Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fire Ants

I should know better. Seriously, I've been dealing with this stuff my entire life. Actively, directly since my mid-teens.

The outbreak from October subsided some, made a couple less invasive returns over the winter months, but was mostly under control. My skin, though showing some discoloration from the recent attacks, appeared to be mostly on the mend.

Until the tomato sauce incident.

I consumed a meal with a tomato sauce base some weeks ago and the next day felt as though my skin was being chewed from the inside out . . . by fire ants, I've decided today. I didn't trust that it was the tomato sauce, because over the years I'd thought I'd developed a certain resistance and it wasn't that much.

Well, a couple days ago, I did it again. And again, itching now into the second day, though not as bad as yesterday, is still pretty aggravating. And though, feeling much better today I still must wash, rinse, and re-salve my face every hour to keep the fire ants at bay So, it's official. It's was the tomato sauce.

My outbreaks have been (historically) food based, specifically, citrus. I've avoided lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit and products containing those items, flavors as well as products containing citric acid. Tomatoes in and of themselves have not been a problem, but tomato sauce and tomato paste, have been. One year I went to dinner and ordered (& devoured) a most decadent lasagna. The next day I had to leave work for the outbreak was that severe. I rubbed my skin raw, all over. It was horrible.

My tolerance changes over the years. I spend weeks, months, avoiding certain things, then consuming formerly taboo items, in moderation. I've been enjoying a return to having an occasional (some weeks more than occasional) lemon, lime, and grapefruit. I've had lasagna since that infamous outbreak and a number of items containing tomato sauce (though I'd continued to avoid tomato paste) with no incident. It appears my tolerance is changing, again. For the worst.

Not only am I being sent around the bend over the tomato sauce I consumed, but I appear to more prone to suffering the skin-crawling heebie jeebies over seeing peeling paint, certain repeated patterns, not to mention crawling, flying bugs, just to name a few things. Just typing that, having the image inserted in my head, made me itch and twitch, just a tad.

I do so hope ALL of this is another temporary affectation of my life-long allergy. It would really blow to have to give up tomatoes and tomato based products. Not to mention being unfazed by (or maybe even, less fazed by) that which is fazing me much. For now, until I'm completely clear skinned, I'm staying away from all things tomatoey, acidic, and and otherwise triggery. Or at least, I'll try.

I really should know better. I've been dealing with this my entire life.


  1. Oh no! Tomato sauce? One of my favorite staples in the kitchen. What a terrible, wretched, mean-assed ailment!

  2. When i was a kid i was sensitive to too much citric acid. Blew up with the hives if I had too much. I outgrew it, thank God.

    That sucks so bad! I hope you are right as rain pronto!

  3. Syd: yes. yes.

    Dish: Thanks. I thought I'd outgrown it too, but it appears it was only a hiatus. I'll recover and adjust. I guess. I expect. I trust.

  4. sounds like maybe it is things acidic. I wonder what else that might include?

  5. Well, dropping acid would be totally out of the question, I suppose.

  6. Sorry Deborah... feel better soon.


Hi! Your visit is much appreciated.