Reese’s Pieces and Sammy Sosa

When I entered the exam room, Diane* was so excited. “I saw it!” she exclaimed. “Saw what?” I answered in puzzlement. “I saw Sammy hit number 62,” she said, still excited. Diane and her family were lucky enough to have purchased Cubs tickets before the season started for yesterday’s game when Sammy Sosa hit his 62nd home run. I was caught up in the excitement of her story too, even though I’m not necessarily a die-hard Cubs fan.

We finally got around to discussing her medical problem. That is, while watching the game she had what sounds like an allergic reaction to eating a Reese’s Pieces candy. The whole side of her face, mouth, and tongue swelled up. Fortunately, she had some Benadryl in her purse, because she was concerned about dust at the ballpark setting off her allergies. She was able to take the Benadryl and get immediate relief from this potentially life-threatening reaction.

Diane’s exam today was normal so we discussed this possible allergic food reaction, most likely either the peanut or the chocolate.  My office nurse drew blood to test allergies to the most common allergic foods. I then gave Diane strict orders to avoid eating chocolate or peanuts. I also gave her a prescription for Claritan to take regularly for her hay fever and told her to keep Benadryl close.