…have artfully covered my whole body in vibrant, blazing colors for a few days now. The reason for this miracle of nature was not flushing in excitement after reading about endless episodes of kinky fuckery (not my words!) in the best-selling soft porn romance trilogy. I rather ate or inhaled something that triggered the worst allergic reaction I had in the past 20 years. When I was about 8 years old it became clear that my body and pesticides that make fruits shiny and perfect don’t agree so well and I stay away. On Sunday, I had a far from perfect banana, a subway sandwich and some baked goods at a toy drive before the first hives made an appearance. I have no idea where they came from but I know that my fifty shades were not only red but also very, very itchy. I took some benadryl, made a joke about not wanting to look like Will Smith in Hitch and went to sleep. Turned out that sleep was the only thing that the benadryl helped with as I woke up at 4 in the morning, ready to secure the lead part in Hitch 2 – the love doctoress. The universe sure has a fine sense of humor. I put on my sunglasses in the rain (because I didn’t want anyone to call the police about a case of domestic violence) and got some more over the counter crap. The pharmacist looked a little concerned and advised me to see a doctor. I came home, drugged myself up, snuggled in with the last pages of fifty shades of grey and was happy to see that the predominant color on my body was then a pale, less itchy pink. The over the counter crap seemed to actually work. Rite Aid – where amazing happens!
Unfortunately the amazement lasted only for a few hours as my fifty shades of red came back with both guns blazing. When I then looked like a living example of Botox gone bad and the hives felt like a thousand ants trying to eat me alive I decided it might be time to actually see a doctor. So emergency room it was thanks to my wonderful roomie, who called a cab for us and waited with me for about 4 hours. When I shook my head in disbelief, accompanied by the statement “I know I’m not dying but come on…”, she said “Welcome to America, honey”. When I finally got to talk to a doctor I was worried he would laugh and just sent me home with a prescription but it was the opposite and I was mildly scolded for not coming in when my face first looked like Mike Tyson got me. “Wouldn’t be so funny if you had choked on a swollen tongue, huh?” Ummm, guess not! My treatment consisted of steroid pills, a benadryl IV and another one for hydration. I never had a better power-nap than in that noisy emergency room. I finally got some real relief, a few prescriptions and the prognosis that it would take a few days to leave my system but that it should consistently get better. I went to work low on sleep but high on drugs and was itch-free until 5 pm when my face started tingling. Little did I know that an hour later I was ready to rip it (my face) off with all its fifty shades of hot itchiness.
I decided against ripping it off and the ant army went on another crusade down my body – so no, not really getting better. The red face turned into a fat pancake face over night and I made a vow to never become overweight because it was not a good look for me. My final exam was coming up that night and all I asked of the universe was to hold back the fifty shades until 9pm. My wish was fulfilled and I ended the exam with only a few hives. The ants came back later that night but they had lost a few soldiers against my very own antihistamine and corticosteroid troups. The morning after was still a little itchy but very promising. After five days of fifty shades of red and on my road to recovery I appreciate every shade of health even more. I’m grateful for the lesson and definitely more cautious about what I put into my body in this beautiful but dirty city.