October 14, 2007

An Allergy...


Do you know anything about Allergies ?

I remember a friend of mine who was highly allergic to dust and pollen.
The mere mention of the word dust, or an allusion to Spring and pollen, was enough to make her sneeze and bring on an asthma attack... The mere thought of some particle of dust or a tiny grain of pollen, would have her break out in hives...

Her immune system had a bank memory of itself. It had saved all those previous cellular images of her first reaction to these foreign bodies, at some DNA level...
And just one imaginary thought of their possible presence, and her system would fabricate a thousand anti-bodies, gear itself, backed by a formidable army and start a whole process of self defense, of survival...

Am also developing this curious symptom, very similar to my friend's. If there is a Doctor in the house, maybe you can help too.

The other day, a friend knowing my love for Cuban Salsa music, passed on the latest CD by Gloria Estefan. I am not a fan of Gloria but I like some of her remixes.

One track is called "Esperando. Cuando Cuba sea Libre."
Which in my limited understanding of Spanish means "Hoping. When Cuba will be Free"
Now when an American or an Americanized utters the word FREE, I freeze...

I freeze for a few seconds...I become immobilized, tetanized...
As if my reptilian limbic system is preparing itself for a flight/fight response...

I hyperventilate, gasp for air...
My pupils dilate, my heart palpitates like a thousand drums, my muscles tense up, my neurons work at full speed, my cortisol level antes up, my adrenaline pumps in...and my immune system calls on its soldiers for the ultimate battle...The final battle against the enemy...

I try to calm myself, take in a few deep breaths only to see my skin erupt in red patches, like a hundred little red hills made of prickly thorns...like stings from a thousand wasps...covering my body...
Urticaria, I say to myself - Relax it's nothing but urticaria...

Do you think I have become allergic to the word "Free", by any chance ?


Painting : Iraqi artist, Mohammed Sami.