You know how the American men’s swim team was supposed to win the 4×100 relay in the Olympics yesterday, and there was this huge upset and France won instead? And how Jordyn Wieber was slated to place in all-around but Aly Raisman beat her to it?
That’s how I feel about what happened today with olive oil.
I thought it was a sure thing. I’ve cooked exclusively with olive oil for years and I had been fine. How could I be allergic to it? This morning’s challenge — rye crackers baked with olive oil — was supposed to be more of a formality than anything else.
But, there are always upsets, and that’s what makes life — or the Olympics — interesting, right? It’s precisely because I cooked exclusively with olive oil that I can no longer have it. (Me, to my boss: “I od’ed on olive oil.” Boss: “Oh god.” Me: “Hey, at least it’s not heroin, that’s a win, right?”)
I noticed something was wrong about three bites into the rye cracker. My mouth just didn’t want any more. I figured it’s because rye crackers aren’t so delicious, and these were made really haphazardly in the middle of the night. I was determined not to be allergic to olive oil. So I kept plugging away at the cracker.
Nothing was swelling, nothing was itching, the doctor was with another patient. I wanted to power through. “It’s in your head,” I thought. “You feel fine. Keep going. Chewing isn’t hard.” Except it felt so hard. My mouth just didn’t want to comply with my brain.
As I forced the cracker down, I started noticing that I couldn’t really read the book spines on the doctor’s shelf so well anymore. My vision was going and I was exhausted. Sitting was hard. Chewing was hard. Keeping my eyes open was hard.
The doctor returned as I started cracker two.
“You look happy,” he said half-sarcastically.
“I think I’m going to pass out.”
“Yeah, I think so, too. I think we call this one a “no.” This isn’t working.”
I still had cracker in my mouth.
“You might want to stop eating.”
“That’s a good idea. Can I get water?”
“I think you should.”
So I drank a lot of water, got complimented on my green pants, and then got too tired to stand.
“Was that enough or do you need a pill?”
“I want Benedryl.”
“Looks like we got a positive result.”
“Depends on your definition of positive.” I don’t know why I have to make Chandler-y jokes when I’m uncomfortable.
I took my Benedryl, sat for a bit, and the doctor determined that I was not going to go into anaphylactic shock. Just discomfort. So I was free to go. But not before we discussed next week’s malt challenge.
I asked him which to do: pretzels or cereal. He said cereal, and I said, “Really? Even though I can eat a few kinds of cereal as it is?” And he said, “What about beer? That’s how you should really test malt.”
So, one week from today, I will drink a beer at 7:30am. And I better not fail the challenge.
Excuse me — not fail — “have a positive outcome,” which is my doctor’s optimistic way of speaking. I’m a little too competitive for that. Plus, going to work high on Benedryl, with a trace of a cold that’s exacerbated by allergies (totally see why they didn’t let me try new foods when I had a cold as a child), and having half a voice, a runny noise, and only 85% coherency all day doesn’t feel like a positive outcome. Having a throat that swells every time the Benedryl runs out but not quite enough to warrant the steroids I so desperately want doesn’t feel like a positive outcome.
But I got answers, I guess. My constant reactions to food I cooked myself makes a ton more sense now. So when I feel better, I know I’ll think about this, and simply think, “yay.”
Food Challenge Tally
Cindy – 1
Allergens – 1
Up next: beer. Any suggestions for which beer I try? I’m debating between Stella and Corona. It’ll be the only beer I can drink until I challenge more, so let’s say a year or so…