Yesterday I stopped at a friend's house on the way home from work to drop something off, and while we were chatting in his front yard we were swarmed by mosquitoes. In January. While pondering whether this country is in some sort of judgement, one or several of them bit me, no doubt because bugs love my warm blood more than other folk's, and damned if I didn't have an allergic reaction to it. That's never happened before. Funny thing is that it wasn't long ago that there was a discussion at Tam's blog about people who are deathly allergic to everything, of which I am one of, but with a twist: I'm not allergic to any particular thing for any length of time (except cats), but literally moment by moment. As in, I can go from never having an allergic reaction to mosquitoes, to having a nasty fit over a bite, to not being allergic to them tomorrow. Same with food. I reacted once to an omelet that I made one morning, and the very next morning made another from the same box of eggs and I was good. The danger there is that there's nothing for me to avoid in order to not have an allergic reaction (except cats), so my allergist tells me I have to be constantly prepared for the worst.
I've talked about my condition before, which I call Ana, a term of endearment, and have had to make some life changes to cope. First, I must have a brace of epi-pens on my person at all times and that has some unique requirements, such as keeping them within their temperature range, having them located where some poor schmuck who finds me not breathing on the floor of Five Guys can find them, and also having some identifying doo-dad stipulating that the reason I'm blue in color and not breathing is not because I'm throwing a temper tantrum, but because I have bizarre allergies. I haven't met most of these requirements yet; I tuck one epi-pen in my sock in the morning, and keep the other in my jacket pocket. Keeping it against my skin violates the temperature requirements, and occasionally forgetting to tuck it into my sock because I was so sleepy in the morning I left it on the coffee table for my kids to find is not working. Also, nobody would know to search my sock to find the thing if they were to find me in a ditch somewhere. On top of that, I keep a ESEE fire starter filled with several medicines on my keychain, and also some Children's Benadryl in my jacket to get things started. When I went for my Benadryl yesterday, I found many of the capsules to be crushed and ruined, so I need to do something about that.
I have an idea -- now that I've made holster making a serious hobby -- to make an ankle holster to hold the epi-pens and fire starter; I'm thinking of using clear HOLSTEX so that they can be readily seen if my pants leg is lifted up. With some neoprene and soft backing, it would keep them sufficiently off my skin as to keep them below 86 degrees F, would ensure that I have two of them in the same place on me at all times, and would be less likely to be left on the coffee table when I get dressed in the morning. As for an identifying warning that I have an allergy, I haven't figured that out. I'm sure a tattoo artist could place an informative sign on my forehead, but my wife would probably not go out with me in public anymore if I went that route. Maybe a big red sign on a huge platinum chain a-la Flava-Flav would do the trick. I don't know, but I should come up with something fast lest I get into a situation unprepared. As it stands, I have a severe allergy attack about once every other month, so I better get it in gear.