Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ben is Famous!

Well, more famous. An entry from his blog got picked up and published in The Capital Times this week here in Madison. It's not like he's never been published. I don't keep track of the number of times any more. What I was particularly impressed with was the honesty and frankness of his writing, as though he were writing only for himself, and that it was still picked up by a newspaper as something worth putting in print. *I* think it is worth putting in print, but I'm generally surprised when traditional sources print something worth reading. Overall, the Capital Times is a progressive paper, but hey, it's still print and therefore suspect.

So, go read the blog. It's about how the Capital Times is going to go "online only." Very hip, and probably because of corporate reasons. It's a cool article. Read and enjoy with your hip latte and beret, you progressive non-conformist you.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Pig Brain Allergies Anyone?

(for all of you like my husband, please not that the blog title is also a link to an article)

I went to get my allergies tested today. Oh boy. First, they had me not take any antihistamines for five days. They asked me to do that as though it was no big deal. It was kinda a big deal. Let me put it to you this way: I remember mom having to open up the capsules of my allergy medicine into applesauce so I could eat it, because I wasn't old enough to swallow pills yet, and I learned the difference between left and right by having to remember which arm I had to have my allergy shot in from week to week. No big deal.

I've not felt so great for five days, let me tell you.

I got lots of scratches. That was fun. It's really not a big deal. It's fun to watch the hives grow and meld together. The worse part was the 14 needles they had to shoot under my skin to do further testing when I didn't react enough to the scratches. Just great.

What was interesting was my *new* allergies. Yes! I have *brand* *new* *allergies*!! I've always been allergic to those old things like all trees, all grasses, most molds, animals with fur, and "remarkably" allergic to dust mites. Blah blah blah.

I am *now* the proud new owner of allergies to cherries, peanuts, almonds, walnuts and sesame seeds! Oh, and cows. I'm also allergic to cows. I didn't actually know that before.

But that brings up all sorts of questions. They didn't test me for many foods, and my doctor said he doesn't trust the reliability of the fruit and vegetable antigens that they did test me for. Even so, the only symptoms I had of the nut allergies were headaches. Could there be a connection between my headaches and allergies? That makes me want to do further testing to see if any other sensitivities come up that I can avoid to make these headaches less terrible.

Then again, perhaps I just think they're terrible because I have been miserable for the past 5 days without my antihistamines. Ugh.

Right, the article. All this talk of allergies made me wonder what allergies can really do to us. We don't have a cure for allergies or asthma or eczema. We don't really fully understand the human auto-immune system. This article is a very, very strange example of that. Involving pig brains. And Minnesota. What's not to love?