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The Worst Contact Allergic Reaction I've Ever Had

I'm started to feel like a bit of a freak show. I've of course been injured by shrapnel from a pipe bomb, and I've got impressive scars to prove it (side note: One of my friends said that I need to come up with a really awesome story to go along with my scar, and I sad "Someone throwing a pipe bomb at me isn't awesome enough?")

I've mentioned that I took a first aid/CPR class in my first quarter of college, taught by Ron Hussman at Edmonds Community College. He was a great instructor, with a lot of great stories being a navy medic for 24 years, I think that's what he said. I'm proud to say that the pictures of my leg injury are now part of his curriculum, but I got tired of raising my hand every time he asked if someone had done something in particular.

Called 911? Check
Used an epipen? Check
Been in shock? Check
Ridden in an ambulance? Check
Had burns in your throat? Check (seriously, don't let your kids hold roman candles while they fire)
Latex allergy? Check

I'm sure there were others, but the latex one is the important one for this post. I'm allergic to latex, it's becoming much more comic, but I've had it off and on since I was a wee lad, and it seems to run in my family, both my mother and sister are sensitive as well. My mom is seriously allergic, like if she can smell wet paint her throat will close off and and she'll need an epipen injection in order to continue breathing.

My sensitivity has matured into mostly a contact reaction, although if I'm near latex paint, while the painting is going on, I start to get affected by it, tingling lips, irritated eyes, and eventually, with enough, I can start to feel my throat close off. I've heard that latex sensitivities get worse with repeated exposure, my mom's allergy wasn't so severe until she had paramedics put a breathing mask with a latex seal on her, and filled her lungs with latex particles. Fun times!

All of these comes down to what happened last night:

Photobucket

As you can see the skin on my thumbs is all read and irritated, which is what normally happens, but there are what appear to be huge blisters on my thumbs, which is new. Actually, when I got home, though, I found out that their not blisters, there's no fluid in there, they're just swollen and discolored.

So what happened was this: I had just spent all day walking at the Puyallup fair, I'd gone back to my mom's house, and got my reserve flip flops out of the trunk of my car (I've got emergency flip flops in both of our cars, since I never know when my foot is going to swell up and not want to be in a shoe anymore) coming back to the apartment, I walked through some freshly painted fire lane warnings. When I got into the apartment, I found that the paint had just been sprayed over the already peeling paint, so I had a mixture of wet paint and dried paint flakes on my flip flops that I was tracking through my mom's house. So I took them off and started washing the paint off in the sink. As I was using my thumbs to scrub away the paint, they started hurting, more than simple friction would cause. So I stopped using my thumbs and used a paper towel to scrub. Afterward, my thumbs continued to sting, and within half an hour, there looked like what you see in the picture. What the hell? I'm assuming that the rubbing managed to work the latex from the paint deeper into my skin than it normally gets, or it was a combination of the paint and the rubber on the sole of the flip flops. Normally the skin of my hands is tough enough that I can handle latex without reacting, I just need to make sure I wash it off before I touch any more sensitive skin, like my face. This was definitely something new.

A day later, and they're still all puffed up and irritated, I'm walking around with bandaids on them just because they hurt whenever I touch something!

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