Embarrassing Story

Disappointing/Potentially Dangerous Morning Due To My Own Bad Choices

As an adult, I have the right to make terrible decisions, right? My most recent mess up has to do with Pop Tarts, and I’m ticked off about it. Not long ago I made a choice to start eating a cherry one every morning. Not the healthiest thing, but it was quick, easy, and kept my blood sugar mostly normal.

Besides eating mostly sugar for breakfast, my biggest mistake was assuming something as cheap and bad for you as Pop Tarts are, there couldn’t be real fruit in them. I was spectacularly wrong!

There are dried cherries, and oddly, dried apples in them. Guess who is allergic to berries and most other fruits? Actually, it’s more that I’m overly sensitive to something in a lot of foods – salicylates. I’ve always had issues with them, but until several months ago, when I had a severe reaction to some berries, it wasn’t too much of an issue. I’ve never cared for most fruit, so I rarely had any, except in Pop Tarts.

I learned from my doctor that my sensitivity would grow worse once I had the bad reaction. The problem is salicylates are in so many foods. To break it down a bit, everyone is sensitive to them, as they are basically poison. As we grow and try new things, our bodies build up a tolerance, allowing us to eat them. How else do you think you can eat tomatoes, which are nightshades – poison? People like me are more sensitive to them and can’t build as strong a tolerance, so are likely to have an allergic reaction eventually.

Have you seen Hellboy? Imagine a female version, and you’ll get a good mental image of what I looked like when I reacted to a smoothie containing blackberries and blueberries. I’d avoided these my whole life until that day, apparently for a good reason. My entire body turned bright red, and I felt terrible. I probably should have gone to the hospital, but I took a Benadryl and waited.

So, back to the cherry Pop Tarts. As usual, I ate one today. I was cutting potatoes for a stew I was going to throw together in the slow-cooker. I ended up eating pretty slow, in between potatoes. It took about fifteen minutes to cut the veggies and get everything in the pot. Then I went to my bedroom to change into my gym clothes. On the way, my bottom lip started feeling strange.

It was a tingling that was almost a burning sensation. It was the same with a couple of my fingers. Curse words flooded my thoughts because I recognized the feeling. I was reacting to something. I panicked a little at first because it could only be the cheap pastry or the tea I was drinking with it. I looked at my cup of tea and realized I’d only taken a few small drinks. It had to be the damn Pop Tart!

Claritin is part of my morning pill routine so I didn’t take a Benadryl. All I could do was finish getting ready and take my kid to school. I almost didn’t go to the gym but decided I would because I didn’t really feel bad, the burning, which had moved into my entire chin, wouldn’t stop me from working out. When I got to the gym I checked my face and the bottom half was definitely red. I worried I looked like a ventriloquist’s dummy but I sucked it up and got on the elliptical. The allergy stuff wasn’t going to kick in for at least two more hours so I kept my head down and made as little eye contact as possible. Actually, I do that every time I go to the gym so I wasn’t acting out of the ordinary, haha.

After my workout, I went to the grocery store and picked up something different for breakfast. I came home and looked at the ingredients on the food that betrayed me, and sure enough, it had real fruit. I’m an idiot for not checking this before I started eating them every day, which was two months ago. I can only guess how I was able to eat them this long. With the fruits in dried form, maybe it takes longer to get to me?

At least this will force me to eat something healthy in the morning. I should have been all along. The truth is, I’m a creature of habit. Buying a box of Pop Tarts was an impulse and then quickly became a habit. Plus, I LIKE them. Whatever I choose to eat for breakfast always becomes an everyday thing. I don’t have time in the morning to think too much about food. I certainly don’t have enough time to eat anything that takes a lot of prep.

Now, the Claritin is doing its job. My face isn’t red, and my bottom lip and chin aren’t swollen or burning anymore. I still feel it a bit in my fingers, but it will go away soon. If it doesn’t, I guess it will be doctor time.

The really sad part for me is my tea. I drink a cup every day while I eat breakfast. For all I know, it contributed to what happened. Tea is high in salicylates. I have been drinking it anyway because I did build up a tolerance. I knew eventually it would probably betray me too but I was hoping it would take a long time. Giving up my daily caffeine is terrifying! I may have to anyway.

I hope this time I’ve learned my lesson!

 

The Making Of An Introvert

When I was young I was a show-off. I was almost a class clown but not quite. Being the baby of the family, I couldn’t really help myself. I loved attention and would go to ridiculous lengths to get it.

I have many examples. When I decided I was going to learn to play the trumpet I practiced all the time, in my driveway. My neighbors were probably extremely grateful when I finally got good at it. Once I dragged a milk crate full of very heavy petrified wood to school for show and tell because no one else even knew what it was. Talk about a terrible decision! My classmates were suitably impressed but I was exhausted by the time I got to school and even more worn out by the time I got home.

If I could have been any superhero ever, it would have been Storm. I spent many hours running up and down the block pretending to fly. Somehow I managed to do this loudly. Of course when my best friends and I decided to lip sync and dance for the talent show we practiced in the front yard for weeks to music that I now think is awful.

Eventually I stopped wanting all eyes on me, especially after the last time I consciously tried to show off. I was riding my semi-new bike practicing the no hands method of steering. I was actually really good at it. I noticed all the neighborhood kids were outside and since I was the best at the trick I decided to subtly educate everyone else. Finishing up, I had almost reached my house when several kids and their parents started yelling at me. I was confused because I was already looking at them. I would have asked what they were screaming about but at that moment I connected with the side mirror of my next door neighbor’s extremely large truck, with my face.

You know, the kind that are about a foot tall and stick out really far from the vehicle. I was knocked back really far and my bike kept going, straight as could be past at least three houses. Man that was painful! It even hurt my pride. Imagine the scene, most of my neighbors crowding around me while I lay in the street dazed and embarrassed. I let someone help me up and I staggered to my house and shut the door. Someone put my bike on the porch and everyone left me alone. I was pretty beat up and it sucked to have to tell my two older brothers what happened. And for the curious, yes they bring it up every few years at family gatherings.

I’m pretty sure I started down the road to becoming an introvert that day. I also kept my hands firmly on the handles when riding my back forever after.

It didn’t take me long to start withdrawing into myself. I quit band and track and basketball within a year. I became reserved and bordered on shy for a while. I got over the shy and stayed reserved. I avoided anything and everything that would put me in the spotlight. Anything to keep from getting embarrassed. I don’t know why one dumb move as child affected me so profoundly but it did.

Deep down inside I was an attention whore for years. How else can I possibly explain all the black clothes and weird hair I sported in high school? I call it my passive aggressive showing off years. Yes, I was one of those kids. The weird ones who dress up to get your attention but get mad when they catch you staring.

I eventually outgrew all that. I’m still reserved, until I get to know someone. Now I see myself as somewhere between an extrovert and introvert.

The biggest issue I’ve carried over from that time in my life is the fear of being embarrassed by my own actions. The fear of trying something new and failing can be incapacitating. It almost stopped me from becoming a writer, but I’ll cover that issue in another post.

I will say when I write something and share it with anyone I am anticipating an oversized side mirror knocking me off my bike.

On the plus side, I’m really good at doing scenes where my characters make fools of themselves. Show-offs are easy to write and creating protagonists and antagonists who suffer due to their arrogance is a breeze.

So was I born an introvert? No way. Am I one now? Yes, although I’m a social introvert. Would I have become one if I hadn’t shown off that day? I’ll never know. Many other things contributed to this but that day all those years ago was the beginning.