine). Do you have any idea why your doctor told you antihistamine first, then epi? Thanks.

On Sep 21, 2005 scary. I am so glad that you are ok!

On Sep 21, 2005

I'm so glad that everything turned out okay. Thank you for sharing your story.

I hate to say it, but the first thing that occurred to me was that the contamination might be deliberate. Not to be paranoid, but your percautions were so thorough, and so clear, that it is hard to imagine anything else. (Unless one of the pizza ingredients itself was contaminated at the supplier).

I remember watching some stupid reality show once, and one contestent admitted to once adding onions to an allergic customer's order because she was annoyed with them. She laughed it off as a joke (I'm assuming there wasn't a serious reaction), but it sent chills up my spine.

Which is why it is important to always be prepared, no matter what. Thank you again for being a great role model.

On Sep 21, 2005

Glad to hear that you are will be interesting to hear what the resturant has to say.


On Sep 21, 2005

Glad to hear you are okay. Thanks for sharing your story, its left me feeling really scared about our forthcoming trip to Paris. My only thought was lupin flour, I was told to watch out for it in pizza bases? Please keep us posted. Jayne

On Sep 21, 2005

So sorry you had a reaction. I really appreciate what you had to say. Also looking forward to your book!

I strongly agree with AnnaMarie about NEVER going anywhere ALONE if you sense a reaction beginning! Please consider mentioning that precaution in your book!!! I don't think it is mentioned in anything I have ever read. It is such an important precaution.

Thanks. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

[This message has been edited by falcon (edited September 21, 2005).]

On Sep 21, 2005

I'm glad to hear you are OK.

But this brings to mind a frightening experience I had with pizza (I'm allergic to shellfish)....and maybe something everyone should know about Pizza...maybe I should make a post warning about pizza parlor pizza!

It's aprons. The aprons the chefs wear is what got me. The place made clam pizzas. I went through all the precautions, questions, blah, blah, blah, etc. And after the reaction we traced what happened. The chefs had made a broccoli/clam pizza. No hand washing between pizzas. AND pizza places typically WIPE THEIR HANDS ON THEIR APRONS. Means...whatever sort of other pizzas they make, they wipe allergens on apron, it gets on your pizza, you get the drift. That's all it takes sometimes. And...if they make lots of pizzas, means they are accustomed to wiping hands on aprons...and who knows what you get in your pizza!!!!

On Sep 21, 2005

Hi, Scary but so helpful that you shared this. I am breeding and working on a training program to train non shedding allergy friendly service dogs to detect peanuts. (See the Diana project discussed on this forum.) We have a woman on our schnoodle doodle poodle hybrid forum who has just discovered that her baby has PA. May I have permission to cross post? Also, it sounds likeyour book would be very helpful to her. She's very scared. Could you please post information on how to contact you? Puppy love from Joy & furry folk

On Sep 22, 2005

Thanks for posting the information. It was very informative, and I can never be told enough not to panic [img][/img] I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Please let us know what you find about the resturant.

On Sep 22, 2005

Thank you.

This is why PA and TNA DD will never eat restaurant food on my watch.

On Sep 22, 2005

Wow, so many replies! I really appreciate all of the input and support.

Just to clear up a few uncertainties...

I was sitting at the restaurant table with my uncle and father at the time of the reaction. When my uncle called attention to the redness on my neck, I wanted to know more about what he was seeing, so that is why I quickly went to the washroom to look in the mirror. I did not have any other symptoms of an allergic reaction at the table, so I needed to see exactly what was going on with the alleged rash. As I was getting up from the table, I said to my father: "Take your stuff, and follow me RIGHT NOW". He was up and following me right away. I completely agree that being alone at the time of an allergic reaction is one of the worst things a person can do. (Similarly, when people choke on food at restaurants, they will often go to the washroom as a result of embarrassment). I've run this exact allergic reaction restaurant scenario in my mind many times, so that is why I told my father to follow me to the washroom. I knew at the time of the incident that I should not be alone, so I made that call.

Upon realizing that the redness on my neck was something to be concerned about, I immediately left the washroom and starting walking to the front of the restaurant in order to get the hostess to call 911. As I was walking, I took my dose of Benadryl right from the bottle. The Benadryl was in me even before I reached the hostess. I wanted 911 alerted ASAP, and it would have been impossible to inject myself as I was walking, but I could drink the Benadryl as I was walking. After 911 were notified, I went outside (with people following), sat down, and gave myself the Epipen. After holding the needle for a count of 11 seconds, I requested the two bags of ice for my neck, told me father to get my extra Epipens, and then made the restaurant hostess reiterate to 911 that what was happening was potentially anaphylactic (in order to get priority for the ambulance). I asked the restaurant staff if we were waiting for the ambulance in the fastest, most convenient spot as well. I totally agree that an Epipen is the gold standard of treatment, and it should be the first course of action in an emergency situation. However, both the Epipen and Benadryl were in me literally within about 20 seconds of each other - so I don't think the order really mattered in my situation. Both treatments were given almost instantly.

As far as Mediterranean food goes, I have never had a problem eating at those types of restaurants in the past, so this was especially surprising. Also, two of the easiest countries to eat in for me have been Italy and Greece - I've found that those countries use olive oil more than any other oil (because they grow so much of it), and the food is generally unprocessed (by North American standards), and it is relatively plain in its preparation. This was obviously not the case at the particular restaurant I tried to eat in, and I am still trying to figure out what was in my food that caused the reaction at the restaurant...

Right now, I'm occupied by thoughts of how I can build yet another level of security into restaurant meals so that this never happens again.

Thank you for all of your responses! I really appreciate them.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this message is not intended as a substitute for professional and medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this message. I do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products or procedures, opinions, or other information that may be stated on this message board. Reliance on any information provided within my message history is solely at your own risk. This message is intended for educational and information purposes only.

------------------ The Peanut Allergy Specialist

On Sep 22, 2005

Thank you for posting your experience. It is a wake-up call for all of us adults who are PA/TNA.

Since I do eat out a lot, I tend to go to the tried and true places I know and trust, and even there I am careful. At my weekly service club luncheon, I have cultivated a good relationship with our banquet manager and head server. They advise me each week what is safe for me. In fact, my whole club eats PA/TNA free items for lunch that day, although I don't think they realize it. The only exception is dessert, which is always a commercially made item of some sort. These are the only items which are of concern, and the staff reads each package carefully. How fortunate I am in having their help.

But your post was a good one for me to read as it will be a reminder for me to make sure to be doubly careful. Thanks again.

On Sep 22, 2005

Thank you for sharing your story. What I noticed is that you use cold compress, (w/c my son also pointed out to me)during the attact. I will be adding that information to my son's health plan.

Please keep us posted.

On Sep 23, 2005

Check with your doctor before adding ice to the neck to your emergency action plan. Our allergist told us not to and that it would decrease blood flow to the brain, so I guess it depends on the person. Or maybe it is different for adults compared to kids.

On Sep 23, 2005

Thank you for posting about your experience.

[b]Please Don't Run ~ Running can speed up the reaction ~ Please Never Run[/b]

[This message has been edited by Life of Riley (edited September 23, 2005).]