An Explosive Valentine’s Day

Ah Valentine’s Day, just 2 days away now. This will be the fifth time that Isaac and I have celebrated V-Day together and will probably be the least eventful since I am working till 8pm. We have also decided to not get each other gifts to save money for the vacation we are taking next month. However I did still tell him to buy me flowers. Hey, a guy has to appreciate a woman who tells him exactly what she wants, right? Although telling him “just go to Whole Foods, you can pick out the flowers and they will arrange them for you much cheaper than a florist will” is probably a little insulting to him and unnecessary on my part.

Every February 14th I think about our first Valentine’s together, we lived in the Keys and had only been dating for about 3 months. Isaac covered my room in pink balloons and pink and white streamers. It was really sweet! I was excited for our big date and drove into Key West to buy a special dress for dinner; we had reservations at an island seafood restaurant on the water.

Dinner was perfect. We had a private table next to the water and were surrounded by tiki torches. It looked like something from a movie. I ordered an Ahi Tuna Salad and about halfway through dinner felt the butterflies in my stomach fluttering harder than ever. Turns out the “butterflies” were not butterflies at all. My body had suddenly decided it could no longer tolerate seafood and my digestive system grew furious. We left dinner and I tried keeping a poker face so as not to let Isaac know that I very well might soil my new dress and his front seat at any moment. I suggested we stop at a gas station so I could get TUMS as “my stomach was a bit upset.” I was secretly praying the gas station would have a bathroom. You know you are desperate when you are praying that a gas station in the Keys is going to have a public bathroom. It didn’t.

I can’t remember how that night ended, but I promise you there was nothing romantic about it. I eventually had to tell Isaac how awful I was feeling and how quickly he needed to get me home. The positive side of this first Valentine’s Day date? My seafood allergy had not yet turned anaphylactic (that would occur a few months down the road when Isaac was cooking me a special dinner. Never a dull moment in our relationship.) Another positive? He is still with me four and a half years later. You know it’s love when your horrific reaction to fish doesn’t scare your Valentine and new boyfriend away.

Before dinner picture, February 14, 2008. There is no after picture.

12 thoughts on “An Explosive Valentine’s Day

  1. I, too, found this post from the link you included in your 2013 Valentine’s Day post. It’s been an evening of blog hopping and I can’t even remember how I found you, but I’m glad that I did! My childhood food allergies faded before I hit junior high, but new allergies developed when I reached adulthood. Peanut is my only anaphylactic food allergy, but I have stopped trying to remember all of my antibiotic allergies. I carry a list of safe ones instead. 😉

    • It seems so unfair that allergies can constantly evolve, huh? Haha I do the same thing with antibiotics!! The only one I’ve had so far that didn’t shut me down was Levaquin- but that was 10 years ago. I’m hoping to just avoid antibiotics for the rest of my life. Thanks or stopping by and commenting! I hope your allergies stay put and stop changing 🙂

  2. Okay … I just clicked the link to get to this blog you did last year.


    That is awful….but it IS a good testiment to what a wonderful guy you have. yahhhh!

    As to the ‘no after’ photo …. there is the one that he took of you in 2012…on the stairs….and the sofa…all stuffed with dinner stuffs and moaning lol. I forgot to mention something about that on your 2013 blogpost lol.

    Happy 2008 to 2013 Valentine’s Day Courtney.

  3. Haha, probably a good thing that there’s no after picture!!!

    And my gosh, that’s scary to me that you developed an anaphylactic reaction to something so late in life! Did you have any reaction to seafood prior to this night? I’m glad you’re okay and you figured it out!

    All of my allergies I’ve had almost my whole life so I would be terrified if something like this (or your eventual anaphylactic reaction) happened!

    • Haha right? After was NOT pretty.

      Developing anaphylactic reactions has been one of the scariest parts about my life to be honest, it’s actually what drove me to therapy a few years ago!! I was TERRIFIED to eat anything (and still sometimes get scared) because of my developing allergies.

      A few years before this incident, I was on a cruise and it was lobster night. Lobster was my favorite food EVER. After my second lobster tail, I looked at my dad and said “uh oh, something isn’t right.” Before he had time to say “what’s wrong?” I went unconscious and almost died! It was AWFUL. I could still eat fish fine though until living in the Keys. I had another anaphylactic reaction a few months after valentine’s day and that put an abrupt end to all of my seafood eating.

      In high school I had an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic I was on, too. That was terrifying. Since then I’ve found 3 others that I cannot take for the same reason. So yeah, it is really scary but my awesome therapist helped me to deal with my anxiety about eating and my allergies. But you still won’t see me try new foods pretty much EVER 😉

      Don’t doctors always tell you “you’ll probably grow out of your allergies”??? I guess I’m the exception to the rule, growing into them. How nice, hahaha.

