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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Death by Cookies

It has taken me a full 2 weeks to process this, and by the urging of my family who has heard this story ad nauseam; I am encouraged to share it with you.

A few Tuesday mornings ago I remembered that I had begged my new supervisor to let me contribute something to the staff meeting tomorrow. My office is full of politics, my eagerness makes me fresh meat. I am quickly learning it is far better to keep your nose down and offer to help only your self, rather then sincerely want to help someone.

I knew my co-worker in the office was allergic to nuts,I was just careless.

Tuesday morning at an upscale market. I bought "fig newton" style cookies. No nuts to be seen. Full ingredient list was on the bottom of the container.
I served them to my co-workers at The Department staff meeting, an hour goes by without anyone touching them. At an hour, my co-worker puts one to her lips, not into her mouth, and went into instant anaphylactic shock. Shaking, vomiting, her throat swelled so much that she was beginning to loose air. She was driven to the hospital immediately.

This does happen to her alot but she had an epi pen, along with allergy medicine to ease the effects. I was so upset that I had been so careless about this situation, that I allowed myself to be sent home.
Anger paired with embarrassment were my companions throughout the rest of the day. Anger that I had let her get hurt by something I did. However much I can torture myself over this will not change the fact that we were both careless. Neither of us checked the ingredients, we went on visuals alone. These cookies were actually made with Almond flour and Walnut Oil.


Blogger Liz said...

Oh dear. I've done exactly the same thing to a nut-allergic colleague. (My biscuits were chocolate flavour.) I carry an epi pen too (lobsters, of all the ridiculous things to be allergic to), so I was able to stab her in the leg with it, but she still had to go to hospital.

I was exceptionally angry with myself, and *so* embarrassed for several weeks afterwards. My colleague, bless her heart, was very kind and forgiving, and although she now teases me mercilessly every time I bring food in now, she's very cool about it.

I hope your colleague is as kind-spirited as mine was. I don't think that your mistake will be viewed by other co-workers as anything other than a really unfortunate accident; please don't beat yourself up over it.

November 27, 2005 1:13 PM  
Blogger Sara, The Wine Makers Wife said...

Thank you so much for your comment. It actually made me feel a great deal better. I was so shocked that I had been so foolish. I am sure you are an intelligent person, so the idea that this has happened to someone else who is a perfectly capable human being- makes me feel less stupid. I am glad your co-worker is kind about it. Mine is...well, she is a very gossipy person, she was kind about it and "forgiven" me but I rather doubt it deep down. Thank you again, your comment really made me feel like less of an idiot.

November 27, 2005 5:22 PM  

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