Real Life

Rosemary vs. the Unknown Substance

I am a sensitive delicate flower, as much as I would like to reflect the hearty Dutch stock of my maternal ancestors, or the paint-yourself-with-woad-and-evict-the-Romans-from-your-country ferocity of my paternal lineage. Really, I would. But mostly I just inherited a propensity for sunburn and a love of cheese.

That said, I’m sensitive to a lot of things: perfume, chemicals, artificial sweetener, the heat, direct sunlight…  But I’m not actually officially allergic to much. THAT I KNOW OF.

But Thursday I woke up with a swollen spot on the side of my mouth that spread across the rest of my lip until I looked like a refugee from a collagen implant clinic.

Then Friday morning, I woke up with my tongue swollen. I mean swollen like Harry Potter’s Aunt Marge. (Not all of me. Just my tongue. And just one side.)  So I sit there thinking, “I wonder when my doctor’s office opens. I think I might should go in and see him.”

No, really. I think this. Because I don’t want to make a big fuss. Also, because I know they’re going to ask me what I got into, and I don’t know, so they’re just going to think I’m crazy.

Then Mom came into the kitchen and said, “How are your lips, Angelina?”

And I replied, “Mmmph ughng ishhh shhughn uh.”

And Mom said, “HolycrapgetinthecarERrightnow.”

(Actually, Mom stayed very calm, which is funny because she’s kind of high strung. You know how mothers can lift cars off their children or fight off bears or whatever? My mother’s version of this is to become absolutely calm and rational in any crisis where her children are threatened.)

So, ER. They were very impressed with the size of my tongue, and various shades of amused by my attempts to articulate words like “blood pressure” and “anaphylaxis” and “tracheotomy.”   They were also baffled by what caused it, when I added nothing new–no new foods, drugs, toothpaste, cosmetics… nada.

Best quote of the day:

Physician’s Asst. (eyeing my lips):  So, these days I have to ask. Is this a normal look for you?

Me: Argh oo eereeughs?

PA: Yes. You’d be surprised what people will pay good money to do to themselves.

Anyway.  Twelve hours in the ER and a whole lot of Benedryl and steroids later, they sent me home, content that no one was going to have to perform a kitchen tracheotomy with a steak knife and a drinking straw.

Of course that meant I slept for, like, two days and I’m crazy behind on EVERYTHING and I’m going to California next week and OMG so much to do.

But hey.  Like everything else that happens in my life, there’s got to be good material in there somewhere.

How can work this episode into my next book?  Rowling already had the engorgeo charm. Allergic potion reaction?  Failed Plastic Sorcery attempt? Post your brilliant ideas in the comments.


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