So there you go. My body officially abhors the springtime.

3 minute read

March 9, 2011, 6:23 PM

Yeah, there you have it. My body abhors the springtime. I am allergic to pretty much everything related to the spring, and this was all confirmed by a doctor that specializes in allergies. So I have proof of it.

By the way, allergy testing is pretty interesting. What I’m allergic to in the spring is kind of irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion, but the process was interesting. They checked my blood pressure, temperature, pulse, heartbeat, and breathing, and then they offered two options for the actual allergy testing. One was a blood test, and the other was a skin test. I opted for the skin test, since the little applicator for that was better than getting my finger pricked or having them take a little vial of blood.

For that, they came in with a tray full of samples of different allergens, with the little skin applicators ready to go. They did the testing on my upper arms, which seemed agreeable enough. I’ve heard of people getting these kinds of things on far less preferable places, and so I wasn’t complaining. Plus I could watch the process, since it was in a spot that I could see.

So off went the shirt and on went the allergens. First the nurse swabbed my arms with alcohol, then she marked off the different test areas using a red overhead marker pen, and then stamped me with the various allergen samples. They also added a negative control specimen (i.e. something that I shouldn’t react to), and also a positive control specimen (which they expected that I would definitely react to). And then it needed twenty minutes to work.

That twenty minutes was an exercise in willpower to say the least. The body reacts to these irritants being added, and with the skin test, that means a lot of itching. But scratching would foul the test, and I didn’t take half a day off of work and go all the way up to Wheaton to screw up the results. But boy, did I itch. Of the twenty minute test, the first five minutes were the hardest. It was really, really, really itchy during those first five minutes, and I think I had a death grip on my cell phone while playing “Bubble Buster“, which is basically a Snood clone. The itching became more bearable after a little while – enough to where it went from suffering to curiosity. And so I took a couple of pics of the arm test:

Note the fact that almost the entire test area turned red. My normal color in that area is rather pasty, since my upper arm normally doesn’t get much sun. Then the yellow dots are the allergens that they tested on me. And then the allergens caused little bumps to form.

When the twenty minutes was up, the nurse came back in and measured all the little bumps that formed. Then afterwards, she swabbed it all down with alcohol again and then applied an anti-itch spray. Very nice.

And that was basically all there was to it. I got a paper showing the test results, the doctor and I discussed the results, I got a prescription, and I was good to go. So we’ll see how it all works. But at least now I know exactly what my springtime allergies are caused by, and the moral of the story is that I might as well just zip myself up into a bag on April 1 and not emerge until June 30. That ought to take care of it. Seriously, though, if it would transition straight from winter to summer and just skip spring, I wouldn’t mind at all.

Web site: About skin testing for allergies...

Song: Bratz Dolls May Give Girls Unrealistic Expectations Of Head Size. Hilarious.

Quote: And meanwhile, my arms feel better again now. A little residual itching, but nothing major. I can deal with that until it all goes away on its own.

Categories: Personal health