Remember in my previous blog post where I mentioned I was having a horrendous hive breakout? They got worse, and I couldn’t pinpoint what was causing the issue. Since Thursday July 16, I had been breaking out in not an exaggeration big clusters of welty bright red hives. I was trying to eliminate anything from the dietary/skincare routine that could set it off. I changed what I ate and avoided dairy, gluten, and hadn’t worn any skin care products.
I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life. Nor have I experienced hives before. But these suckers were massive bright red welts the size of dinner plates all accumulating together. Then subsided as the day went on. On and off since last Thursday the hives were getting worse.
Being new to the USA I had to google a drop-in clinic that would coincide with my health care plan before heading out the door, and make sure it would be covered by insurance. I’m glad it wasn’t an emergency, while I sit and google which hospital/drop-in clinic I should go to! The Doc saw me, then suggested I take benadryl, and prescribed me a strong steroid ‘super drug’ which I didn’t take right away. The benadryl worked for a day but it never cleared the hives fully, it just subsided, then flared up worse than before.
I’d show you a picture but it looked disgusting, swollen, and sore with hives covered on my legs, arms, stomach.
Remember that Instagram picture I took of the box of A&W Diet Root Beer I bought, and inside was A&W Diet Cream Soda? This will make sense later on.
It wasn’t until Tuesday night, when The Guy & I saw a movie, ate popcorn and had some pop. We prefer to buy cans of A&W diet root beer, but we only had 1 left, and The Guy prefers root beer over cream soda, so he drank the RB and I had the CS.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
The Guy had the last root beer we had left, and I drank the cream soda. I prefer to drink my pop through straws and randomly that night I decided not to use a straw which is SO out of the blue for me — just sipped out of the can. About 20-mins left of the movie, I passed the popcorn over to The Guy and felt as if my lips were reacting to the saltiness of the popcorn and said I was done.
He likes to wait until the movie credits are done to turn back on the lights, but I felt something was wrong with my lips, so I went to the washroom and got so spooked by my reflection. My face was in hives, my eyelids were more swollen (they were swollen earlier in the day) and my top lip was HUGE. I took a quick picture for reference and then I ran back and showed him my Angelina Jolie lips in fear.
The Guy has a Emergency room DR friend in Canada and messaged him asking if we should take the Rx’ed drugs the drop-in clinic told me to (which is that steroid ‘super drug’ used for chemo patients, so I was scared about taking them).
Then we were off googling which hospital to go to, because you can’t go to just any one here. Gotta go to the correct one so you’re not charged a bajillion bucks!
While waiting to hear back from his Canadian DR friend, The Guy compared the ingredients list of the A&W diet root beer to A&W diet cream soda. The two cans of A&W pop are packaged at the same plant, have the same ingredients, except the Diet Cream Soda has this plant extract called; Yucca. Which isn’t in any other cream sodas, root beers etc. Only in the A&W Diet Cream Soda.
Of course his DR friend recommended we pop by the emergency room, in case I needed an epi shot. Those words terrified me.
Off we headed at 3am. I never had to experience anything E.R-like for myself, so as soon as I was guided to the triage room, I started tearing up and cried a little. It was scary to me! Luckily The Guy cheered me up quickly by cracking a few jokes.
It was an allergic reaction, and they didn’t examine me or my hives (because they went down quite a bit after I took 2 benadryl before going to hospital). The ER Doc ended up giving me a handful of antihistamine pills and steroids to tame it the eff down, then provided me with a prescription for an epi pen to ‘carry with me at all times’. Sounds extreme. We aren’t entirely sure yucca is the culprit but considering I had 1-2 cans prior and during the hive-breakout and it was the only new thing I introduced to my diet/skincare/body regime, we think it was that diet cream soda.
Apparently it isn’t uncommon to be allergic to just that A&W Diet Cream Soda brand. Google results show someone else had the same reaction, a 38 year old male had come in contact with A&W Diet Cream Soda (with yucca extract) in the past and broke out in severe hives like I did, and was never allergic to anything either before that episode.
So, that’s my adventure for the week! How have you all been? I feel like I haven’t made YouTube videos or blog posts in weeks. Quite honestly, I had been feeling really down about my appearance with the hives all over the body, trying to rack my brain of what the causes were for it. I’ll have to book an allergy test appointment soon, to see if I’ve become allergic to anything else, I have my doubts though.