Bye Bye Fluffernutter

So here’s something weird: I think I have developed a peanut allergy.

This is especially strange for me because I used to absolutely live on peanut butter. As a kid I had at least one peanut butter sandwich every day. As a grown up it was still a regular part of my diet — a peanut butter sandwich as a late night snack was heaven. I admit that I even occasionally indulged in a Fluffernutter or two. And since Sir Monkeypants is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts used to be a major player in our stir fries and desserts.

My mother ate a ton of peanut butter when she was pregnant with me. She had cravings for it and had it almost every day. These days it’s one theory that eating a lot of peanuts during pregnancy can predispose the baby to a peanut allergy, and my mom always points to me as a counter example — she ate peanuts all the time! And yet I’m fine! So much for modern science and their so-called “theories”!

And yet.

Back in January I was visiting Mrs. Carl Sagan, and she served some treats left over from a preschool executive meeting. I immediately went for the peanut butter cup. Since the Captain is allergic to peanuts, we’ve gone peanut free in the house, and I hadn’t eaten anything with peanuts in it for at least a couple of years.

And my mouth went all…funny. Fuzzy and thick. And itchy inside. It wasn’t anything scary, I didn’t get hives or stop breathing. But it was enough of a reaction, and so immediate, that I noticed.

Weird, I thought.

Then a few weeks later, I had some Reese’s Pieces at poker. And again, the fuzzy mouth, the itchiness. Last week, I had some Bridge Mix at poker, which includes chocolate-covered peanuts, and again, the weirdness. The next morning I felt hungover, exausted, and my mouth was sore.

So…I don’t know what. I hesitate to go all the way to allergy but this is very suggestive, don’t you think? It’s quite freaking me out. I guess I should get tested. The peanut allergy thing isn’t anything to mess around with.

It’s really scary to me that I could suddenly develop a food allergy this late in life. Someday they’ll figure out that food allergies are caused by something that seems so innocent, like hardwood flooring or kleenex or olive oil, and we’ll all slap ourselves on the forehead and have a good laugh and get rid of it. Until then, though, it’s disturbing to think that there is something in our world that is affecting our health, even later in life, and we have no idea what is going on. Eeep.

In other allergy news… it’s very early yet but we fear that Gal Smiley has developed an allergy or sensitivity to milk. She was always our healthy one, the one who never got sick and didn’t stop for anything. But over the past eight months she’s had breathing issues and serious coughs that she can’t get rid of, coughs that keep her up literally all night, coughs that cause fits that last for an hour or more when she literally cannot stop coughing even for a few seconds. We tried puffers and other medicines but eventually I decided to try taking her off of milk, and like magic, she is better.

Since we took her off of milk a few months ago, she’s been fine, but on the rare occasions when she has a bit of cheese or a little milk, voila, she’s up all night coughing again. Our doctor thinks this is pretty conclusive and we’re off for allergy testing for her in the fall.


As far as kids’ illnesses go, I can’t complain too much. It’s annoying to have allergy kids, but things could be way worse. I don’t see the kids’ allergies as life-threatening, and we learned long ago to live on an egg-free, nut-free, milk-free diet, so it’s not a huge lifestyle change, and the school knows all about food allergies now so everything is under control.

Still. There’s that old nagging feeling that something is affecting us. I really hope it doesn’t turn out to be pie.

14 thoughts on “Bye Bye Fluffernutter

  1. that sucks. for both you and gal. my sister had some food allergies when she was a kid. though nothing life threatening. and then when we were in mexico together about 14 yrs ago and she went into anaphylactic shock. seems she got the nut allergy late in life and now walks around with an eppy pen. weird indeed.

    oh and flufferhutter? GROSS!

  2. Oh no on both accounts! At least, as you said, you’re super knowledgeable about these things now, which makes it a bit less scary.

    Definitely let the poker girls know that you may be peanut sensitive. We’ll all happily obliged when choosing our snacks!

  3. MrsCarlSagan

    That does suck. My neighbour’s little girl was getting the same tingly/fuzzy mouth thing when she ate peanuts but no swelling or hives or anything else. She had testing and it is definitely a mild allergy.

    It really is freaky to see an allergy or sensitivity appear in adulthood.

