How our first date was interrupted by my food allergies
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share the story of me and my husband’s (Patrick) first date. Let me just say that it is pretty much not how you want any first date to go! Hint hint it ended in the hospital.
Our first date was at Noodles & Company. Not the most romantic venue, but we were college students, and the concept was so fun to us. Neither of us being American and the place feels so American, eh! Also, I had eaten there once before, so it seemed like an easy choice. As usual, I told them about my food allergies, which they marked on my receipt. We even talked about how cool it was to see them state my allergies so clearly.
We ate successfully, or so I thought…
After dinner, we decided to stroll through Millennium Park (where you can find the ‘bean’ in Chicago). I started feeling weird; my stomach was cramping, and something was happening that I had never experienced. I wish I could say it was just butterflies in my stomach. Alas, it was sesame seed cross contamination. We sat down on a bench, and my whole body started getting itchy and then covered in hives. I was itchy, like so itchy I wanted to rip my scalp off.
What happened next is a lesson for everyone with anaphylaxis on what not to do.
I had allergic reactions before, so I took Benadryl, and we decided to head back to the dorm room. Nothing seemed to get better, I was itchy, my throat was swelling, and I was losing my voice. Signs of an anaphylactic reaction!!!!
I was in slight denial since all the reactions I’d experienced in the past I always threw up. Vomiting was one of the symptoms that to me said ALLERGIC REACTION. It was not the case this time. And seriously this was not how I wanted our first date to go! 😕
At this point, I should have used my epi pen. I didn’t. Instead, I went to my room and changed into some sweat pants (bad idea Kortney). Things were just getting worse. Patrick asked if he should call an ambulance and at that point I had no clue what was going on and said yes. 🚑
By the time I was in the ambulance, I had no voice and was delirious. They gave me epinephrine and Benadryl through IV. I can’t remember anything from getting in the ambulance to being in the hospital. I had to stay in the hospital for observation for a couple of hours and Patrick was with me the whole time. He also got to speak to my parents that night, because he called them to let them know what was happening. How about that for a meet the parents icebreaker!
An allergy date to remember
Our first date is one to remember. That night changed a lot of things in my life. I had found my future husband and my food allergies became something very real. The doctor told us if I was ten minutes later I might not have made it. Patrick was my knight in shining armour! He called the ambulance and made sure I was ok the whole time.
That was nine years ago and since my food allergies have only gotten worse. I’m extremely lucky to be with someone who understands the seriousness of food allergies and who is my number one allergy support system. ❤️
From our house to yours we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. May it be safe and full of love!
You may also like my love letter to food allergy partners.