Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In Which I Discover I May Be Allergic to Wine. FML.

I don’t want to sound like I’m panicking or exaggerating, but I might be allergicish to wine and this is the worst thing that’s happened to me in my entire life. 

So, as those of you who follow me on Twitter may know, I’ve been getting a lot of sinus headaches lately.  I’ve noticed that they are a bit worse after I drink.  Last week, this gchat convo happened with Boyfriend:

So I have another sinusy headache today and I had a fair bit of wine last night
I just read since alcohol dilates blood vessels, it cause the blood vessels in nose/sinus to swell and create pressure. SINUS HEADACHES
I wonder if its wine I'm more sensitive to or just all alcohol
Boyfriend: It could also be the number of people in your head trying to get out and the gallon of pinot doesn't help
Me: Seriously though
Boyfriend: sorry 
Me: Maybe I should switch to gin for a few days
or buy tylenol sinus
or switch to another drug
Boyfriend: I have some dayquil in my bag I think
You are not allowed near coke!
Me: Maybe if I smoke weed and don't drink it’ll go better
Maybe i should try that the next time you're smoking
or prescription meds
oh look, Useless McGee is only 20 minutes late today and not a whole half hour. [I almost took this part out because it's not relevant but then I realized I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW HOW MUCH OF A SLACKER SHE IS.]
Boyfriend: Zoloft or 5 HTP
Me: This is very distressing to me

I mean, seriously guys?

Life is not okay right now.

A few days later:
fuck I drank wine last night and my sinuses HURT
I drink a lot of water anyway but I guess I need more 
Boyfriend: You're going to have to give up that wine shit
I'm buying gin tonight.
Here's the other thing
Our heat in the apartment is super dry and gross
Help me.
Boyfriend: humidifier
Me: What is this magic you speak of?
There are a bunch of different animals to choose from!!!
Do I want the cow or the duck?
Boyfriend: We have the elephant. You would want the duck I assume. Do you just want to borrow ours? No one is using it at the moment.
Me: Hmmmmm…..

So, I decided to address this problem on dual fronts. 

1. I brought a crap top of sinus meds
Does anyone know if its okay if I drink and take the nighttime ones?
2. I stopped drinking.

HAHAHAHAH, just kidding. 

Actually, I decided to drink DIRECTLY in front of the humidifier.

That’s a normal response, right? I’m a problem solver.

So, this solution is kind of working for now. Does anyone else experience this, or have any good advice for me? Alternatively, if I need to consider giving up the alcohol, can anyone put me in contact with a good dealer?


  1. sorry to hear that. sinus headaches and facial pains can be motivated by reds specifically. i usually inhale mint steam like twice a day, and use salt water spray and medicated nasal spray to heal. i avoid wines but whisky and brandy are okay for me. ultimately, i also need a lot keeping away from exercises etc.
    oh, some anti-histamines help too.

    hope you get better.

    You should get checked by a doc before doing anything irrational like giving up wine.

  3. Yeah, it's not wine, but the wine is exacerbating the issue. I will extol the virtues of weed, though. And in this case, it is medicinal. Oh and cocaine. Do lots and lots of cocaine. Like 1980's Hollywood mountains of cocaine. That'll fix things...

  4. Yea, I think it could be the dry air, especially during the night, noticed that at my place.

    Never ever give up wine!!!

  5. Ok, Mayor, if you're shooting for re-election, perhaps your suggestions are not the way to go! If not, then choosing one vice over another may work.

  6. Because I think this is what you want to hear, I'll say I'm not sure the wine is what's "causing" your issues. However, I'm sure it doesn't help once they're there. Sinus crap is in full force for everyone right now, and I have to say that I also worship my humidifier (and don't drink wine, meaning you still should, right?)

    Whenever I drink wine, I get a huge headache regardless. With vodka I just get regret.

  7. Oh NOOOOOOOO :| I think drinking in front of the humidifier is a good idea - you can't give up wine!! xx

  8. You got the elephant? It's so cute.

  9. I laughed out loud with the wine glass in front of the elephant. I can't help you with this one, unfortunately. I really am allergic to wine. Well, the sulfites that are found in wine. I have no problem with beer or vodka though :-) Was it this bad in the warmer temps? It may be possible that you have an underlying infection that isn't getting fully cleared up. Then when you drink wine you get a bit dehydrated and stir things up again. Sorry! The mommy in me came out. Hope you find an answer sooner rather than later. The wine industry could take a hurtin' if they lose a girl like you.

