Monday, July 14, 2008
The Evil Pencil Cactus
My daughter Kimberly, my husband, and I went to Prairie Gardens a few months ago. We loved going through all the different tents full of flowers! My daughter and her husband just bought a new home, which is contemporary. We were looking for inside plants that would look good in her home. We came across an unusual plant she nor I had ever seen! It had "contemporary" written all over it! It was called a "Pencil Cactus". She and I fell in love with it! When we showed it to my husband, he turned up his nose at it and exclaimed, "You're not buying that thing are you?" My daughter and I said "why not?" He told us it was an evil looking plant! Hmmm, never heard of an evil plant before! His words resounded in my head days later.
I helped my daughter load the plant in the cart, as it was about 3-4 foot tall, and it's pencils very slender. We didn't want to break it! As we put it in the cart, I noticed a sticky milky substance all over my hands. After we left there, we stopped to get a drink, and I went to wash my hands. My hands still felt sticky after washing. We had to get home, and gave our daughter a hug and said goodbye..
After getting home, again I tried to wash my hands. By then my lips felt funny and one eye seemed to be swelling. I just figured it was allergies. Within another hour, my husband and I were sitting on the couch...talking about the wonderful day we had with our daughter. All of a sudden, I felt as if I couldn't get enough oxygen. Before long I was gasping for air, and couldn't breath. My husband wanted to call an ambulance, and I was about to let him! But my first thought was "maybe it's a panic attack", since I do get those sometimes. But this felt different. Plus I wasn't upset about anything. That is the only reason we didn't head to the hospital, I wanted to make sure it wasn't that. My husband got me a pill for anxiety, and I asked him for Benedryl, since my eyes were swelling. I took those, and held onto my husband because I thought seriously I was dying...and if I couldn't breath soon, I was going to let him call an ambulance. I waited about 10 minutes, then my breathing began to get better.
A few days later, I had told my other daughter about the plant Kimberly had found. I was looking for a picture on the Internet to send her...so she could see it. I came across this article:
I couldn't believe it! What I had had was an allergic reaction to the plant a few days before! The man who wrote the article had ended up at the hospital! I now knew that it wasn't the anxiety pill that had helped me to breath, but the Benedryl. The hospital he went to administered antihistamines. The thing is, if I had gone to the hospital, I wouldn't have even thought it was a reaction to a plant! I'm sure he did, since he owned a plant store...and knew more about plants than I could ever hope to.
Come to find out, Tom and Kimberly put the plant in the garage just after a few days, because it was making their eyes burn. After hearing about my incident, they took it back to the plant place and got a refund. I'm sure many other people have this plant, and have no reactions to it at all. But I do believe that the stores who sell them, should post a sign about the possibilities, and have them in a safe place where children can't accidentally get the white milk on their hands. The substance can not be washed off with soap and water. I do believe this plant can be deadly and the person having the reaction would not even suspect a plant caused this.
Yes, as my daughter Kristie says, "It can only happen to you, Mom". Also my husband will not let me live down the fact that immediately he thought it was an evil plant. On the spiritual side, how many times are we drawn to something different and beautiful, that eventually may harm us? There is almost always "someone" warning us....and we don't see the danger. At least the Holy Spirit doesn't go around saying: I TOLD YOU SO.
(hint to my husband!) :o)