Friday, March 18, 2005

Aw, Nuts

I married into an allergy. Actually, I have a couple of my own, but they are not life-threatening. Spouse, on the other hand, is seriously allergic to nuts, and only a little less so to sesame seeds. Our wedding day was enlivened by his eating a plate of tortellini which had been handsomely presented in a large wooden which, at some earlier time, a salad with walnut dressing had been served. He ate enough of the pasta to get a secondhand exposure, and we have many photos of him getting redder and redder until he realized what was happening and dealt with the problem (to the clear disappointment of the three doctors, one EMT--my father--and the crime scene photographer who were guests, all of whom wanted to save the day and cure the groom).

Genetics evidently have a sense of humor: Sarcasm Girl has inherited Dad's allergies. She's pretty responsible about asking about things she's eating ("Does it have nuts?" was one of her first full sentences. Wonder how that would look on a college application?) but sometimes people don't know. Sometimes people lie (they really do. Some people think that allergies are all in your head, and if you don't know that the allergen in there, you won't react. This is stupid. Like, criminally stupid).

So at 4:40 today I'm at the karate studio with YG when I get a call from SG. She has eaten something, her throat is itching, she's afraid it's going to close up, can I pick her up. The karate studio is well across town (19th and Taraval, for those who know the terrain) from where SG was (Mission and Russia). Not quite as bad as if she had been at the Embarcadero, but a good 15 minutes in perfect conditions. Of course, it was raining out, and rush hour. I left YG to her karate, told the nice lady at the desk to explain to her where I had gone and that I would be back as soon as I could, and took off across town. My drive was enlivened by Every Stupid Driver in the State, specially imported to make my blood pressure soar; during the drive SG called me a couple of times, increasingly worried. She sounded okay--I heard no wheezing over the phone, but it's a cell phone, what am I going to hear? I suggested that she go to a market or pharmacy and buy some Benadryl if she was that worried. At last she called and announced that the friends she'd been meeting with were taking her to Walgreens, and if she passed out or something they'd call 911. This was not terribly comforting, but knowing there was someone with her was better than not.

I get to Walgreens, find, miraculously, a parking spot and a dime for the meter (a dime buys about five minutes, but it was what I had) and charge into the store calling for SG. There she is, surrounded by a bevy of high schoolers, all giggling a little anxiously and plainly relieved to have authority (that would be me) there. So we buy the Benedryl, and to the shock of the clerks immediately start removing the packaging. By the time we get back to the car, SG has taken a hearty slug.

We then had to drive back cross town to pick up YG, who had not heard where I'd gone and was somewhat freaked out. I calmed her down and chased her into the car.

Now we are home. SG has not died. I have ordered pizza, and Dad is on his way home. Everyone is alive. I'd like to keep it that way.


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