If Thine Eye Offendeth Thee

The list of specialists I visit regularly seems to be increasing exponentially as I approach my 30th birthday.  Yesterday, for no apparent reason, my eyes started itching furiously and swelled up, almost shut; I seemed to be perpetually squinting, or maybe winking. It would have been a lot funnier if I hadn't been in the middle of lessons.

The first student was too absorbed in his work to notice, and the second was a family friend who generously refrained from staring, but my last student of the night was a sweet, inquisitive four-year-old who simply couldn't concentrate until, as Carole Bigler would say, he had cleared his mind by speaking it.  I apologized to both parent and student for the ice pack I was holding over my face and explained that I was having some sort of allergic reaction.  His mom gallantly claimed she hadn't noticed.  Her son, however, had. "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR EYES?"

I don't know, honey.  But don't worry.  I'm all right.  Can you play Mississippi Hot Dog for me?

This seemed to satisfy him, and he played it beautifully.  On the last note, he looked up at me.  "ONE OF THEM IS BIGGER THAN THE OTHER ONE!"

Yes, this was true, I agreed.  And how about Ice Cream Cone?  Can you play it with your left hand?

He complied, but this time got only a few bars in before whirling back around: "IT'S RED!"

His mom and I laughed, and I told her one of the best benefits of teaching: it keeps you humble.  At no point can you pretend you are above it all when there are people around you who remind you constantly of your ordinary-ness.

This reaction has happened half a dozen times in as many months, and I haven't been able to narrow it down to one factor or another.  First I thought it might be an evergreen allergy, as it was near Christmas; then I suspected calamari, which I had eaten twice before having the reaction; but this time I had had a lunch of whole-wheat pasta, and the near-constant drizzle of the last 48 hours has prevented me from going outside at all.

So, another call to another doctor, and another appointment.  It's as if my body knows the warranty's about to expire.