Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Elderberries do not deserve your respect!
NAH and I had the loveliest of weekends, a couple we love dearly (and how often do you like BOTH people in a couple?) was married in a beautiful ceremony in Philadelphia. We attended the rehearsal dinner, and the after-rehearsal dinner party/Phillies game viewing. We went to bed around 2 a.m., and attended the wedding the next day a bit bleary-eyed but quite happy nonetheless. It was a perfect day, and A&J had their ideal night. It was wonderful. We drove home that night from the wedding listening to the final innings of our beloved Phillies (and yes, they won that game, methinks in an homage to our friend's wedding, but it could just be my tiredness speaking). We got home, stayed up to watch the game, and then realized in horror that all of the things we normally do over the course of the weekend hadn't been done, because we weren't home. So we set out making lunches, unloading the dishwasher, getting the coffee ready for the following morning, etc. All's well that ends well and we went to sleep (or rather, fell face first onto the pillow only to groan at the alarm the next morning).
Where, you may ask, am I going with this, and how is it allergy-related?
Well, thank you for asking.
I brought a salad to work with me yesterday, and grabbed the only unopened bottle of dressing in the cabinet, an organic strawberry-balsamic that I serve with an amazing blackberry feta salad I make(if I do say so myself, which I do). I've never tried it, but it gets rave reviews when I serve it. Now, sleep deprived and just bone-weary from two nights with next-to-no sleep, I should've known better than to try something new. I should have, but again, I wasn't functioning properly on NO SLEEP. I'm too old for that kind of schedule (and hell, when I was young enough for it, I couldn't keep it, to be honest).
So we partied, we slept, and now we're back to the salad and the new dressing. As I poured it on the salad, I read the ingredient list. The only ingredient I did not recognize was "elderberry juice extract." Hmm. I was coherent enough to know that the extract would be the strong, pure form of whatever an elderberry was, and as I mostly have good luck with berries, I worked and ate my salad at my desk.
It started as a tingling in my throat/mouth...and then it spread. Not anaphylaxis by any means, but the kind of allergy where the allergic person goes, "damn...I have to take a Benadryl, and I'm going to be sick for quite awhile." Now, my purpose of the above was to explain just how tired I was. NO WAY was I getting behind the wheel on less than 5 hours of sleep having taken allergy medicine. So I rushed home with a folder filled with work, took the Benadryl (at home), waited for the onslaught, and yes, was calm enough to get some work done.
Mid-work (and into my second benadryl, my curiosity got the better of me, and I googled elderberry). I wanted to know what exactly had made me so ill, and what I'd need to avoid in the future.
It's a shrub. I was ill from a shrub extract. I love it. Only me. Did I mention I had company coming for dinner (thankfully my husband's family is used to seeing me in pj's)? Or that the lovely wedded couple was stopping by on their way to New York?
See, here's what I've learned in the last couple of years: allergies get in the way. They interrupt your daily life, but you really only as much as you let them. Sure, it took me four doses of Benadryl and some severely swollen and sore insides to get through the evening, but I did (and all on an incredible lack of sleep). I had company over, saw friends and family, and outside of my not having an unexpressed thought last night (seriously, does anyone else talk incessantly when they take Benadryl? I couldn't stop. I couldn't even get all my thoughts out coherently), nobody knew how sick I'd been. Now of course, they will now because they lovingly read this blog. But that's ok. Dinner was good, the company was nice, and the ball game, well, see the below.
The thing is this. I try new things. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't, but I'm not going to stop trying! I may not love food, but I no longer view it as an obstacle or an enemy. That alone has taken a number of years...So it's a trade-off. Pineapple off the list, elderberry on. I think I'm far more likely to find pineapple on a fruit tray, so this is one I can accept without much fuss.
And did anyone else notice how they didn't call last night's game until they allowed the Rays a chance to tie? Grrr...
Your Phillies fan,
an exhausted allergic diner