HazMat Called You Yet?…

In like a lamb but out like a lion. Tricked again… last week it was 80 degrees and I was riding my bike and having an early start to my riding season. Last night I looked out the front door and the snow was coming down…

Here’s my neighbor’s pear tree in full bloom like the pear trees all over the city (took this with a flash)…

I guess we have another week of it before we get back to springiness. Oh, and I looked down and there was a mouse in my Earl Grey or is that my imagination…

At least it looked like a mouse to me. So, ok, I have to tell a doctor story. To be frank, I haven’t had much luck with the ol’ MD’s and I could write a long series of posts detailing my travails. This time though there’s a connection to ceramics so I figured I’d go ahead and jump the gun. Anyway, I have a terrible allergy which is causing me to itch like crazy. It’s a full body thing and has been driving me to distraction. As with contact allergies, determining what you’re allergic to is not only the key but is also incredibly difficult to assess. I went to the dermatologist to no avail and then went to my new MD. This is only my second visit to him. So I detail my symptoms and he asks me the obligatory “is there anything that you changed that coincides with the onset of this condition?” My answer… yes, but I thought I should ignore that and just come in here instead. Not really but after establishing that an allergy can spontaneously develop to something that I was not allergic to before, we moved past the futility of that route. Anyway, the subject of clay came up and I said, “really, have you ever heard of someone being allergic to clay?” Then, with a very excited, eureka kind of inflection in his voice, he said… “here’s what I want you to do.” I want you to get a hazmat suit…

As he was describing what a hazmat suit is… “it’s like a chemical cleanup suit that goes over your shoes and clothes and has a helmet with oxygen and… (at this point I’m trying not to have the look of disbelief on my face) and you have these gloves”. As he was pantomiming the pulling on of the gloves, he stops mid-Marcel-Marceau and says reflectively, “hmmm, now wait, would you be able to work at the pottery wheel with the gloves on?” I was about to try my diplomatic response but he changed up on me mid-thought. “You could just wear everything but the gloves and maybe just tie the hood without the face mask so that this part of your face is uncovered”… and he put both his hands up to his face making a circle with his fingers big enough to see his eyes, nose and mouth through. Then, my specialty… tact. I say, “I’m not sure you understand exactly what goes on in a clay studio.” He says, “hey, you only have to do it for a couple months just to find out if that’s what it is.” This conversation kind of fizzled after that where he entertained maybe one of those tyvek suits because they would be less expensive and if I wasn’t going to use the hood or gloves, I might as well save some money. Then as quickly as the hazmat subject came up, it was abandoned and along with it the idea that we might figure out what was causing my problems. We moved on to treating the symptoms instead. So here’s the unit I got and this is a picture of me after a day of throwing bowls with my toxic clay…

Last but not least here’s a shot of a bowl made with the poison clay (don’t worry, after the piece is bone dry, the toxicity becomes inert and I’m able to work with merely 4 layers of clothes and a simply OSHA-approved gas mask)…

Glamor shot…

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11 Responses to “HazMat Called You Yet?…”

  1. Patricia Griffin Says:

    Cracked me up!… Sorry, you’re itchy though.

  2. meredith Says:

    Chuckle- ever thought it could be caused by talking to Doctors???
    Really and if you do you must post pictures.
    I was at the doc’s last week and I love the oversized paper towel they gave me to wear,but it was the 1/8 inch plastic belt that just did me in.
    I hung it up on one of scopes- it would look great on a size 13 inch waist.
    SNOW-that mother nature is having so much fun.

  3. cindy shake Says:

    Was he joking??!! He may have a point though…a real airing out of the studio (once it quits snowing) might help. You could have built up a lot of particulate matter in the air -not unheard of…allergies are so hard to pinpoint.

    or it could be, laundry soap, synthetic fibers, pollution, new body wash, not enough beer, too much sleep, not enough sleep, needing some sun and surf, lycra bike outfit, tylenol or advil reaction, fever reaction, dry air, OR SOME HEE-BE-JEEBY YOU PICKED UP SNAKING YOUR LAST CLOGGED PLUMBING EVENT… 🙂

  4. ron philbeck Says:

    That’s CRAZY!! Oh brother. Well I have to say I get itchy sometimes too , but then Sarah reminds me that I’ve been wearing the same clothes and haven’t showered for two days!

    Cool mouse.

  5. LJ Aldrich Says:

    The photo of you in hazmat gear gave me my best laugh all day. A really hilarious image.

  6. Connie Says:

    Jim you are funny!!! I thought our dermatologist was bad!!!!

  7. Lucy Dierks Says:

    you’ve probably tried this but i developed an allergy to the laundry detergent. started using ‘all’ and my skin stopped itching. good luck.
    really enjoy reading your blog.

  8. ang Says:

    hehehehehhe nice to see the New South Wales Firies getting a shout out :)) you could try a naturopath….. and knowing you it could turn out some great tales too :))

  9. deb Says:

    i enjoy reading your blogs and as a fellow potter with skin problems, ie eczema, this one made me belly laugh. thanks for the laugh…….

  10. Eugene Hon Says:

    It can double up as a snow gear especially if there is an emergency, blocked drains etc. I hope the allergy goes away. Only itching I get is from a mosquito bite normally a day or two after the bloodsucker had pierced my skin. Very irritating indeed. When is the next firing – cant wait to see the final results.

  11. Skuzy Says:

    You’re so lucky you don’t live in Florida.

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