No but really, I almost died.

Honestly, it is a miracle I make it through day to day life. Between my haphazard coordination and my apparent intolerance to unusual food, I really should be enclosed in bubble wrap and left in a padded room! This story starts out normal and takes a turn for the absolute bizarre so grab a cocktail and hold on to your britches.

Labor day was shaping up to be a relaxing day with my girls Laura and Aly. We had gotten off to a late start and had missed our parasailing adventure (there is some contention as to WHY we missed it but we will let that be:). So much in the spirit of vacation, I had relinquished my “plan making tendencies” (I think Laura calls it micromanaging) and decided to do whatever it was everyone else wanted.  Living the life of leisure that we were, plans morphed into enjoying the sun, some shopping, and some shuffleboard.  Life was golden.

Laura showed us this sweet little spot between Santa Monica and Venice with neat boutiques (If you are ever in the area look up DNA, sweet duds for the ladies and gents), restaurants, and a cold pressed juice bar. Intrigued, we headed into the juice joint and inquired about the cold press process.  I was instantly in love because they were a dairy free establishment and made their own almond milk! Feeling adventurous I got a tasty little number that was made with bee pollen, almond milk, and bits of heaven. YUM-O! Everyone ordered different drinks and absolutely no one was disappointed.  Feeling good about our healthy choices we headed on our way, ready for whatever the day had in store for us! Or were we…?

Heading into a clothing store I had this funny feeling in my brain. I was laughing and joking but something inside was feeling fuzzy. At one point I cautioned Aly that something was not happy in my stomach. Sure that it was a passing situation, I went outside for some fresh air and waited for the girls to complete their shopping. We headed to a nearby market for some Pelligrino and crackers. That’s when disaster struck. I ran from the store, hopped a sleeping homeless man and his sleeping dog like a hurdle and dove behind a leaning mattress to be ill. When the girls found me I was sweaty, unable to form a complete thought, and dropping my phone all over the place (I drop my phone quite often but now that I had an excuse I was gonna use it!).

Unwilling to ruin the party, I requested that we find a store where I could buy a dress not covered in sweat and lipstick so we headed to Ross for a quick fix. My goodness the body is a miracle machine. I am not sure what exactly was going on inside but it must have been a battle royale. It was not a pretty scene. Suffice it to say that by the time we left there I had resigned to the fact that we were going straight home. Laura had offered me an antihistamine she had at home but it quickly became clear that we could not wait the 15 minutes for medicine. The insides of my ears were swollen, my scalp, neck, throat and chest were covered in hives, the inside of my mouth was puffy and the color of a Coca Cola can, and I was trying to stay calm enough to breathe. We stopped at a drug store and I swallowed three benadryl at the counter.

The ride home was intense. My girlfriends were “scary quiet”, my mom had advised us to go to the emergency room if I couldn’t breathe but that stubborn piece of me was unwilling to acquire another bill. I ended up on Laura’s bathroom floor as close to death as I have ever been in what we now know was an anaphylactic reaction to the bee pollen. It was in those moments that I learned true empathy for what people must go through when they come clean from heroin. The pain inside and outside of my body was excruciating. Let me just say that you find out what your friends are like when you are naked on the ground, unable to move. Those ladies put cold cloths on my angry skin and kept me as comfortable as possible until the worst of it was over. They kept asking if I wanted to go to the ER and I kept telling them I couldn’t get dressed. Knowing them, if it had gotten any worse I would have been hauled in naked as a jay bird!

After some time asleep, I woke up to a very Wizard of Oz like gathering in bed. Except for in the Wizard of Oz, her closest loved ones express love and concern when she wakes. My friends waited for the first sign of life and then proceeded to razz me about the whole situation. I took some more benadryl and we headed back out for shuffleboard. In true grandma form, we had adverted crisis by 3:30 pm and still had time for the early bird special. Laura and I laughed that it was a true sign of how far we had come in our friendship and in life when being violently ill and on the bathroom floor was because of an attempt to drink a homeopathic shake, not a night of debauchery. Hangovers are so 2008.

It wasn’t the Labor Day we had dreamed of but it was memorable. And that is how I know I am loved by the best, most heartless friends a girl could ask for:)


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