I already said uncle
March 18, 2007
Last night after all the children were in bed, I sat on the couch, feet propped up on the ottoman, surfing the internet and watching that show Flip This House. Have you ever seen this show? The people buy houses, completely renovate them in a couple weeks and then turn around and sell them for ungodly sums of money. They make it look so easy. I have yet to see anyone who lost money on the show. Personally I think that would add a nice dramatic touch.
As I sat there I heard my name being called. I realized it was the last lone cupcake in the refrigerator, calling out to me to eat it.
I got the lone cupcake out of the fridge and sat back down where I inhaled it in a few bites. I felt slightly guilty about eating it because I have been eating really poorly lately and my jeans have been fitting really poorly as a result.
After a few minutes of checking email I got up and went into the bathroom. I glanced in the mirror of the dimly lit bathroom and noticed my faced looked bloated and bumpy. “Oh my God,” I thought, “I have cellulite on my face?!?”
I can not tell you the depths of the despair and depression I suffered while I peed. Cellulite? On my face?
After I peed I looked at myself again in the mirror. And I realized it was hives. My cheeks were bright red, puffy, and covered with raised bumps. I could almost see it getting worse before my eyes.
And thus began the portion of my evening called freak the fuck out.
I immediately went and got the benedryl and took 4 teaspoons of it. By the time I did this and walked back to the mirror it was even worse.
The thing that is strange about allergic reactions like this, if you have never had one, is that it feels similar to a panic attack. Which makes it all the more confusing and stressful. And I began to question myself. Am I having a severe allergic reaction? or am I having a panic attack because the idea of having an allergic reaction is frightening to me. But why would I have a panic attack when I never have panic attacks?
I have anaphalactic reactions to shellfish, but have never had a reaction to anything else.
I walked around the house pacing and fretting. Then I went to get my Epi-pen and realized it was expired.
Then I went into my oldest son’s bedroom where he was awake reading.
“Do I look weird to you?” I asked.
He looked at me quizzically. “You mean your pajamas?”
“What? What’s weird about my pajamas? I was talking about my face.” I answered.
“Yeah, it looks red and bumpy-ish.”
I had him get out of bed and come downstairs with me. I was trying to play it off, probably unsuccessfully, as no big deal.
“I just want you to let me know if my face gets worse so I don’t have to keep looking in the mirror.” I said.
A couple of minutes passed and he said, “Your chin is all red now.”
At this point it was 11:45 at night. Less than 15 minutes had passed since the beginning of this and it was still getting worse in spite of the benadryl.
So I called one of my best friends and as soon as she heard my voice said, “I’ll be right over.”
She came, she looked at me, and off we went to the ER, the good one.
Blah blah long story short, many jokes about shellfish filled cupcakes later, they filled me to brim with prednisone and zantac. And it all began going away. By the time I left the ER 1.5 hours later I no longer loooked like I needed to have liposuction done to my face.
This morning I look pretty much normal. But this has shaken me. I have no idea what caused the reaction. Most likely dairy was the culprit, but I don’t know that definitively. I am angry at myself for letting my Epi-pen expire and not replacing it. I would never let that happen if it were one of my children, why do I treat myself with any less consideration.
I have been saying that I needed to take care of myself better and stop making excuses for why I can’t find the time to exercise, eat health foods, and stop the negative self-talk. This was a huge wake-up call.
And then while talking with Rob on the phone he tells me that he stabbed himself in the palm of his hand with a knife while cutting up cabbage. He said it bled everywhere and his friend was trying to convince him it needed stitches. But he MacGyvered himself a some bandages. Which is good. Two visits to the ER in one week is already over the acceptable limit of zero.
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