Friday, February 15, 2013

An allergic story

A well-known economist friend of mine wrote the following post on Facebook. It follows an algorithmic bent typical of those in my tribe so I asked for permission to post it here.
How to have your very first allergy attack when you have just turned two, by [a two-year old].

0. Prepare for incident by refusing to have your nails filed. 
1. Try new food. 
2. Start breaking out in hives. Scratch yourself with your pre-sharpened nails. Scream "tummy itch!" Draw blood. Repeat.
3. When adults try to give you spoonfuls of Benadryl, spit it back in their faces. Scream "mess!" Make sure it is distributed widely so no one has any idea if you swallowed any. 
4. When adults hold you down and put a dropper full of Bendryl in the back of your throat, stay quiet for a moment until they think you must have swallowed it, spray it in their faces and all over yourself. Scream "Mess!" again and smear Benadryl on the bleeding wounds where you gashed yourself. 
5. Scream and scratch yourself all the way to urgent care. Get increasingly red and puffy. 
6. When you arrive at the doctor's office, recognize the place as the same place where you got a shot last month and start screaming "Poke leg! Poke leg!" Allow this to distract you from ripping at your clothing. 
7. Writhe in your mother's arms as she attempts to explain to person at counter that you need to see a triage nurse. Scream "Lady no poke leg!" at her just to be sure she will not give you a shot.  
8. Run around to see all the toys that the very ill looking children are playing with. Try to grab their face masks and get angry when your mother prevents you from getting near. Resist when your mother suggests you should sit in a chair with her. 
9. Calm down when your mother pulls out the iPad. Play a game for 30 seconds. Switch to videos. Notice that some annoying adult has turned off the sound. Turn the sound back on as loud as it goes. Immediately attract a crowd of very ill looking children. 
10. When your mother turns the volume down, scream "Loud!" as loud as you can. Hurl iPad to the floor. Hurl yourself to the floor. Scream "I fell down!" as loud as you can. Attempt to rip your clothes off, revealing that your entire body is now even brighter red, puffed out, streaked, and punctuated by self-inflicted gashes. Notice that parents of very ill looking children now look alarmed and are holding their kids back from you. 
11. Remain on floor thrashing and scratching until nurse calls you in. Shout "Lady no poke!" to be sure you will not get a shot. 
12. Behave nicely while getting examined. Listen to your mother breathe a sigh of relief that your airways are fine. Listen to lady discuss whether you can be restrained to get Benadryl or whether you need a shot of Benadryl.  
13. Start scratching and flailing again. Wriggle out of your mother's lap and throw yourself on the floor. Bang your head on the way down. Scream and scratch more. Make sure to also rub your face so that any germs on the floor make their way to your nose and eyes. Scream louder when your mother wipes your hands. 
14. Wonder why the lady decides you should get a shot. 
15. Remain on the floor until the doctor comes in, screaming whenever your mother speaks or moves towards you. Repeat steps 12-14. 
16. Scream bloody murder when more ladies arrive with shots. 
17. Receive shot. Decide mother's lap is better than the floor. Curl up there and fall asleep while completing observation period.
To all this I added: 19. When wake up, ask for new food.

This kid is alright although the parents are somewhat traumatised. As it turns out the food in question was Indian masala sauce and so the reaction was likely to cashews there.