Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I'm ridiculously over attached to my best friend. My dependable, there for me, ready in pinch, always got my back, never out of reach best friend.

I think I used to be more normal (though my Lakota brother may disagree with that one). Not so long ago my best friend was human. I haven't gone completely around the materialist bend, at least it's not diamonds that are this girl’s best friend.

I never, ever leave home without my best friend. Not for a walk, not for a quick trip to the store, not to go to a meeting, not for anything. Ever. Er..except today.

Today is not a good day to die, but I carelessly, friendlessly, sauntered in that direction.

First mistake, leaving home without my best friend, the Activeaide bag (2 Epi-pens, Benadryl, Gloves, Zantac).

Second mistake, deciding being on time was more important than being safe. Fortunately I had backup Zantac and Benadryl in my work bag --put some in my back pocket and headed out to a work luncheon (where I was not eating, of course).

Third mistake, not making a graceful exit when I saw the corn on the cob being served. I thought, “Outdoor venue, no problem I’ll just stay far away.”

Fourth Mistake...that's enough. Suffice it to say I earned another stripe on the horrible warning badge today, took Benadryl with no backup and hoped for the best. I’ve only had fumes from cooking corn require an Epi-pen once, today was not to be the second time time. After it was over, I zoomed home to grab the purse with my Activeaide bag.

I generally have to laugh at the foolish mistakes I make, since in the grand scheme of things my problems are rather minor and manageable. But, even with a large dose of perspective, there are still moments where I scare myself.

Driving back to the office after picking up everything I needed to keep breathing in case of an anaphylactic reaction, I attempted to drown out the internal chorus of "Fool!" by cranking the CD to window rattling volume. Instead of helping, hearing Tod A. growl out "This is no joke, this is my life," loosed the last reserves holding back the fear. Springing out, all the worse for having been compressed, the consequences I had managed not to think about found physical expression in shaking hands and blurred eyes. Trying to cope at 60 miles an hour, I sang along with Tod through chattering teeth till the adrenaline wore off.

I'm still learning to manage this allergy on my own. Odds are, I'm going to screw up. Such is life. I'm lucky to be able to live and learn. After I post this I'm putting my backup Epi-pens in my work bag along with the extra stage one meds. Lesson learned, better preparedness in the future.

Then I'm cranking up the rest of the my new music* and dancing around the house till I can't remember what fear feels like.

*(Thanks for the all the music Jed, it’s 100% corn free and fantastic!)


Jed said...

You're very welcome for the music. Hopefully you usually get to listen to it with simple pleasure, rather than this sort of catharsis after a close call. Hopefully also your future close calls will be few and far between!

Christine said...

Hi Jed! No more cathartic moments, but it's been a bad week for reactions. I'm trying not to scratch today. >.<

However, the great music is a perfect distraction. I confess that I've turned into one of those annoyingly happy drivers bouncing in seat singing along. You really called it right with your picks- could not possibly be enjoying this more.

Anonymous said...

I loved finding your blog! The corn allergy does make you appear to be a bit of a hypochondriac around others who can't possible fathom that corn is truly in EVERYTHING. My husband jokes that we may have to move out of the country. :)
After discovering the "silken" tea bags of my (used to be) favorite tea are actually made from corn, I was feeling a bit down today, so thank you for bringing that "you're not alone" feeling to my day!
With much corn-free thanks,
Wendy Silverstein

Ginny from OK said...

Benadryl itself is made from corn derivitives, as is flonase, and albuterol. I know I have a corn allergy as well. Mine isn't that bad yet but it is steadily getting worse. I am for the first time trying to avoid every source of corn and I'm feeling depressingly overwhelmed by it. Have any suggestions? I've heard of environmental health clinics for environmental sensitivities what is your take on those?

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