Apologies to those Connerites who have already had the opportunity to read this. The letter was too good not to post for others to read. I have quite a funny husband. :-)
David has dealt with a dizziness problem several times since we got married. (It’s not a constant thing. It happens every few months, always in the depths of allergy season.) This is David’s explanation of his day yesterday that included yet another round of testing to see if we can find a cure.
Today I went to the doctor to be tested for allergies. I don’t know why they need to test, I know I have allergies. There’s a whole back story about why I had to go get tested for allergies, but I’ll cut that short and just say, you know how in Tom and Jerry (you know, the cartoon) when Tom gets slapped so hard that his head shakes from left to right and then he grabs his head with his hands to stop it from shaking and his eyes continue to shake left-to-right and then back?
It turns out that’s a real condition – not the getting slapped part, but the thing where you shake your head and your eyes keep shaking. I get it from time to time. So in trying to figure out what’s causing it, my doctor sends me to this doctor and that doctor, and every other doctor, and finally I end up at the allergy doctor’s office to be tested for allergies.
I went in this morning for allergy testing. Before they got started they said I had to sign what was essentially a waiver, that I understood the risk of being tested. Evidently it can turn out bad – like every orifice swells shut and then you can’t breathe. I sign over my life and then they get started. They tell me to lay face down on this table and that they’re going to apply a series of 9 different applicators, each having 8 applicator tips/points/needles, to my back. Each little needle is infected with a different allergen, so, 72 different allergens in total. The guy who was mashing these torturous little devices into my skin said I might feel some discomfort… I may as well have laid (lain?) down on a bed of nails infected with cat hair, and had the guy jump up and down on me so they dug into my skin. It wasn’t painful, but it was more than a little discomfort. He lied, so already I know I can’t trust him.
He finishes mashing the last of the allergens into my skin and comments that my whole back is red. At least he’s observant. He told me I’d have to wait for 20 minutes for the allergens to take effect. I thought they already had. Then he says that during this 20 minutes I need to talk so he can monitor whether or not my tongue, throat, and other air passageways are swelling shut. I didn’t really have much to say to him, so he did most of the talking. He tells me about the different types of serum that they make, how concentrated they are, and other boring stuff about the allergy medicine business. He tells me about how they grade the allergic reaction from 1 to 4, 1 indicating no allergic reaction, to 4 indicating “Yup, you’re super allergic to that”. He notes, from my back, that I’m super allergic to cats. That’s when I realized the tests work. I’ve been super-allergic to cats for years. He tells me I’m super allergic to mountain cedar trees, live oak (as opposed to dead oak?) trees, red oak trees, pecan trees, some kind of mold, and cats – those are all 4s. A grade of 2 is like the reaction you get from a mosquito bite.
The guy finally, after the 20 minutes is up, grades and notes the severity of each reaction. It turns out I’m allergic to everything on the page, except for 9 items, one of which is the control substance – sugar water. Those things I’m not allergic to are essentially pointless to know about because they are: European Privet (so if I ever go to Europe, I won’t sneeze), Russian Thistle (so if I ever go to Russia, I won’t sneeze), Johnson grass, sugar water, cattle (evidently the Panhandle is where I need to live), horses, dust mites, sugar cane, and soybeans. Since I don’t eat soybeans, that’s moot, I don’t ride horses, so that’s moot, I don’t chew sugar cane, so that’s moot, I don’t live in Russia or Europe, so those two are moot, and I don’t drink sugar water, so that’s moot. Pretty much the only things that aren’t a moot point are johnson grass (yay) and dust mites (yay).
Now for the 63 things I’m allergic to: I won’t really list them all here, just the fun ones: corn, wheat, milk, eggs. When he told me I was allergic to all that, I informed him that I drink milk every day, and eat wheat bread and cereal every day. He asked me if I ever get “the toots”. I told him that was pretty much a constant condition with me. So, now I have an excuse! It’s a medical condition! I can’t be held responsible anymore for my “toots”. I reckon I’m fully justified in just farting wherever I am, however much I need to, because, dammit, it’s a medical condition. If I get any rude remarks from anyone, that’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it.
Now that I know I’m allergic to everything, I’m supposed to start allergy shots. When the guy was telling me about the allergy shots, he informed me that I’ll have to have one in each arm. I stopped him and asked about that. He said that since I was allergic to so much stuff, they’d have to mix some stuff together in one serum vial, and then mix the other serum and put it into a different vial. That way if one arm swells up they’ll know which mixture I don’t react well to.
I keep wondering how they mix their serums. The serum is just a mixture of all the crap I’m allergic to. Where do they get cat extract? I can just imagine them making quarterly trips to the pound, buying some cats, and then turning them into cat extract. I think I’m in the wrong business. They are turning cats into $400/ounce serum. How much do you reckon a cat weighs? Even if it’s only 2 pounds, that’s 32 ounces, at $400/ounce, that’s some pretty good money. Heck, forget the cats, let’s go dig up oak trees. Those weigh a lot more than 2 pounds. I bet each oak tree is worth a million bucks. All we’ve got to do is turn it into a fine powder and mix it into some saline solution, then sell it to allergy doctors all over the world.
Since this serum that they’re concocting for me is all natural, I might be able to save a few dollars and just go lick a cat once a week, lick an oak tree once a week, eat some corn, eat some wheat, drink a glass of milk once a week, fart a lot, and be done with it. I reckon that’d have the same effect, and it’d be a lot cheaper, it’d just taste worse.
So that’s what I’ve been up to today.
Note from Penelope: When David came home for lunch four and a half hours after testing, his *whole* back still had the perfectly-shaped grid on it, and every single bump was still visible. This was after they had cleaned off all the areas and was supposedly good to go. Poor guy…