Sunday, June 8, 2008
Corn is everywhere in the US and now it is even getting into my dreams. *shudder* I was having one of those long convoluted dreams set somewhere quite fancy, but outdoors - a fancy reception for someone set in a large formal garden . In the dinner part of the dream we were eating (clearly a dream if I was eating normally), I put a forkful of some interesting vegetable concoction in my mouth and realized that there were teeny-tiny pieces of corn in it. This being a dream, the way I dealt with this was by running away from the dinner till I found an area of the garden with a garbage can where I could spit this tasty, but poisonous mouthful out and wipe out my mouth.
After I oh-so-gracefully finished getting every last bit of the dream corn wiped out of my mouth, and enjoying the taste of my linen napkin, I found a little kid watching me. We fell into one of those kid/adult conversations where the kid wants to know why the grownup is behaving like an idiot. I remember saying "Well, corn is poisonous for me, so I can't eat even the tiniest bit -- you wouldn't eat poison would you?" and the kid saying "Corn is yummy, just a little bit won't hurt you..." Apparently the children in my dreams are paid by the corn lobby. Sure, just this little bit of anthrax won't hurt you either, children of the corn.
So, quick pop psychology analysis, what's it all about? I have an RSVP card sitting on the coffee table for my cousin's wedding this August. The choices are prime rib, chicken something, vegetarian available upon request. What I would like to know is can I ask for just a plate? I want to have fun at the wedding and can see just 2 options. 1: take a boatload of drugs for several days beforehand so that I can get through this with no reaction, but be a partial zombie from the Benadryl, and crabby and bloated from the prednisone 2: Bring my own food and not get sick.
So, I'm not sure what to do about this wedding. Option 2 sounds like the easy answer and I suppose I could call my Aunt and ask her if she could just have a place setting for me and no food. However, this is the Italian side of my family and everyone will just fall all over themselves trying to make something that is safe for me. Which is very sweet of them and they are all so nice -- but it is really too hard. I try to take food with me when we go to visit friends and family. When I visited my friend from elementary school, J. in Boston last year, she really went way out of her way to get allergy safe food for me and did an awesome job -- she also spent a fortune at Whole Foods. Her mom also an allergy safe cook--I don't know how she does it, but we've had dinner with them several times since discovering the allergy and I've never had a problem. She introduced me to quinoa too!
My relatives know that I have a corn allergy, but no one knows how bad it is and there is not really any reason to worry anyone since I'm not a kid anymore. My dad is starting to understand how much stuff corn is in, but I really don't keep him up to date every single one of my reactions. He doesn't need to worry about me dropping over from anaphylaxis. Every time I talk to my brother and I've had benadryl, I get a lecture from him -- you shouldn't take that stuff so much. Well, I shouldn't have my throat try to swell shut so much too. He has a wheat allergy that gives him gastrointestinal problems and occasional hives -- If he chooses to eat something with wheat in it or drink a beer he pays for it with stomach pain, but it is not life threatening. We live on different planets as far as our allergies are concerned so I can't expect him to really get it. If I accidentally eat something that has the slightest bit of corn in it, just the wax on a fruit, or if the fruit was ripened with ethyene gas I react. If I don't stop the reaction, my throat will swell shut and I will die. So far I've managed to avoid the throat swelling completely shut bit by using my Epi-pen.
I would like to avoid having to do something dramatic, like using the Epi-pen, or boring, like swigging Benadry and taking a nap, at the wedding. So, option 2 it is. I'm hopeful there will be no children of the corn at the wedding.