The title of this post and accompanying picture may have you thinking that "The New Me" plans to eat a lot of what you see above. On the contrary. Allow me to explain.
Saturday evening, I returned from a nine day sojourn to the land of my birth and childhood, The District, The Nation's Capital, Washington DC, loveliest city I know. I had a visit with my parents and wish I lived nearer to them. How strange to be separated by thousands of miles from our families, as many of us are. I wonder if it is right sometimes.
But this is not a post about my visit home. It is about the first few hours I was back in Utah. I flew in, discovered my unsurpassable friend Jami and her children were in town, and got into the car to go visit them before I even got the suitcases into the bedroom. When I arrived at her parents' place, they were having a Peachfest, all of them eagerly diving into a box of peaces purchased from a roadside stand. Never having been one to decline any sort of Fest, especially one centered around the High Empress of summer produce, I dove right in and ate a couple of peaches. I love peaches the most.
We all sat around visiting and catching up, the kids singing and dancing around like they were in a movie, eating peaches, blueberries, chips and guacamole and any number of other summer delights, when I noticed my throat felt itchy. Moments later, my eyes did, too, and my eustachian tubes. My stomach began churning, and my face turned red and I started to sweat. I decided to go into the bathroom and hang out in there until I felt better.
The bathroom proved no relief, but was at least useful. Let's say, for the sake of decency, that my primary decision was whether to sit on the toilet or bow in front of it, and I did a fair amount of both. It was by far the most pain I have ever experienced. If any of you have ever felt that I sympathized inadequately with you in any of your abdominal crises, please accept my apologies. I now know the meaning of the word cramp.
When I emerged (crawled) out of the bathroom, Jami and her mom were waiting for me and looked horrified. Evidently, I looked pretty horrible. I proceeded to moan and write around on the floor until I noticed I was having trouble breathing and my hands and arms were tingling. They called 911.
The paramedics came and did helpful things like ask me if I knew why I was having trouble breathing. I managed to muster a look of at least mild incredulity between moans. They also took my blood pressure, I suppose to make sure I was not bound for anaphylactic shock. I wasn't, and I don't have health insurance, so they left. I continued to thrash around like a caught carp on the driveway for another half hour or so, and then the pain began to subside. Another half hour later, I was completely back to normal, just exhausted.
I have one thing to say: I will more vigorously than ever refuse to judge any woman who finds herself requesting an epidural in labor. Potential drawbacks though there may be, I would never begrudge a woman experiencing anything remotely akin to what I experienced relief. In fact, if I had been able to articulate a sentence, I may have asked the paramedics if they had an anesthesiologist on hand. Jami, mother of two, assured me that labor was different. All I'm sayin' is if I want to escape epiduralized births, I now know I will have to deliver a minimum of one thousand miles from where one is accessible.
The other thing to say is that I am now pretty scared to eat anything, and even scareder about the impending reality that my life may soon be decidedly sans peaches (awful!), avocados (worse!), or both (no longer worth living). Maybe it was the pesticides?
If anyone is an expert on diagnosing severe allergies, your advice is welcome. In the meantime, I'll be clutching an epipen and eating only rice.