Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mango Allergy Confirmed

I wrote earlier about how I thought I might be allergic to mangos. I wasn't really sure, and most of the stuff I read was about how people have bad reactions to the SKIN of mango and not the meat so I thought I would give it another shot. Astute observers might have noticed those mangos in my groceries.

I had cut up the mangoes on Friday evening and was very careful to wash my hands, not touch my face, etc. Saturday morning I was fine so I thought I had dodged the bullet. Phew, my mango career was not over! That morning I had mangoes, cottage cheese, and kiwi mixed together for breakfast. Quite tasty.

Monday my skin was blotchy and kind of angry at me. I was not sure what was the deal. You can see in this picture from Monday (incidentally on my trail exploration) that my face is fatter and puffier than the day before. I did not notice that until posting all of these pictures and writing all of these blog entries.

Tuesday morning I was feeling kind of terrible, and my face was puffier. It continued to worsen throughout the day. In fact, when I went to bed that evening, I was worried my eyes might swell shut and even found my phone and slept with it right next to me just in case I needed to call 9-1-1 about that very fact.

Wednesday morning I looked like death warmed over. Terrible. I decided I needed to go to the doctor since this clearly was not getting any better and since her office was going to be closed over the Christmas holiday.

She confirmed that it is very likely that I am allergic to mango and said not to eat them again, ever. Um, YEAH NO KIDDING! Fortunately, mango allergies are very unlikely to cause anaphylactic shock (the kind that swells your windpipe shut), so I do not need an epipen or anything like that. However, she did say that the allergy will likely get stronger over time so future exposure to mango is a definite no no.

She gave me a prednisone shot and prednisone to take for the next two weeks. Have you read about the side effects of this drug? They are NASTY! Insomnia is one of the ones that I think, objectively, is the worst. Dizziness is another one.

However, weight gain, increased appetite, water retention, and fat redistribution are side effects. To me, these seem like the worst (even though, as I said, on paper not being able to sleep is the worst). These particular side effects are really hard on me because it was such a goal of mine to keep my eating pretty un-indulgent over break while allowing myself some holiday treats (if that makes sense). I now can't even really check on this progress because the scale is rising and I'm not sure how much is real weight, how much is water weight, and what in the world is going on with my body. Oh well, I will do what is right and take these drugs. I will get the weight I gain off (if it isn't all water weight). I will be vigilent about portion control and watching what I eat. I will not let this defeat me. I have worked too hard and come too far to let this derail me.

So far I haven't had a major problem sleeping. I did wake up more often than usual and it was harder to fall asleep, but not too bad. The problem is supposed to get worse the longer you take the medicine.

A happy side effect, though, is that this prednisone has virtually eliminated any sciatic nerve pain that I have had since I started taking it. I've gotta look on the bright side of this situation, and be confident in the end that it will all work out. I am glad that I am on the mend, and that my allergy does not constrict my airway. That would be absolutely terrifying to feel like you were choking to death.


  1. They're not stupid -- they're good! I wish I weren't allergic but I highly recommend them to others!


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