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Today I got tested for every allergy known to man. I haz them all. I'm severely allergic to all grasses, alder, birch, and willow. I'm mildly allergic to cows, horses, milk, beef, chicken and shellfish.

The whole process was kind of cool. They dot you up and down on the inside of your forearms with a hot pink sharpie to mark the numbers that coordinate to the concentrated allergens. Then they put a dot of the allergen on your skin next to the corresponding number. After that they take a short, flat stick with a sharp spike on the end and poke through the allergen to poke a hole in your skin. If you're lucky, the nice Dutch nurse will tell you that you're a trooper for not punching her in the face when she poked the same spot twice.

Then they leave you alone for 15 minutes to watch while your skin rebels. I was immediately itchy, then I got totally distracted by my skin's violent reaction to the trees and grasses. VIOLENT. My skin got rashy and bubbly and red, like I had contracted sudden-onset smallpox.


The doctor came back and said he was surprised I hadn't been tested earlier (thanks childhood doctor who thought Reactine could handle my 24/7 year round allergies) because my reactions were so severe. Luckily that means I'm a candidate for the desensitization shots, so I will have to go in for weekly shots for a few months, then taper it off until I no longer react to my allergens. Has anyone had these done? How did it work out?

Mostly I'm just stoked that I won't have to spend giant chunks of money on allergy meds and kleenex anymore.

ETA this photo of my arm coated in calamine lotion:

Illustration for article titled Allergy Testing is the Coolest

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