    1. How does one clear up an infection without seeing a doctor?

  10. Sutter Home (gag) stock just crashed.

  11. Ouch... Allergic to wine? Seriously? I feel for you...

  12. Alright. . . there are a few things.

    1) there is a difference between a hangover and a food allergy. I'm assuming you've enough experience with the one that you're not confusing it with the other? Because reading this, I don't get that message. Like. . . "oh my god, I have such a skull splitting headache." "maybe it was all the tequila you drank last night?" "Do you think I might be allergic to it?" "No, I think you should stop after 6 shots." Okay. . . so first let's eliminate wine as the culprit. Tonight drink the same wine that gave you the headache last time. But just drink one glass. If you wake up with a headache. . . it's probably not a hangover. If you finished the bottle the night you opened it and can't try this experiment. . . maybe it WAS a hangover"

    2) What wine are you drinking. . . some wines have tons of sulfites in them, and a lot of people feel that high sulfite wine causes headaches. . . so it's not Wine that you're getting headaches from . . . it's "Shitty" wine. So the next step in this process (after you eliminate the possibility that you're a damn drunk) is to compare the effects of one wine with those of another. My wife claims to get skull crushing headaches from some wines, and zippo from others. When you find a wine that gives you headaches. . . stop drinking that one and start buying better wines that don't.

    3) If you're not a damned drunk, and the wine is low sulfite. . . maybe you have "allergies" but aren't necessarily allergic to "wine" and the fact that you got a headache after a night drinking wine is less indicative of the wine and more indicative that because you drink wine nightly, you're incapable of determining whether it's a headache produced by wine allergy and one produced by plain ol' sober allergies. The older I get the more I notice sinus headaches in the morning. They typically fade after I'm up for an hour or so, but when they don't, I take a sinus pill or allergy pill, and a tylenol or something, and the pain diminishes. Failing that, get a prescription for flonase or singulair or whatever.

    4) If you're not a damned drunk, you're drinking good wine, and you don't have allergies. . . perhaps you're coming down with a sinus infection?

    5) If you're not a damned drunk, you're drinking good wine, you don't have allergies and you're healthy as a horse. . . maybe you're allergic to wine.

    1. Wow...that is a lot of words. Thanks for your input. I should explain that I know I'm not technically "allergic" to wine, but saying that I'm worried about having a "wine allergy" is shorter and easier to explain than "I'm worried I'm having a reaction to alcohol that isn't the same thing as a hangover because I know what those feel like but gives me a sinus headache which hurts like a mofo."

      As far as quality goes, I'm not sure I'd consider sutter home a "shitty wine," per se, but others may disagree. I'm also not drinking excessive quantities (ie a bottle a night). My hangover headaches are different. These sinus ones are getting worse as the day goes on.

      My gut tells me that the weather, maybe an underlying infection/seasonal allergies, and alcohol are making a perfect storm of sinus headaches.

    2. Sutter Home? Yeah, that'll give you a headache. ;)

      Also. . . You should read that entire comment as me being a snarky know-it-all, and tongue-in-cheek.

      Also also. . . I need to leave longer comments.

  13. No idea what might help - but I trust you'll come up with something - and I'm sure it will be funny and enjoyable for us to read about too lol... or at least I hope so! I don't mean to enjoy your sufferings of course - but you have such a way with words! xx

  14. I loves me some Tylenol Severe sinus meds. I've been on all kinds of sinus treatments the past week. I'm sure someone has told you to get a neti pot right? They're good for instant relief.

    1. Yeah, til an amoeba gets into your brain and kills you. Pass.

    2. I tried putting salt water up my nose per my doctor's orders to clear out my sinuses. That shit went in AND NEVER CAME BACK OUT. So I tried again, following his directions to tilt my head back. AND THE SECOND dropper-full never came out.

      NO THANKS.

  15. Life would cease to exist for me if I couldn't drink wine. I bet you're just getting sick. Keep drinking in front of the humidifier! That sounds logical to me. Feel better!

  16. aww you're not allergic to wine. At least I don't think. Maybe you have a sinus infection and the alcohol is making it worse. Idk what I'd do w/o a nice glass of wine at night. Sigh..

