Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kai the hitchhiker and other odds and ends...

So, in case you were not aware, I live in Fresno, CA.  I have lived all over the state, and within two years, I expect to be moving again (as soon as the youngest is out of school...the reasons will be stated down below), but for now, here I reside.  I say this because the most amazing story ever told happened to occur right here in my home town.  It involves an ax wielding hitchhiker named Kai, a homicidal, racist, would be murderer with delusions of being the Son of God, a melee between a giant of a man and two women, and a motor vehicle used as an attempted murder weapon.  Here, explaining it all much better than I ever could, is Stephen Colbert:

(Also, the link in case video doesn't play:

All I can say here is simply this: I am now tempted to pick up hitchhikers as I drive around the Valley, for who knows what adventures they may bring with their vagabond ways?  Of course, I'm going to skip the part about imagining I'm Jesus, as I don't have the time to grow a beard, and let's be honest, nobody likes a martyr.

So, what else is going on with me you certainly have NOT wondered?  Allergies.  I know what you're thinking..."a little runny nose, a sneeze...I thought you said you couldn't stomach martyrs?  Quit your whining."  Well, yes, if that's all it was, I would agree.  But, for me, it is something quite different.  It is allergies on steroids, HGH, deer antler spray, and whatever the fuck Lance Armstrong injected into his (one ball only) nut-sack all those years.  And what sort of symptoms could these sort of allergies bring on?  Well...bouts of hives that last for weeks...and intestinal pain and vomiting that lasts for hours on end.  "What?  Intestinal pain and vomiting?  Surely that cannot be right..."  Well, it CAN happen, does happen, and I had no idea either.  There's a thing called an intestinal angioedema that can occur (it's rare...lucky me) that is inflammation of the intestinal tract as a result of an allergic reaction.  Basically, the hives and inflammation that can occur externally, can also occur internally to your intestines.  It results in EXCRUCIATING pain and, if I do say so myself, rather spectacular, world class, non-stop vomiting.  This happened to me four different times over the last eight months before it was properly diagnosed.  Several trips to the ER, an upper GI procedure, an ultrasound, etc. etc.  Finally, a diagnosis.  It's essentially an auto-immune disorder, but it can be dealt with and somewhat controlled.  The secret is to take what would appear to be a toxic level of antihistamines.  My last attack I drank half a bottle of liquid Benadryl and poof....stomach pain subsided (unfortunately, the hives are rather more stubborn).  Anyways, apparently, genetically, I'm allergic to just about everything, and my hyper-vigilant immune system has a tendency to go haywire.  Upside is that people with this condition tend to have very low rates of certain cancers because the out of control immune response also attacks precancerous cells, so there is a mild upside (silver linings and all that).  And, other than the unfortunate side effects of this disorder, I rarely get sick.  So now to go with my asthma inhalers, acid reflux pills, weekly allergy shots, steroid nasal sprays, and nasal irrigation regimin, I'm now taking a combination of daily antihistamine pills.  I have so many meds, I feel like the old man with the Monday through Friday pill box who spends all his free time socializing at the pharmacy (I'm there so often the pharmacists all know me personally now).  This condition is also the reason I'll be moving in the future (as I mentioned above), as the Valley is the absolute WORST place you can live if you have allergies of any sort.  I had that skin prick test done...the one where they stick your back with dozens of needles filled with allergens...and the result was I'm allergic to every substance found in the Central Valley.  Actual conversation I had with my allergist: Me-"So, doc, what am I allergic to?"  Doctor-"Everything".  Another actual quote from my doctor: "Holy produce A LOT of histamine."  What was disconcerting about this is that it was uttered by an ALLERGIST, who deals on a daily basis with people with allergies...and he was STILL IMPRESSED.  Anyways, he jokingly said "Have you considered moving?" and  I'm thinking something coastal and further north of my current location would be beneficial for my general well being (not to mention culturally, aesthetically, and politically more in line with my general world view as well). 

So, it's been months since I've felt "normal", but I'm finally getting back to somewhat feeling like my old self (whatever that means), and am now able to get back to the gym (I was in seriously good shape until all this derailed now begins the arduous task of reclaiming that level of fitness).  The upside to all of this misery is I think it's good for my music as my last composition (see previous post), turned out really well and is one of, it not my absolute, favorites (and now you know why I called it "Histamine"'s the substance my body produces waaaaaaay too much of and the root of my issues.  See?  Every song has a story).



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