I’m allergic to peanuts. I’m the reason you have to endure a transcontinental flight with low blood sugar. I’m the reason your kid can’t bring PBJ on a field trip. Peanuts make me tip over and grab my throat.
So, of course I ate some last night.
It might not have been peanuts. It could have been chick peas, peanut oil, ground pistachios, or pine nuts. Any of those disreputable characters could have caused the trouble.
All I know is: I was lied to, and I had a very bad evening.
The Indian take-out restaurant on the corner will NOT be getting a holiday card from me this year. If someone would care to write out a polite note for me in Urdu, I would love to graphically detail for them the throat-closing unpleasantness that follows a wide grin and un-fact-checked assertions of “no nuts! no nuts!” that are obviously uttered to get me out of the way rather than out of any actual understanding of what I am requesting.
I made it to work this morning despite the powerful epinephrine-hangover that follows one of these episodes. Fortunately, Betsy saw through my ruse and sent me off to the Zen Room (yes, we have a zen room) to lie down until I could go to the doctor’s.
So now I’m home, with a fridge full of Indian food and a powerful need to check my email. I opened my computer and was greeted with today’s horoscope:
Sorry for not writing yesterday. Someone snuck peanut-laced almonds into my mint chutney, and I had to give myself a shot.
Anaphylaxis is a bad dining companion. It was a rough night.
Also? I got a new camera.
I was leaving work, tired and hungry, when suddenly a uniform-clad minion appeared at my elbow and offered me a snack. This happens occasionally. The Lab rents out its atrium to various groups on campus who bring in the caterers and the cashbar. We’re usually not invited, but this day I had decided to exit the building next to the caterer’s kitchen.
“Have some chicken”, she said “It’s encrusted with almonds!”
Note to self: when the devil tries to get you, he uses words like “encrusted”.
“Are you sure those are just almonds?” I asked, thinking back to dozens of near-death moments brought on by my stupid peanut allergy.
“Oh yes”, she said “Toasted almonds!”
At which point my stupid Lizard-brain caused me to reach out and grab one. I took a bite as I walked to my car, thinking “How nice to be offered appetizers at work”.
By the time I got to my car I was trying to subtly vomit as well-dressed elderly women passed me on the way to their party. My lips swelled, my throat became a piece of granite. The usual.
I’ll spare you the really graphic details (trust me, it gets worse), but suffice it to say the Epipen came through again, along with some medical attention from my handsome EMT boyfriend. Hi guys! Thanks for the life-saving! Again!
All of which leaves me with the growing suspicion that a) I am really stupid for once again eating food of unknown provenance, and b) Cornell Catering really is trying to kill me.
Why, Cornell Catering? Why?
Cornell catering is trying to kill me. Every single entree or snack for every meal so far has contained nuts. Peanut chicken on a stick last night, pesto (with pine nuts!), nutty granola for breakfast, and peanut-laced snack bars at the break. I’m trying to suck the nutrition out of a cold cup of mint tea.
We’re starting up again. Ohboy PowerPoint! Constructivist learning theories? Cognitive supports within software? Ok. Here goes.
Winter cometh. Rabbit-the-dog gets up early, and lately when I let her out she tiptoes around the frozen yard with an accusing look on her snout. We had her spayed last week, and she had to wear one of those doggie satellite dishes around her neck. I soothed her the best I could, but when I left for work the first day she pressed her head up against the door and whimpered. With the plastic cone on, it looked like we had suction-cupped a dog to our wall.
It has been a week of recovery for everyone. I’m coming out of an awful cold, which has re-introduced me to the joys of Allegra abuse. I’ve been self-medicating with hot toddies and delivery pizza. After five days, my head has finally deflated to normal size and my overabundance of phlegm no longer frightens the co-workers. Coming in to work sick is great if you enjoy people asking you “do you have allergies, or is that…(suspicious pause)…a cold?”
Our University inaugurated a new president last week, and since I now find myself with faculty status, I was able to march in the academic procession. Hundreds of over-educated people in silly clothes wound their way across campus in the cold. In our fancy schmancy regalia, it was a great big academic drag show. A whole crowd from the library showed up, and there was talk of staging a raid on the nearby Law School. We figured we could use our mortarboards and rapier-like wit as weapons and take over their budget.