Food Challenge 28: Cindy vs. Maple Syrup

The food challenge was the least interesting part of my appointment this morning. First of all, I apparently cancelled my appointment on Friday when I called the doctor with emergency throat swelling, but I was not 100% on my game during that call and may not have actually said, “I want to not challenge food but I want to keep the appointment.” In any event, I brought food to challenge anyway, because when I woke up this morning, it seemed silly to go there just to say hi. So I settled on maple syrup, since I was pretty sure I could eat it (spoiler alert: I can) and just hadn’t been because a) I like pancakes better with sugar and b)trees have scared me since the pollen shots.


The reason this challenge is interesting, is because the doctor tried to set me up with another patient who was in for skin testing. It was like something out of a sitcom. Suddenly, the whole office turned into a bunch of yentas – “you’d be such a good match, both allergic to fish!” and “tell him what happens when you’re near horseradish at a bar mitzvah!” Allergist, allergist, make me a match…find me a find…

I rolled with the punches, of course. My suggested beau was way more tolerant of the skin test pain than I’d ever been, barely flinching. My fish test made me cry. Of course, I awkwardly told him that. And when his accompanying mother (apparently, she’s the usual patient) asked me if I could have lox (no) I decided to tell them how as a kid, all I wanted was chocolate covered lox, since I didn’t know what either tasted like but my friends all liked both. We got a good laugh. Which was nice, since the story was preceded by, “Did Cindy tell you she writes comedy videos? Come on, tell them about the videos! They’re funny!” So I guess I proved that?

There’s no wedding date set, but hey. They say it’s best to meet men by sharing a hobby/common interest; maybe an allergist and a shared fish allergy is the same thing?

“What do you do for fun?”

“I build model airplanes. And you?”

“I’m allergic to fish.”

Plus, I bet we can both have maple syrup.

Oh, and ps. I had no reason to be scared of maple syrup. It doesn’t have pollen in it. Neither does honey. Just an FYI. I love how much I learn every time I do a challenge. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to these appointments. If you’re going to risk your life challenging a food, it may as well be with one of the best doctors around who also happens to be super fun.


Cindy: 20

Allergens: 6

Up Next: Onion powder

Allergy Tattoos? Ugh.

A friend shared this article with me, about temporary tattoos for kids with allergies in case they get lost.

This is ridiculous. First of all, ink isn’t good for people with allergies. The chemicals are bad for your skin and even often have popular allergens. Also, people with allergies are not cows. In case of emergency, there are bracelets. In regular life, kids are smart enough to know better. They just need parents who are straight with them.

I was around five and in day camp when the counselor came around with a tray of some fried food that was unidentifiable. It was either fish sticks or schnitzel, from the looks of it. I asked my counselor, “Is this fish or chicken? I am deathly allergic to fish but if it’s chicken, I’ll take some.” She said, “It’s chicken.” I said, “Are you sure? it seems like fish is a better option and I think we’re not having meat today.” She said, “I know, but they changed their minds and it’s chicken.” I ate a bite and was like”FISH!” and I don’t remember anything else but I know I went home. I imagine I got very sick. Would a tattoo have helped? I doubt it. The counselor was an idiot. I was aware of my allergies. I asked the right questions. Tattoo or no tattoo, children just need responsible adults when they aren’t with their parents, and their parents to train them to ask questions and be smart. No kid WANTS to die. I didn’t WANT to eat fish sticks. I didn’t want to try something that made me get sick. I think what parents don’t get is that food that is appealing to non-allergic people isn’t appealing to allergic people. Yes, the idea of chocolate tempted me as a child. The fear of chocolate kept me away. Knowing how bad it felt to get sick kept me away. Things I was more allergic to, like fish, tasted foul and I spit them out. Spinach tasted like darkness and anger. It didn’t taste good. Even now, when sometimes all I want is a food I’m allergic to, the temptation will never outweigh the risk of death.
Bottom line: responsible adults will be responsible if there are tattoos or not. Irresponsible adults will be irresponsible if there are tattoos or not. People with food allergies will prioritize their own lives over food regardless of whether they have tattoos.
Let’s try to at least encourage people to be intelligent, shall we? And maybe train camp counselors better.