Allergy

Do you have an allergy?

I sure do.
And it’s a weird one. In fact, if you are a medical professional and
want to give me a tip about what the crap is going on with me, feel free
to share.

So, about five years ago, I did something I had done many, many, many times. I peeled a banana. And then I ate it.

And
then my body revolted. Out of nowhere, I found myself hunched over a
toilet, not vomiting, but instead watching saliva pour out of my mouth
like I was some sort of faucet.

It was kind of like my
tummy decided that bananas were arsenic and that the best way to get rid
of the horrific effects was to send my salivary glands into a panicked
frenzy of activity. So, I spent the next hour or so in the bathroom
drooling a continuous flow of spit, feeling a discomfort that could be
described as nothing short of really, really, annoying.

The
problem was that this was a banana, something I’d eaten probably
thousands of over the course of my lifetime. So it was very difficult
for my brain to believe that there was actually a problem. “It was all a
fluke,” I’d say the next time somebody served me something like a
banana split. And then I’d eat it, and spent the next hour in the
bathroom doing an imitation of this:

only with saliva into a toilet.

100% not fun. And 100% disgusting.

So,
after about six successive incidents of me convincing myself that I was
faking it for attention, I finally got the picture: this banana allergy
was real, and I was going to have to stop eating bananas. Which was
sad, because bananas are delicious, and also really convenient, and also
I only learned like one year before this that it’s much more efficient
to unpeel a banana starting at the dark stub on the bottom, and so it
was like, wow, all those wasted years and now I don’t get to even enjoy
my new-found discovery.

Life can be downright vicious and cruel sometimes.

Anyway, cut to nowish, where by nowish I mean last summer when I actually started writing this post and then forgot about it:

One
day last summer I tried my wife’s protein shake and didn’t have The
Reaction even though it had ripe banana in it. I was stunned and
cautiously optimistic. I decided to test things out, so I cut up a
banana into minuscule pieces, and ate them progressively waiting for the
need to run to the bathroom and become a faucet, but it never hit.

Amazingly, my allergy had disappeared!!!

Or had it?

Later
that week as I drove in to work I ate a protein bar. This particular
day of work was a crunch-time situation–I had to finish a bunch of
files before I ended my position as a mental health counselor at a
middle school (news alert! The Weed was behind on paperwork!)–and so I walked
to my office and got busy right away.

Unfortunately,
unbeknownst to me, my banana allergy hadn’t really left. It had just
re-incarnated itself and was now a protein bar allergy, and
unfortunately I had just gotten done stuffing my face with a big ol’
protein bar. My sudden need to salivate became so intense that I grabbed
an empty water bottle near me and started salivating into it. And then
the desperation of the moment–needing to finish those files– led me to
think, “hey, this isn’t so bad. Maybe I can work through this so I can
make sure to get these files done.”

So I drooled. I
drooled and drooled and drooled. For twenty minutes straight I drooled.

And when the need to salivate dissipated, I looked down, and my water bottle was nearly half full. Half full of drool from my body.  I had literally made the substance filling half of that water bottle.

I
don’t know if you know this about spit, but it is of a very strange
consistency when pooled in a bottle. It verges on gelatinous.

What’s
that you say? You want to see a picture of my bottle of drool? (Did you
hear that faint clicking sound in the distance? That was the sound of
half of my readership closing out of this screen in a panic.)

Of course you can!

The
thing that’s special and also really disappointing about this picture
is the fact that I have saved this bottle since last summer, so a
portion of the saliva has evaporated, and also, you are looking at fluid
was excreted from my body three months ago, which is pretty awesome and
also pretty nasty.

Yuletide Saliva-Bottle Photo Op? SURE!

Merry Christmas! ~from my salivary gland, to yours~

Thirsty?

 Refreshing!
No sugar or preservatives!
In
conclusion: never offer me a protein bar unless you want to see me
become a garden hose of drool. And probably you should double check any
bottle of water I offer you. I’m serious. Double check. Or you
very well might swallow slime manufactured by glands located under my
tongue. And then you’ll kind of feel like you kissed me, except without
all the good stuff. And believe me when I say: I’m really good at the good stuff. So you would be missing out in a big way. Aaand, you’d have my spit in your mouth.

