About Me

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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Just Itchin' To Clean Out My Closet

Maggie put a bee in my bonnet with her de-cluttering and straightening out her shelves so I decided to begin to clean out my closet.  I told myself as long as I started it, I could do as little or as much as I wanted.  It was easier than I thought and I removed about 30 items of clothing and one pair of shoes.  Much of this was 'professional-ware' - some still in the plastic garment bags from the cleaners, and much hadn't been worn in the four (4) years since I retired.  It felt good to lighten my load of 'stuff'.  I dropped all off at Goodwill -- hoping someone can get use of it.

At the grocery store I felt like I was having a hot flash -- but this wouldn't go away.  And then I was having trouble breathing -- my throat felt tight.  I used my inhaler, breathed more easily, and continued working my way down my grocery list.  When I went to pick up a case of ginger ale, I noticed my hands were beet red.  As were my arms, and my legs.  I pulled out a mirror and saw my face and chest were red and a mass of hives.  Being of a practical nature and in no discomfort other than the itching, I finished my list, went through the checkout, drove home, unloaded the groceries, and drove myself to the ER-  only about 10 minutes from here.

This happened about eight  (8) years ago and the common denominator is that both allergic reactions began in a grocery store.  I carry an epinepherine pen with me because even after testing, it was never determined to what I'm am allergic.  After five (5) hours, an IV steroid/benedryl drip I'm home, a Caucasian again and -- feeling great.   I'll just keep that Benadryl and eppy pen a little closer for a while.

PS   Book club was great fun -- super discussion, delicious Russian tea cakes and apple cake.


Tracy said...

Oh my goodness kathy! I'd have been scared to death...I am so glad you took the safe route and went to the ER!
Take good care of yourself and BTW, so glad you had fun at Book Club; two days in a row :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kathy, I did some cleaning out in January and it felt good... I really need to do more. Both GE and I have lots of clothes which we don't wear any longer. I need to take some of that to Goodwill.

I had an allergy reaction when I was younger. I was in college and a roommate gave me one of her Penicillin pills since I was feeling sick... WELL--I turned red and had hive-like-welts all over me... My hands were itching so bad... Scared me to death... Went to the emergency room and they gave me an antihistimine ---and I was fine in no time. I haven't had penicillin since!!!!

Glad your Book Club went well.

Kay said...

I get hives when I'm stressed and my resistance is down. We've never really figured out what I'm allergic to. My daughter and granddaughter also have the same problem. I was surprised when my brother told me he suffers from the same problem. When we go to sleep and relax, the hives go away. It's our stress indicator.

Kimberly said...

Were you decluttering also the last time you had the allergy attack? Just saying....

Purple Flowers said...

You seem to be of a very calm nature. To continue doing your shopping, go home, and then to the ER is quite a feat.
I'm glad everything turned out okay, even though you don't know what the real culprit is. Maybe you need to have Richard go into the grocery store?

Cheryl said...

You're as funny as ever! I can imagine what you'd say if someone pointed out your coloring! Something witty, no doubt. Glad it wasn't an emergancy, but also curious as to what it was.

Seth M. Ward said...

Dang girl. Glad you're okay. I hate getting sick and having to goto the doctor. I've really come to start thinking about my health and all and that's why I've been trying to get serious about loosing weight and becoming a healthier person. IDK if I would have remained as calm as you did. Again, glad you are okay.

Maggie said...

RYN: No ceramic tiles, those are makeup samples at Macy's. Made me laugh too. Then I had a heck of a job straightening them out in Photoshop. :)

I am so very sorry about that allergy reaction. I hate it when that happens to me too. The benydryl never quite get's it, and they do an IV with something horrendous that does work.

Thanks for mentioning my efforts. I forgot to write about my shoe problem yesterday and will go add that to my blog now. I did clean out under the kitchen sink and should get an award for that. LOL

Retired English Teacher said...

Kathy, maybe you shouldn't be so calm. But then again, I would have probably done the same thing. Hives are not anything to dismiss. I had a roommate in college who broke out in hives suddenly one evening. By the time we got her to the hospital it was almost too late. Take care of yourself and keep the eppy pen close at hand.

My children also have severe allergic reactions to penicillin. One carries an eppy pen for her and for her daughter who have had terrible outbreaks due to food combinations.

Bilbo said...

Yet another way we're alike - I was hospitalized twice within one week some years ago for violent allergic reactions to ... something. Tests out the wazoo never identified anything responsible for the swelling and hives, and since then I carry an epi-pen and a ziploc bag full of benadryl caplets all the time. Scary, isn't it? Hope you are all right and it doesn't interfere with your upcoming trip.

George said...

I'm glad your allergy attack was no worse than it was. You sound prepared for an emergency, but I'm glad you were able to get yourself to the ER.
De-cluttering is something I need to do, but it always seems to be a losing battle.

Linda Reeder said...

That allergic reaction is frightening. I'm glad you are OK, and that you knew what to do.
I got the itch to clean my closet the other day, but it went away before I made it to the closet. :-/

Anonymous said...

Glad you are O.K. but very strange to not know what causes your allergic reaction. Would bother me and I wouldn't be too far from an epi-pen either.

On another note, I'm in the mood to re-arrange furniture and re-organize drawers and closest. Spring is definitely coming.

beachgirl said...

Allergies are tough. I was riding my bicycle to the beach the other day and had an asthma attack halfway there. I turned around and headed for home and my inhaler. I maybe use it twice a year. Weird.
I also need to hit my closet. It is spilling over again.
Feel better.

Anonymous said...

What have they diagnoses you as being allergic too, or is it just lots of things at the grocery store? Must be tough to get your shopping done. Not fun I'm sure.

Closet cleaning? It's been on my list for months!


Happyone :-) said...

I've never had anything like that ever happen to me. Glad you are okay. Funny that both times you were food shopping.
My clothes closet is really pathetic for a woman. If I got rid of 30 items, there would be nothing left in it. :-)
Most of my clothes are jeans and tee shirts and they are folded in draws.

A Slice of My Life said...

Not much of a Drama Queen are you? lol

I'm just cracking up how calm you were about the whole thing. I've been fortunate enough to never have to deal with hives or turning into a beet...I'm pretty sure I wouldn't finish shopping and bring my groceries home though.

I'm glad it all turned out fine.

Palm Springs Savant said...

yep, you were smart about it. I too, once had a situation that led me to go to the ER. Five hours later I was out safe and sound, but after some treatment and then peace of mind. Better to be safe than the alternative!

Rob Robinson said...

Hi Kathy - I'm glad you made it out in one piece. Sounds like you had everything under control. I wanted to thank you for leaving a comment on my blog last week. Its fun to be involved in something new. - Rob

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

That is strange that it happened both times in the grocery store. Maybe you're allergic to some foreign fruit or vegetable. Keep the epi-pen with you in case it happens again. Glad you're OK.
I need to get in closets and do some cleaning out. I kept all my work clothes for awhile but finally got rid of them. Now I don't have any dressy clothes just jeans and tees.