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Itching Suspicion | A Memoir Post

Driving up all you see is white.  White snow, white trees, and of course an all-white very large New England style building.  The hallways are small and cramped which is surprising based on the size of the building.  Luckily the door I’m going to is only the second one so there isn’t enough time for claustrophobia to set in.  As I open the door to the office I have a feeling that this visit isn’t going to go as planned.  I’ve only been here once before and it was a quick visit to explain what was going to happen.  Today was the day it was going to happen.

When the nurse took me back, my blood pressure was high, white coat syndrome as she put it.  I stepped on the scale and cringed at the 178 pound reading.  Officially the heaviest I’ve ever been.  Already feeling deflated the doctor came in to reassure me that this was going to be a quick and easy procedure and he expected all results to be normal and he would be back in 20 minutes to verify that they were.

54 cups were lined up on the counter in rows ready to be dug into my skin, one by one.  The nurse asks, “Are you ready?”  Unable to speak I simply nod, yes.  Each prick feels like a poisonous puppy tooth stabbing, drawing blood and guaranteeing of a looming disaster.  One after another she pricks my arms until they each arm is fully covered in little red bumps.  “Don’t move.” The nurse says, like I have a choice.  “I’ll be back in 20 minutes with the doctor.”

While I wait, trying not to think of the itching and stinging pain, I try to reach for my phone, but of course it’s just an inch out of my reach.  Instead I sit back and close my eyes, willing the itching away.  My thoughts drift back to the scale.  178. I’m only 5’3, I think, 178 pounds is entirely too much.  How did I let myself get to this point?  How did I not notice I wasn’t becoming massively overweight?  I need to start working out and eating better.  I cannot let myself it the 180 pound mark.  I just can’t.

I open my eyes and look down at my arms.  What was once soft, smooth, pale skin has now been replaced with splotchy red stained skin covered in bumps of varying sizes.  The majority of them are just small irritated bumps resembling inflamed goose bumps.  The rest however are large angry bumps some the size of edamame.  Just as I’m starting to wonder what the bumps signify the nurse steps in followed by the doctor.

The next words that came out of his mouth were a shock to me.  “I see you’ve got some food allergies,” he said with a smile, “Looks like Peanuts, Almonds, and sesame for sure with a mild soy and summer squash.”  I must have had a look of confusion on my face because he followed it up with, “yeah, summer squash is kind of a strange one that doesn’t seem to fit.”

He proceeded to explain to me that I needed to make sure to completely stay away from the first three and keep the last two to a minimum.  I let this sink in for a moment before saying, “but these are my food staples, I eat them every day… Peanut butter toast for breakfast, hummus with lunch, almonds to snack on throughout the day.”  Deep down I’m relieved, it could have been bread or dairy my other staples, and it could have been all nuts instead of just those two. 

Slightly devastated and confused I start to walk down the now claustrophobic hallway.  As I get into my car it finally dawns on me that my eating habits will never be the same again. 

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