Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Terrible Horrible no good Very Bad day

I have had lots of bad days. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and well everything goes wrong. Your late for school, your favorite cafe is out of your salad, you miss the only subway that will get you to the train on time. Stuff like that. Well, for me yesterday was nothing like that. 
   It was my day off from the show. I was going to rest my body, do some shopping and enjoy the day. I woke up at around 12:30 (which I never ever do) and laid in bed and watched  a movie. 
I realized that I was hungry, so I decided to go to Austin's famed 2nd and Congress. There are lots of cute boutiques and also some healthy restaurant options.. I WAS PUMPED!
  The First thing I did when I got down there was find some food! I walked into a little cafe called "Jo's". They had about 5 vegan/vegetarian options! I decided on the veggie burger, but before I ordered I made sure to ask them if there was soy in it. She said she highly doubted it since it would have said it on the board under the burgers ingredients. All it said was Black beans, Whole wheat rice, onion, garlic, red pepper, and portobello mushrooms. It sounded like something I even make at home, so I figured I was safe.
  Well, I'm not gunna lie, I scarfed the thing down. I hadnt had much of an appetite lately and was starving. I finished my burger and walked into the shop next door to look for a cute new years dress. And then it started.....

I started to feel burning and itchiness in the back of my throat. Sometimes that happens if a small trace of soy is in something I eat, but I usually can deal with it without having to take anything. When it started to get worse I realized I needed to take some benadryl... and I didnt have any with me. 

Luckily there was a CVS near by where i opened the package and took two doses right in the isle. Usually that will stop any reactions I am going to have, but it will make me super drowsy so i knew I had to head back to my hotel room. 

As I was walking back, my symptoms not only worsened they plummeted. I felt nauseous, I was sweating, and now my eyes, scalp, and hands were itching. I know those are weird places to feel severe itch, but thats when I know that I'm about to go into anaphylactic shock.. and soon.

I started throwing up the second I got back to my room, and then I called my mom. I was pretty frantic, and having her being thousands of miles away back in New York was even harder. I felt completely alone and scared, and I didnt know if I would have to take my epi pen or not. Well, when I looked in the mirror and realized that my eyes were swelling shut, I knew I had to. 

I opened my pen, jammed it in my thigh, ran down stairs to the lobby so I wouldn't be alone, and called an ambulance.

Everything after that is a big blur. They got there, checked my vital signs, got me in the ambulance and rushed me to the hospital. The entire way there I was throwing up, sweating, I couldn't focus on anything, and I kept passing out. I was terrified. 

A company manager met me at the hospital so that at least someone I knew would be with me. They gave me an IV with benadryl (because I had thrown everything I took up) and lots of fluid because I was so severely dehydrated, and within an hour I was fine. Its incredible what epinephrin can do for someone who is going into shock.

I stayed in the hospital for a couple of hours until they discharged me and told me to go home and get some rest.

Today I feel fine, well as fine as one can be after feeling like they got hit by a ton of bricks. Im just glad that i was able to handle the situation on my own. But this goes to show that restaurants are very insensitive to allergies. When someone asks a question about what the ingredients are, they have to be positive about their response. I know its my own fault for not being more careful, and just assuming that the waitress understood the severity of my allergy. It isnt her problem, nor her responsibility to make sure that I keep myself safe, but with accurate information, the whole situation could have been avoided. 

well now that you have all heard my story, I hope that you had a better day than I did!!!

on a brighter note, I WILL BE HOME IN 5 days!! HORRAY!!!

until next time Syn*


VeggieGirl said...

OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!! Synthia, I'm keeping you in my DEEPEST thoughts and prayers - please hang in there, stay strong, and stay well!!

Wishing you a MUCH better start to 2009.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry you had such a bad reaction! Restaurants should really be more aware of allergies, because it's a very serious thing! I would like all restaurants to have an available list of ingredients to avoid these problems... I hope you have a better day today and a happy new year!

River said...

