The Story Of That Girl, The One I Almost KilledPosted: August 23, 2011
A long time ago, I was in college. There was this girl I dated back then. She was a good person. She became a special education teacher when she grew up. In the end, things didn’t work out between us. It wasn’t her, it was me.
Seriously, all me.
Now in saying it was all me, I do want to point out that the end of the relationship had nothing to do with the fact that I nearly killed her. The truth is, I came pretty darned close to doing her in. How close? She never really said as much, but I think she had started going into the light.
If there was ever an example of nearly killing someone with kindness, this would be it.
It Was A Cheap Date
I pretty much worked my way through school. I was a full-time student and I worked at least 25 hours a week, typically more. During the school year I had at least two jobs, in the summer I’d often pick up a third job. One year I even got a summer job as the groundskeeper at this particular girl’s church.
Yes, I dated a girl who went to church. I told you she was a good person. She probably still is. I don’t know what she was thinking.
Because I was working to keep my car running, pay the rent, buy food and cover my school expenses I did not have a lot of money. So when the girlfriend said one Sunday that she wanted to go to a local farm and pick strawberries (after church) I was all over the idea. It was something she wanted to do that I could afford.
I drove us out to the farm and we were given a couple of baskets. We walked way out where no one else was picking and went to work. There were points at which there was probably a berry eaten for every two that hit the basket. We were ravaging this field. We filled two baskets with berries and I went back for another.
When I got back to where we were picking, my girlfriend mentioned she was feeling a little itchy. Neither of us paid that too much attention. We filled the third basket. She was feeling a little light-headed, but it was hot, so we just thought a little shade would cure that. We ate berries all the way home.
The girlfriend wasn’t feeling any better when we got to her apartment. We sat around for a bit watching television and munching strawberries. She was coughing and wheezing, but she had a little asthma so that wasn’t out of the ordinary for her. She kept feeling worse and decided to just go to bed. I got ready to leave.
Weapon Of Choice – Hair Of The Dog That Bit Her
What neither of us realized was that she had a food allergy. She was allergic to strawberries. She had started exhibiting symptoms back with the itching while we were in the field.
So itching, lightheadedness, coughing, wheezing, and now congestion did not add up to food allergy to me. I knew she had some ice cream in her freezer. I made her a strawberry sundae and went home.
I drove home. I told myself I was such a nice guy. We had a nice day and when she felt bad I was nice about just hanging out at her place. It did not occur to me that I had probably pushed her into anaphylactic shock with my last little gesture.
But I did.
Yup. Anaphylactic shock. Abdominal cramping. Throat swelling shut. All the greatest hits of a severe allergic reaction. I’m pretty certain I’d have done her in if she hadn’t decided to call a friend while she was eating the sundae her sweet boyfriend had made her. She started to realize she couldn’t breathe. Her throat was swelling rapidly. The friend’s mom was a nurse, they lived right around the corner. It was that close for her.
She lived. I found out about what went on when I went over to pick her up to go to summer classes the next morning. I haven’t come close to killing all that many people. To her credit, she took it really well. There was not a lot of finger-pointing, but she might have still been a little weak.
It has been a long time since I was in college. I don’t think about this story all that often, and I hardly ever pick strawberries.
I hope you’ll take some time to learn a little about food allergies. Someone’s life may depend on it.
- 16 Tips for Dining Out With Food Allergies (via Calorie Lab) (aixelsyd13.wordpress.com)
- Sponsor me for FAAN’s Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk 2011? (aixelsyd13.wordpress.com)