The dangers of hugging Lebanese girls

I don’t really experience allergic reactions often. I’m allergic to just about everything that you can inhale–dust, pollen, molds, mildews, cat hair, dog hair. If you can breathe it, I’m probably allergic to it. But even then, the worst reaction I’ve ever had was a stuffy nose or sneezing. But as far as what you eat or what touches your skin, I really haven’t had a problem until recently.

The first allergic reaction I had was in November of last year (2012). My eyeball swelled up. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced. My vision was all right, but the white of my left eye started burning and burning. I took a shower to see if I could rinse it out, but it didn’t help. And then it just started swelling. Totally bizarre. So my parents came out to get me and took me to the emergency room. The lovely folks at St. Theresa’s did some tests and gave me some Benadryl, and that took care of it (except for the exorbitant medical bills that taught me a valuable lesson to take the Benadryl first before you go to the emergency room).

I haven’t had any other trouble.

Until Tuesday night this week when I hugged an adorable little Lebanese girl.

Me and Maria (Lil Lil Sis) at a wedding
Me and Maria (Lil Lil Sis) at a wedding

Funny thing is, I hug this crazy kid all the time. She’s practically my little sister, and that’s what I do with little sisters. I hug them. Often.

But apparently she had something in her hair or on her skin that my skin decided to dislike intensely.

I gave her a great big hug and then went about my business until I noticed that the bottom left side of my neck and jaw were beginning to burn. Another friend who was with me told me that I had a rather large red mark appearing there that was starting to swell up. So I ran to the bathroom—and sure enough! A big rectangular-shaped red spot on my neck and jaw, and it burned like fire. Then, I started getting them on my right forearm and bicep and my left forearm and bicep.

It was crazy! I thought for sure it couldn’t be whatever was in her hair and skin, but all the places where the marks were popping up where the places where I had touched her when I hugged her.

So I took some more Benadryl, and it went away in about 20 minutes (see, I learned my lesson from the eyeball incident). I still don’t know what caused either of the reactions, but I learned two important lessons from both of these experiences:

  1. Don’t touch your eyeball—like, ever.
  2. And only hug adorable little Lebanese girls if you have Benadryl in your back pack.

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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