We thought the Boy was invincible. Nothing phases him – he has never suffered the bodily revolt that allergies bring on. The Boy weathers every season without a pollen-induced sniffle. He uses any soap, lotion, shampoo, and deodorant without a second thought. He reads ingredient lists for fun rather than to screen for potential foes – nary a worry about peanuts, soy, wheat, or milk. Bees and mosquitoes don’t phase him. Never have I had to worry about what he ingests, contacts, or encounters in the environment.
And then yesterday I walked in the door and the Boy greeted me with a funny look on his face and I was overwhelmed with a slight sense of vertigo as I took in his countenance. He was beet red, with a bit of puffiness to his face, and completely covered in small, raised, rash-like dots on every exposed bit of skin. HIVES! Wait, hives are an allergic response. The Boy doesn’t have allergies, unless he fell into a pit of nettles or poison oak… Which he didn’t, he had been on a bike ride with his dad and took along some snacks for energy.
I tell ya, the boy could eat nails and not suffer a moment of indigestion – but he was completely undone by a Tiger’s Milk bar. Within an hour of consumption he noticed the itchy hives and read the ingredients on the bar; the only ‘new’ food that he didn’t remember ever eating before was carob. We all prefer real chocolate, so I have never bought carob and now that I think about it I don’t recall seeing it in any foods that I have purchased so it is quite possibly the first time he’s eaten it.
I gave him a couple of Benadryl tablets and warned him to watch for respiratory distress; the hives began to fade and he claimed to feel fine after awhile. He plans on testing out his new potential allergy, much like one continues to poke at a new bruise to see if it still hurts, by obtaining some carob and seeing if the hives return when he eats it. I’m not thrilled about him toying with a histamine response, but he seems rather bemused by the situation and who can blame him? His body has launched an attack on a seemingly innocuous ingredient that none of us ever gave a second thought to.
(carob seed pods, image from the ‘net)