Crusty Face


That’s me, post-allergy attack. B. and I went to Scottsdale for some tests at the Mayo, and while things turned out pretty much as we’d hoped (well, the tests came back positive, so it didn’t exactly turn out the way I hoped…which was that everything would come back negative and I’d forget in the ensuing euphoria that I’d just spent five years and thousands of dollars thinking I had a disease that I actually…didn’t), the finale wasn’t so memorable.

You know how, every time you go in for any kind of procedure, everyone around you asks, “Are you allergic to [insert medication/ingredient here]?” My stock answer is always, “Not that I know of,” because it’s true. I know I’m allergic to cats, and I know I don’t react well to soy and a million other products, but I usually assume that the doctor or tech or nurse is not going to be shooting me up with cat dander. So, yeah, I don’t think I’m allergic to [insert medication/ingredient here], but that’s just a wild guess.

Did you know that wild guesses can bite you in the ass?

So as it turns out, I’m allergic to the iodine contrast media they use in CAT scans. And here I thought that the enormous amount of barium sulfate solution they had me guzzle down in a short period of time just before the scan was the worst of it. At least the nausea subsided fairly soon after I hopped on the table. My allergy attack, however, was just biding its time before it exploded fairly alarmingly all over my poor face.

Long story short, rather than celebrating the end of my visit to the Mayo with a nice dinner at the hotel and maybe a DVD, we ended up rushing to the ER. We spent several hours sitting around in an examining room, waiting for the prednisone to take effect. (And the irony was not lost on us…the fact that, earlier in the day, the good Mayo doctor had cautioned me against using steroids, that I should avoid them as much as possible, and that they should only be used as a last resort. And I nodded eagerly because I hate, absolutely despise steroids, and was only too happy to have a medical professional validate that belief. But when it comes to my poor face…ahhh, just pump me up, baby, ‘cause I’m so vain.)

It’s not so bad now. My face no longer feels as if it’s in flames, and it doesn’t look like I’d submerged it in boiling water. The steroids — fortunately, it’s only for a few days — appear to be working, although the Benadryl sends me into sleepy fits. I fell asleep at Borders the other day with a cup of coffee in my hand! But s’okay. I suppose this is my punishment for being so damn vain.

On a different note, I discovered a new love: Punk Planet magazine. And of course, seeing as I’m just discovering it (at the aforementioned Borders in Scottsdale), it’s only fitting that it turns out to be the publication’s last issue, owing to severe financial difficulties the org went through following the abrupt bankruptcy of its distributor. Damn damn damn. I love these indie mags, and it seems that each week, another one bites the dust. I love the irreverence and the reviews of original music, films, zines, and books, art that I would never have discovered otherwise. I love that there are other people out there who are just as confused, seekers like me who have a hard time believing that this is all there is. People who sometimes have this overwhelming desire to just crawl under the covers and see if the secret of life is hidden somewhere in the fraying threads of our decades-old pillows. People who have no fucking clue why we should even care about 1,000-thread count sheets, when all we’ll do is sleep off another empty day under them.