Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton


I've long considered myself to have no major allergies, but that seems to have changed.

On Wednesday, January 29, we drove back from New Braunfels to Dallas. My father and I were in one car, taking a detour to Lockhart to visit Black's BBQ (apparently the oldest barbecue place in Texas).

At some point in the drive, I noticed that I had red bumps on my wrists. (Unfortunately, I don't remember whether that was in the afternoon or the morning.)

By the time we arrived home in the evening, the itching was pretty severe, and I had lots of red blotches all over my body. I used a couple of Benadryl and a whole lot of anti-itch cream to get to sleep that night.

The next day, the itching resumed in force, and my chest and throat started hurting. So we went to the emergency room. I got a shot of epinephrine in the shoulder and a shot of a steroid I don't remember (I think it began with "s..." and ended with "...co") in the gluteus. The epinephrine had a near-magical effect--within thirty minutes or so, the hives had gone away. I got a prescription for another steroid (methylprednisolone) and recommendations that I could take as much as three Benadryl if needed.

The worst episode was New Year's Eve at Kevin's house; I was fairly dopey and itchy, so I went off to take some Benadryl and lie down for a bit--but it didn't help enough. At the worst, my hands were completely covered in hives, and I was sobbing from the itching. Since then, I've been much more willing to take Benadryl at the onset of any itching; I hate being dopey, but I'd rather be dopey than itch that badly.

Since then, Benadryl has been keeping me largely free of hives, but dopey. I have been reducing the dosage as much as possible; I did take one late Sunday night, but so far haven't taken one today.


So, there's something I'm fiercely allergic to. And I don't know what. Here's what I remember eating over the previous few days, to try to narrow things down:

December 28 (day before allergic reaction began):
Breakfast (at Gruene Homestead Bed and Breakfast):
Biscuits and sausage gravy

Lunch (cold cuts and such at memorial gathering):
Roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese and mayonnaise
Carrots and dip
Tostitos bite-size chips and salsa
Bean dip platter
Punch (probably orange juice and pineapple juice)

Dinner (at Gristmill restaurant in Gruene)
Chopped steak with jalapenos and cheese

Dessert (Marble Slab Creamery):
Amaretto ice cream with Snickers Cruncher in a waffle cone

December 29 (day of outbreak):
Breakfast (at Gruene Homestead Bed and Breakfast):
Scrambled eggs and salsa in a tortilla

Lunch (Black's BBQ):
Beef brisket
Sausage ring
Potato salad
Pecan Pie

Sugar-free Dr Pepper in car

We'd had some suspicions of the yogurt, because I rarely eat yogurt--but I did eat yogurt at breakfast on the previous day.

It's possible that Black's BBQ has some ingredient to which I'm allergic, since I've never eaten there before. It would be tragic for me to be allergic to barbecue in general, but not so terrible to be allergic to one specific barbecue place that I can't visit very often. (Though it was pretty tasty barbecue.)

Another possibility on the list might be the amaretto ice cream or the Snickers Cruncher, neither of which I'd ever had before.
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