Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bringing in the New Year (and other randomness)

Another year has begun.  Last night we did the traditional finger food (at least it's tradition in my family) and oliebollen (people in Pella call them Vettbollen, basically they are sweet dough with raisins, apples, etc in it that are deep fried and then eaten with powdered sugar.).  We watched a movie and then tried to find the broadcast from Times Square to watch the ball drop.  I don't know if we ever did or not.  I didn't make it until midnight.  I crashed at about 11:15...more than an hour past my bedtime.  I'm turning into an old lady. :) Somewhere in the back of my head I think I heard them (rest my family) setting off fireworks, but I'm not sure.
So another year is upon us.  What will it bring?  What causes for celebration will there be?  What causes for mourning?  What adventures? What new relationships will be formed?  What old relationships will be lost? It's fun to wonder what the new year will bring, but important to remember that G-d is ultimately the one who decides what this year will be like.  That's comforting.  I don't have to worry about it, because G-d's got it all under control.  He even has a plan for the fact that it is raining outside right now on the first of January instead of snowing.

In other news, I've done a lot of baking this week. Apparently my family debated awhile about whether to give me my new cookbook as a Christmas present or save it for my birthday.  They decided to give it to me for Christmas so that I could try recipes here at home...their rationale was that if anything went wrong with the recipes I would still be in Canada where healthcare is free. I laughed and told them it was just because they wanted to taste was an allergy friendly cookbook.  The only recipes that would give me trouble were the ones with banana in them and I was smart enough not use banana (I'm allergic).  They did concede that taste testing was part of the plan.  As it turns out, they were wise in giving it to me here.  Some of the recipes in the book called for agave syrup to be used as a sweetener in place of refined sugars.  I'd never used agave syrup before.  I sent mom on a mission to find me some so I could bake.  She did, because she is amazing like that. I made dinner rolls that had agave syrup in them.  I ate one.  Then I took advantage of the free health care in Canada.
This is agave:
This is pineapple:

Notice how similar they are.  That is because agave is a type of pineapple.  This would have been good to know before I ate the dinner roll, since I am severely allergic to pineapple.  I figured out really quickly what was happening and was able to start myself on medication and call mom for a ride to the hospital.  We got to the hospital so fast that I was still going in to the reaction when we got there.  I actually got worse in the hospital (despite have 100 mg of Benadryl in me before arriving).  Since I caught it so quickly we were able to treat it before it got really bad, which means I got to stay conscious for the whole time.  I also managed to stay very calm and matter of fact about the whole thing.  The nurses were a little be surprised by that.
Being conscious throughout an entire reaction was a weird experience. First they gave me lots of Benadryl (in addition to the 100mg I'd already taken).  It began to kick in and make me really really sleepy.  Then they gave me a shot of epinephrine.  That made me really awake, but I still had lots of Benadryl in me.  So I had the Benadryl making me sleepy while the epi was making me really awake.  It was like my body was fighting with itself.  Very weird.  Usually I'm so close to unconsciousness by the time we get to the hospital that I'm not aware of what's happening.  Not so much this time.  I did eventually fall asleep and had a nap full of trippy dreams.
The good news about this, is that all things considered, it wasn't a bad reaction.  Because I caught it quickly we could reverse it before it got really bad.  And I was home for it, so the hospital trip was free.  And, it explained what I reacted to in June.  I'd had a really bad reaction at an open house with Isaac and Mom (see this post if you want to read more).  At the time we figured it was just cross contamination with nuts.  As it turns out, the food that I had eaten had been sweetened with agave syrup.  Now we know.  And now, I won't bring the agave syrup back to school with me and have a reaction there.

To close off, one more piece of good news to start this year off:
Praise the Lord!

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