With premission from irandriedfruit.comWith premission for irandriedfruit.com

The nut that almost ended it all

From Nhraim at flickr.com  Pictuer taken at Der Mor Gabriel - Syriac Orthodox Monastery

I used to love the taste and smell of pistachios. The green, crunchy, and salty middle and the sound of the cracking shell remind me of Christmas. I only ate pistachios around Christmas time because they are always available and the greenest (best tasting) around that time. The day after Christmas of 2000 I was munching on some pistachios when suddenly my hands began to itch and I also noticed that they were swollen. I didn’t think too much of this so I sat back down and munched away.

A few minutes later I felt a tickle in my throat that I could not seem to get rid of. I began to feel lightheaded so I stared to tell my mom, who is an RN, how I felt but when I opened my mouth my words were all slurring together and I had suddenly acquired a lisp. My tongue was getting swollen!  My mom took one look at me and rushed me to the car. She told me that we were going to the hospital and that I was having an allergic reaction.

On our way to the hospital I sat in the front seat, with a big swollen tongue, swollen hand, itchy hives, and as the time passed I felt more and more light headed. I remember being very tired and whenever I would close my eyes, my mom would shake me to wake up. The last thing I remember is the ambulance meeting us on the side of the street and being put on oxygen. 

from http://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/safety/archive_05.html

I woke up in the emergency room a few hours later hooked up to IV’s and EKG’s. When I woke up I was told that I had experienced Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, form something that I had most likely consumed. When tested, it was discovered that the pistachio was responsible for nearly killing me. From that day, I have never and will never consume pistachios. I had such a severe allergic reaction that I was told if I ever ate a pistachio again I may only have 10min until my breathing completely stops! I now have to carry an epi-pen with me in case I eat something that contains pistachios or any other fruit belonging to the anacardiaceae family since they are all closely related. Despite the fact that pistachios clash with my immune system, I still think they are pretty neat and I have to terms with the fact that I will NEVER eat them again.


Explore some less scary facts about the pistachio.