Poor BW. He has, unfortunately, inherited the Gifford family allergies. I’d hoped that if I were to have children, that they would not have to deal with the classic triangle of misery; asthma, allergies and eczema.
One of the profoundly irritating side effects of having allergies are itchy eyes. Once you start rubbing your eyes, the more they’ll itch, and then they become red, puffy and feel like you’ve sand in them. It’s a side effect of an immune system that is prepped and ready for war with any germ or enemy, whether they are there or not. The bliss of allergy season.
This year BW has been suffering more-so than usual and in an effort to alleviate his discomfort, I was chatting with him about the itch cycle; if you rub your eyes, it’ll itch really badly. The more you rub, the more you’ll itch so the more you’ll rub and so on.
“I know mama. It’s because of the white blood cells. They are the warriors of the body. They get ready to do battles and fight the germs. All sorts of germs. So the white blood cells see the enemy and they eat them up. Only before they eat them, they have to shoot these things at the germs. They look like sling-shots, only without the rubber bands that do the shooting.”
“You mean they are shaped like the letter ‘Y’?”
“Yes, and so they shoot all these letters at the germs. So I get what you are saying about the itchy eyes… the cells in the immu are ready for war. Only I don’t know why they are called cells.
“It doesn’t make sense because they aren’t trying to sell you anything. And they don’t have anything to sell. Not like the red blood cells, they have lots of things they can sell. The red blood cells leave the heart and lungs and go away to really far places and sell their stuff and then they return to the heart to get more stuff. White blood cells don’t do that, so are they supposed to be selling things, but they forgot to? SO, I’ll try not to itch my eyes because I don’t want to have the letters in them. Can we have snack when we get home?”
I wonder if the red blood cells have thought about taking their marketing show on the road. It seems like the white blood cells aren’t aware of their potential, at least according to the boy.