Friday night turned into a total real life sci fi movie for me within a matter of minutes. Around 10pm I decided to use some of my Glorious Belize coconut massage oil that I had added some small vanilla pod pieces to scent it. This was not the first time I had used it but this time around I had a severe allergic reaction. My upper body started to tingle and I noticed the veins in my arms were puffing up and going all weird and snakey looking. I kept asking Paul if I was crazy or could he see it too and that I needed to get to a doctor right away.
He called Dr Daniel Gonzalez at Ambergris Hope clinic who said come right over. The cab ride felt like it was taking forever compared to normal. I just breathed deep and focused in remaining as Zen as I could. We finally finally got to Dr Dan’s and he was in the clinic waiting for us. He showed us into a room and proceeded to get details and examined me. He said my vital signs were normal, thankfully. When I showed him my arms and the bizarre movement of my veins, he agreed I was having an allergic reaction to vanilla. Next we moved to a different room and he gave me a shot cortisone in the butt to reduce the swelling and calm things down. After the shot settled Dr Dan noticed I was a bit more agitated and said I needed to just relax, he gave me a prescription and sent us on our way back home and said everything would be fine.
The next day I was chatting on the coconut phone with Dr Al as he has been checking in on me daily regarding my boosting immune system and taunting me with his visits to Tim Horton’s and what he is ordering for breakfast. I told him what happened and right away he started looking it up. He said that he found 2 studies where fresh Vanilla pod can actually be poisonous to ones system – a freak reaction.
Later that day Dr Al came back with a new report that I had mild anaphylaxis. He had also called poison control for further research and that they thought it could be latex allergy. Ardently its in the plant the pod and the oil leached it out, not exactly common. Its the pods which are black and have the seeds in them during the curing process latex is leached out. Some was absorbed thru the rash I had on my hand and voila mild anaphylaxis, tingling, dizzy feeling racy.
His next recommendation aside from taking the meds Dr Dan had given me and resting was to keep eating good stuff. Go to Chetumal and then McD’s order the quaretrion con queso, big chocolate shake and large fries every day for a week. Lots of fluids and salt so suggest energy drinks like Gatorade.
Paul’s company through out the whole ordeal priceless.
Cost of Late night Visit to Dr Dan – $50 bzd
Cost of Dr Al’s further research [also priceless] and reassurance as to what really happened – imported wine
As a follow up to the “Saving Lives in the Caribbean through Preparedness” project presently being implemented by the Belize Red Cross, we have planned a community awareness meeting to be held in San Pedro Town on the 24th April 6:30 PM at the Lion’s Den.
Please pass the word along so we can work together and create an active, prepared Ambergris Caye.
We will have a member and volunteer sign up table at the event, printed information and a donation box.
san pedro branch belize red cross