I fucked up. Big time.
Right now, I am writing this blog on my Blackberry. I am huddled under my desk trying to get a hold of Patty, our office manager.
Why? You ask?
Well, somehow, I managed to forget the fact that it is St. Patrick’s day. I am at work and I am not wearing green. That means that inevitably, some co-worker, or even stranger, is going to take it upon themselves to pinch me for this.
You probably think this is no big deal, but unfortunately for me, I was born with simple stamen epidermal hernias. To the layman, this means that if you pinch me, I could die.
Normally, I hand out a special flyer at work that the SSEH Association of America provides its members, explaining about the disease and why it’s so important not to pinch its victims. In addition, I’ll normally wear a green shirt that says, “Don’t pinch me, I will die.”
I don’t know what happened this year. I guess I just got complacent.
Let me assure you, this is not a joke. Back in 2003, I spent six weeks in the hospital after a little kid at the San Diego Wild Animal Park grabbed at my leg, trying to get my attention.
Six weeks! From a child!
Just imagine if an adult were able to hold on to a bit of my skin and give it a squeeze!
SSEH is an extremely rare condition that appears in less than 1 in 120,000 adults. It is caused by a fibrillin deficiency in the cellular walls of the sufferer’s muscles. A pinch basically “pops” the cells, flooding the surrounding area with an infusion of excess hemoglobin.
It’s the basic building block of life, but in those quantities, it’s deadly. Like when you drink too much water.
So this is why I am hiding from everybody right now. I think most of my co-workers are aware of my condition, but we’ve had some new hires lately and the time to explain my health situation isn’t when somebody’s coming at me with their thumb and index finger poised to pinch my life away. Especially with all the drinking that goes on this day. If I get out of here alive, I’m running home, right away.
[UPDATE: I finally got a hold of Patty and she was nice enough to send someone over to the Target across the street to get me a green shirt. Feel free to pass this blog on to anyone else, to raise awareness. As bad as it is to suffer this disease, I think it would probably be worse to take someone’s life out of ignorance of their condition. My advice? When in doubt, don’t pinch.]