You know how it is when someone has a new SOMETHING in their life, and suddenly they are incapable of talking about anything but that SOMETHING. Like, when people have a new baby. It’s All Baby, All The Time for a while.
Or when someone gets engaged and they cannot shut up about it and it’s all engagement, rings, campers, weddings, courtroom sketch artists. Like that. How boring, right? I mean, as a reader, your eyes probably start to roll back in your head and you think, “Geez, didn’t she used to write about anything else? Has she always been this insipid?”
The answer, of course, is yes, I have always been this insipid. But I did used to talk about other things, and this week I gazed upon my blog and thought to myself, “I have GOT to stop yammering on about Otto. Surely something else blogworthy will come along.”
Well. I should say so, and how.
So, last night, I was on the phone with Otto (Christ, there I go again… but I swear this isn’t even about him, honest) and I was eating pilfered Halloween candy. Because it is a mother’s job not to allow the children to eat all that candy. It’ll make them sick! (Much better for ME to eat it and get sick.) And I finished munching on whatever I was eating last—a Reese’s Cup, I believe—and chucked the wrapper into the trash. Yummy.
We continued chatting and at some point I realized that my lower lip felt funny. Kind of… tingly. Maybe a little swollen.
I ignored it, because who cares?
Some time passed and my lip was definitely feeling swollen, so I got up to go look at it in the bathroom mirror. I don’t want to frighten you, but let’s just say that it would’ve been an excellent time for me to do a really impressive pout. My lip was about twice its normal size.
So I mentioned this to Otto, remarking that although I often suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome I couldn’t for the life of me think of what I might’ve eaten that would’ve triggered that. (If you don’t feel like following that link, the idea in a nutshell is this: if you are allergic to certain pollens that are similar to the proteins in some raw fruits/veggies, eating those foods—particularly when the pollen count is up—can cause a localized allergic reaction, usually some swelling and itchiness of the mouth and tongue. For example, bananas are a so-called cross-reactor for ragweed, and during allergy season if I forget and eat a banana the roof of my mouth will itch until I am driven mad and throw myself under the nearest passing car to make it stop.)
I then continued on—because clearly my allergies and swollen lip are SO FASCINATING to my beloved—to ask if I’d ever told him about the Mystery Pizza Allergy. He said I had not.
Oh, this was FUNNY, I told him. I had this thing, years ago, where I developed some weird allergy to SOMETHING in pizza (to this day I don’t know what it was). It all happened around the time that Chickadee was a baby. I think that we were probably ordering pizza more often, due to new motherhood and sleep deprivation. And we’d get plenty, so we’d have leftovers, and on the second or third day of eating leftover pizza, I would break out in hives.
And it took me several episodes of this to figure out that it was the pizza. But allergies work on a threshold principle, and after this had happened a few times, finally I broke out in hives within minutes of eating take-out pizza and the little lightbulb went off over my head.
I combed through articles online and went to the food allergy forums and asked if anyone had any ideas about what it might be (because it was triggered only by take-out pizza, and not even always from the same place). The most common suggestion was that perhaps I’d developed a sensitivity to dough conditioners that some commercial places use. I saw my doctor, who totally earned her $10 copay by telling me to just stop eating pizza. I conducted little experiments with different components of pizza and never figured out WHAT in the pizza was causing the problem.
So I stopped eating take-out pizza for a while, and then resumed, slowly, eating only a couple of pieces and not then eating leftovers for days on end, and it never happened again.
I retold this riveting tale to Otto as I stood in my bathroom, poking at my tingly lip and studying it in the mirror. To Otto’s credit, if he fell asleep during the story he hid it really well. He said something about how yeah, that’s really weird, and I added as a footnote that the weirdest part was that the hives always started on my feet and worked upwards.
And then I pulled up my pant leg because, for some reason, in the retelling of this story, I’d become quite itchy.
Possibly because my feet and legs were covered with hives.
(Deja vu, except I hadn’t been eating pizza.)
Otto was then treated to the play-by-play as I scoured the house for benadryl, finally finding and chewing 3 children’s tablets.
I woke up this morning covered from toes to hip and fingers to elbow with hives. And there was no more benadryl to be found in the house. And we were running late for church. So I spent most of church trying not to scratch and then afterwards we stopped for milk, orange juice, and benadryl, and I was able to get a bit of relief, again. I’m still trying to figure out what I’ve been eating a lot of that could’ve triggered this, and I can think of only one thing.
That’s just… too horrible to contemplate, really.
So I’m going to keep taking my antihistamines and drinking lots of water and trying not to scratch and consider this my little reminder not to worry about having things to talk about other than, um, that other thing I’m going to be doing (hopefully hive-free). Because, really, listening to me babble on about recent life changes has GOT to be better than listening to me bawl over potentially being allergic to Reese’s cups. (Don’t judge me. They’re two great tastes that taste great together!)