So, in a nutshell: I got my license, bought a car through my church classifieds that’s in amazing shape, cosmetically looks great, and was well maintained for $2,000, and moved from the outlying area to just north of the affluent suburbs east of my city with my brother. I also told my ex to get out of my life there is no place for him in it… our relationship has faltered on for 3 years after we broke up and I finally put my foot down. As such, my life quite accurately speaks to the amazing Adele song “Set Fire to the Rain”.
I have done all of this in the past four days, so I’m exhausted. I still need to clean my old room and ‘move’ and set up everything in my new house, stock the pantry and figure out why my shower isn’t draining, and get my parents health insurance involved since apparently I’m on it.
And then it gets worse.
I went out for lunch at an Irish pub in the heart of Stepford City, where I now live outside of. I ate a delicious steak taco. I am HIGHLY allergic to dairy. As in, I will go into anaphylactic shock if I ingest dairy….my lungs will close up, my face and lymph nodes swell and I’ll break out in hives as my body goes into hyperdefense mode.
So I run into Walmart and buy some benadryl. Hate the stuff but I chug a few teaspoons. Dammit, my epipen is miles away in a moving box. I don’t want to go to the north area hospitals by my old home, I set off for the nearest urgent care clinic.
I go the wrong way on the interstate. Fuck me running. I have a hand resting on my head to help me breathe easier. My body is so fucked up that my mucous is like water and an ugly shade of yellow….shit just got real.
I head into the western part of town on the interstate ( my new place is on the east) and get on the wrong highway to the outlying hospital I was aiming for. The highway spits me out into the heart of the city and, YES, clearly marked signs to the huge teaching hospital. Unfortunately, I chose to head into the hospital outside the campus.
I go in and tell the medical assistant that I’m in anaphylactic shock. He tells me that I need to get in line and wait my turn for registration. Excuse me? The SECURITY GUARD is watching me scratch the hives and gasp and wheeze and the fact that my face looks like the elephant man and comes over a few minutes later and says, to me, “I think that you are having an allergic reaction, I can tell”. And then he tells the triage nurse that I need to be seen.
The triage nurse is an absolute ditz and puts all of my info into the wrong file, wrong name, can’t spell Tourette’s Syndrome when I list my preexisting neuro conditions and generally just doesn’t seem to give a shit. She sticks a thermometer in my mouth….hello, I CAN’T BREATHE, why am I closing my mouth. She sticks it back in and wiggles it around and tells me to try and breathe around it, instead of, oh getting an ear thermometer, ya know! This from a teaching hospital world-renowned for its children’s hospital.
Lactose is used to preserve pill forms of medication, so I mention several times that fact AND modern vaccines outside of childhood shots are preserved with dairy.
After mentioning “word” and nodding his head, the RN injects me with steroids and other drugs that he “thinks” are dairy free. I mention one more time the two above facts about how I’m careful what I put into my body and he nods again and continues what he’s doing.
I am not a hysterical person, I am calm. I am cool. I am collected. I drove over 15 miles while my face and lungs swelled shut, and politely mentioned from the start that I was in shock and that I was illegally parked. I explained my usual cocktail of drugs I take in this kind of acute situation (thank God, very rare in my adult life). I had people talk at me and ignore me and possibly jeopardize my life when I explain two proven facts of medicine and why they are relevant to my medical history.