Tuesday, June 11, 2019

And then...

Never let the things you want 
make you forget the things you have. 

The day started off with us being lazy. We finally got moving and went to the Okoboji Summer Theater and bought tickets for tonight's musical, Honky Tonk Angels. Then we headed to the Motor Inn Jeep Dealer to get the jeep serviced. While there, we asked where to get lunch and Okoboji Store was suggested.

At Okoboji Store, I explained to the waiter that I have a severe allergy to broccoli. He assured me there was no broccoli in the place. Being my normal self, I mentioned my allergy at least two more times questioning different dishes. Each time I was assured they were safe to eat. I seldom ask for any changes in my dishes because the most important thing is that my food not touch broccoli even indirectly.

We had a wonderful lunch. We shared delicious fish tacos made with fried bluegills and four sides - fries, homemade chips, charred cauliflower with a cherry glaze, and coleslaw. Everything was excellent. While eating the coleslaw, I found a piece of a stem, I asked Ray what it was. He tasted it and said he didn't think it was broccoli (he doesn't remember what it tastes like either). When the server returned, I asked about the coleslaw. He said it was fine and a girl server reiterated that it was made with the normal cabbage and carrots. I asked him to check. He came back and was apologetic that yes, I had been eating broccoli. I'm sorry to yell but WHY DIDN'T HE CHECK IN THE KITCHEN BEFORE IT HIT OUR TABLE? My goodness, I asked at least 3 times.

My choices were to wait for the delayed anaphylaxis to hit or try to be proactive. When I experience anaphylactic shock, it is not pretty. I loose about 9 pounds of body fluids in about 20 minutes and then I am extremely tired and worn out for a few days. 

We headed to the ER. I am still upset in the picture that I have to go through this because a person did NOT do his job. All he had to do was ask the chef. 

About 25 years ago, the only other time I knew I had come into contact with broccoli, I was proactive. It didn't go well - I was sick for most of two months because the poisons weren't completely out of my system. Today was a hard decision but I'm not sure at age 70 that I'll survive going into shock - it's very hard on the body and a doctor once told me this is likely the way I'll die someday. 

My ER experience was quite different this time - I had shots and an IV with meds. I had Epinephrine to treat the immediate concern, Benadryl to treat long term through the night, Prednisone to treat longer term  with heavy doses for another 10 days, and Decadron, an inhibitor. The ER doctor (DR. Ojiaku), my nurse Jeremy, and my paramedic Ryan (I think) were fantastic. There were also a couple other nurses in and out - all were so kind. And my paramedic gave me one of those warm blankets - that's big points in my book. When the immediate concerns were finally over and the normal stuff then taken care of, Jeremy sat down and talked for a few minutes. He knows our host.

The ER doctor gave me the choice of staying overnight or going home. He says I know my body better than anyone. I chose home; my better half is a former EMT so I'm in good hands. We are within 5 minutes of the hospital and can call an ambulance if needed. The doctor says he feels quite sure that I will not have the reaction, that we have done everything possible to take care of the shock. I pray he is right.

So I've had a long nap, I ate a light dinner, I'm writing this, I have a slight headache, both of my arms ache from the needles,  and my stomach feels strange. We did not go to the musical - we gifted the tickets to our hosts. I'll be in bed early. 

Any ideas how I can get servers to listen? Some are so good and others just don't care. The guy today cost us our one day in Spirit Lake/Okojobi. We didn't have big plans but we did want to see/do some things. We missed the summer theater and are out the ticket money. After Ray asked, the restaurant discounted our meal. The time was not right to question anything as we needed to get to the ER. A letter will be sent to the restaurant. Compensation for what today cost me in $$ would be nice but much more important, people need to take food allergies seriously. If I had anaphylaxis instead of delayed anaphylaxis, the results of the day could be very different.

So the blessing of my day - I/We met some incredible healthcare people and a very nice, caring pharmacist. I have a great home to spent the night. Our hosts are getting to see a show that they'll enjoy. Our hosts just messaged that our current home is available for a few days if we need to stay, at no cost! And most of all, I have Ray by my side. There are lots of people in this world that do care, thank goodness. 

I'm nervous about tonight but I have faith and enough Benadryl in my system that I should get some sleep. Tomorrow we hope to head to Wisconsin.


  1. Taking ingredient inquiries seriously is something I've been questioning of late, too. Although mine is very minor by comparison (lactose intolerance), the consequences of ingesting dairy, w/o medication, could result in some serious effects. So thankful you had the wisdom to be proactive. I am finding that the age factor is magnifying such unknowingly eaten foods. Hope today is a pleasant one for you and Ray. Hugs...............

  2. I am sitting here in chills as I read your ordeal and dreadful experience. I feel so bad as I have experienced similar thing from my allergy to onions. I've never heard of broccoli allergy but know how severe a food allergy can be. It usually takes 3-4 days to get the toxin/poison out of my system from just one small bite. I am so glad you were proactive and got to the ER right away. The shock to our system is violent and with all the drugs to counteract the reaction you will be down for a few days. Please keep us up to date, and rest well. Hugs.

  3. Oh no! I hope you had a restful night and are feeling better today. I think a phone call as well to the owner of the restaurant should be done as well as the letter (in writing is always good) letting them know that the lack of respect for the food allergy caused you untold expense - lost time on your vacation, medical bills and who knows how long you will feel poorly, all because your concerns were not dealt with properly. (Ask the chef!) Big hugs to you and I hope you are doing much better today.

  4. Oh my golly! This is not what I thought I’d be reading when I sat down with my coffee this morning to catch up with your adventures. I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. Sounds like such a severe allergy with such severe results. I read ahead so know that you are doing better, but hope you get some well needed rest. Take care and sending hugs!

  5. Since you've replied to comments since this time, I'm guessing that you are pretty much ok now. My brother in law has a severe allergy to sesame seeds. We've had boys in our Boy Scout and Venturing Crew that had severe peanut allergies. The crew members were always very careful to read packages before they brought anything on a trip that those boys were also coming on. I hope that from now on that waiter checks before he says that the food is clear of the allergen.



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