Finding out you are allergic to alcohol is brutal... and potentially deadly
The night Baron learned she was allergic to alcohol, she had actually just returned from winning an informal drinking competition at a nearby bar. Before this, she had never had any kind of reaction.
"I know in this context it sounds crazy, but I was never much of a drinker, even though I could drink a lot. It was more of a party trick for me."
Baron started feeling her windpipe closing, so she called 911 and was rushed to the hospital, where her allergy was diagnosed. If she hadn't called the ambulance in time, she would have died. "Its just like having a severe allergy to peanuts or shellfish... the swelling, and breathing issues, it's deadly."
Linda discovered her allergy the good old-fashioned way, in her parents' basement as a 16-year-old.
"I had never drank before, and I had some beer," she told me, "I got really, really sick -- had a horrible reaction... I couldn't breathe and was going into convulsions... and had to go to the hospital. My mom knew what was going on as soon as she saw me. She has the same allergy I do."