OMG what a day!! I'm so sorry you had such a terrifying experience, but I'm glad you realized you had to go to the lobby and be around people in case you passed out in your room all alone!

I hope you're 100% fine now and ready to start off the new year rocking hard! :)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Oh my God, I am so thankful you're ok! But seriously, I agree that restaurants are so lax about things like that. I was at whole foods a few months ago, and I got some tomato soup. Well, I was so sure it had cream in it even though the ingredients didn't list it, that I asked. The lady said it didn't, and she said she was 100% sure, but I had her check with the kitchen chef, and it turns out it DID have cream. True, I'm not really allergic to dairy, but I was fuming that they were so irresponsible about the whole thing, because what if I had been? They could've been sued for millions... but even that wouldn't bring a life back.

Lauren said...

OH MY!!! I am so sorry that happened to you! I can't believe how stupid people can be, if someone told me they had an allergy I would TRIPLE check that the ingredient wasn't in it! I am glad you are doing better now. Happy New Year Sweetie!

Lauren said...

i'm sooo sorry to hear about your reaction! that's horrible! :(
i'm glad that you're feeling better though..and hope today is a much better day for you!!

Bianca said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry that happened to you! I can't even imagine how awful that must feel. I don't have any allergies, but I bet a soy allergy is one of the hardest to deal with since its in EVERYTHING! Glad you're better now.

VeganCowGirl said...

I am so sorry that you had such a wretched experience. That is so sad for you. I hope that you have continued to feel better this week.

Restaurants can be totally terrible and just try and do the quickest easiest thing.

Be well!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

How awful! I am so glad you were able to take care of yourself and get help. It is just horrible that that had to happen to you. It makes me so mad that restaurants don't take allergies seriously. For all they know, I could just be allergic to eggs and milk and not necessarily vegan...but restaurant staff usually gives a confused, glazed over look when I ask about ingredients or vegan choices. Ugh. Eating out is just no fun sometimes! That's why I always eat at Whole Foods so often instead of restaurants: gotta love the clearly marked "vegan" items on their hot bar and the listing of every last ingredient.

Eric said...

Wow that's terrible. Must have been pretty scary. Restaurants really should be more careful about such things. Hopefully you let the restaurant know that there is in fact soy in the burger.

Glad you made it through relatively okay though :)

talieworld said...

Oh my gosh Syn!
Aww, this whole story sounds so frightening!!!
I really hope your doing better now, and that something like this never happens again!

Jan Scholl said...

I just came across your blog courtesy of Blogger recommends and was shocked at this. What is in soy that does this to you? I wonder if its something that is not used in homemade tofu or soy? Anyways, I have this reaction to mushrooms, who would have ever guessed.

btw-I would call the diner and tell them what happened. Because the enxt person is not gonna be so kind to not get on their case. I used to eat at this place with veggie soup where I saw the label and it was vegan then they changed the formulation and it had pork. But didn't tell anyone. I found out when I picked a piece of trash up outside the place.

Amy said...

Goodness, that's awfully frightening. I am sending big hugs to you! I think it's awesome that you were able to think straight and take care of yourself. I hope you have recovered and are well again!

omnidudemeandthebean said...

I'm sorry about your day. That sounds terrible. You're right, restaurants do need to be more accountable to their patrons. I'm glad you are better.

Meg said...

I hope you are feeling better! What a shock to your system. I just discovered that I have some food allergies. I ate a cookie from Whole Foods that was listed as not having allergens, but I ended up having a reaction. I went back to WF a couple days later, and the ingredient list was totally different and contained the allergens. FRUSTRATING!

Becca said...

Oh my gosh! That is horrible, I'm glad you are allright!

I hope you notified the restaurant.

acookinthemaking said...

i'm so sorry you went through all of that :( i don't have any allergies, but i always think about it when i order something and it comes to me with cheese or something else on it (AFTER i of course asked about all the ingredients for vegan reasons), what if i had a terrible allergy? they really should be more responsible about that stuff!

A Vegan on STAGE

Navigating my way through a Vegan lifestyle