(This post would be so much
more interesting if somebody had accidentally drunk my three-month-old
bottle of drool. Which is why it’s literally stored on my kitchen
counter, and will be there indefinitely. A guy can dream, can’t he?)

23 Comments

  1. What's interesting is that of all the disgusting posts on this blog that I have read, THIS is the only one to make me gag. Poop in the forest? No biggie, apparently. Bottle of spit? I'm gonna hurl!

  2. Funnily enough same for me. Poop no biggie, spit that is a problem.
    Oats did that for me, stopped eating them for a couple years and became a vegan and if I eat organic oats problem solved. Sounds weird but it worked. On the banana note I would get bad stomach aches from them until I switched to organic banana's. Again sounds weird but I tested it out several times and it works.

  3. OMG….Me, too. I was sipping my coffee reading along, and then I got the pictures of the bottle, and about lost it.

    I'm kind of wondering if you could market this to saliva sensitive people as a weight loss program. I mean, it's not like we'd have to put a finger down our throats or anything… Hungry for that Snickers bar? Look at these pictures. Craving solved.

  4. I must have a cast-iron stomach. This post didn't bother me at all. LOL I have an allergy I'll trade you the banana or protein bar one for–sesame. One little seed and I'm out of commission for a week. At least with bananas or protein bars you know you're getting them and you don't have to dig through your food like some sort of wild animal when you eat at a place that serves things with sesame seed buns just in case one made its way onto your plain bun. And, you can eat Chinese food which I can't do because they all feel compelled to use sesame oil. 🙁

  5. It takes a lot more than poop in the forest OR spit in a bottle to bother me. It's a byproduct of having 4 children.
    I have had this happen to me, only not with bananna's. The only culprit I could identify was McDonald's, but I would salivate like that for about 20 minutes, while on the stool, because I was never sure if I was going to explode out of the bottom end or hurl out of the top end.
    Then, it would just be over. NOTHING, save the salivating, would actually happen.
    I chalked it up to menopause but stopped eating McDonald's also. Even their pop, and have not had it happen again. Knock on wood.
    One of the most comforting things about your blog for me is that you admit so openly to "forgetting" stuff. I don't have ADD but I have a son who does, so forgetting has become a big issue in my life, especially now that I'm 46 and spend most of my time wandering from room to room trying to remember what I was doing……
    Great post!

  6. I have a few thoughts for you.
    What's the big deal here? Some of us have a continual pool of saliva in our mouths – have you ever tried swallowing? I hear it works wonders for ridding your mouth of saliva. There are 4 ways out of your mouth. While you seem very proficient at the one, you could perhaps explore the others. Though, frankly, two of them are worthless or worse in this case.
    If it helps buoy your spirits any, you should know that saliva actually helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities. It's true; a dentist told me. I believe this is the basis for all the claims gum has ever made (specifically trident) for preventing cavities.
    As to a why – I suspect you have been sensitized. There are some materials which provoke a reaction the very first time we touch them – for me it's neoprene. Other things (one commonly in the public mind these days is latex) don't provoke a reaction initially, but over time, some people's bodies seem to get sick of them and to decide they are to be fought off. Now, with tiny little bits of banana – you probably aren't hitting the threshold of whatever chemical your body recognizes as foreign – the same with Laurel's shake. Your protein bar, however, almost certainly has a lot of banana and banana-derivatives in it. They are really good for you, after all.
    Just suck it up and swallow, Weed. Literally, suck it up.

  7. I say you start some kind of Flat Stanley thing with your water bottle, send it around the world on an adventure and have people take photos with it. Drool bottle at Niagra Falls? Yes! Drool bottle at the Great Pyramid? Yippee!!

  8. @Lauren–how funny. Yeah, last night Wife was almost gagging as she read it. I was like "maybe I have a winner?!" I honestly didn't think it was going to get such a visceral reaction.

