Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Be careful what you wish for!

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on March 2, 2008

Just last week I said something to my husband about wishing I could get sick of chocolate. When I was a kid, one year for Christmas, my mom got each of us kids a Whitman’s Sampler box of chocolates. I ate so much I got sick, and haven’t been able to even look at the box ever since. I still like chocolate, but I won’t touch Whitman’s. It was so bad, in fact, that several months later if I even saw the wrappers or cups that the candy was in, my stomach would turn. So I know that it could happen. In fact, I’ve tried doing that with chocolate before, but though I ate a lot, I never got sick. So this brings me up to my story.

I figured out a few months ago, that I’m allergic to red dye #40–it makes my nose itch, if I get the dye on my hands on touch my nose. [I also figured out my son is allergic in the same way–he went through a time when he would scratch his nose until it bled, just about every day. I finally realized that it was red dye #40, and that it was in the Smarties he would get for going poop in the potty every day. You’d think something as pale as Smarties wouldn’t have it in there, but there are some pink ones. Anyway, I started making sure I’d wash his hands and face well after eating them, and he stopped itching his nose.] But it didn’t seem to do anything other than make my nose itch–and that was just if it got on my nose. I could eat stuff with red dye #40 and it wouldn’t bother me, and I just made sure I washed my hands. So I didn’t have a problem with buying clearance Valentine’s Day M&Ms for an occasional treat for me. Last Monday evening, I ate some. Then last Tuesday evening, I ate more. Wednesday morning, I felt queasy–like if I could find something to settle my stomach, I’d be okay. I tried, but I never found anything that did the trick. Finally, mid-morning I threw up and felt much better. Then I gradually felt worse again–couldn’t eat anything, drank only sips of water. Finally in the afternoon, I drank some Gatorade, and about an hour later threw that up. Didn’t eat or drink anything else until right before bed when I had some more Gatorade. I figured (correctly) that if I could get to sleep before I threw up, then I would manage to sleep through any nausea and actually keep it down. The next day, I ate small amounts, but every time I did my stomach would immediately cramp. On Friday, I was pretty much back to normal–a little weak-feeling from not having had anything to eat for the better part of two days, but otherwise just fine.

I’m still not sure what caused it. At first I figured it couldn’t be something contagious, because I hadn’t been anywhere since church on Sunday; and it seemed that if my husband had brought anything home from school, he would have come down with it first, and he hadn’t been sick. It’s possible that it was food-poisoning from raw meat. I had planned on having hamburgers, but the meat was too old, so I tossed it. Of course I washed up, but I might have missed something. Since I was the only one to get the sickness, I figured it couldn’t have been what we actually did have for supper. But the only thing I ate that no one else did was the M&Ms. The Valentines Day M&Ms–chock-full of red dye #40 to achieve the red and pink color. So I’ve decided not to eat red dye #40–or at least not in great quantities. I’m not going to be anal about it, but will keep an eye on the ingredients list. And I don’t want M&Ms either. I’m not sure about other chocolate yet, but my stomach definitely doesn’t want M&Ms.

Then last night my younger son (21 months old) woke up vomiting; and this morning my husband also threw up. This sounds like a contagious stomach bug now, but it might have been that what they ate last night didn’t agree with them. Little Bitty seems fine right now, though he threw up first thing this morning. We’ll have to see how this plays out. I still don’t want M&Ms though.

Be careful what you wish for.

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One Response

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  1. fawnahareo said, on March 4, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I read a few of your entries and enjoyed them, though I’m sorry to hear about the whole family getting sick. My take on allergies: if you know you’re allergic, there might be other effects than the ones you’re noticing. Food dyes are pretty scary because a lot of the old ones have actually never been tested for safety.

    I wish you all a quick return to health! Blessings…


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