Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Proof That I Am Not Descendant of Monkeys

OK, we can debate the merits of evolution another time. However, I can now prove without a doubt that I am not a descendant of monkeys, despite my occasional behavior to the contrary. I have recently discovered that I am allergic to bananas. I ask you, could any self-respecting chimp admit to such a fault?

Anyway, I've always known that I am a little weird....well, in respect to my reaction to bananas, I mean. I love bananas...banana bread, banana pudding, banana flavored popsicle, etc. Most importantly, I have a very strong affinity to Chunky Monkey, which I have also recently learned does not really contain actual monkeys, so I was able to rule out a monkey allergy almost immediately. The point is, every time I eat one of nature's perfect foods or Ben and Jerry's perfect ice cream, I get a very strange symptom. It's not unbearable or painful....just freakish. Bananas make my ears itch. I mean really, really itch. It makes me want to rip them off the side of my head. There, now you know...I am not a descendant of primates...and I sometimes want to rip my ears off. It's a shameful secret that is now out in the open for the whole world to ponder and critique.

So, what I've recently learned is that I am not alone. There's no Itchy Ear Banana Allergy Anonymous (IEBAA) for those with my affliction (yet), but we're out there....suffering in silence and frantically clawing at our ears while gulping down our banana parfait. Apparently, banana allergies is not uncommon among people who are also allergic to ragweed and latex. While, I am fairly certain that I am allergic to ragweed, I've never had a problem with latex. However, the article suggests that it is only a matter of time before I start experiencing latex-related allergy symptoms. It seems the 3 allergies are very often seen together and are somehow connected...although how bananas and latex are related is beyond me. If this is the case, then I will definitely have to be on the lookout for the gorilla wearing latex gloves at the supermarket buying Chunky Monkey, because he'll be the death of me for sure.

There is some good news. The article suggests that limiting my exposure to bananas may suppress my reaction to ragweed. So, if I lay off the banana splits for a while, my chronic, seasonal sniffles might get better. Though it will be hard, I'm willing to make this sacrifice in the interest of proving or disproving the theory. Similarly, if I reduce my exposure to ragweed (I have yet to find a way to do this), then my allergy to bananas may subside as well. I would assume, therefore, that if I stay away from both bananas and ragweed, that I may never experience any reaction to latex. I'm going to have to check with my doctor on that one, I suppose. In the meantime, I'm going on a banana-free diet. If can do it, it will not only prove the grandma is not a rhesus, but it will prevent my wild urges to rip my ears off and save me the trouble and embarrassment of the cosmetic oddity of having no ears.

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