I have had what I think may have been a delayed allergic reaction to cilantro (which I know I have been sensitive to in the past) and am hoping to arrange an allergy test with my doctor.
My sister Faythe has many food allergies and sensitivities and I am concerned about my increased sensitivity to some foods.
I had what I suspect was a delayed anaphylaxis reaction (within 10? hours of eating), with choking/shortness of breath, and swelling of the throat, and tonsils, visible with a light shined at the back of my throat. I took three benadryl spaced apart, choked down water, took two motrin, and my rescue inhalor and the swelling has gone down marginally.
I know that cilantro tends to burn my throat, despite my enjoying spicy foods, and that the taste tends to be off putting but last night into this morning is the first time that I can ever recall having a reaction like this.
We (Mom, Faythe, and I) tried a new to us Mexican restaurant that used a heavy hand with cilantro in their salsa which I ate despite the taste being off-putting (I am one of those people that it tastes like soap to, and generally avoid it as a result) as we were waiting for the rest of our group to arrive. I had about two bowls of cilantro heavy salsa and was unable to eat my meal. I chalked it up to fatigue and boxed it up to take home.
I woke at 4:20am choking on air. We started on the salsa approximately 6:35pm Tuesday/last night and I continued eating it for about an hour and a half as we waited for our friends and food. When I woke I could just barely breathe and assumed the burning in my throat was dehydration. I tried to drink water and choked.
Concerned I got up and took a benadryl, and as an afterthought, two ibuprofen in case it was a non-allergic inflammation. I managed to swallow with some effort. I finished a bottle of water and choked on it. My choking woke Mom, who asked if I was okay. I explained to her about waking up choking and after visually confirming inflamed tonsils with no clear (to me, no lesions, or discoloration other than red) sign of infection, I took a second benadryl with a second bottle of water. When the swelling seemed to stay consistent I took my rescue inhaler, albuterol and a third benadryl in hopes the combination would allow me to breathe more easily.
Suspecting cilantro as the culprit I also drank a small glass of milk which I tend to avoid, thinking that as a base it would sooth my throat and allow for easier swallowing and breathing.
I've never had a reaction like this to food that I can recall and the time line is perplexing. My allergies to cats and dogs triggers a different physical response namely trouble breathing, itchy eyes, and rash when I touch animal fiber. This reaction is consistent with some wools, which I am sensitive to. As a result I tend to carry benadryl on me at all times in addition to ibuprofen for swelling, and imitrex and zophran on hand for migraines.
If it was anaphylaxis, I am aware that I'm meant to go to the ER, but I fear that I am mistaken and don't want to sit for 10+ hours in the ER on less than 4 hours sleep in 48 hours, nor do I wish to drag Mom there only to be told that there is nothing more they can or could do. I don't want to waste anyone's time but neither do I wish to be reckless.
The swelling has abated enough in an hour and a half at roughly 6am that while I'm not comfortable trying to sleep again, I do feel that I can breathe and that given time the swelling will discontinue entirely.
That is as much detail as I can remember clearly, but I did message Faythe and ask how her allergic reactions to foods manifests and if the time line was unrealistic in her experience for it to be an allergic response.
She confirmed that my described reaction was similar to her reaction to cucumbers, which she tends to react to several hours after exposure. We discussed my symptoms back and forth and I am fairly confident the only known irritant was the cilantro which I mentioned as soon as we tasted the cilantro. Faythe could also taste it but said it didn't taste that strong to her. Mom couldn't identify it among the other flavors in the salsa, so this indicates to me that even my initial reaction was stronger than usual for me.
Normally I would set aside the cilantro food, but I hadn't eaten much yesterday and we had about an hour and a half wait until everyone showed up for the meal if I remember correctly. So, out of a need to distract myself from my increasing hunger I filled up on chips and salsa.
It is now roughly a quarter after 6am and while my throat is sore the swelling is near non-existent. Am I safe at this point? Can I assume that I have averted the reaction or is it likely to come back? Any thoughts would be helpful.