Before I get into my latest allergy adventures, the Supreme Court handed down a significant ruling regarding FCC indecency regulation today, which I'll probably blog about later. The short version is: (1) The FCC's abrupt adoption of its fleeting expletives rule was kosher under Administrative Law principles; (2) the Supreme Court dodged the First Amendment issue; (3) Thomas isn't down with Red Lion and Pacifica, and (4) Stevens is (having authored Pacifica, after all).
Anyway. Four years ago I had an allergy test done in Walnut Creek and learned that I wasn't allergic to nuts, setting off what can only be described as an unbridled nut bonanza that continues to this day. Yesterday I had another allergist appointment here in Colorado, and was hoping that, just maybe, my peanut allergy had magically disappeared.
I didn't end up getting a scratch test yesterday, but I did learn a bunch of things about myself, my imminent future, and the great state of Colorado. And here they are:
- There are no dust mites in Colorado. The air is too dry. This is pretty awesome, since I am severely allergic to dust mites (or, more precisely, their poo).
- Telling your allergist that your cats sleep on your bed is like telling your dentist that you don't floss. The same degree of guilt on your end and head-shaking disapproval on theirs.
- When I told my allergist that I've been eating nuts for four years, she asked "Which nuts?", and I blew the perfect opportunity to bust out a Harlan Pepper impression - "Hazel nut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut."
- My incessant throat-clearing, and possibly my asthma symptoms, are likely the result of vocal chord dysfunction, which has gone undiagnosed for thirty years. The treatment for this is speech therapy, which I don't know what to expect from. Though I have to say a trial lawyer in speech therapy seems a little incongruous. More reason to spend as much time behind the scenes as I can.
- In addition to the speech therapy, the allergist wants to give me a test that will confirm whether or not I have bona fide asthma. This test goes by the ominous names "bronchial provocation" and "methacholine challenge." The test sounds like something out of Jay Bybee's torture memos -- They lock you in a plexiglas box and pipe in a gas called methacholine. The sole function of this gas is to trigger asthma attacks in people who have asthma. If I don't react to the gas, I'm clean. If I do react to the gas, which is highly likely, presumably they give me some albuterol to open my lungs back up instead of just clapping their hands, saying "Well, there's that," and leaving the room.
- Oh, and after the methacholine inhalation, presumably while I'm still under its influence, they're going to stick a camera down my throat and take a gander at the old vocal chords to see if they're doing what they ought to do.
All this and I still can't eat no peanut M&Ms.