Monday, July 28, 2008

are you normal?

sorry for the obtuse "neds atomic dustbin" reference in the subject line. i am after all a child of the 90's. (i am also a child who doesn't feel like using the shift key tonight, even though it is my friend)

So I think I am over my irrational "bridget neither touched, tickled, stood within 5 feet, was bitten, scratched, or given dirty looks by a baby skunk" fear of rabies. (though i guess the next 60 days or so will tell ;p). I've also started using the shift key.

So anyway, two things happened that utilized speech that made me laugh a little, gallows humor mind you. I went to a jewelry making course this week, 5 days 10-5 pm with a lunch break. I generally showed up late and left early every day since the class wiped me out even though it was sitting around crocheting with wire. This was humbling since I was the youngest person in the class (and I believe the only one with osteoporosis, which is good for all the strong healthy women i took the class with who were at least 20+ years older than me, though not so great for me!)

1) I made this gorgeous necklace out of fine silver and these really stunning, rare freshwater pearls I had been holding on to. These suckers are lovely and deserved something far nicer than craft wire. One of my classmates suggested making a mate for it, but one where I would patina the metal (making it darker). I thought that would be a great idea, since it would add a lovely contrast. Turns out to oxidize the metal requires strong concentrations of chemicals, so I bowed out of that, explaining I have numerous sensitivities, I'd rather not put myself at risk and inconvenience the whole class if I went into shock, which lead to a discussion of my mast cell disease. The instructor, trying to be helpful said, "Well, don't feel bad about not being able to utilize said process, it makes normal people sick too." I shrugged my shoulders, said it wasn't a big deal, if I really wanted to do it, I had a friend with a bench I could give the piece to to have her do it...a few minutes later the instructor came up and apologized to me about her choice of wording...While I hadn't even noticed it, she'd called me abnormal. I know she was trying to make me feel better when she had said it, but I think apologizing for her choice of words made me feel more self conscious than being inadvertently referred to as abnormal.

2) I went on a huge rabies rampage today and called all my doctors, cdc, mass wildlife etc to have it reconfirmed to me that it would be nigh impossible that i would've gotten rabies from standing by while my husband was neither bitten, scratched or spit on by said skunk. I was talking about the immunization with my PCP, a wonderful woman who knows about masto, and she said something about how the rabies vaccine was not applicable for me, and anyway it wasn't something to be played around with because it was very hard for even normal people to tolerate. Again, I thought nothing of it since we were talking about immunizations and immunology and I have proven to not be normal in those fields, but again she apologized profusely.

So it's interesting. I don't run around screaming HEY YO I AM SICK PLZ PITY ME (in fact I got scolded in an adorably mothering type way when one of my classmates saw my epi pens sticking out of my bag and told me I had to alert the class I may need them) and I don't expect to be treated different or coddled all the time, but in two instances where I ostensibly could've been really insulted i wasn't phased. That kinda makes me feel good. Not that I've necessarily given up my identity to it, but I don't -care- about it. I don't -care- if I end up in the annoying category once in a while. It's a fact of life like gravity and that's it. My non-reaction to it is what surprised me the most.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I had an experience with the whole rabies scare with my oldest son. He had a roommate in college, who became deathly ill. They at one point thought he had rabies, as bats lived on their balconies. So, I do understand your concern...but I feel sure you are fine. :) As it turned out, the kid took some bad drugs, or something... brother... I'm glad it appears you are "coming to peace" with the whole masto thing. I can so relate to what you say. The longer I was on gastrocrom the more stable I became...but still have "those" days... I also believe staying away from histamine releasing foods is key. "Environmental" things are harder to control. God Bless You and stay away from skunks! lol