Benadryl Surprises

Recently in my office, ways to solve everyday allergies became topic of conversation.  There was some bickering about which is better: Claritin-D versus Allegra-D, but then the conversation took a turn.  One of my coworkers said “I don’t take allergy medicine anymore because I can’t stay awake at work after I take it.”  This shocked me, especially because I know for a fact Claritin D has caffeine in it!  He said he would take Benadryl and it would make him SO sleepy.  I laughed out loud thinking how ridiculously hard it would be to focus on the job after taking Benadryl, which doctors sometimes prescribe to their patients as a means of helping them fall asleep.  But then it occurred to me—I too probably needed a brush up on my knowledge of Benadryl.

In my research, I was first reminded that Benadryl is typically prescribed by allergists on a reaction basis.  So only if you ingest a food item that swells your throat, touch poison oak that makes you itchy, pet a cat whose hair makes your eyes water, etc would you take Benadryl POST such an activity.  Then, I discovered something shocking: some Benadryl contains lactose!  According to multiple online sources, Benadryl capsules (not caplets) contain lactose.  The way you know it contains lactose is because one ingredient is “whey,” the liquid remaining after milk is strained or curdled.  I assumed Benadryl could be a source of relief for an individual who is lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy.  Shocking, right?

If you have any funny stories regarding Benadryl or remember any ways your friends/family/co-workers surprised you with their thoughts on a related topic, let me know!  Share your voice.


Blog Inspiration: Sleeping on Planes

I realized a long time ago that talking about my allergies FASCINATED people (poor analogy was nearly inserted here– you’re lucky I saved you from that one).  However, while often a positive or educational discussion, the topic of allergies/allergy precautions on planes DO NOT MIX.  There is no hiding the fact that there are hundreds or possibly thousands of people who want to ban peanuts from being served on planes, e.g. the “Ban Peanuts on Planes” community on Facebook (, but one airline really went above and beyond to (try to) satisfy my allergy needs.

Southwest Airlines: I applaud you.  I received a peanut dust allergy slip — which was so super-cute that I was actually showing it off like it was a 6-week old puppy— at the gate that I was able to hand to the flight attendants on-board.  This slip disabled all staff from serving peanuts to the entire flight.  I don’t just mean 3 rows in front of me and 3 rows behind me like most airlines (only sometimes) do after you talk to about 52 people.  While I unfortunately sneezed until I fell asleep from the peanut dust filling the cabin from the previous flights in the day and from the oddly substantial amount of peanuts still sitting on the floor throughout each row, my mind was put at ease.  Granted I always fall asleep on planes, but this sleep caused a motivating, philosophical, mind-racing dream that really got me going once I landed in NOLA.  I woke up with “no ifs, ands, or nuts” ringing in my head—only to later find out that this copy had been taken by a bakery.  Regardless, it was a good start to the trip, so thank you Southwest for your inspiration for WhatTheNut.

To All the Titles That Didn’t Make It

The creation of a positive, witty blog about allergies has been an idea months in the making. With the help of my University of Miami and Boca Raton friends, I went through many blog titles before making the endless decision of going with ‘WhatTheNut.’ It’s catchy. Don’t be too jealous.

Below is a list of ways Nut could have been used in my blog title/URL (* denotes my favorites):

– Nut Your Average Blog*
– The Shellfish Nut—great combo of my nut and seafood allergies
– Mishugenut—which my non-Jewish friend really loved especially because she thought it read “Miss Huge Nut”
– Finding Nuts
– Sam of Nuts
– Nutty Seeing You Here*
– Nuttin (Better) To Do*
– Nut in My Nut—too dirty, ick
– Ready or Nut
– Silence of the Nuts—after a few drinks this was priceless!
– Nut the Blog You’re Looking For?
– Nutty or Nice—just meh
– Nutflix—just for documentaries of my life when I’m famous, obvs
– No Ifs, Ands, or Nuts**—OMG at least 2 days were ruined after I found out this was taken!

The Back Story

Allergies, especially peanut allergies, are not funny. My everyday life involves questioning strangers who may be serving me a potential life sentence. Currently a 22 year-old female, I am allergic to peanuts (and most other nuts) and fish (such as tuna, salmon and swordfish). This list is a HUGE reduction in allergies I had at birth: all seafood, shellfish, strawberries and even (gasp) chocolate. I’m sure there was more on the list, but who really cares. I’m trying to look toward the future and the potential that I may one day have no allergies. So we’ll see where the future takes us…
The purpose of this is blog is to be a recap of my past and current experiences with allergies in restaurants—while traveling, in the office, or wherever else. As I said before, allergies are not funny, but they have inspired some humorous situations. I promise I’m not here to preach to the world that you should treat people with allergies a certain way, though I do insist you always be sensitive to someone who says they have a serious allergy. Laugh a little, learn a little, and enjoy.