Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Jalapeño incident

Long story short - apparently, I'm allergic to jalapeños.

Long story: On December 12th, I awoke to a mild sore throat. Having been ill with one damn thing or another since Macias started bringing home kid germs from his day care, I just chalked it up to yet another cold/flu thing. The sore throat stayed with me for a week, sometimes worse than others but never really going away. I went to the Doctor and got on some Amoxicillin for the next ten days but it didn't help - the sore throat came and went as it pleased, mostly mild but sometimes very painful. This continued for the entire following month. Being the nerd that I am, I immediately sought out advice on the Internet. Sadly, I learned that I had either cancer or AIDS and was about to die. Having sufficiently freaked myself out and worried sick that I was never going to see my son grow up, I scheduled yet another visit to the Doctor, hoping that he could tell me something about the sore throat that wouldn't go away.

The earliest appointment I could get was for this past Monday, so with nothing left to do but wait I enjoyed my usual weekend fare, including the bacon cheeseburger at Five Guys which I get with ketchup, mustard, mayo, grilled onions and jalapeños. It was delish, however I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday with the sore throat as bad as it had ever been, then on Monday morning was nauseous and actually even vomited from all the mucous in my throat and stomach. Allison had to take the baby to day care, and I collapsed on the couch, convinced my time was just about up. About five minutes later, a funny thing happened - I felt fine. The sore throat was gone completely. I have limited medical knowledge, but I do know that viruses and other illnesses don't come and go like that. Determined to figure out my problem, or to at least have something to tell the Doctor, I headed back to the Internet.

After entering in this new information from my Monday morning incident, I stumbled across some information about food allergies. Specifically, ones caused by eating the same food over and over again. Some of my symptoms started to match up, but having never been allergic to anything before it still seemed unlikely. One of the sites suggested that I ask myself what if I had recently begun to eat something I had never eaten before - being the creature of habit that I am, it didn't take long to come up with it: jalapeños. You see, recently a Jersey Mikes has opened in Bluffton, and the #56 is simply the best cheesesteak I've ever had. For the last few months, I'd gotten it - a lot - and found that I could not only tolerate the jalapeños, but actually started to like them and then started getting them on anything I could - burgers, nachos - even jalapeño potato chips.

It's been five days since my last jalapeño, and I'm still sore-throat free. The Doctor said there is a test for an allergy to that specific food, but that because it's more rare that other allergies it's part of the 200 food test panel, and would set me back $595 dollars if done by the Doctor. He rightfully suggested that I should probably just cut out jalapeños in order to test the theory rather than spend the money to be sure.

I'm still not convinced that I've found the cure to my problems, so far it's just a theory that happens to fit the facts. If true however, it sucks. I'm really going to miss my #56.


Allison Bonner said...

I still think it's just acid reflux. All the symptoms are there and I've had my experience with acid reflux. said...

Jalapeno is a wonderful pepper. I too have just started eating jalapenos. I wish you the best of luck hope its not the pepper. Garlic gives me a sore throat

Anonymous said...

Similar experience: discovered jalapeño cilantro hummus at Aldi. The best ever! Was eating it every day as a healthy snack with sea salt pita chips. Developed intermittent seemingly unexplainable sore throat along with dry and burning mouth syndrome like symptoms. Dr. Said it was a blocked salivary duct. May have been part of the story due to swelling. But went on vacation with no jalapeños until I returned and made a vegetarian chili with them in it and there went the sore throat all over again after two weeks having not had any. So pretty sure they are the culprit.I'm pretty bummed but willing to do without them.JP

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience eating jalapeño in mexican rice bowl , Sore throat and felt as if i am going to developer cold. I had this in my office cafeteria at first i thought it could be some flu/cold but after having jalapeño pizza i realized that i am allergic to jalapeño . This is the first time i realized i am allergic to some food .