Stone of stumbling and rock of offense (wordweaverlynn) wrote,
Stone of stumbling and rock of offense

MEME: Ask Me a Question

Meme snagged from [personal profile] recessional : There are people on my reading list that I don't know very well. Want to trade information? You can ask me anything you want, as long as I get to ask you a question in return. (My questions are likely to be very, very random; my answers are always honest.)

Actually, no matter how well I know you, feel free to ask a question.
This entry was originally posted at Please comment here if you want, or there using OpenID. Or send me a message via carrier pigeon or fortune cookie. I'm dying to hear from you.
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How did you find out about your celery allergy? It sounds potentially dire.
It could have been a lot worse than it was. I was lucky because my mother had developed the same allergy in her early 30s, so I knew it existed, and I knew that Benadryl would help with a reaction.

In retrospect, it's clear that the allergy had been developing slowly for years. There were incidents when I'd have an itchy mouth or inexplicable digestive upsets (sudden, violent, brief) after eating certain foods. But food allergies are inconsistent, in my experience; sometimes a small amount of an allergen doesn't produce much of a reaction. Other times, it does. And reactions can manifest in various ways: skin, breathing, digestion, blood pressure.

However, I seemed fine with celery until one night at a Mexican restaurant where the chicken enchiladas included chopped celery. My mouth started itching. Then I could feel hives on my skin, and my throat was swelling. Then I felt my blood pressure dropping -- a wave of weakness and dizziness. I knew this was an anaphylactic reaction. My husband and I stopped for Benadryl on the way home, and I dosed myself.

No, I didn't go to the emergency room -- I should have, but it never even occurred to me. Later on I get better about self-care, and I did go to the ER when I had a sudden anaphylactic reaction to buckwheat (though I didn't know what the cause was at the time). I've done the allergy testing; my doctor looked at my results and said, "What do you manage to eat?"


Well, I'm so very glad that you made it through!
May I hear an interesting story about something that happened on vacation?
A few years ago, my annual trip back east to see my family coincided with the family reunion. This is a big event; there must be 200 descendants of my great-grandparents, although we're never all there at once. It was also my mother's birthday.

There's always some culture shock: most of my family are fundamentalists who live much more traditional lives than I do. We held the reunion at camp meeting; most people came over for the day, but I stayed at the boarding house. This impressed a group of older ladies. "You sure must be brave, staying all alone!" This amused me, but some of the encounters with various right-wing cousins didn't. I was feeling more and more alienated. I couldn't talk about my real life as a polyamorous bisexual with two long-term romantic relationships, or my own feelings about politics or religion.

But then they brought out a birthday cake for my mother, and we sang happy birthday to her. We all sang with the same voice. All the cousins and aunts and uncles. We still sound alike.

The other things that happen when I'm on vacation -- or traveling on business -- skew toward the disastrous. Sometimes just personally disastrous, like the time I got norovirus on the way to see my family. But if I had to get norovirus, I'm grateful I didn't get sick on the plane. The motel was bad enough.