I just made my second trip to Kansas City and besides wanting hazard pay — when you are used to going to Paris, Tokyo, Sydney or the SF bay area, KC is hazard duty — I wanted some of these super fine fall-from-the-bone ribs I hear so much about. On my first trip my flight didn’t get in until 8:30PM and as it turns out most restaurants near the hotel closed at 9:00PM. I was driving and driving and the only thing I could find was (cr)Applebees. Let me tell you, even in KC the Ribs at (cr)Applebees just don’t cut it. I was excited to return to the town with a sales guy to pick up the check and knowledge of a good BBQ joint open past 9:00PM.
So we arrive in KC at about 8:00PM and head to the hotel to check-in before dinner. At this point I am starving. I get my room key and a nice warm cookie. mmm warm soft cookie, I think on the way up to my room. I get in my room, dump my stuff and run out, unconsciously grabbing a pieces of the cookie and throwing it down my throat. Now when I say throw it down my throat I am not kidding here, there was no chewing, no tasting, no savoring the warm soft cookie, it was more like a dog eating a piece of steak. I had just made it into the elevator when I realize I didn’t check for nuts and that the cookie now on its way to my stomach sure tasted like it had nuts in it.
I AM VERY ALLERGIC TO NUTS.
Not sure how bad the reaction will be I head back up to my room to grab my EpiPen, a device with an enormous spring loaded needle designed to penetrate every possible item of clothing including military grade body armor. At first it seems to be a pretty mild reaction so I get in the car and we head to dinner, but when we reach the restaurant a few minutes later my lips are tingling, my tongue is swelling and I can feel my throat closing. I can already taste the delicious ribs, but this is getting pretty bad so I bail and have one of the guys drive me to the nearest ER.
I learned the last time I went to the hospital for an allergic reaction that presenting yourself as a calm patient is not the way to go, so I let them know in no uncertain terms that I am having an allergic reaction and that my throat is swelling shut. This did the trick, they rush me through the paper work, send me to triage, and get me a room quickly. By this point it is clear I made the right choice, this is definitely the worst reaction I have ever had. They end up giving me benadryl, pepcid and a steroid via IV and a shot of epinepherin in my arm. If you have never had benadryl via IV, let me just tell you that stuff hits you fast, she had barely finished putting it in and my eyes were heavy. The next thing they hit me with was the epi which is basically pure aderenaln, so all at once my heart is racing, my arms shaking and still I am barely able to keep my eyes open.
Fortunately, this stuff works quick. In minutes the swelling goes down and all that is left are the side effects of the drugs and my anxiety. I’m done and ready to head back to the hotel by the time my co-workers finish their dinner — they were even nice enough to bring me a sandwich and french fries. Scared to eat anything, but starving, I pull the meat off the sandwich and eat a few fries. After scaring the crap out of Jen with the story, I crash, waking twice in the night to get rid of all that IV fluid. The next day is filled with meetings and a quick pizza lunch. Just before dinner time I’m on a plane headed home having missed out on finger-licking goodness once again.