  17. LMAO @ Boyfriend!

    I think your problem solving skills are superb. If you DO need to slow down on your wine consumption I solemnly swear to pick up the slack for you.

  18. Haha you silly!

    It might be the kind of wine you're drinking. Switch it up! Were you drinking white or red? Reds like pinot are sometimes hard for people. Try a smoother merlot. If you drink white don't drink chardonnay.

  19. FYL, indeed. What would Gia be without a good glass of wine?

    As for advice, I can offer you nothing except a speedy visit to a doctors office to figure out the real problem. There's no need to stress yourself out over something you might/might not have googled in a panic. :-)

  20. I avoided the neti pot for many years due to my irrational beliefs that pouring anything through my nose would kill me, or turn me in to a zombie. I am a convert. I suggest trying the NeilMed neti pot. It even comes with the little saline packets. Rinse out your sinuses every night and I bet you can keep drinking your wine. I mean, it's worth a shot, right?

    Also, this helps sinus infections without having to see the doctor. I hate antibiotics.

  21. You won't ask a vegan this question "which has more taste and nutritional value?" I am a alcohol virgin.sorry can't help you r

  22. being allergic to wine would kill me, so the only advice i have is to put up with the sinus headaches. I know, terrible advice, but WWCD? (What would Carmen do?) and that's pretty much it.

    you poor thing.

  23. I love the you have a wine drinking buddy and better yet, HE won't even drink your wine!

    As far as sinuses go, open them up. Try pseudoephedrine. It really helps me. Get the generic brand, it's super cheap. Although you do have to get it from behind the pharmacy counter.

  24. Make sure the wine doesn't mess with the sinus meds and cause even more problems. Humidifiers are indeed magic though. I have a humidifier, a dehumidifier, and an air filter in my bedroom... wake up on point every day!

  25. LOL, oh gosh I hope you do figure it out. I know that it triggers migraines for me sometimes. Anyway, you made me laugh!


  26. Drink an entire bottle of Middle Sister Rebel Red and then go to Walmart. It makes up for any headache that you'll face the next day because everything the night before was SO PRETTY.

    Lettuce Be Clear

  27. Oh God you poor thing! I would suggest drinking a glass of water with the wine, maybe your dehydrating yourself? Or drink so much that you just pass out and don't remember your sinuses.

  28. Classic sinus infection symptoms: headache and pain in your face. Get thee to a doctor, get antibiotics, when the infection is cleared up, I'd bet the wine will not hurt you any more.

    But that's just me.

  29. Might be the wine. We have a friend that gets deathly ill from red wine but feels fine with white.

    Vodka. Can't go wrong there!

  30. be careful with sinus meds and booze. They will fuh-queue up.

    You could be sensitive to sulphites. Which would blow.

    Good luck and may the humidifier force be with you!!

  31. Well, good luck with the drinking thing. One the other side of the rainbow...if that doesn't work, at least you have enough sinus meds to make meth! You gotta look at the bright side!

  32. I can't relate. Any of the foods I'm allergic to just cause my mouth to itch like crazy.

  33. Haha, I found your boyfriend's comment about "It could also be the number of people in your head trying to get out" to be hilarious. No offense intended to you but I think it's a great line.

    Hopefully, you're not allergic to wine.

  34. I've heard netty pots cure all. Try that. God forbid you have to give up drinking.

  35. Wow, I learned so much helpful stuff! My sinuses also react to some wines - usually Merlots. And the vino I drink is not the cheap stuff. I don't buy my own; it's always a gift from a client or one of my attorneys. I use a neti pot and it helps a lot. Just be sure to use distilled water.

  36. Personally, I try to have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage - wine, beer, mixed, whatever.

  37. I used to be allergic to the sulphates in red wine, maybe you're having a similar reaction. I noticed that the better produced it was, the less of a reaction I had.

  38. Wine allergy? That sucks. Maybe its a specific type, like wines with a lot of "tanin"? Or like Chileans like to use lots of chemicals to keep the bugs away, and those cause a lot of headaches. Maybe stick to more expensive and organic wine. Yeah. That's the ticket. Go organic!

    oh look, that anonymous dude kinda said the same thing I did. Kinda.

  39. Hangover is big problem in young age people, for that Hangover Drink is useful for us.