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Barfing on your birthday — no fair!

Submitted by on Monday, 21 July 2008 2 Comments

“I won’t say it’s always unfair to be sick on your birthday.

I’ve had my share of sick birthdays, the most notable being my 24th. My roommate had made shrimp scampi — this was before my seafood allergy had fully emerged. I took one look and hurled.

That was my fault, though. I don’t think Big Guy had near as many whiskey sours yesterday as I’d had the night before my 24th, so that makes what happened to him today officially unfair.

Unofficially, it makes it frightening. It’s the third time Big Guy’s lost his lunch when lunch has been hamburger or steak. And the third time wins him a doctor’s appointment. I’m praying it’s not another food allergy.

The day started out bright and sunny, as a birthday should be. Not that today was Big Guy’s actual birthday, but it was the day of the marquee event of his three parties. As far as he was concerned, that made it official.

“”It’s my birthday!”" Big Guy grinned as he bounced onto my bed. “”Well, it’s not really my birthday, but it’s my party. So can I open just one little present?”"

I stalled for an hour and got some oatmeal in him to boot. Not that I bribed him. I’m morally opposed to bribing the guys. Unless it works.

Next, I decorated his cake. He’d been “”excitick”" about it since Friday, when I showed him the edible Batman drawing. I’m a cake snob who, under normal circumstances, would never lower myself to buying artwork. But circumstances have been far from normal of late, and I knew I could never pull off a Batman cake without cheating.

So I cheated, and Big Guy loved it. He oohed, ahhed and claimed the middle of the cake. “”No one gets to eat Batman but me.”" Batman now sits under the cake dome, uneaten. Maybe Big Guy will want it tomorrow.

He had to test the candles, to make sure they’d work. “”Will my wish come true?”" he asked.

“”Depends on what you wished for.”"

“”A bicycle. I want a bicycle.”"

“”Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes wishes come true, sometimes they don’t.”" I don’t have much of a poker face, but I pulled that one off. I knew his dad’s present was a bike.

We breezed through a couple hours of errands, with Big Guy asking every few minutes how long it was until we went to “”Pizza Hot.”" “”We have five ‘Batmans’ to go,”" I said. That translates to two and a half hours in adult time.

By the time we got there, clouds had formed. The food came and, ordinarily, Big Guy would grab it faster than you can say “”pizza mouth.”" This time, he frowned. “”My tummy feels funny. I don’t think I want to eat.”"

“”Too excited, eh?”"

He nodded, but not happily. That should have been a sign.

He had no interest in the cake he’d been begging to eat all day, other than to blow out the candles again to reiterate his wish. When his father wheeled in the bicycle, he brightened a bit. Mainly, he clutched his abdomen and whimpered. “”My tummy. My tummy.”"

His tummy erupted as soon as he got in the car.

I didn’t see the pattern until later. Tri-tip at a friend’s house in May. Burgers and fries in June. McDonald’s today. All with the same result — profuse vomiting.

On the other hand, he’s eaten his beloved kabobs many times with no symptoms. But food allergies can trick you that way, especially early on.

I was almost relieved when he woke up about an hour ago and was sick again. Maybe it’s a stomach bug, I thought. Then he started scratching, something he hadn’t been doing this morning.

First thing tomorrow, I’m calling his allergist.

What a rotten birthday present, Big Guy. I’m so sorry.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Melissa White said:

    Could it be garlic? I know I put garlic as many items that I can…especially beef and pizza.

  • Debra said:

    We’re still not sure what caused the birthday barf. We already knew he was allergic to garlic and eliminated that two years ago. He was tested for a whole slew of things after this incident, but he was clear on beef. Not so on most tree nuts, though.

    My only guess as to what happened is that beef was a relatively new fascination with him, so his tummy was having trouble getting used to that complex a protein.