Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

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I absolutely love strawberries. I adore them. I could eat them every day. I love all things strawberry flavored, too, and lucky for me, strawberry flavored things are everywhere.

Unluckily for me, it appears that I have developed a severe allergy to them. And possibly some other berries.

Last fall, after eating some raspberry preserves, I awoke the next morning with a rash all over my face and body. I avoided berries for a few months after, which was easy to do, since it wasn't berry season.  2 months ago, I was making a fruit salad, and popped a strawberry in my mouth. The next morning, I had a burning rash all over my face and throat. Later that day, after eating some of the fruit salad, my bottom lip swelled up super huge and turned bright red. I took some benadryl and a few hours later, I was ok. I avoided all things berries for a while, until I wanted til a safe time to try it. I had one one night, and nothing happened. I had some strawberry jam last week, and everything was fine.

Until last night. While eating dinner, I ate 2 strawberries. Organic ones, too, so there was no weird chemicals or pesticides on them. The first one went ok, but when I ate the second one, suddenly I was hit with an uncontrollable coughing fit, then watery eyes and a huge painful sneezing fit. My throat started burning, and my face got hot. Before I knew it, my bottom lip and cheeks were tingling and incredibly swollen. My throat got tight, and it hurt to swallow. I took one benadryl, but after my face continued to swell and hurt, I took a second one and went to bed.

This morning, my throat hurt when I woke up, so I decided to forgo my run and bike into work. Since it hurt to swallow, I didn't want to risk getting dehydrated. Plus, I was still in pain and zonked out on the drugs. I am feeling a little bit better now, but my eyelids are so swollen, I can only open my eyes halfway.

According to, here are the symptoms of a strawberry allergy:

The most common symptom is oral allergy syndrome, characterized by allergic reactions in the mouth and throat. There can be tingling, itching, and swelling in the mouth, lips, tongue, throat, and palate. Watery itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing can accompany the reactions.


I don't want to have to say goodbye to my beloved berries, cause I love them so, but if this is the price I have to pay to enjoy them, no thank you. So I will go upon my merry way, and maybe put my fruit focus on citrus. As they say, if you love someone, set them free.


Photo by Erica Livingston, courtesy of Flickr

1 Comment

It's a good thing you are too old to play with a Strawberry Shortcake doll.!!