A little woozy

I meant to blog about this last night. Alas, I suppose I was so happy that I neglected to do so.

I ate fish.

For the first time in 20 years, I put fish in my mouth, chewed and swallowed it. I didn’t even try it all that slowly.

Some of you might call me irresponsible for going on a business trip and deciding at the last minute to see if I’m still allergic to fish or not. Others of you may not know this story and its momentous development. Therefore, I’ll rehash it here.

When I was 17 or 18, I can’t really remember… I went out on one of my first dates with the girl I was interested in at the time. Her name was Rebecca. Rebecca was a theatre chick – a bit weird, but soft spoken and had (still has) a heart of gold. She was the very epitome of eclectic and a bleeding heart Democrat all the way to the abortion clinic counter-protests.

For some odd reason, we decided to eat at Long John Silver’s that evening. It was about 5 or 6pm, I can’t remember. It was a relatively hot day, as hot and humid often goes here in the south. We pulled up to the LJS at the corner of the Parkway and Oakwood and proceeded inside. I ordered two pieces of fried sea goodness and as many hushpuppies as I could muster. I don’t remember, but I believe she did the same.

It started as soon as the first few bites. I felt a tingling on my tongue, then the roof of my mouth… which conspicuously moved to the throat. The tingling was quite alarming. The more I thought about it, the worse it got.

Then I noticed it was hard to swallow. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but it was quite noticeable that something was amiss. Each bite had to be washed away with a large slurp of soda.

Now the tingling moved to my lips and my eyes. The tingling around my eyes was more of a severe itch. Finally, I told Rebecca it was time to leave… something was wrong.

We headed home. By the time I made it to my couch, Rebecca kneeling by my side with extreme concern, my eyes had swollen shut, my lips were the size of a baboon’s ass and my throat had grown so large that it was very difficult to breathe. I probably should have gone to the hospital that night, but I didn’t. Rebecca, instead, spent one of our first dates wondering what the hell was wrong with me and worrying about what to do.

I did get through the night without Benedryl, but made a note that fish would not be on my menu again anytime soon. Not long after this night, I had the same reaction with a bit of chicken from KFC. This time, however, I sank it to sleep with Benedryl.

About 5 years ago I discovered that somewhere over that week and the course of 15-20 years I outgrew the chicken allergy. I’m not even so sure it was an allergy against fish and chicken themselves – probably more like an allergy against some common preservative. Nevertheless, I ended up eating chicken during a baseball game one evening and did not experience one reaction. It was beautiful.

Fast forward back to present day. Business trip. Washington, D.C. Hilton, Crystal City. There’s a Japanese place across the street.

Everyone who knows me well knows I have a severe weakness for all things Asian. If I’m fortunate enough to have a Japanese place across from my hotel, I simply must partake. I walked across the street and sat down. The beautiful Japanese waitresses made sure that I felt at home and offered the menu.

My, how extensive was the menu. There was much to choose from but I wanted something really ethnic. The wife and I had been talking about trying to go to Osaka next year for vacation, so this weighed heavily on my decision.

The decision was to get a 12-piece plate of sushi.

I know, some of you really gasped there. I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking either. 12 pieces of sushi with various seafoods. It’s been so long since I’ve even considered fish that I couldn’t tell you what these pieces were. The waitress managed to help me out.

– 7 California rolls (no seafood, but tastes great with ginger and wasabi!)

– 1 shrimp sushi

– 1 octopus sushi (really ugly looking, but damn tasty)

– 1 unknown fish sushi (I think salmon)

– 1 unknown fish sushi (I think tuna)

– 1 crab sushi wrapped in seaweed

I’m all about the seaweed, by the way. Hey, marrying into the Chinese realm will bring you such delights.

I scarfed down on this tasty dinner like I had been walking through an African desert. The waitresses pushed me into some coconut sorbet to finish it off. That’s coconut sorbet drizzled with chocolate, topped with a cherry and served in the native shell. Good stuff.

But here’s the kicker.

I did not have one reaction. Not a tingle, not an itch… nothing.

Have I overcome the allergy after 20 years, or was it just the fact that I ate fresh seafood instead of something laden with preservatives? I’m not sure. I’m not entirely sure I will feel this ballsy again during this trip.

I know there’s a prominent pro-blogger out there that says not to blog about what you ate – but I think if it’s some kind of life changing meal, perhaps that rule can be broken.

Like I’m making money from this or something. Anyway.

Walking back to the hotel tonight did manage to get my stomach a little knotted tonight, but the storm appears to have abated with a nice downing of bottled water. I’m not convinced it’s due to last night’s meal.

Incidentally, tonight it was chicken and Stella.

The beer.