Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lego Head :: Or, Where I've Been

It would be easy to tell you that I took some time off for the holidays.  Because I did. But I never intended to be gone from the blog for quite this long... You see, I got a little sick.

Don't ask why it's a baseball player laying the tape outline (They were out of chalk). 
Well, maybe not that sick, but pretty sick.

One morning shortly after Christmas, my wife says to me something to the effect of "Where did all your wrinkles go?"  Some folks might take that as a compliment.  Without wrinkles, I'd be looking younger, right?  Everyone wants to look younger.  But not everyone carries an epi-pen around in their pocket.

My face swelled until it was almost as smooth and shiny as plastic.  I looked like a caricature of myself, or perhaps an "after" picture at a Botox clinic.  Or a Lego mini figure of myself.

I looked something like this, only my coffee cup was white...
Lego heads are only cute on tiny plastic figures that live in worlds that are inhabited by other tiny plastic figures with round plastic heads. It was most troubling.

This has happened before and this summer it landed me in the hospital over the 4th of July weekend.  This time I was looking at celebrating the new year with the nurses, but this time I had a new doctor and got some better attention earlier, and didn't even need to use the epi-pen to manage it.  Lego head was averted, but it was placed pretty high on my list of The Most Annoying Ways to Spend a Holiday.

It has, in fact, been suggested that holidays are what I'm really allergic to.

This new doctor, incidentally, is a character waiting to be turned into television series.  The look on his face as he was running through the differential diagnosis was reminiscent of a kid unwrapping a new toy on Christmas morning.  To be honest it was heartwarming.  After years of getting doctors who frown and forget me the moment they walk out the door, I loved seeing actual interest in his eyes.  He called me from home on New Year's eve to tell me he was spending his holiday evening reading up on the literature and how fascinating it all was.

At long last, a fellow geek was on the case!  And I mean that in the best possible way.

Part of his fascination is that what he thinks might really be happening isn't a holiday allergy, but an extremely rare condition that triggers periodic swelling in my face that is (in his words) "benign but rather annoying to put up with" and has very little to do with anything, holiday related.  I rather like the word "benign", but could do with a bit less of the "annoying to put up with", honestly, but we take what blessings we get, mixed though they are.

Not the kind of fame anyone wants, really.  And honestly, who wants to be known as the 81st person to do something?  So, I've decided to name it myself: I officially declare myself patient zero for Sporadic Lego Head Holiday Syndrome.  

Take that, Medical Science!

Don't worry, it's not contagious, I just like the sound of "Patient Zero".
In the meantime, my head has returned to the normal proportions (or at least what passes for normal in my world) and rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.


  1. Wow, that kinda blows. I have allergies and have had my eyes swell shut a few times, though never to the extent of Sporadic Lego Head Holiday Syndrome.

  2. Can we call it SpoLeHeHo (Spo-lee-HEE-ho) Syndrome?

  3. I prefer to believe you're allergic to the holidays. Glad you're better!

  4. Thanks, everyone! I'm feeling much better.


Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).