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Pepper Madness -

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pepper Madness
I thought that I would continue writing about talking to doctors.

I have regular appointments with my allergist. Not including the weekly allergy shots that I receive. There is the ongoing game between my allergist, the pharmacy and my insurance company. I tell my allergist my symptoms, he prescribes a med, I take it to the pharmacy, they pull up the brand in the computer and in due course inform me that it is not covered. I call the allergist who must now submit a new prescription. This went on for weeks until I finally gave up.

I just learned that my idiotic insurance company decided to simply stop covering all allergy medications. Some times I wish I had super powers. The power of “shared misery.” I would inflict my power on everyone that make the pharmacy decisions at my job and they too would have hay fever. They too will dread the coming of the Spring in May. They too will have to use perfectly good sick time to rest during the semi-annual sinus infection. The itchy eyes… all of it could be theirs to experience.

Well this last time I met with the doctor I wanted to talk to him about my food allergies. During my last allergy test, he determined that I had none. He was wrong because I clearly had food allergies.

Once in college I ate an entire pint of strawberries, a ½ pound of nectarines and some Trix cereal during one week. Did you know that hives resembles the measles? I didn’t but apparently the year before I got to my college there had been a measles outbreak. It had been so bad that the moment that I complained about my “rash” I lost all of my friends. The campus nurses called it hives and I was given my first allergy pill. I was delirious and drowsy for two weeks while the stuff worked its way out of my system. My friends returned very apologetic once I gave the all clear.

At my last appointment I informed my doctor that I had an allergy to chili peppers. I didn’t understand why the VERY expensive allergy test did not know that I react to strawberries and chilis. He asked me “How do you know that you are allergic” I could have told him one of two scenarios.

Last year, while preparing Yassa Chicken for dinner I cut a chili pepper and found that I could not breathe. I don’t mean coughing. I mean gasping for air. I knew to rush outside for fresh air because that had not been my first asthma like reaction to peppers.

The Capsaicin in peppers is what determines its heat. Apparently I am sensitive to that heat and my vocal chords were closing makinge “breathing in”, very difficult. But how did I know that you are wondering... As was my allergist.

I learned the day that I thought I was dying. I was working the door at a social event. The crowd had become very agitated. The police were losing control of the young men that had used the darkness, heat and lack of space to ignite old rivalries and began fighting. I reached into the gawking crowed to pull out my friends who had turned into statues as the men rolled around on the floor fighting each other. I pulled out three of the entranced ladies before I realized that I was going to die. I could not breathe. So obviously it was my time. Because I was going to die, I reached out to my friend and tried to tell her that I loved her and to tell my sisters that i love them and my parents that i died trying to protect my friend. But i could not breathe. She didn’t understand me so I felt that since I was dying I should lie on the ground and close my eyes. You see.. to make it easier and not cause a scene. I began to think to myself, “so this is what it is like to suffocate to death. Wow.” "This isn't so bad." In my delirium I had determined that I was going to experience death without a fight. My death would signal the end of teh riot that was taking place all around me. People would walk the streets and chant "No more violence.... Frizzy Lives.... No more violence because Frizzy Lived...."

Thank goodness, someone took me outside to the fresh air. While sitting outside in the cold, completely embarrassed at my previous behavior I wondered what had just happened to me.

You should have seen my doctor’s face when I told the latter story. He wondered if I should carry an inhaler. He seemed to think that I find myself in these pepper spray blessed events all the time. Not sure why he thought that but I refused the inhaler anyway.


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