Yesterday was Canada Day. The sun shone, the breezes played gently on the surface of the water, the company was excellent. And what did I go and do? I ate a cookie; the cookie-that-I’ll-never-forget. Not a big deal but for the calories, on most occasions. But this occasion was special because I made a mistake. I didn’t read the label on the bag. I usually do read all the labels and what possessed me to lay aside habitual caution is beyond my understanding. But there it is, I ate the blasted cookie-that-I’ll-never-forget! It was a very, very good cookie. But that is not why I’ll never forget it.
After I ate the cookie-that-I’ll-never-forget, I read the label on the bag.
That is when I discovered that that delicious cookie-that-I’ll-never-forget might contain my allergen. Oops. With anaphylaxis no oops is a small oops. Any oops could be my last oops. Obviously I lucked out (a similar, less genteel phrase came to mind, same syllabic geography, different and yet still appropriate sentiment), this oops didn’t get me, but the next one might.
After consuming the Canada Day cookie-that-I’ll-never-forget I grabbed a glass of water and headed for the nearest toilet, intending to induce vomiting and mediate the effect of the cookie-that-I’ll-never-forget. I failed to induce vomiting, and by all the power in the universe I tried. I tried hard enough that I gagged and gagged but could not vomit. I tried hard enough that my throat was scratched from the effort.
Having failed to induce vomiting I grabbed my epi pen and headed out the door; it was a 30 minute drive to the nearest hospital. Attila drove with quiet concentration, speeding wherever he dared. I remained very calm, emotional turmoil would only hasten any ill effects. At no point, not even once, did I experience fear. My life has been on the line quite a few times in the last few years, mostly as a result of careless dentistry, and what I’ve discovered is that I am not afraid of perishing. I felt lucky to be with someone who was doing everything in their power to bring me to safety. I felt lucky that I was traveling the road my Grandmother traveled on her last journey, to the hospital. I felt lucky that the day was so beautiful, the trees so green, the water so blue. I just felt lucky and I never felt afraid.
We arrived at the hospital and I was immediately checked out. Luckily, since I had no symptoms, I was assigned a doctor and asked to wait in the emergency waiting room until my name was called. The waiting room was spacious and air conditioned. The view out the big picture windows was beautiful, a parking lot set in rugged rock cuts and trees. Attila waited with me for five hours, after which time I signed myself out because there was no longer any fear of a reaction. I made it through the experience without a symptom.
My Canada Day was marvelous!
What does this mean, having no reaction when my allergen was listed on the label? It could have been that the cookie dough was not mixed thoroughly and I ate one of the cookies with no chemical preservative in it. It might mean that there was only a trace amount of my allergen in the cookie. It might mean that the allergy no longer exists, and as you can imagine, that is what I long for. However, there is no way to know why I did not react, there is only to rejoice that I did not.
In all the years I’ve had this allergy, I have only had a few mishaps, and have luckily lived through them. I need to be more diligent though, because I might not be so lucky next time.
The rest of Canada Day was fun. Attila and I headed to Harriet and Hogan’s cottage and shared a meal with them and their company, Debbie and Ron. They all headed out to watch fireworks; Attila and I, exhausted, headed home for an early night.
Today I’ve been updating web sites, calling companies to obtain information the exact amount owed for bills, paying the bills and putzing around doing the odd bit of cleaning and housework here and there. The thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon haven’t arrived yet. Attila has arrived home from work, had a nap and is now out stacking that firewood.
Tomorrow we clean!
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Humidity: 56 %
Wind: SSW 15 km/h
“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?”
Charles M. Schulz
1922 – 2000
Charles M. Schulz
“…an American cartoonist, whose comic strip Peanuts proved one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium, and is still widely reprinted on a daily basis…
…Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz grew up in Saint Paul. He was the only child of Carl Schulz, who was German, and Dena Halverson, who was Norwegian. His uncle nicknamed him “Sparky” after the horse Spark Plug in the Barney Google comic strip..
…He became a shy, timid teenager, perhaps as a result of being the youngest in his class at Central High School. One episode in his high school life was the rejection of his drawings by his high school yearbook…
…In 1951, Schulz moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The same year, Schulz married Joyce Halverson. His son, Monte, was born at this time, with their three further children being born later, in Minnesota. He painted a wall in that home for his adopted daughter Meredith Hodges, featuring Patty, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. The wall was removed in 2001 and donated to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California…
… In his later years, Schulz also suffered from Parkinson’s Disease. As a result, he experienced hand tremors that made his linework shaky. He admitted that the tremors sometimes were so bad that while working, he had to hold onto the side of his desk with one hand to steady himself. In addition, he had to reduce the strip from four panels to three to reduce the amount of drawing.
Charles Schulz died in his sleep at home around 9:45 p.m. on February 12, 2000. The last original Peanuts strip was published the very next day, on Sunday, February 13, 2000, just hours after his death the night before. Schulz was buried at Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Sebastopol, California…
…In personal interviews Schulz mentioned that Linus represented his spiritual side…”
Whew! Glad that the cookie resulted in nothing more than a tense drive and a waste of time. Take care.
Nothing quite like staring your own mortality in the face, to sharpen the colours and shapes of existence.