Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bad News For Wayne & Misha

I had an allergist appointment on Monday to do the first half of the fabled "scratch test." They don't do it on your back anymore (or maybe just this place has given up the whole "topless and rashy" thing), but on your forearm. The test is split into two parts to keep your system from overloading, so they logically start witih the gross categories of allergens to see what if you react topically to anything. If you don't, it doesn't mean you're not allergic to it, it just means that you're not that allergic to it. I, predictably, reacted to some of the pollens, dust and cat, but the shocker to me was how much my arm reacted to the tree pollens. The little 1-2 mm dots of allergen mostly just turned red and itchy, and some of them swelled up into little 1-2 mm white welts surrounded by a red rash. The "sugargum tree" dot swelled into a welt the size of a dime, and the "tree mix" dot was only slightly smaller. They were right next to each other and the rash spread out over my arm until you couldn't tell where one dot's rash ended and another's began. Gross!

But the point of this, the bad news for Wayne and Misha, has to do with my new medication. You see, over the last few months my allergies had gotten so bad that not only was I sick all the time but my asthma was actually becoming a noticable problem. My old allergy medication (Zyrtec) is super for my actual allergies, but it does nothing for my asthma, so the doctor is having me try out Singulair to see if that helps. "It doesn't really have any major side effects. It won't make you sleepy and it won't keep you up," she (the allergist) said. "But... Well, some people have reported having more vivid dreams while they're on it and it does increase the percentage of the night you spend in REM sleep. Some people don't care, for some it's a good thing, for some it's maybe a bad thing, I don't know. But if it bothers you, we'll find something else." When the CMA brought the samples for me to take with me she said that she never used to remember her dreams before she was on Singulair, but then every night she was having these crazy adventures. "I could be a novelist now, I swear!" she averred.

And all I could think about was what I have come to think of as "Wayne's Law," namely, "Sydney is not allowed to tell me about her dreams. Ever." Adherents of Wayne's Law react to the statement, "I had the weirdest dream last night," when uttered by yours truly, by throwing up their hands in defense and saying, "No NO no no no no no - I am not listening to this, you are not allowed to tell me your dreams, seriously, we discussed this already, just, just, no, just shut up, just no, I'm going to walk away now!" The only person as devoted to the consistant application of Wayne's Law as Wayne himself, is Misha. Although he usually stops after "you are not allowed to tell me your dreams" and gives me a look that says, "Remember that one time you told me about your crazy dream and you the other person in the dream and I saw them that day and it was totally weird and uncomfortable?" So now, being the person whose dreams are so vivid and so involved naturally, I am on a medication that frees stony sleepers from their nightly low-level comas to frolic in the garden of imagined delights.

So far - two nights - everything seems pretty normal. I've dreamed all night, both nights, like usual. The dreams are vivid, have plots (often carrying over from previous dreams), and are usually fairly lucid. All systems normal. But there's a ramp up, so maybe I'll start hallucinating during the day here over the next week or two. And I'm sure Wayne and Misha will be the first people I'll want to tell about it. Of course, I'll probably think that I am telling them all about it, as I'm hauled off to the psych ward somewhere... So, I'll keep you posted!

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