Eve had her apple …

… so did Snow White. And so do I.

I am allergic to apples. I have been forever. I love apples. What’s not to love about them? Their crispness is a delight. Their juice is so sweet. They’re so good with cheese. They’re so good with peanut butter. They make excellent PIE.

They also make my lips swell and my gums burn and my jaw ache.

It’s not just apples. The list is long: carrots, cherries, peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, hazelnuts, walnuts, figs, apricots, green beans. Yes. Some of these are worse than others. Cherries are particularly painful. Walnuts make it hard for me to breathe. And some things have fallen off the list. I used to be allergic to almonds, but that seems to have faded. I eat almonds now without pain and suffering or anaphylactic shock.

Thank heavens this allergy doesn’t extend to watermelon, pomegranates, and mangoes!

I respect my allergy, but come on — we’re talking about apples, peaches, nectarines, plums … am I really expected to never eat them? That would just be cruel. So I continue to eat most of the things on that list, just in as much moderation as I can manage. (And I have an epi-pen prescription.)

Tonight I learned, for the first time, where all this itchy swelling comes from. Apparently — well, according to this totally random website that I’ve backed up with zero research — I am allergic to birch pollen, and I have Oral Allergy Syndrome! Who knew? I just thought I was an unfortunate freak who couldn’t eat a bunch of delicious things unless she was prepared to suffer.

How do I know it’s birch pollen, you ask? Because there’s a handy chart that lists the foods connected to the various allergens:

oas-chart

Happily, I’m not allergic to all the foods listed in the birch/alder category … and praise be that I’m not allergic to ragweed or mugwort! It’s interesting to me that strawberries and peanuts are on the birch/alder list. Whenever people learn that I’m allergic to apples, they always ask if I’m allergic to peanuts and strawberries. I’m not (just knocked wood). And, allergic to spices? That has to suck. Maybe almost as bad as an allergy to apples.


original-slicer-girlgriot
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6 thoughts on “Eve had her apple …

  1. I find this very educating! I have severe allergies to walnuts, oats, and tomatoes, and it is terrible to not be able to have oatmeal. But I, too, find ways around the tomato thing when I can—in extreme moderation. I really liked the visual you embedded too. It was very interesting.

    1. That chart was so interesting! I’m still amazed by this surprise discovery, still processing. Realized the other day that I’ve never liked celery, and wonder now if part of that distaste has to do with the fact that it’s one of the possible foods for me to have a reaction to.

  2. Aren’t our bodies crazy things?! Isn’t science wonderful?! Isn’t a little perspective (I’m glad I’m not allergic to ALL of these things) fabulous? (And you managed to get me hankering for a snack, particularly of apples!)

    1. I hope you enjoyed your apple snack, Kristi! I’m feeling like an apple snack myself. I think I’m going to bake some apples tomorrow … because all of these foods are totally fine for me when they’re cooked. They only bother me when they’re raw. So weird!

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