Within Reach

Today started like any other, the school bus pulling away from the corner and ascending the hill out of my view, followed by my fifteen year old son, tearing out of the house, door slamming behind him, as he, at breakneck speed, brought up the rear. I watched him disappear up the hill, as always, with bated breath, hoping he wouldn’t return home defeated. He didn’t. This is indeed a good morning. 

On my agenda today is my second appointment with my new allergist. The goal in this visit is to determine the cause of my reoccurring facial swelling, which has been a problem since mid January. To this end, I am undergoing “patch testing.” Monday had been my first visit with this specialist. At that time an assistant applied 147 known chemical allergens to my back, drew pictures on it, put tape over the whole thing, and sent me off with the instructions: “Do not move your arms, twist, bend, stretch, reach, lift, scratch, perspire, or shower…keep still and dry. Come back on Wednesday.”

As I left the office, and stood next to my economy car, I wondered how this was going to work. I did somehow manage to drive home with minimal damage to my new straight jacket. The next forty eight hours were an exercise in self control. I sat in a hard backed chair with tears running down my face as stinging, prickling, and crawling sensations of varying degrees moved randomly over my back. Withstanding the torture, I followed my instructions, by not twisting, bending, stretching, reaching, lifting, scratching, perspiring, or showering, because…mind over matter and all that crap.

Today, being Wednesday, I return to the scene of the crime in a cloud of gnats. I must say, as I practice my French in my car with my audio book, I feel tres French indeed, not having showered for so long.

A different assistant today. This one tears the tape from my back, pulling it against the grain, and taking with it, any “peach fuzz” that had been there. She leaves the room, and I wait for the man.

Doctor Dismissive finally enters the room, and writes on my back, while not giving me any indication as to his thoughts. Like a politician says he is deferring his opinion until Friday, but he does say there are signs of two positives. I am dispensed of, with the orders that, although I have freedom of motion, all other rules still apply: no perspiring, no scratching, and no showering. I am so European.

In my cloud of gnats, I head home. I will spend my day doing that which I have been deprived of doing for so long…reaching. It is my new favorite sport, but if I feel a bead of perspiration forming I will stop, and wait until the threat of moisture has passed, then I commence reaching, but not scratching perspiring or showering. A good day is within my reach.

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May 25, 2016, One Word Daily Post: Grain~ <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/grain/”>Grain</a&gt;

13 thoughts on “Within Reach

      1. I had the testing done years ago. It didn’t turn up a single allergic reaction. Every time I break out in hives I tell myself to cut it out, to stop being such a drama queen. After all I’m not allergic to anything. Argh!

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    1. This is a test to find out if a skin condition is caused by a contact allergy. Food and seasonal allergies are tested differently. I’m hoping they find an ingredient in some product I use is causing an allergic reaction. Then I can just avoid it by reading labels…easy if I could pick my diagnosis.

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      1. I’m gonna need to do this at some point. My face has been breaking out lately, and I usually eat pretty healthily. I have no food or seasonal allergies, so it’s gotta be something I’m using.

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  1. Wow this is nothing like I have ever heard of before. I know about the patch testing but I have ever seen the straight jacket too.

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    1. It did feel like a straight jacket, but it was only tape on my back. I was told not to move my arms, so the tape would stay in place, but my arms were not restrained. Torture nonetheless. šŸ˜‰

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  2. Wow!!! Wow!!! You get the endurance award! I know that we do what we have to do, but I honestly don’t think I would have been able. Wow. I hope your doctor has something to share on Friday.

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