I went to an allergy doctor today and got bits of clear and yellowish residue scratched onto my arm or injected into little bubbles under my skin.
First little purple dots were magic-markered onto my arms, then drops of residue were distributed beneath. And after fifteen minutes, there were still only purple dots and drops of residue. No inflammation, no itching, nothing.
Conclusion: I don’t appear to be allergic to anything.
It was an altogether fruitless Dr visit. He didn’t understand my situation at all, and seemed convinced that I had sinus problems causing headaches. Yeah, sure.
I wasn’t surprised, to be honest. Mostly it seems like there is no real tangible reason for my health problems, and I have to learn to deal with them on my own. But my Mom was really counting on this to be “the answer.”
We drove back to my Aunt’s house, Mom fighting tears, me battling a headache. Looming over our heads was the need to buy a car for me, and the prospect of a weekend in PA, where we’re both scheduled to speak at a woman’s retreat.
“The other Emily,” I thought, “Would never find herself in this situation.”
Before we go any further, let me post a picture to give you some idea of who the other Emily is.
Yep, that’s her. The other Emily is often in a canoe, because that’s one beautiful hobby that ended when I got sick.
The other Emily lives in a parallel universe where no vile mosquito ever bit her and no mold allergies plague her. She is generally healthy. I mean, she has her health problems. She always had. But she stays healthy enough to survive beautifully.
There are some facts I know for certain about the other Emily: she went on canoe trips in the summer, for one thing. Once a month she acted out a Bible story for the children at Kid’s Bible Club, with the help of her friends. And she had a perfectly enchanting senior year, ending in a very chocolate-cake-like graduation.
After graduation it is a tougher call. I am certain that she went to EBI, and she most likely got a job and did some community college. She didn’t publish a book, I know, but she tried very hard to establish a sort of youth group for 11-14 year olds in her church, and very likely succeeded. This younger youth group of sorts may have even included drama. That was, after all, what the other Emily wanted to do the most.
Sometimes I think that I have an advantage on the other Emily, because I’ve moved around more, and had more adventures. This is at least partially true, but I have no evidence that the other Emily stayed at home in Oregon. She always had a desire to get out; to move to some lovely other place and start a new life for herself.
Maybe she taught school somewhere. Perhaps she went into VS.
I wonder how the other Emily’s relationship with God is. This is one area that is hard to figure out. Because I know where my walk with God is, and I know that he has used my illness to shape that walk. But the other Emily had a profoundly different walk. Did God use her walk to bring her to the same place that I am at?
I know that the idea of “the other Emily” is somewhat ridiculous. What happened happened, and for whatever reason, God allowed it to happen. It is impossible to go back and figure out what would have happened.
Still, I often wonder about the other Emily. I know that during my senior year of high school I would have preferred the other Emily’s life to my own. No question. But now I can never decide. I forevermore wonder about the other Emily, with her canoe paddle and an arm void of purple dots.
Where would I be if the horror had never happened to me?