Monday, February 21, 2005
Projectile Dissemination
The internet is an amazing place, really. The fact that I think of it as a place at all says something about it. Mostly it says that I don't leave the house enough and I've got my perspectives all out of whack again. No worries, though. That's why Jesus invented Paxil.

Just about anything you want, you can find on the internet. If I wanted, say, Gillian Anderson's and David Duchovny's heads superimposed on explicit pictures of people having sex, I could find that. I can tell you with some shame that I have found that. Many, many times. It's never as beautiful as I imagined it, but it's close.

You can find flight schedules or marital arts instruction or buy a gun or learn how to improvise an explosive device out of a headset, a bag of peanuts and a ginger ale... basically all your domestic-terrorism needs.

Sometimes, however, the information you find can actually be interesting and useful. For instance: did you know that there were three different kinds of milk-protein allergy? It's true!

First there's what's commonly known as "lactose intolerance". If you suffer from this condition, ingesting any kind of dairy product will produce an icky tummy and some diarrhea. This is a painful and serious condition only if you are a total pussy.

The second kind is "fast-onset" milk allergy, the one that causes true anaphylaxis and can kill you if you take in the smallest amount of milk protein. This is milk allergy for hardcore types who can't be bothered with nickle-and-dime lightweight shit like "lactose intolerance"; the kind of people who look death in the face every time they walk past a Dairy Queen.

The third kind is somewhere in between, a "slow-onset" milk allergy. The severity of the reaction falls somewhere in between the first and the second, only it can (possibly) progress to the severity of #2.

But Pops, you're thinking, why is this interesting to me?

Well, chances are it isn't. But you've already read this far. Might as well finish, eh? Plus, there's vomit at the end! Just try not to keep reading...

See, we are Catholic. That means we're not supposed to eat meat on Fridays. During the non-Lenten season, the American Bishops have worked out this deal with the Vatican whereby we can subsitiute some kind of charitable act in lieu of the ban on all meats on Fridays. Our charitable act is to eat meat on Fridays. Keeps the US beef industry on it's feet, you see.

During Lent, however, this is non-negotiable, apparently. If we were to ingest some kind of animal flesh (other than fish) on a Friday between Ash Wednesday and Easter, then the devil will come and kill us in our sleep. Or something. It's been a long time since cathechism.

That's why this past Friday we ordered a cheese pizza. Bland, you say? Why yes. Yes it was.

But my oldest boy, he's had a milk allergy (see? remember?) of the third variety (don't tell me you forgot already...) since birth. So no cheese pizza. Being an excellent father, I decided to order him some bread sticks on the side. I told him this. He seemed excited.

But alas, when they arrived, the bread sticks were coated with parmesan cheese. No bread sticks for oldest boy. It was back to his regular diet, saltines and mayonnaise, finished with a fine Dominican cigar.

See, what I forgot to do (and I realize this in hindsight) was to let my son in on my parmesan cheese realization. So when I found the bread stick box again, five of the six bread sticks were missing.

Now, if you don't have children, you might not realize that pediatricians have no idea what they're doing. None. It's all guesswork. Children change too goddamn fast to keep up, so they are constantly making ridiculous shit up just to get parents out of their offices as fast as humanly possible. Somehow the wait is always 3 hours anyway, but the bending of the natural rules of spacetime inside a pediatrician's office will have to wait for another post.

Our pediatrician had told us that our son would "outgrow" his milk allergy at around 6 months. When he didn't, the pediatrician said he would outgrow it at 1 year. Just like that. Out of the fucking blue. Then it was 2 years. Then 4 years. Now it's supposed to be any day now. So sometimes we forget to take his allergy seriously.

That night then (this would be Friday), Mrs. Pops and I are downstairs watching Lost, which we had recorded. From upstairs, we hear some snuffling. Then some whimpering. Then some coughing. Mrs. Pops goes upstairs to check. Here's the conversation:

MRS. POPS: Are you OK?


[Vomit in the hallway.]

MRS. POPS: Aw, goddammit! In here, in the bathroom. [to me] I need help up here!

ME: What do you need me to do?

SPEWMASTER: I don't feel good, make it stop... HLLLLAAAAARRGH!

[Vomit everywhere in the bathroom except the toilet bowl.]

MRS. POPS: [Expletive(s) deleted.]

So he hurls on the floor. Mrs. Pops doesn't want to make him stand in it to puke into the toilet, so she decides just to let him yak all over the tile and then clean it up later. I suggest perhaps the sink? Consensus is reached and he mostly hits the target from then on.

This went on for about 15 minutes.

Then I went on the internet and found out everything I could find about milk allergy. After a big, fat dose of Benadryl (partially to knock him out, I admit), we were convinced by the unverified information we found anonymously posted online that he would still be alive come sunrise and finished watching Lost, which was quite good.

And now I have been able to share my story with you via this wondrous and enigmatic medium. It truly is a wonderful place... thing... resource. Whatever.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.0


So, you normally order him a pizza with no cheese? (In this case not an option because I'm sure you didn't want to pay $15 for red sauce on dough.)

A friend of mine has a little girl with ALL the major, bad death allergies. Dairy, peanut, eggs, whatever gluten is, you name it. Poor kid. It's so bad that her dad once drank a sip of coffee, kissed her on the cheek--her face broke out in a red rash from the milk on his lips.
Normally we don't order him anything. We have to give him something else. Since he's 5, he's figured out that doing so makes us feel guilty (they're our faulty genes, after all) so "something else" is usually popcorn and candy. We're really good parents.

Reminds me of my favorite vomit story. The one where my goddaughter had acid reflux as an infant and I'm playing with her on the floor. I lift her over my head and start to make a funny noise right as she spews milk and cereal onto my chest. Needless to say, vomit can't go uphill, so it ended up on my neck and face and ewww it was warm.... gives me the chills just thinking about it.
In all your food allergy research, did you come across anything diagnosing campus dining intolerance? Because I know many people, including myself, who suffer from all the symptoms of lactose intolerance after eating anything prepared on the campus of the University of Chicago, no matter which dining hall, coffee shop, or Subway outlet it was prepared in. I was just curious as to whether I should expect to have intact intestines by graduation?
So what you're saying is that Germans are responsbile for my goat having no horns?
Jess: Particular lesson about gravity and the capacity of babies' stomachs can only be learned the hard way.

Rita: I don't know how it works at fancy-pants Private U, but our dorm meals were covered as part of our fees, so we ate what they put in front of us. It was that or starve to death. So we took our stomach ailments and our diabetes and we liked it. Your intestines are negotiable.

MPH: I didn't realize it until just now, but that is EXACTLY what I'm saying.
You know what I'd do in this case, don't you? Is it wrong to just peel off the freaking cheese? I mean, I understand if it's something like the girl that SJ mentioned, but would the cheese grease cause the vomituitous situation too? I'd have way too much fun experimenting.

On the off chance that I could just peel off the cheese, I wonder who would die first, Bruce or Me, in that battle over the extra layer of cheese?

I'm stupid and don't understand the horny goat joke.
You don't have to be smart to understand the goat joke, you just have to be MPH. Just be grateful.

And my son won't eat pizza, period. We've scared him so much about dairy products, there are some things he just will not touch. Alas, we have failed to instill fear of breadsticks in him as yet.
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