The day I thought I was going to die was just yesterday.
All because of a dumpling.
Working from home can have its advantages, but lunch is not one of them. I miss the sandwich bar and the food court. Combined with the fact that I had not been near a supermarket for ages, I dug around the freezer to see what I could find to nourish my soul.
“What is this?” I thought as I pulled out a frozen packet of dumplings, remembering a friend had dropped them off a few weeks back, declaring them to be most excellent. I steamed those nuggety parcels up and sat back down at my desk.
Pop, pop, pop into my mouth they went. They were good and were dressed in a light soy sauce. As I continued to type away, suddenly the screen started to move.
My hands started to get red and take on the appearance of the Michelin Man. My forehead! It started to itch like mad and I felt extremely average.
I lay on the couch feeling worse. Was I having a stroke? A heart attack?
Of course I consulted Dr. Google on the iPad. He diagnosed about two dozen possibilities.
I was home alone and very frightened.
So I called the 24-hour Medical Assistance line.
Pat, the registered nurse, was fabulous and asked me some very detailed questions. I remained calm and told her all of my symptoms. Pat advised me that it sounded like I was having an anaphylactic reaction. Did my throat feel tight?
At that very moment, as soon as she said those words, my throat got tight.
My heart beat faster and the room started spinning. In my head, I had but moments to live! (Just like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride, I come from a long line of over-reactors, much to my detriment and those who live with me.)
Pat took control and called an ambulance. She told me to stay where I was but to make sure the front door was open.
I called my husband to come home.
I toyed with calling my mates, but I didn’t want to disturb their day. I thought about calling my Mum, but I knew the over-reaction gene would be just amplified times two.
So I waited, dizzy, itchy… Doomed.
“Hello there?” A cheery man’s voice rang out through the house. It was the ambulance man and his friend, the other ambulance man.
After a quick consult and having taken my vital signs, I was swiftly diagnosed with a mild allergic reaction, when combined with my over-reaction, became a bigger deal than it actually was.
Something in those dumplings did not like me.
I was mortified and embarrassed. They looked at my fading rash and told me to rest up for the remainder of the day. I thanked them profusely and apologized half a dozen times for coming to visit, even though my diagnosis was not quite what they expected.
They left and I lay there on the couch, thinking about my newfound respect for ambulance officers. Particularly the ones that have to deal with idiots, such as myself.
So they are now on the list. The list of professions that, in my opinion, seem to attract the good souls of the world. This list includes (generally speaking):
Drive through bottle shop attendants
Coffee shop owners of European descent.
Lollipop Ladies that allow you to safely cross the road.
But in my opinion, you just cannot top the butcher for the best service, advice and a good yarn to boot.
Our local butcher Tim, is a young bloke who knows everyone’s name and hands out jellybeans to any visiting child.
He has a rope/pulley system rigged up so when you leave the shop, the door automatically opens for you.
When you buy your meat from Tim, he will cook it for you if you want, to perfection and deliver it to your house in time for dinner. No charge. Veggies are a few bucks extra. The older people in our neighborhood adore him, as does everyone.
The only place I can think of where you get service like that is when someone shows up at your door, with a mate, to tell you that you are not going to die.
Are you an over-reactor? Got a good yarn to share?
Are there any professions you adore… or do not?
The HealthDirect Australia 24 hour assistance line is: 1800 022 222
MORE STORIES BY MRS WOOG
*About Mrs Woog: “I can be found in the laundry, folding laundry, sorting laundry and dropping off the dry cleaning. I am mum to two boys, boss of my husband and master of a cat and two guinea pigs. Come nightfall, I watch TV while tweeting which drives Mr Woog insane. I like to read cookbooks and eat out. During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the Mazda while drinking takeaway coffees and listening to talkback. I think about going to the gym every day. I used to work in the publishing industry before I realised it was nothing like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld made out like it was. Now I write this blog. And I never get writer’s block. It is a gift I have.” You can follow me on Twitter: @Woogsworld.