A lot of great things happened today. I heard an incredible college choir perform at our church, Mad Men came back, and the weather was so gorgeous it made me want to leave all the doors wide open all day. But something else happened, too.
I’m allergic to something, but I don’t know what.
I mean I know of the main things I’m allergic to (cats, horses, orchard grass, Ceclor) but there’s something else, that we’ve never figured out. In high school I played soccer, and randomly at practice I would go into anaphylaxis. The doctors at first called it ‘exercise induced asthma’ though I never had any kind of asthma otherwise. But that wasn’t it. If I was running at a certain time of year around a certain something blooming, it would start with a burning tingly feeling in my mouth, then my lips would begin to swell as my heartbeat would become scary quick, my throat closed, my skin began to itch all over, and welps would cover my body, even my palms and the bottoms of my feet. It always resulted in my eyes swelling shut and me looking Rocky for about 12 hours before it would finally go away. I’d always get to skip school the next day if it was bad enough, just for looking so scary.
I’ve not had a reaction like this since 2006, and before that it was a pretty regular occurence. As long as I could get Benadryl as quickly as possible, we could avoid the emergency room and an epinephrine shot.
And then today, for no reason at all, while I was running with the dogs on the same sidewalk past the same yard we run past every single day, I felt my mouth begin to tingle. I felt my chest tighten and it was difficult to breathe evenly. It scared me how familiar it felt, like it happens all the time even though it’s been years. I thought I’d outgrown it. But the very good news is that I was only next door at the end of our walk when the feeling hit me, and I was downing 2 Benadryl with a gallon of water within 2 minutes. It gave me a scare but I’m SO happy to report that it never got worse since I got the medicine quickly enough. It was truly the best thing that happened today, avoiding the BIG reaction, even though my brain feels like molasses right now and I’m barely able to prop myself up on this keyboard.
Having the reaction made me feel like a college girl again too, in a wonderful/terrible kind of way. Know what I mean? I read today that only 2% of people have ever had anaphylaxis. Are y’all allergic to anything like that?
I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!