And thus begins the alphabiography.
I don't have many allergies; however, for some odd reason, I think it's important for you to get to know me better by knowing my allergies.
The first allergy I recall becoming aware of is my allergy to cats. I think I was five. All I remember is that my eyes were falling out. Huge, white flakes of eyeball just coming out of my head. It was emotionally traumatizing, to say the least. Since then, I generally avoid cats, which, as I see it, is no loss to me. Cats were once worshiped in Egypt as gods; they have not forgotten this. And since I can eat a cat (not that I would, mind you), I don't see why I should worship it. It should worship me. It should be loyal to me. And this is why dogs are so much better than cats. Don't believe me? Just ask Nemesis.
I am also allergic to antibiotics. This was an unfortunate discovery. Well, it was an unfortunate situation anyway. When I was a first-year senior in college, a couple of my teeth thought it would be fun to abscess. After a couple nights of sitting in bed, clutching my jaw and trying not to scream out in pain, I found myself a dentist. He performed a lovely root canal. Well, two lovely root canals. "Are you allergic to penicillin?" "Not that I know of." So I got my prescription and went on my merry way. I even took my medication when I was supposed to, despite my general disdain for medication. The next day, while I was at work, I suddenly had the overwhelming sensation that my chest was going to implode. Now, I've never physically placed myself in a vice, but I'm pretty sure that's what I was feeling. Apparently I blanched. My supervisor looked over at me. "Are you okay?" "I don't think so." "What's wrong?" I explained what I was feeling. "You went to the dentist yesterday? Did he give you an antibiotic?" "Yes. Penicillin." "Are you allergic to penicillin?" "I don't know." "Okay. You're allergic to penicillin." Now, had the experience ended there, we would have lived, learned, and moved on. Instead, I called the dentist to inform him of my newly discovered allergy. "Do you have some other antibiotic I should try?" "Umm. Well, I think you should just finish off this prescription . . ." "But it almost killed me." "Well, you'll be fine." Supervisor was appalled. I was baffled. Needless to say, I did not go back to this dentist. I would post his name for all to see so that nobody else goes to see him either, but his father is one of the authors whom I edit, so I just don't think that would be good to go posting.
Ahh, but Edgy, you said you were allergic to antibiotics. Plural. True, dear reader. True. Fast forward a few years to when another tooth on the other side of the mouth decides to abscess. Now, having already undergone two root canals, I'm fully aware of what the pain is and means. I find a new dentist. I get the root canal. "Are you allergic to anything." "Yes. Penicillin." "Okay. We're going to put you on erithromyacin." I get my prescription. Again, I am dutiful in my pill-popping duties. First pill, no problem. Second pill, I spend the next hour vomiting. My obliques are worn from the exertion of vomiting nothing. And I have a bitter, metallic taste in my mouth. But I sleep it off. And, because it's just six hours after the procedure and I've finally got feeling back in my mouth, I assume that it was just the aftereffects of being put under. The next morning, I take my next pill. No problem. The next one, more vomiting and metallic tasting. I read the little warning the pharmacist attached to the bag. I have all but one of the You Might Be Allergic symptoms. I take that as a pretty good indication that I'm allergic. I call the dentist. "My. That's not good. Stop taking that antibiotic. If you're only reacting every other time you take it, the dose might be too strong for you. But rather than risk it, we'll note in your chart that you're allergic. Really, your root canal went quite well, and I don't think you'll need an antibiotic, especially since you got some in you initially. If you notice any swelling or infection, call me immediately and we'll give something else a try." I still go to this dentist.
Anyway, there are supposedly a few more antibiotics out there that I can try. I haven't had occasion to experiment yet, though I think I feel another tooth abscessing. Fortunately, I have my regular checkup tomorrow. I could be in for a root canal as early as next week.
These are my known allergies. There's a chance I could be allergic to bread, but I like bread too much to find out if this is actually the case. And I'm pretty certain that I'm allergic to chocolate, considering that it irritates my throat so. However, I don't believe there is a curse worse than an allergy to chocolate, so I certainly will not be verifying that particular allergy.
This post has been brought to you by ABBA and Laurie Halse Anderson. Growing up, I was raised on John Denver, Neil Diamond, and ABBA. ABBA was housecleaning music. When I got to college, I was reintroduced to ABBA through the greatest album of all time. I still consider it unfortunate that disco only lived for five months. Sigh. Regardless, it's very appropriate that this post is brought to you by ABBA because, apparently, Waterloo was the number one song on the UK pop chart when I was born, thus making it my life anthem.
And Speak is one of the most compelling novels I've ever read. Anderson is amazing at reflecting the psychological trauma foisted on rape victims, especially when their social network betrays and abandons them.
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