I would have preferred to call this post ‘Close Encounters of the Allergic Kind’ but it would have been too long. Seeing as I’m allergic to eggs, dairy milk, and nuts, and have asthma, eczema and hayfever, there would have been a post about my medical conditions eventually. But instead of talking about my conditions, let’s look at the amusing places where they make my face swell up! Are you allowed to laugh? Yes. But only a piteous, world-weary laugh.
First of all, I only found out I was allergic to eggs a few years ago, and whenever I had cakes, I always had what I called ‘an itchy tongue’. It’s kind of self-explanatory. But because the reactions weren’t that severe, it was never acknowledged as an allergy until recently.
So the first time I got an allergic reaction that I was aware of was when I had just started to go to school, and was in P1 in Scotland (the English equivalent is Reception, but no idea what the American equivalent is). We were given a free carton of milk every day. I know there was the whole Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher thing, but this was way after that, so I have no idea where the funding came from.
But what did I do when presented with the milk? Refuse it politely? Explain my allergies?
Of course not. I felt pressurised, so I drank it all. *facepalm* I went home with a rash and coughing perhaps? I can’t remember. It turns out my mum had forgotten to mention I was allergic to dairy to the school, and they’d had no idea…
After that, I had a long break which lasted for years without an allergic reaction. I had the itchy tongue a few more times, but mainly because I was sensitive to a certain food, not because I was allergic… or maybe I’m allergic to more things than I’m aware of? Somehow I doubt it. But this was pretty much ruined in one moment where I had a biscuit that my parents thought didn’t contain egg, but actually, it did. Again, nothing major happened, but it was still a reaction.
And then on one trip to India…
So this was about three or two years ago, in the dry season, and the day before we were going to go back to England. There were two cups of hot chocolate. One had soya milk, the other dairy milk. The dairy milk hot chocolate was on the table. I put my cup down on the same table. I made a special effort to remember where mine was, so I wouldn’t mix them up. Now wouldn’t that be embarrassing, and absent-minded, and slightly Hollywood-like?
I picked the wrong cup. Yay for non-existent spatial awareness!
At first nothing happened. Maybe over the years, I had grown out of the allergy. Maybe I would get out scot-free…
I went to bed. When I woke up, my face had poofed. Expanded so it was like a watermelon. My mum gave me some medicine, which made the healing process quicker, but I was still poofy at the airport. Luckily by the time school started my face was OK. I would have been teased so much… ;)
And on that note… the end. Until my next close encounter of the allergic kind!