Monday, October 22, 2007

My world is crashing down on me.

I visited the allergist today, and they did an allergy test on my back, poking me with 72 different allergens to see what I reacted to (this is my favorite style of medical treatment - when medical professionals are actively trying to cause me discomfort). I'd had the test before - they'd done the same thing on my forearm, which I think was a little worse. Not that it hurt more than this one did, the discomfort is minor in both cases, but in that situation I had to see it happen as it went along: watching my arm start to turn red, seeing sections of my arm swell up into little mountains of angry allergen reaction and then start to spread across, seeing those sections start to take over other sections until my arm look like a bubbling see of angry allergens intent on conquering my whole body. This time I just lay there, quietly trying not to scratch and wondering how things looked on my back.

The nurse came in at about five minutes in and glanced at my back, started to walk out, then looked again.

"Wow," she said, an exclamation I am uncomfortable hearing from anyone in the medical profession unless it is immediately followed by the sentence "you are one healthy individual, Mr. Wyman." In this case, it was not. It was simply, "wow."

"What's going on?"
"Well, your dust allergen has already started to really show."
"How bad is it?"
"We rate allergies on a scale of one to four." She paused, looking at my swollen back for a minute. "This is a six."
"Well, what else am I allergic to?"
"Let's see, you've got allergies to Scotch Pine... Mesquite..."
"Like... barbecue sauce mesquite?"
"Yes, but just the pollen. Don't worry. Let's see... oak... cats... dust... and dust mites... chocolate..."
"I'm sorry, what was that last one?"
"Chocolate. You're allergic to chocolate."
"Like, eating chocolate?"
"So I can't each chocolate?"
"No. Also, nothing that has cocoa in it, so no hot cocoa, or Coca-Cola."
"I'm sorry? What was that?"
"No Coke. It has cocoa in it too." She paused, looking over my back one more time, and left the room for another ten minutes for me to choke in my despair. And also for the allergen test to complete.

Now, I know there are a lot of worse things I could be allergic to. Wheat, for instance. Or corn. But I just can't get over the list of things I can't eat anymore.

Cocoa Krispies. Chocolate chip cookies. Double chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate cream pie. Brownies. Milanos. Riesens. Chocolate sauce. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Chocolate Cake. Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Tootsie Roll Pops. Mocha. Raisinets. Chocolate fondue.

Hot chocolate.

Thin Mints.

Peanut Butter M&Ms.

Chocolate chip ice cream.


I'm very, very, very depressed about this. I'm going home, I'm going to make myself some vanilla ice cream and butterscotch and I'm going to weep copiously for my loss. Then maybe I'll pull myself together, make myself some hot apple cider, and throw everything that has chocolate in my apartment off the balcony. And then maybe I'll cry again. I don't think I need to feel ashamed of this. Today, I lost something very important. It's well within my rights to mourn its passing.

R.I.P. Chocolate. Someday, in another life, I hope we meet again. And then our joy will only be strengthened by our long separation.

Though before then Halloween is coming, and I am gonna be pissed at you.



At October 23, 2007 2:17 AM, Anonymous megan jane said...

My question is, if you're so allergic to chocolate that you can never have it again, how did you survive these past 24 years? I mean, that was a pretty long list of chocolate things you have to give up. You'd think there'd be some indication that you've been risking death every time you consumed one of them. Like canker sores, or violent illness or... something.

At October 23, 2007 9:00 AM, Blogger Kate said...

That's why you just don't go to the doctor. Ignorance is bliss.

But I'm with Morgan on this one...

At October 23, 2007 12:39 PM, Blogger bs king said...

Well, I was allergic to wheat for 21 years without knowing. I was just sick all the time and thought it was in my head. HOWEVER....get that retested. A strong reaction to one of those allergens can mean that you get positive tests on other stuff. They sometimes forget to mention that. If they tested you for chocolate right after dust, you'd test positive. A friend of mine was told she was allergic to apples and oranges and a bunch of other strange stuff after testing positive for dust allergies, then went back and got tested sans dust testing, and bam, no more food allergies. Seriously, I think they're wrong. They'd rather tell you "no to all of this" than risk having you get sick, no matter how bad it is. Get rechecked. I'm serious.

At October 23, 2007 1:31 PM, Blogger Ante Solium said...

No junior mints either... that too bad, they're very refreshing!

At October 23, 2007 6:09 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I'm with Bethany, only without the medical knowledge. But dude, think about all the Ovaltine we had as kids. That almost killed us anyway. If you were really that allergic to it, wouldn't you have died?
Of course, that does possibly explain why you had trouble swallowing and had to pop the Rolaids all the time.

At October 23, 2007 7:57 PM, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

I think your best strategy is to go fanatic on the dust at home, car, and work for two weeks and then see what happens with chocolate.

(Vacuum filters) + (Mattress and pillow covers) + (Air filters) = hot fudge sundaes. And in the meantime, there's black cows.

At October 23, 2007 11:44 PM, Blogger Caitlin said...

Aren't you not supposed to be eating ice cream any way? I thought we were co-lactards. But I suppose I could have you confused with someone else.

At October 24, 2007 6:54 AM, Blogger Wyman said...

I was lactose intolerant, but over the period of two years I trained my body to tolerate it. I was very proud of myself for this since it meant I could eat ice cream again. But I guess that's all ruined now.

At October 24, 2007 3:07 PM, Blogger Erin said...

I'm with the others on this one. I have the opposite problem: allergies that never show up no matter how many needle boards they prick me with or how many pints of blood they suck out of me. I swear all doctors are vampires; I have my blood drawn every time I go near one. But I digress...

Ask for a blood test. Blood doesn't lie (unless it's mine).


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