Crabs!

A lobster and a crayfish went out to dinner. While in the restaurant, the lobster saw a buddy of his and invited him to join them. After introductions, the waiter brought the appetizer. The crayfish ate all of it himself. His lobster friend apologized to the other lobster, saying, “You’ll have to forgive him. He’s a little shellfish”.

Yeah, I know. Dumb joke, but the topic is shellfish and allergies. Shellfish allergies are more common than you might think. Certainly more than I thought, but that’s understandable, considering that I get sidetracked by most any shiny object.

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What was I saying? Oh yeah, the allergies. According to Wikipedia, the most trusted information source on the Internet (not), “shellfish are not a kind of fish, but are simply water-dwelling animals. Many varieties of shellfish (crustaceans in particular) are actually closely related to insects and arachnids (gross), making up one of the main classes of the phylum Arthropoda. Cephalopods (squid, octopus, cuttlefish) and bivalves (clams, oysters) are molluscs, as are snails and slugs”.

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I love seafood. A lot. I’ve eaten most varieties of palatable sea creatures at sushi bars over the years, including raw oysters. I know, you probably think they’re gross, but I love ’em. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on them… Delicious!

OK, here’s the problem. Last night, my wife grilled salmon (yum) and we had some crab legs and baked cauliflower, which I also love as long as it’s smothered in cheese so it doesn’t taste like cauliflower. So, we started cracking the crab, which takes forever but if you love it, it doesn’t seem to matter. I was happily enjoying the crab dipped in butter.

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By the time I was nearly finished with dinner, I noticed I was sweating. Then I began to feel dizzy and my throat began to close up. I quickly stopped eating and took some Benadryl. We went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I was still sweating and just couldn’t get comfortable. I finally dozed off, only to wake up at 3 am, wide awake and still sweating.

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I took some more Benadryl and watched The Tonight Show, Letterman and an episode of Running Wild, with Bear Grylls, this one featuring Tom Arnold. I thought for sure that show would put me out. No such luck. I finally gave up at 6:30 and started getting things ready for my wife to go to work. I was still sweating.

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As I write this blog, it is 8:30 and I’m still sweating. Wow. Who knew? Why now? And why my beloved shellfish??? Why can’t I be allergic to cauliflower? So, I started doing some research.

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I read on the FARE (Food Allergy Research Education) website that “shellfish can cause severe allergic reactions (such as anaphylaxis). Therefore it is advised that people with shellfish allergy have quick access to an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q® or Adrenaclick®) at all times. This allergy usually is lifelong. Approximately 60 percent of people with shellfish allergy experienced their first allergic reaction as adults“. Seriously?

I didn’t realize that the allergic reaction was that severe. I know that people who are allergic to nuts can go from healthy to extreme danger in a matter of minutes, but apparently its the same with shellfish. Yikes!

I better stop writing and take more Benadryl because I’m still sweating and my throat is beginning to close up again.

See you tomorrow.

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