My Weird Allergy

By Heather Legg

It’s been so long since my allergy has popped up, I sort of forgot about it. That is until the other night. My husband and I had gone to dinner together, just the two of us (a quite rare occasion in our household). I was drinking a glass of wine and had a bite of his seafood appetizer. Then a few minutes later, during the entree, it hit.

He actually pinpointed before I did, but I began to get really hot and distracted, then began to yawn. When it happened years ago, I actually fainted once, near fainted another time and we actually met a waiter who had the same condition – seafood and wine.

Now I know many people’s first reaction is it’s the wine – I drank too much. But I have to disagree. I had less than a glass, and believe me, I’ve drank a lot more than that on occasion and been just fine. It’s actually something about the combination of the sulfites in the wine and the ones on the seafood and how they react with one another. Weird – huh?

Anyway, I could only eat about half of my delicious entree, but by dessert, I was feeling fine. The heat passed, the yawning stopped and the general discomfort subsided. It sort of wiped me out, though, like I know other allergic reactions tend to do. By the end of the evening I was really tired (which isn’t so unusual, but more than normal). But no sign of swelling, no itchy lips, no trouble breathing, no hives or stomach ache throughout the whole incident. And I do eat lots of seafood with never an odd reaction, except the handful of times with wine. So how do you classify that one?

It just goes to show that you never know with allergies. You don’t know if it’s an intolerance, an allergy, an anaphylactic one, or simply a minor, mystery reaction.

The other thing is diagnosing an allergy, especially an odd one. I would have never have put it together if I hadn’t run into someone else with the same reaction. But am I going to never have a glass of wine with my seafood again. Probably I will. Who knows what other contributing factors may have played into my momentary discomfort, and who knows if it will happen again. The good thing, it was nowhere near as bad as the previous times, the bad thing, it happened again.

Maybe I just need to test wine and seafood together a little bit at home before I order it again in a restaurant…

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