“Oh my!” the allergist said when he peaked in on me twenty minutes after the sadist/assistant pricked some forty-odd holes into my spineless backside. “You definitely have an allergic reaction…and it looks like to everything.” Then he said the worst yet, “Plan on staying in your new house long?”
Replaying the scene to Mandy over a belated birthday dinner party at Vines last night she quickly responded with, “I bet you told him that ‘it’s my dream house, I plan on living there forever!’ right?” As I held the last weighty bite of our birthday desert I stole a glance at my fork: lemon tart, homemade feather weight peanut brittle and some kind of dense moist chocolate. I told her that she was right, verbatim, but now I was concerned that a food allergy would come up.
Eddie wasn’t willing to let it all go and agree that just allergies are the root of my problem. (Or that his dream house is.) He shot back, over a Foxen Pinot Noir that we had just tasted last week in Santa Ynez, that we still have to wait to see what grows from my spinal tap. (A fuzzy bluish tinged mental picture I still have a problem with.) But more than worrying about the spinal tap growth I couldn’t help tossing a little red wine into the mix. “Didn’t one of the partner’s wives in my practice develop a sulfa allergy in her forties? Didn’t Dr. A. mention that they no longer add to their wine cellar because of it?” That left Eddie non-plussed.
Oh it can’t be so! Jeff, over his finally sated appetite, said I have to eat a lot of local honey to build up immunity to pollen. His wife Mandy suggested, under her cappuccino breath, that I check that little theory out with my allergist. (“Allergist” is sounding more and more like “therapist!”) But in the meantime I’m petrified that not only will those tests be painful, being allergic to my new neighborhood may just be the springboard toppling me into allergy hell.
Modern medicine please grant me the pill to get through it!
The doctor had spent thirty minutes going over the list of meds Valencia Pharmacy had to fill for me the past two months. He jotted down notes about the types of trees around me, how close was my bedroom window to a hillside (how did he know that I was on top of it?) and if I ever had an allergic reaction in a house before. Yep, moms.
But all three of us siblings got runny noses and watery eyes whenever we visited at her West LA house for more than fifteen minutes. We figured it was a mom thing. The doctor assured me that it just reconfirmed the allergy the pulmonary doctor had already discovered: dust mites.
I kind of lost consciousness around that time because he had two blown up images of dust mites adorning his desk. I thought that stinkbugs were scary, but the idea of this thing clamoring around between my ears was…well…shall we say…dizzying? I made a mental note to call John, the owner of “Hot Shots”, to clean our carpet soon as possible.
I still have two more allergy tests; the last of which his assistant told me would be the painful one, before he decides how he’ll treat me. In the meantime he wants to review all of my cat scans, MRI, blood tests and chest x-rays.
The headaches worsened again this past weekend but I feel better about it. I welcome the tightness in my chest. I embrace my early morning congestion and sore throat. For although we thought we had something tangible before (The white cell count could have been elevated due to the steroid drug they gave me to combat the headaches.) there’s nothing more visual, or itchy, as a scratch test.
Tangibility means everything. I have to have something to hold onto when I call in sick. Although I may have preferred acute, hyper, doggedly pursuing white cells to “an allergy attack”. At least I can believe the doctors when they tell me that I’m not dying, just crying.
Ed has since decided that I’m a hypochondriac. Yes, after 18 years he finally has me pegged. While I’m looking at possibly just a couple more tests, he’s staring at an MRI of his torn rotator cup. He may be needing something tangible too: surgery.
So, the Bushman’s are in it for the long hall. We’re not moving, not budging at all from our “dream house” no matter what nature, or circumstances, befall us. I can live without chocolate or red wine; Ed could always use a little forced off duty time. We come from strong stock. Well Ed does, born and raised on a farm in Minnesota will do that. For me, well, I know beauty when I see it. And nothing can compare with the sight of Samantha feeding our neighbor’s horse carrots, or the fact that they don’t chase us from their property when she does. Just give me my pill first, and make it soon.