Okay - this past weekend gave me a post that ONLY fits here.
We met Lil Sis (who drove over from the Johnson Space Center area to Sugar Land - takes about an hour, for those NOT in Houston) at T.G.I.Fridays for a late lunch on Sunday (three day weekend). We ordered appetizers to share (dumplings with soy sauce and flat bread with cheese) then meals (she had Chicken Brushetta). We drank water with lemon slices (he's diabetic, I have to avoid caffeine, and she doesn't like soda). VorGuy and I had other foods - which I don't mention because we HAVE $150 in gift cards to use up before we can say something like that). This was about 2:30 pm (late lunch).
Lil Sis has two allergies (prickling in mouth and the rest of the digestive tract stage for asparagus and flax seed). She is sensitive to ALL artificial sweeteners (she's tried all but one, that she knows of). "Digestive" upsets - she will feel like she needs to throw up then spend a lot of time in the bathroom, purging for the next couple of days (but not throwing up).
After chatting - we split into two parties (VorGuy was going home to watch football and rest, as he'd had to work for three hours). Lil Sis and I were going to go shopping.
We get out to the car and she realizes that she feels "bad" - like she's eaten something that disagreed with her but no prickling in her esophogus. I go back into the restaurant to mention that she's feeling bad and we NEED to know what was in the food, because she is reacting as if she'd eaten something on her short list of "allergens & sensitivities". I'm thinking maybe something in the slightly sweet soy sauce & ginger dip for the pot sticker dumplings??
Turns out that there was artificial sweetner in everything Lil Sis ate (except the water with lemon slices). Flatbread with cheese & herbs? Chicken Brushetta (pasta in a creamy sauce)? Sweet monkey fritters!? Artificial sweetener? YGBK!
I went out to tell her that it was in everything she'd eaten. Everything. We head over to the closest fabric store to check for yarn. It's about 3:30 to four and she is feeling worse instead of better - so we leave the JoAnn's and head to the hospital across the state highway (literally - less than a mile as the crow flies - rather longer as we have to go down the access road, under the overpass, and back down the access road to the hospital. Where we stay from close to 5 pm until after 10 pm, she ends up getting called back about 6 pm (and voids her stomach contents into a blue plastic bag) as we are walking to the nurse to get processed. About 8 they have a room for her and she gets nausea meds & an IV.
Due to other medical issues, she is immune suppressed and anything that kick starts her immune system is going to make the underlying condition flare up - it causes nerve damage - she doesn't want that happening. So she watches what she eats to avoid anything that has ever caused problems before and reads menus carefully.
VorGuy picks me up and we get chicken soup, gas up the car, and pack a bag in case I take her home (an hour to drive one way) then go back to the ER to see how she's doing about 10 pm. Forty minutes later, she's checking out as they have finished the IV (rehydrating her) and the nausea meds are working.
She spends the night.....she is never going back to T.G.I.Fridays again as there was no mention on the menu that everything apparently is made with artificial sweeteners - and she refuses to eat somewhere without "warnings" about ingredients that can cause problems for some people (especially everything cooked - very few artificial sweeteners can handle being heated) not being mentioned as being used, at all.
We know to ask before ordering if she's with us or call first if she's going to meet us - but - who expects artificial sweetener in cheese toast & chicken pasta?