  4. TOTAL suckage. I think it should be disallowed by law for parents to have more than one kid with food allergies — and not even the same allergy — NOT fair. I will whine to the gods on your behalf. And food allergies later in life freak me out too. Plus when it’s something you really like, also not fair. Blah.

  5. How could I not know about fluffernutters? Never even heard of them – maybe there are an Ontario thing and we never had them on the East coast, lol.

    I’m SO sorry about the nut allergy – that is totally weird, and I am interested to hear how your testing goes. I’ve not heard of an adult developing an allergy like this before. And the dairy thing for Gal Smiley sounds right on. It’s amazing how our foods can affect us – I recently cut out sugar and carbs and can swear I am a totally different person (“nicer” according to my husband :).

  6. mel

    Oh that sucks for both you and Gal Smiley. But at least you’re well-prepared to deal with it!

    I can sympathize with the itchy mouth thing. For a few years, my mouth and throat have gone itchy/sore after eating walnuts, raw apples, and a couple of other foods. The reaction got progressively worse, and now I just stay away from those foods entirely, even though I love raw apples.

    I wasn’t sure what was going on until I read an article about oral allergy syndrome in Allergic Living magazine, and I practically yelled, “That’s me!”:

  7. SirMonkeyPants

    I am lamenting this new development with the consumption of Reese’s Pieces (at the office). Mmmm. Reese’s Pieces. Mmmm.

  8. O.k. my mind went right to the gutter when I read the words “Fluffer Nutter”. LOL.

    So many kids are allergic to peanuts nowadays, it didn’t seem as pervasive when I was a child. But maybe I just don’t remember.

  9. No fun to deal with allergies. Argh! My firend suddenly became quite allergic to shellfish at 40. I know others who are allergic to the whole raw apple/carrot/strawberry thing later in life. So much for safely passing that milestone. My daughter gets sensitive to milk temporarily when sick or post antibiotic- something about the lactose absorbing stuff in her intestines being wiped out. Not sure how scientifically sound that is but that’s what experience is showing me.

    Being the positive person I am, I will find a few upsides to this. Hmmm. There has to be an upside, right? There are many more food alternatives out there that are great. I’m a big fan of roasted soynuts in various flavours. You are already an awesome baker so making your own healthier snacks will be a snap. Ummm… you get to be the one at the restaurant with the really long order and get treated royally.

    Good luck with the testing. It’s best to know exactly what you are dealing with.

  10. My husband developed a very severe allergy to shellfish in his twenties. He had a bite of shrimp and we ended up in emergency not knowing what the heck was going on. Last year he was back in emergency thinking he was having a heart attack, they ran some tests and came to figure out that he had a cross contamination issue at a restaurant he’d eaten lunch at. Apparently you can change how you react over time as well. Normally if there was a cross contamination issue he’d get the tingly mouth and so on. This time he had severe pain in his chest. Allergies are very scary things indeed.

  11. My husband developed something called “oral allergy syndrome” in his twenties. He gets that itchy, fuzzy mouth feeling you described. It is not technically an allergy, if I recall correctly… but feels like one. What? I’m not sure if that is correct. You might have to look it up, but I do know that he told me it was not life-threatening.

    Anyway, he now stays away from most tree nuts, and certain raw fruits and veggies (the only ones I can remember are carrots and pineapple).

    Sucks about not being able to have p.b., although you don’t have it at home anyway, so it’ll just be those indulgent moments out that you’ll have to confront the loss.

  12. Jay

    The dreaded allergies. I hate them! We’re peanut/nut and sesame free here.

    Get tested! There seems to be more and more cases of adult onset anaphylaxis. At least you don’t have to go through the entire learning curve again…that was probably the hardest part.

  13. For sure get yourself checked out just in case things escalate suddenly. You probably have Epi-Pens around considering you already have allergies in the family, but you should probably have one with you all the time for now too.

    My daughter is allergic to peanuts too, and it has become a very manageable allergy. But it still totally sucks 😦
    Funny a lot of people mentioned apples….lately whenever I eat an apple I get an itchy mouth and feel sneezy for a half hour or so after. If I peel the apple it seems to be OK though.

  14. Jackie

    My husband is also allergic to apple skin and peanuts although neither is anaphylactic, thank goodness.

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