      • OMG Courtney! That’s so scary! So besides egg and seafood and shellfish, what are the other foods you have that severe of a reaction too? I definitely understand your hesitance to try new foods! There were SO many foods I didn’t try for the longest time because growing up, doctors TOLD me I’d be allergic to them. (Like, I’ve actually *never* had shellfish – I test as positive, but I don’t think that’s actually possible without having consumed it?! and I’m not about to do any experiments). I didn’t have BEANS until I was 26 because back then, allergists thought there was a lot more cross-reactivity between food families and since I was allergic to peanuts, they said not to try it. But I TOTALLY see why you would never want to try new foods!!! What do you eat on a day to day basis? What do you do when you go out to eat?

        • It was SO freaking scary hahah!! I felt so bad for my poor sisters, too. The three of them were just sitting in the ship’s infirmary waiting room sobbing their eyes out for an hour not knowing what was going on, if their sister was even freaking alive. Ugh, sometimes it’s almost easier to be the one experiencing the allergic reaction!

          The only foods I have the severe reaction to are :egg, all seafood, nuts, and 4 different antibiotics I’ve tried. Foods I avoid because they make me feel funky: Vitamin E, bananas, cherries, kiwi, aaaand I know there are others I just can’t think of them.

          Yeah, I don’t blame you for not trying shellfish, why risk it?? I can’t believe you didn’t try beans until you were 26!!! How was your first time tasting them? Did you feel super anxious to try them? Are you completely fine eating them now?

          So lately my diet has been REALLY funky because of the current allergic reaction thing, so I’ve been eating a lot less than usual. I’ve basically just been eating some rice, a few slices of roast beef or pork, a yogurt, green beans, and some peaches. Random, but they all feel “safe.” But a normal day for me would look like this:
          breakfast: bowl of cereal and some fruit
          lunch: chicken breast, green beans, rice, and something sweet. Maybe a piece of chocolate or something. ALWAYS have to have something sweet.
          dinner: chipotle burrito bowl or soup. If I’m not watching my dairy too closely, I’ll eat an Amy’s enchilada meal. Love having a hamburger with no bun and some grilled veggies with a sweet potato.

          Aaaaaand I don’t go out to eat. Ever. I only go to Chipotle or Qdoba. Other than that, it’s probably been close to a year since I’ve eaten at a restaurant 😀 I go out all the time to restaurants with Isaac or friends, but I never eat. Now that I’m deathly allergic to egg AND seafood, the cross-contamination is almost inevitable.

          • You never eat, EVER? Wow! Do you get a drink or do you feel awkward at all not eating?
            Which antibiotics are you allergic to? I have an allergy to penicillin, but I just had hives, no anaphylaxis (so I don’t have any of the other ‘cillins). Have you heard of oral allergy syndrome? I wonder if that’s why those fruits bother you. I have issues like that with some fruits where they don’t make my throat swell up, but they make my mouth itchy and just feel weird. Kiwi and cherries are two of them, but also peaches, apples (except Granny Smith) – actually, almost every fruit and vegetable raw! lol.

            The first time I had beans I was very nervous. Same with avocado actually. I had like, one bite and that was it. When I didn’t have a reaction, I started eating them more regularly.

            I also love eating burgers with no buns and grilled veggies and a sweet potato! Safe and healthy!

            All of this fascinates me because seriously, until I’ve been blogging, I NEVER knew people who were like me at all! i mean, some people have exercise induced asthma, or are allergic to one random food, or get patches of eczema, but not many people have ALL of these things like we do!

            • Nope, never!!! If I HAVE to then ill get a plain baked potato or something. Life has been so much less stressful since I decided to stop eating out completely. I haven’t been to the ER in almost 3 years 😀 before that I was going at least twice a year with an anaphylactic reaction no matter how careful I was while eating out.

              I will get a water but nothing else usually. I don’t drink caffeine or soda and alcoholic drinks have sent me to the hospital twice now because there was egg hidden in them. Yes, raw egg. GROSS. And no I actually don’t feel awkward at all! I still really love going out! For me it’s about the experience and who I’m with. Sometimes ill bring chipotle or some other food and explain the reasoning to my server, it’s never been an issue! Thankfully my friends/family/Isaac are used to it now so they no longer feel bad eating when I’m not. I couldn’t care less!

              I can’t have sulfa drugs, penicillin, biaxin, or ceclor. Doctors hate me haha but I think it’s actually done my immune system good. I haven’t taken antibiotics in close to 10 years and haven’t needed them!! My immune system takes care of sicknesses pretty well!!

              Oral allergy syndrome, yes!! I think that may be what I have too because I notice it with most fruits. So do you just not eat them raw?

              I know it’s amazing to talk to people who have the same issues, it is nice. I’m the same way, I’ve never actually met someone like me! We’re not alone- woohoo!!

  4. Pingback: The Valentine’s Wait « The Other Courtney

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