I carried it around the store for a while and deposited it near the cashier because I didn't know what I'd do with it. I paid for my potato chips and left. While still in the parking lot, I realized I had 3 VM messages and so I sat in my car for a bit and returned calls.
That's when it happened.
The palms of my hands became increasingly itchy, and swollen, and tingly, then numb. I was about 2 minutes away from the Kihei Branch so I drove there and went upstairs immediately to wash my hands - I knew something had to be wrong... By then my hands were SWOLLEN (they looked like Mickey Mouse gloves - but red, instead of white!) I couldn't even take off my wedding ring.
So I asked one of the girls in the branch and she said she'd take me to the hospital! Luckily, there was an Ugent Care Clinic next door, which I drove to myself. By the time I got there, my rep had finished with his client and had walked over to see how I was doing. He said that my neck and chest were getting red and splotchy and my face was turning red. My hands were hot and feverish, still burning, itching, etc... So damn weird.
When I saw the doctor he asked me what I ate - which is the same thing I eat everyday - a salad from Down To Earth (a local health food chain here...) Then he asked me to take off my blazer - which I did and the oddest thing - the swelling and the redness ENDED where my blazer sleeves begin - so it must have been topical and not ingested. I wasn't red or itchy anywhere else except for my neck and chest...
He gave me two shots and some oral antihistamine in case it was something I ingested, but asked me to make an appointment to see my real doctor tomorrow. The swelling went down a bit and when I left the clinic, my face and chest were semi clearing up...
I know it sounds silly, but I REALLY think it was the newspaper. I mean, I'd gotten warning emails about men who walk up to women and hand them a business card as they're filling gas, and there's something on the business card that makes them sick and they pass out... They follow the car and rob them... I didn't pay much attention to this email, but this seems rather similar. The guy was kind of strange. When I left he said, "God bless you." Which weirded me out and the paper was folded oddly and he was holding it at the top. I did use both hands to grab and hold the paper and the allergic reaction seemed to start within 5 to 10 minutes of leaving the store.
I stayed for the entire seminar, and caught the 8pm flight home, but feel a bit out of sorts still... so I informed BIG boss that I was taking tomorrow and going to see my real doctor - who knows what could have been on that paper? That was a pretty severe allergic reaction - and I'm not really allergic to anything (that I know of anyway...)
It's been a hard last several days (more has happened recently that I don't feel comfortable disclosing here.) But safe to say that I feel it's all catching up with me.