Friday, January 29, 2010

In Which I Should Have Known

I came down with a cold last weekend. It started out with a touch of a sore throat and some swollen glands, nothing that I couldn't handle. Monday was my first at work out of training, and it hurt to swallow and to talk. The Boss had Monday off, so she got me some cold medication to help me nip this thing in the bud. 

I took the medication regularly for a couple of days and didn't see any improvements. If anything, I had gotten worse. The minor congestion I started out with progressed into full sinus blockage, spreading to both of my ears. The glands in my throat were so swollen you couldn't see my jaw-line, and it hurt to move my head even the slightest amount. I continued to take the medication The Boss had gotten me, figuring then that it was one of those things that had to get worse before it would get better.

Yesterday at work, I felt absolutely miserable. The congestion was at it's worst, and I couldn't stop coughing. I was drinking water like crazy and running through lozenges like they were going out of style, thinking it was just because of chest congestion and a dry throat. The coughing got worse, so much to the point where I could barely catch my breath. 

Gasping for air, I thought to myself, I haven't coughed this bad since that first allergy attack in August.

And then it hit me. 

I was having an allergic reaction to the cold medication I had been taking all week. 

Some of my newer readers won't know of this, but last fall I went through a crazy ordeal with allergies. You can find the links to where I talked about it in the archives if you care to read them (I'm not going to place them all here; that'd take too long), but the long and short of it is that I was diagnosed with an aspirin allergy, and because of my allergy to aspirin, I can't consume anything with yellow dye #5 or salicylic acid in it. 

Now, I had the smarts to check the box of medication before I started taking it to look for anything I can't have. The inactive ingredients listed yellow dye #10, but where I was informed that I'm only allergic to the #5 variety, I thought I was in the clear. Apparently that is not the case.

Once this all occurred to me, I ran out to the store and got some Benadryl. Two pills and 30 minutes later, I was feeling much better. The coughing stopped almost immediately, and a majority of my sinus congestion cleared up. I'll be taking my tried and true regimen of antihistamines over the next couple of days to try to clear the rest of it up.

This was a learning experience for sure. Now that I know that I'm most likely allergic to the family of yellow dyes, I'll have to be even more on the look out for it in things I eat or products I use, but it beats feeling like I'm dying. 

I feel like I should have known, but at least I know now. 

Have a good weekend, everyone.

36 Comments:

Organic Meatbag said...

Yellow dye...the silent killer... hope you're doing better, man...take care of yourself...

Jenn(ifer) said...

Glad you're feeling better! damn that fine print!

Moonspun said...

Bad yellow, bad yellow!
Glad you survived!

Amanda said...

That reminds me of the horribly plotted movie with Mr. Will Smith called Hitch. Only he was allergic to shell fish...and was drinking cold medicine like a juicebox.

Sandy said...

Wow, that sounds terrible. It's a good thing you are as knowledgeable about your allergies as you are.

Thanks for sharing,we all need to learn to listen to our own bodis. Hope you are back to normal soon.

TechnoBabe said...

I remember your last allergy episode as you wrote about it. What a pain in the butt that you think you are reading labels and taking care of yourself and the dang stuff you are allergic to still bite you in the butt, or throat or sinus. So sorry to hear of this episode. That must have been quite an AH HA moment and then run out for the Benadryl.

Caron said...

The cosmetic industry doesn't have to list all the ingredients in their products and so I am wondering if your cold medicine just didn't list them all. Don't take the government at face value when they say they regulate industry. I am NOT NOT NOT making any political statement here. I am saying that it is an acknowledged fact that not all ingredients are listed. Always assume in the face of growing evidence that you have gotten mixed up with the offensive #5 no matter what the box says.

Susan Erickson said...

beware of all dyes and additives....msg is an enemy as well. Get yourself a neti pot. They are a little hard to get used to but they clear your head right out . Feels amazing! They are like a little teapot...you breathe through your mouth(important!) and then pour salt water into one notril until it comes out the other nostril..then switch notrils. Clears right up to your ears. Clears out pollutants as well.

Logical Libby said...

I am totally allergic to dyes. I can't wear cheap make up, and can't use certain skin care products. When people tell me I look disheveled, I tell them I am allergic to beauty.

