Okee dokee. The last two days have been two of the most interesting and annoying of my life. I’ll get to the point and then tell the story. I had a pretty severe allergic reaction to quinoa. You heard me right, quinoa. The wonder food of the universe. The gluten free answer to prayers. The key to weight loss! And I’m allergic to it all.
I have had a few quinoa dishes as it has gained popularity over the last couple of years. But it has always been at a potluck type of situation. Since there’s 50 things at a pot luck you want to try, I usually only had a couple of spoonfuls of the quinoa. Apparently, my system can handle that. This past Tuesday, I went to Winco and bought some from the bulk food section. I came home and prepared a Corn and Quinoa Salad. I highly recommend this recipe . . . different but delicious – I added more than called for red pepper and some celery – yum! I then proceeded to eat it as if my life depended on it. Seriously, I had about two cups of it for lunch. And a bit as a nighttime snack.
About 10:00 that night I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. I was falling asleep on the couch!! I am the quintessential night owl so this was perplexing. I just wrote it off as not getting much sleep the night before and going at it hard on the treadmill. I drug myself upstairs and told the kids I was going to bed – they were as shocked as I was.
I woke up at 8:30 the next morning happy that I had gotten so much sleep. This was going to be a grrrrrrrrrrreat day! As I was coming to, I realized my skin felt tight. I have severely dry skin and thought that was the problem. As I rolled over, I noticed that my chin felt funny. Like it was moving separately from my face. I felt it and it felt weird. I got up, said a hasty good-bye to Tyler, fed the dog and then retreated to the bathroom to get a gander at myself. *Gulp* My face was really swollen. My wrinkles were gone (win) but I looked like I gained 50 pounds overnight (lose). And my right ear was HUGE. So gross. I didn’t know what was going on, but figured whatever it was would benefit from Benadryl.
Wednesday was my Benadryl-knocked-me-on-my-can day, complete with a mid-day 2 hour nap. Amber and I had an event we had to go to Wednesday night and I knew if I took an evening dose of Benadryl, I couldn’t drive. Tyler told me to let Austin take us. Score!!! I took the Benadryl, Austin drove us, I got made fun of by the kids for randomly saying, “That white car,” but we survived the evening.
Earlier that day, I sat on the couch and did some research. Based on everything I saw, I figured I was having an allergic reaction to the quinoa. Quinoa has the same acids in it that other foods I have problems with do – namely strawberries and rhubarb. I also found out that quinoa isn’t actually a grain – technically it’s a type of grass and is more closely related to spinach than a grain.
Then to make my joy complete, I found out it was probably going to get worse before it got better. And by the next morning (and 11+ hours of sleep), it did. A website told me to expect “cauliflowering” which is basically your face being covered with whitehead type things. And to be sure, I woke up with a major case of redness, a face rash and the cauliflowering. Thankfully, I was able to get right in to my doctor because this HAD TO STOP! The itchiness was driving me nuts. Well, that, and I looked like something from a horror flick.
My doctor told me to take Zyrtec twice a day and Zantac twice a day. Yes, Zantac, the heartburn medicine is also a level 2 histamine blocker! Who knew? She also gave me a prescription for a topical steroid cream. And told me that no family medicine cabinet should be without Zyrtec since it’s a powerful histamine blocker without all the side affects of Benadryl.
I came home and took the meds. And put on two layers of foundation because just catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror was more than I could handle. After the Zyrtec/Zantac combo got in my system, I felt immensely better. And this morning, most of my symptoms are gone. Once I put on my makeup, no one will be able to tell
of the suffering I endured the past two days anything was wrong.
So there you have it. More information on quinoa than you probably ever wanted.