    @Heather–Oats, huh? That's not a fun one at all. I'll definitely have to try organic and see how it goes…

    @musingsfromaworkaholic–Um, your idea is brilliante. I definitely think this will work. Should we start an LLC? Saliva Watchers? Droolly Craig? …you know, just some names I'm tossing around.

    @Wilma–Yeah, I'm more like you. Apparently I'm collected saliva-immune. (Of course, it's my saliva. Not sure how I'd feel if it were someone else's.) Also, I hadn't realized how much sesame affects things. Your allergy is definitely harder than mine!

    @momiss–See, at last your allergy makes some sense to me as McDonald's food is essentially poison to the body. That's an allergy that seems valid. I'm surprised more of us don't have that! Also, I'm glad you appreciate my openness about forgetting and such. It can be such a challenge to have a child with ADD (I know this only from the perspective of the child so far, but chances are I'll get to experience it the other direction as well.) I'm sure you're doing great at it.

    @Taren–Sorry to almost make you vomit…

    @Chris–Yeah… neoprene. That's probably another one for me as well. First step for me though would be looking up the word "neoprene". Also, I had never thought about the cavity fighting advantage this gives me. Perhaps I should eat a banana/power bar before every visit to the dentist? Then I could bring them the bottle of saliva as refreshment!

    @Steamme–Um, YES. I think that would be so special and wonderful! Would you like to be the first recipient??? Drool bottle with Steamme? DREAM COME TRUE.

    @Steamme–Haha, I am a study in contrast… and in not realizing how disgusting bottles of drool really are.

  9. I'm going to go with Psychosomatic. And YOU know I don't mean that it isn't real, simply that it is generated by your mind and not your body…still very real.

  10. I had the faucet mouth the last time I ate a persimmon. Had never had problems before, but I'm positive I could have filled up 1/3 of a water bottle as my mouth tried to flush out all traces of the persimmon. I really don't think it was psychosomatic – I've always really liked them.

  11. I looked up hypersalivation and allergies was not one of the listed causes – but exposure to toxins was. Maybe your bananas and also your protein bar were contaminated with something? Have you been checked by a doctor? It can also be a symptom of several medical conditions, including GERD (gastroenteral reflux disease) which is easily treatable – and dangerous if not diagnosed.

  12. @Leslie–I'm pretty sure it's not psychosomatic. It feels very much like a chemical response of some sort. Either that, or my brain is really wily.

    @Lauren T.–I've actually never had a persimmon. Next time I'm offered one, I'm going for it. I'll let you know what happens.

    @Anonymous #1– Really? They call her the witch doctor? How quaint! Next time you spam me, actually read the post and refer to something in it and I might click on your link. kthnx.

    @Anonymous #2–I had heard that. I'm not sure where. I don't think that's related here, though.

    @Ashlee–It's funny you should ask that on this particular post, because I remember texting someone saying what a hard time I was having finding the right picture. I knew what I needed, but it was really hard to find the right kind of fountain. In fact, I think that's why this post languished in my draft folder for so long. I got to the part where I needed that photo, couldn't find the right one, then got distracted for a month or two. To answer your question, though, it usually doesn't take too long because I usually have a good idea what I want, and then using re-usable images narrows the search down from like four trillion to only a couple of good ones to choose from. Speaking of which, I forgot to link to this photo's source. Which means I have to find it. Crap. Glad you asked this question.

    Anonymous #3–I might have GERD I guess, but I don't seem to have any other symptom. I can't think of what toxin it would be only because I've had it happen with bananas in different parts of the country. The only common factor in all of the incidents is myself. So perhaps I'm allergic to my own skin cells. That explains a lot.

    Pablo Andreu–How have I never seen this movie???

    @Anonymous #4–Haha, good job! Yeah, I hear having boys will do that to you.

  13. I've had this same problem twice, and I do believe it is associated with food allergies! Not only do I hypersalivate, but areas inside of my mouth (probably where the salivary glands are located) feel simply… weird. It's hard to describe how they feel, but it's pretty uncomfortable. And to swallow the saliva makes my chest uncomfortable. I usually lasts for an hour or more.

    Glad to know I'm not alone, but at the same time, I feel sorry for all of the others who have to experience it! 🙁

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