Just Can’t Swallow This

Two Easters ago I was attacked by a snow pea.

I never saw it coming.

The fam was over for the day and we had already eaten lunch. We were lounging around enjoying our blessings: the kids were well past the frivolous baskets filled with Big Rock Candy Mountains and also they no longer wanted to hunt eggs unless they were filled with hundred dollar bills…yeah, no.

Each kid did what has now become our latest tradition for both Easter, Halloween and any other ridiculous wanna-be holiday that has nothing to do with anything: walk the candy aisle at the store and choose a favorite. Eat it when you’re feeling a little left out of the general festivity but know better than to get sucked into it.

We’re trying to spend more time just being together.

As I took another cruise past the food piled up in the kitchen (doing dishes has perks), I realized I had missed the relish tray altogether in my zeal for ham.


But not necessarily a draw-back in this land of opportunity.

I grabbed a fistful of snow peas and the tub of hummus and brought them out to share with my fellow loungers. I’m nice like that.

One and a half snow peas into the treat, I knew something was awry.

My throat was closing up. It didn’t want to swallow any more snow pea.

I analyzed it for a moment, looking thoughtfully into space. I’m sure it appeared that I was simply digesting the fascinating conversations going on around me.

But no. Things were getting exciting in my throat.

So I asked myself the basic life affirming questions:

  1. Can I breathe?
  2. Can I still repeat movie lines from Finding Nemo in my head?
  3. Does anyone notice I might keel over any minute or will I die in obscurity behind this houseplant?
  4. If I do, will they eat all the dessert without me?

My answers were leaning into the “yes” category, so I did the next logical thing.

I made a cup of tea.

Denial is my favorite flavor.

I sat back down in the very middle of my people and took an experimental sip.

And it stayed right there, trapped in my mouth.

Now I knew it was the real deal. I got all bug-eyed and spit the tea back into my mug and my people cheered and reminded me that tea is hot and I should know better.

Stupid people.

One single drop of tea had wandered back toward my tonsils and taken a look down.

“I can do that,” it said.

It went rappelling through the maze of lumps that went from my tonsils clear into my stomach.

It took a long time. And it was very uncomfortable.

And my people thought I was doing facial exercises and found them entertaining.

“Hey,” said a kid, “Did you guys know you can’t touch your tongue to the tip of your nose?”

Maybe this whole “family together time” thing is overrated.

I pulled my sister aside, told her the issue, and made her watch me.

She was ready to dial 911 if I keeled over into the houseplant.

It took three hours for my throat to feel normal again.

My tea got cold.

When I went to an allergist that week, I discovered that I didn’t have an allergy to either snow peas or avocados, which I was also highly suspicious of. I was told that if my body was blocking them, just don’t eat them.

Stupid allergist. I love them both. You’re telling me to give up something I love “just in case”.

We all know how I feel about that.

So I refrained and had some uneventful weeks until the final straw, if you will.

There’s a brand of health drinks in the produce section that I love but only buy them when I want a fast, healthy treat.

I chugged the delicious green goodness and immediately my throat began to swell.

Thankfully, I was riding in the car with Hubby at the wheel and he drove straight to a drug store and brought me out liquid Benadryll.

I chugged two capfuls and felt them go spelunking down my throat.

The allergist gave me Epi-pens. He had no explanation.

“Here is a list of raw, green foods that you should avoid.”

That’s it.

I sit in Mexican restaurants and stare down the guacamole.

“So, we’re cheating death now, that’s what we’re doing, and we’re having fun at the same time, I can do this, just be careful…”

But I never do.

“Hey there, Mr Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?”

Comment (1)

  • Barbara Abel| November 17, 2015

    🙂 A great read! 🙂

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