Feel better.

Amy said...

So nice you know what you're dealing with now, unlike last fall. Glad to hear you are doing better and hope you fully recooperate over the weekend!

GeekByMarriage said...

*weeps for you* Damn allergies keep getting you no matter how careful you are. Poor Badass.

TheLittleFlower said...

Hope it'll get better! Have a great weekend!

eissel said...

I for one am also a victim of allergies.. especially dust and shellfish.. with dust, its just some runny nose then after a few days it develops into a full-blown cold.. shellfish though, is another matter entirely.. after a few hours, I'll be itching all over my body like crazy..

damn these allergies.. they just complicate our lives.. [^,^]

Shonassie said...

The netie pot is a great idea, I use one as well and it is amazing! Does take some getting used to and it takes a while before you notice the difference, because anything natural takes about 3 weeks or so to kick in, it is a gentle healer. Also, if you aren't allergic to peppermint, consider essential oils. Young living is a great source for these. Put a drop of peppermint oil under your nose, and behind each ear or on each temple and things start opening up real fast! I have been amazed at the choices there are out there to avoid the drug and cosmetic industry and the poison they are supplying us, just do a little research and you will see.

That Kind of Girl said...

Yikes, this is like an episode of House -- who would even think of being allergic to the dye in their cold medication?! Glad you made the diagnosis and fixed the problem, though. Yikes.

Mrs Soup said...

You poor poor thing.

Bad Yellow indeed!

Josephine said...

A movie title comes to mind: An Inconvenient Truth. Aspirin allergy, that's one of the worst in the world, really! It can't get more inconvenient than that. Except for... sun allergy, I guess.

Glad you're feeling better!

Coach J said...

You are one unlucky dude. Allergic to yellow? I know its the dye you're actually reacting to, but it's kinda funny to say you're allergic to a color.

Scribe said...

Damn that yellow dye! I love how they sneak it in like we won't notice. But you, Badass Geek, are our watchdog. Thank you.

ForeverRhonda said...

Ah...I feel your pain. I have the dreaded aspirin allergy as well. Highly inconvenient...

LucyCooper said...

Ugh. Sorry man. There's no yellow dye in beer, is there?

luke.seti said...

Glad your better. I'm nursing Carpal Tunnel in my wrist, had surgery yesterday.

Chibi Jeebs said...

Holy crap, dude! Glad you got it figured out. Hope you're feeling 100% ASAP.

Mad Woman said...

Woah. Not the best way to find out that you're allergic to something, but I'm glad you know now!

Mystern said...

That blows. If I felt bad for your lack of Mtn Dew before, I feel even more bad about your allergy to the entire mess of foods you're now allergic to.

/me sympathizes

Queen of Ruckus said...

Yes! Yellow dye is in practically everything out there. I'm just glad that you were able to take benadryl and feel better. Hope you aren't allergic to tylenol too! ;) Here's to feeling better!!!! :)

Plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Well done for getting through it. Still loving your work.
plentymorefishoutofwater.blogspot.com

BeautifulWreck said...

Glad you are feeling better. I think you are related to my husband with all these allergies!

Christina In Wonderland said...

Everyone seems to be getting sick lately. It sucks.

Cynthia said...

Sorry you're having problems with your allergies Badass. Hope you're feeling better. {hug...kiss}

dcrelief said...

Thanks for the article! :)

Notes From the Grove said...

Man, that sucks that the stuff that was supposed to make you feel better actually made you feel worse! WTF?

Here's to hoping you're back to your "normal", healthy self soon.

for the love of pictures said...

I'm glad that you realized it, and that you're starting to feel better now!

Nej said...

I've seen #5...but never #10. Bummer! Glad you figured it out and are feeling better!!!!!!

Aunt Juicebox said...

Well at least this time you were already knew what was going on, and it was a yellow, and not something totally different. I'd just be leary of all dyes, but then I don't know what that would leave for you to use. You'd be dirty and hungry. A lot.

Phoenix said...

Good lord Badass Geek, try not to kill yourself on meds, okay? :)

Hope you're feeling better.

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