Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Freak Show

Last weekend I was working in the yard, clearing the remnants of two eight-foot sections of cedar fence that were crushed by a fallen limb from a recent storm. It wasn't fun. It was hot and humid and the fence had a lot of under growth and weeds. The hardest part was removing the concrete post hole. That one required renting a jack hammer.

Somewhere along the way, I brushed up against some poison oak. That plus the heat and humidity caused havoc on my immune system. An allergic reaction erupted into huge patches of hives on my legs and arms. Due to itching, sleep was miserable on Sunday night. Work was barely tolerable on Monday. But when I awoke Tuesday morning, things were starting to get downright ugly.

Did Ever see that scene in Hitch when Will Smith discovers that the food he's just eaten is known allergen?
That's how I felt when I looked into the mirror Tuesday. My face, arms and knees had puffed up considerably. Maybe not as dramatic as Mr. Smith's. But still, a freak show was in the making on 52nd Street. For example, normally I'm able to cup my wrist with my thumb and middle finger. But on Tuesday, the swelling in the wrist created a gap of nearly an inch. My appearance also spooked Katherine when she woke up. But at least my dog still wagged her tail in the morning when I fed her.

Over the next 48 hours, I popped Benedryl like Pez, called in sick, took a couple ice baths, got a doctor's appointment and filled a prescription for Prednisone. The Prednisone is the one that is finally getting things under control.

Man, if there was only a carnival in town. I could have made some good money.

Post Script:
I still managed to make a brief appearance at the Wednesday night group ride. There's this Italian restaurant called "Mangias" at 90th and Irvington Road that the ride passes every week. I've always wondered how the pizza was. Tonight, I went to find out. And when the group came rolling by at 6:23, I let others in on the pizza too while running alongside the peleton like one of those nut jobs at the grand tours. I didn't hold back. I was shouting pigeon-Italian while offering slices right out of the box to whomever wanted one. Shim, Paul and a couple others took a slice.

"Buona fortuna," I yelled as they pedaled down the road. With pizza dough and mozzarella cheese in their guts, they needed a dose of good luck when the sprint to Ft Calhoun kicked in.


  1. Yes, indeed for a moment I thought I was in the Giro! I will carry that memory for a long time. I am thinking about writing a history of the Wednesday Worlds. Your pizza blitz will definitely be included : -DDD

  2. see.... Bradi Murphini is mio fraternito!

    So....are any of DRUGS.... on the banned list? I didn't know that EPO and CERA were normally prescribed treatment for Poison Oak....

  3. Thanks Gary. It was fun playing the part. I wish I had a picture, but running alongside etched a memory that I won't soon forget. Especially how skillfully Shim grabbed the pizza out of the box. That dude has skills. Anyway, I encourage you to go write that History of the Wednesday Night Worlds. I'll contribute a chapter or two.

    Sì mio fraternito: While it's true that Prednisone is a steroid, it serves not to bulk up, but to temporarily suppress the immune system that's gone haywire. In other words, it'll still be your lighter, younger brother with the "girly shoulders" you'll be suffering behind in the mountains next month.

    Now could somebody help me decode Fred's reference?

  4. 2 thoughts:

    1. Fredcube's reference of " You're a Cantaloupe.

    Easy. You are ugly. You smell. You are rotten. Your new-found steroid induced complexion is that of a cantaloupe.

    In keeping in the fruit theme, he should have said,
    You're an UGLI fruit.

    2. Mountain Prediction: I'm gonna drop your silly cantaloupe @$$ in the mountains. For at least half the distance we travel, you will NOT be able to keep on my wheel as I turn the dark satanic forces hidden deep in the earth that had been causing me to suffer into my favor.

    I'll let you figure out which half that is....