Friday, March 25, 2011

I don't think I like bananas anymore...

Innocent looking, aren't they?

I've always liked bananas. They're tasty and they're so good for you.

Except when they're not.

Two days ago, my youngest son had a severe allergic reaction to a banana. He's never been a fan of fruits (in fact, the last time he had a banana, it was in a Gerber baby food jar), but he'd been having some trouble with leg cramps during lacrosse practice and thought he could use the extra potassium. So he'd asked me to get him some bananas.

That afternoon, he peeled one and took 3 or 4 bites--he said it was so gross that he couldn't get any more down than that--and not long afterward, his lower lip ballooned. I knew this was not a good thing and quickly gave him a dose of Benadryl. The swelling went down, but almost immediately, other symptoms showed up: nausea, severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and then angry red hives that covered his face, neck, and back. He was sick for the rest of the night.

I had been talking with after-hours nurses at our family practice office throughout the ordeal, and by the time the hives were sprouting, I decided it was time to go to the ER. My son and I were in the car on the way as I talked to a nurse on my cell phone (not a good idea, I know, but it's still legal in our state). She was able to assure me that a trip to the hospital was probably not necessary; if the reaction was going to become life-threatening, she said, it would have happened within two hours of ingesting the banana.

My son was fine the following morning, but now we've got to take him to the allergist and get him tested, in case there are other food allergies lurking that we aren't aware of yet.

Like I said, I've always liked bananas. But that was before they'd become my son's enemy. I'm not so sure I like them anymore.

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