In adulthood, I developed a ridiculously severe allergy to pecans. Not peanuts or dairy or eggs or anything people are used to people being allergic to. Pecans.
I live in the south, in a state where the pecan is the state tree, where pecan pie is a religious experience and where pecans get put into everything. My parents have six pecan trees in their yard, majestic allergen-filled beasts that are over a hundred years old. In the fall, I don't go outside at their house for longer than it takes to go to or from the car. My kids have to wash up after playing and I make certain to never touch their shoes.
It's not so bad, though, being on guard a few days of a few months of the year. What really kills me (or comes close) is potlucks.
Yesterday, going through the potluck line, I very carefully inspected any and all foods before putting them on my plate. I asked about ingredients in the one small bite of dessert I had. I avoided anything suspiciously nut-like.
Even though I ate no nuts, I began to wheeze and feel my throat tighten by the end of the meal. I am sure some spoon got moved from one bowl to another or that I breathed something in.
It has been almost 24 hours since my first dose of benadryl and I am still breathing a little rough, coughing when I talk and itchy. My gastrointestinal tract is likewise protesting.
I'm also realizing that I can never, as I had always hoped to, live in the home I grew up in after my parents decide that they need a smaller place with fewer stairs and less yard maintenance. Not without removing the trees, and that would be a criminal act.