Benadryl is an allergic woman's best friend. Over the years I've developed an allergy to artificial sweeteners, sulfa-based drugs, flowers, and latex. Each one of those triggers a different reaction and all are pretty disgusting, but on different levels. The artificial sweeteners give me mouth sores and I can usually hide those from public view. How my body reacts to latex and flowers is a different story, however, and may actually result in my grotesquely swollen face scaring small children. Or even big children. Or my dog.
As I type this, I'm beginning to feel the sleep-inducing effects of two Benadryl pills slowly pulsing through my itching body. My head feels like it is crawling with bugs, my body is spotted with small red splotches, and I have dry-mouth, which makes the ever-dreaded throat closure difficult to diagnose. I'm trying not to panic. About 30 minutes ago I called Cold Stone Creamery to talk with a manager about the ingredients in a Milk Caramel Latte that I drank 2 hours ago. I explained my urgency to the girl who answered the phone before being placed on hold so she could "finish making someone's order".
It's okay. I'm dying slowly anyway.
The first time it ever happened to me, I woke up with what felt like my head on fire. My daughter assured me that she didn't have an itchy head but I didn't believe her, so I checked her for lice. Nope. No lice. I couldn't open my eyes and thought I was just exhausted. Until I walked into the bathroom to splash water on my face (to help wake myself up) and noticed my eyelids were humongo!!! They were so fat that I barely had eyelashes! While I was smart enough to take a Benadryl pill, I stil sat around for about an hour expecting it all to go away. After spending nearly the entire day watching my hands turn into clubby fists and calling various people who I hoped could help me uncover the mysterious origins of my first-ever serious allergic reaction, my friend Martin, a horticulturalist, assured me that I was probably one of the few people he knew to develop an allergy to orchids. So I opted to take a shot of something in the asscheek and thanked my lucky stars I didn't die.
FYI, in case you didn't know, orchids are like poodles of the houseplant world. People who are allergic to most flowers are big fans of orchids. They are low-allergen and a handy excuse for any future boyfriend/husband of mine to never present me with flowers.
FOR THE RECORD: I AM NOT ALLERGIC TO CHOCOLATE OR VACATIONS.