Thursday, March 27, 2008

Down but not out, part 1

Down with flu, allergies, tonsilitis, that is--rendering me on an extended Lenten mode.

I've never been allergic to anything. It's a small point of pride for me to tell doctors during those annual physical exams that I eat anything--fish, eggs, crabs, shrimps, tulya, talaba, etc. Now, that proud moment may be gone.

Two Saturdays ago I was (willingly) yanked to a dinner at Dampa in Roxas Boulevard--the one that has "Claire dela Fuente Fresh Seafood" (or something like that, basta with "Claire de la Fuente") as its welcome signage. I half-expected diners to be gorging on their meals while Sayang or Something in Your Eyes played on and on in a continuous loop in the background. Nothing of the sort, fortunately. In fact, the arrangement sounded fun. Pick out whatever you liked to eat, or ask a resto staff to go to market for you, and have the grub cooked right then and there.

We had shrimps, alimango, pampano, oysters. The crabs and fish were divine--and I'm not the type who's easily impressed by seafood, having grown up in a province half surrounded by sea. Hello, probinsiyano ini! But what we ate left me burping with satisfaction, and grateful for the bounty from General Santos City (I asked).

Should I blame that faraway city for what happened to me? Or perhaps the dinky place where we ate, the way the food was prepared, the spices used, etc.? In any case, by Sunday morning I felt something wasn't right with my gums. They felt... larger, more sensitive to the touch. But, since I've never had them, a case of allergies never entered my mind. Monday morning the inflammation had become full-blown and had spread to my tongue. It was painful now; simple eating and swallowing had become the perfect Holy Week exercise.

One look at the swollen lower half of my face (yes, it showed) and the doctor shook his head. Allergies, she said, no doubt about it--and extracted from me the tale of the divine crabs and Claire dela Fuente. It's possible to develop allergies late in life, she said (at 37?!), but more probably, the food wasn't really fresh or cooked well. Avoid any seafood, chicken, eggs for now, anything that could cause possible aggravation. (That practically eliminated most of my diet. At this point, I thought of kangkong. Could I eat kangkong without bagoong, which is shrimp paste? Leche.)

You're lucky, she added. You've no fever. And some severe cases end up with bulging eyes, inflamed noses and tongues so engorged they have difficulty breathing or speaking. Yaiks.

The prospect of going to Galera as planned with half of my pogi face blown up like a puffer fish didn't appeal to me, so I bailed out of the plan posthaste. Plus, the sight of all that sea would only make me sulk. Hmp, death to all sea creatures--except Sebastian and Ariel the Mermaid.

I was prescribed two antihistamines and a steroid to reduce the swelling. A week later, my mouth was back to normal. But, itaga mo sa kabibe, it would take some time before I'd look kindly at a crustacean (or Claire de la Fuente) again.

(To be continued--telenovela itu!)


Jeff said...

so that's why you cancelled last week's coffee huh :-P vain much? heheh

Jepoy said...

Hala! Good thing di ka nag anaphylactic shock! Haay take care gibbs... minsan labas tayo, treat ko... seafood marina... hehehe.


Oliver Oliveros said...

I got bothersome allergies in Bacolod two years ago. Blame it on eating some prawns over dinner. Past midnight, I felt very feverish. I got up and looked at the mirror. My eyes were really bulging. My arms and chest were like burning. The hotel nurse had to inject some medication. I took the first flight back to Manila still with bulging eyes, damn it.

Get well soon, Gibbs.

gibbs cadiz said...

hey JEFF, hehe, you guessed right. :)

JEPOY! labas tayo, tara! :)

ey OLIVER, good i didn't have the bulging eyes. chinito but inflamed? ugh, not a good sight. :)

AnneMac said...

Gibbs! Sorry ah, don't mean to mock you, na-entertain ako ng sobra sa post na'to! The picture of Will Smith's swollen face in Hitch (after he ate sushi)came to mind and was stuck there. Heeheehee. Hilarious!

But yeah, you can develop allergies late in life. I just recently developed some. First aid dyan, major water therapy!

Anyway, hope you're all better now. :)

gibbs cadiz said...

hi ANNEMAC, haha, thank god di ako umabot sa will smith level of severity ng allergies. hope you're okay na din. thanks for the comment! :)

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