Susan Isabella Sheehan

SANTA CLARA, United States

I am a self-taught and universally inspired artist. My writings, art, and photography reflect life and love, even the disappointments and...

An Allergic Reaction To Eel

Yesterday, I purchased sushi for my lunch. It was eel,
salmon and veggie. Around noon, I ate six pieces and drank some
hot tea. Less than fifteen minutes later, I had the sensation that
I was going to swallow my tongue. I could not breathe easily.

My heart raced, almost to the point of exploding. I breathed through
my nostrils, since breathing through my mouth felt impossible. I
was convinced that I would swallow my tongue. I tried lying down,
but the effect became even worse. I walked through my home, room
by room, talking out loud to myself to ‘remain calm, breathe, try
to swallow’.

Repeatedly I had to spit out my saliva. I could not swallow.
I forced myself to put water in my mouth, which I then spit
out. Eventually, I was able to get small amounts of water down
my throat.

This lasted over two hours. I convinced myself that I was having
an anxiety attack.

Today, I decided to eat the rest of the sushi for lunch. The same
thing happened, only more profoundly. It was all I could do to
keep from phoning 911. I could not sit. All I could do was walk
through the house talking out loud to myself again, trying to
stay as calm as possible. It is 5pm now, and I still am not completely

I believe that I had an allergic reaction to the eel, and that I was
going into Anaphlylactic shock, or even perhaps had acquired
Scombroid poisoning. Outside of my near death due to penicillin,
this was the most frightening. About an hour ago, I developed
a migraine with really spectacular lights, which has now subsided,
for which I am so grateful.

Saturday 5/31/08

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