Lent 2014-21: My Obsessive Streak

Over the years people have called me obsessive, anal, particular and perhaps I am.  I tend to like things a certain way (the right way) and I will occasionally get stuck on a thought or idea and I won’t be able to let it go.  Often times it happens with words and often times it happens at night.  Usually it has to do with the way a word is spelled.  I will be watching thoughts run through my head and a particular word will jump out at me and I will need to spell it as I think it.  Once that happens, I will usually spell that same word over and over and over and over again until I fall asleep in a fit of madness.  I don’t know.  Some may think it’s an issue, but I think we all have little things that we obsesses over.  I will also fixate on an idea and I won’t be able to let it go until I have researched it or discovered what the original idea links back to.  

Tonight is a prime example of that situation.  I was over at my friend’s house where I enjoyed a nice meal and an evening of catching up.  Throughout the night I played, pet, and loved on their German Shepard.  He and I are long time friends and I have spent many hours loving on him.  Tonight though, for whatever reason, I ended up having an allergic reaction to him and my eyes became incredibly swollen and itchy.  I knew it was time to head home when I was rubbing my eyes so hard that I was worried I was going to push them back inside my skull.  

So I got home, changed my clothes, washed my hands and face and took an allergy pill.  Now, the right thing to do would be to go right to bed.  I have a very low tolerance for allergy pills and they usually knock me out very quickly and then make me incredibly groggy the next day.  So I was on my way up to bed when I started thinking about something I read about allergies because I wondered why I reacted to the pooch this time, but I haven’t reacted to him any other time.  I know that you can be exposed to an allergen multiple times before your body has a reaction, but it still seems odd to me.  In fact, as I was driving home, I remember that a family friend had a German Shepard when I was growing up and I was horribly allergic to him as well.  But, that was many moons ago.  What I kept thinking about though was an article I read about being allergic to avocados, which I unfortunately am.  So, instead of going straight to bed, like I should, I am researching information on the internet about allergies.  

This is what Wikipedia has to say on the topic:

Some people have allergic reactions to avocado. There are two main forms of allergy: those with a tree-pollen allergy develop local symptoms in the mouth and throat shortly after eating avocado; the second, known as latex-fruit syndrome,[53] is related to latex allergy[54] and symptoms include generalized urticaria, abdominal pain, and vomiting and can sometimes be life-threatening.

I fall under the category of a tree-pollen allergy.  I tried to pretend that I wasn’t allergic to avocados, since I love guacamole so much, but then I ended up in the emergency room where I had to get a shot of cortizon and epinephrine.  After that little experience I accepted the fact and said goodbye to my beloved guac.  

What is interesting about my multiple food allergies is that they don’t always seem to make sense.  However, during my research tonight I discovered something interesting.  In the second scenario of allergic reaction to avocados, they mention the latex-fruit syndrome.   Now, I have never had a reaction to latex (thankfully), but I still decided to look into that aspect of the situation,.  What I found was rather interesting.  On the list of cross-reactive foods associated with a latex allergy, I have had an a mild to serious reaction to nine of the items.  This cross-reactive allergy is what I was searching for.  I remembered that I have had foods that I have been allergic to with just a mild reaction before, but when I consumed them during a different time of the year, my reaction was more sever.  And that’s how I stumbled on this handy little chart.   Basically, what it means for me, is that since I have seasonal and food allergies, I should be mindful of completely staying away from certain known allergens during peak seasonal allergy seasons.  While our bodies are incredibly smart, they sometimes get confused.  For example, if you have an allergy to grass pollen and are eating a melon during the height of grass pollen season, your body may have a reaction (known as a cross-reaction) to the melon because your body is mistaking it for the grass pollen.  So while you normally react to the grass pollen allergy with itchy eyes and a runny nose, the melon may cause you to have hives, an itchy or swollen mouth or tongue, and you could possible, if the situation is sever, go into anaphylactic shock.  

The point of this rant is to help you educate yourself about your allergies, of the allergies of your children if you have them.  Also, it was to allow me to do the necessary research so that I can go to bed without obsessing about cross-reactions all night long.  Although, now I’m probably just going to spell anaphylaxis over and over again until I fall asleep.  

(Side note: I’m not a doctor. This isn’t medical advice. I went to business school, don’t trust me when it comes to your health.)

Until tomorrow…

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