Strange allergies

Many people have many different kind of allergies. I myself have allergies to cats, birds, and horses (although to make people give me a weird look I say I am allergic to zebras).

I have only heard of the basics when it comes to allergies – the seasonal ones where people are all stuffy in the summer and spring because of pollen; the fragrance allergies; and the animal allergies; but I bet that next to none of you have ever heard of someone being allergic to a temperature.

“That is not even possible.”

“Who would have an allergy like that?”

“Yeah, right…that would never happen to anyone. Who would even come up with a lie like that?”

I have heard them all, ever since the recent, and by recent I mean in May, discovery of my allergy…to the cold.

I have had people tell me a million times now that I am lying, saying that it cannot be true, and people who are completely incredulous.

Well, it is true, and trust me, it is as ridiculous and sucks as much as it sounds, especially since it’s not like we live in the most tropical hemisphere. I mean, who gets an allergy to the COLD in CANADA?

Oh, yeah! That’s right! Me! Because the weird one has to have the weird allergies. I am a touch bitter on the subject, and a little angry, because this allergy popped up out of nowhere, and I only started to notice the signs when I had my hands in chilly meat making meatloaf and then they started swelling. Then I had a pop can resting on my arm, and once I put it on the counter to purchase it, I had a huge welt.

Now, I know what you are saying – it could be environmental or some chemical in the meat. In fact, when I went to the allergist to have this looked into further, the NURSE didn’t believe me, saying that she doubts that it is actually the cold, and it is probably something else, and they will find it. I told her no, it is an allergy to the cold because I have had a myriad of things swelling because of the temperature changes (like rain or going from the hot air to the air conditioning) and it is a reaction because of the cold. She shook her head, put a sterile ice pack against my arm for 10 minutes, and, lo and behold, my arm had a welt bigger than my hand. She apologized after, but it was a nice HA moment.

The welt on my arm from the ice pack. It lasted 2 days.

The welt on my arm from the ice pack. It lasted 2 days.

I have been at work and talked to coworkers about it, and instead of trying to explain, I stuck a water bottle on my arm, and not even 5 minutes later, voila, nice welts appeared on my arm.

And this allergy, it isn’t like it has to be in a negative degree…it just has to be below 19 C˚. And in Canada, in Ontario, in our region, I want you to just think on how many times a year the temperature dips below that degree. I will wait…Yeah. That’s how much this allergy sucks.

I was walking to the car in the rain and wind one day, and when I got there my chest was welting, my lips were swollen like a bad Botox job and my face was welting as well. I was also blotchy and red.

No need to take my word for it, I took photos because THAT IS HOW WEIRD IT IS.

No need to take my word for it, I took photos because THAT IS HOW WEIRD IT IS.

And see the bad Botox lips? They are so delightful!

And see the bad Botox lips? They are so delightful!

I was drinking something cold before I really registered that this was a problem and my throat felt like it was closing up, but I just took an allergy pill and hoped for the best.

The craziest experience so far with this allergy was when I went swimming at a friends house. He talked to his parents, because he knows how much I love to swim and they cranked the pool to 30 C˚. I jumped in so happy to be able to swim again and when I got out, I almost passed out from my blood pressure dropping and almost going into anaphylactic shock. I had never experienced how it feels to not have control and not knowing what is happening. Feeling like I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t focus, and going in and out on consciousness.

I know this all sounds crazy, and if you haven’t ever heard of this before, then of course it is crazy. But cold urticaria is real, and it does happen to a large number of people. After I started experiencing this, I talked to my coworkers and one person’s roommate in college had this allergy. And another woman actually had it happen to her, but it was because of her thyroid condition.

It apparently can last anywhere from a few months to about 5-7 years, (7 years being the longest time with this allergy on record).

I don’t know exactly what I am going to do when the winter really comes to Canada, as I am already having problems and it is only fall.

I also don’t know what it will be like in an environment completely enveloping my body in cold…I am worried that I may not just have to carry my EpiPen everywhere, but that I may actually have to use it one day.

But I am trying to stay positive and I am trying to remember that I even have this allergy, because I forget, all the time, and still go and grab things from the freezer, and try and work with cold food, and then I get all welted and itchy.

I also keep forgetting when I am really thirsty and all I want to do is drink a big bottle of cold water, but I can’t.

This allergy also took away the rain for me, my favourite weather, that I love dancing in. I can’t do that now – all I can do is look at it from inside the house, because even standing under an overhang I will still start welting and swelling because of the cold air.

It is a ridiculous allergy and I would like to return it for a more normal allergy, like pollen! Why couldn’t I have just been allergic to pollen?

Keep your fingers crossed for me that this does not last for 5 years!

~ Andreah

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Adventures into a great perhaps

When I was young I thought I knew everything.

I thought I knew exactly what I wanted, and thought I knew what exactly my future would hold.

I was never going to have children.

That so changed when my nieces came into the world, ripping apart what I thought and making me feel completely different about kids.

I was never getting married.

Not only did I not think I would never find someone, and that I would be alone for most, to all, of my life, I thought I would just never feel like it was necessary.

“It’s just a piece of paper, it doesn’t have any true meaning to me!”

Well, when I met Joe, that all changed. I realized that I actually found someone who I wouldn’t mind having that piece of paper with, I actually want to be tied to this man for the rest of my life. When I came to the realization, I felt it was necessary to talk to Joe about it. We had both said when we started our relationship that we wouldn’t be getting married, but if we decided to spend the rest of our lives together, we could just do it with out all that.

“Joe, I have something to tell you.”

“What is it sweetie?”

“I think I one day I want to marry you.”

“That may not work, because I know one day I am going to marry you.”

“Oh, okay!”

Which then brings me to a new chapter of our story.

We went on a new adventure. We went to Nova Scotia! Joe, my best friend Elena, and Joe’s cousin Mike all piled into Elena’s car and drove (just for the weekend) all the way to Nova Scotia!

We arrived!!

We arrived!

It is an amazing and beautiful province. Seriously, if you can, please go visit.

We stopped at the information centre, and Elena talked to a lady about where we should go and show the boys the ocean, the most beautiful body of water (which I have a sort of love affair with). After a lot of debate, and figuring out where exactly we were going to stay for the one night, we had it all figured out – we were on our way to Peggy’s Cove.

Peggy's Cove is one of the most photographed landmarks in Canada!

Peggy’s Cove is one of the most photographed landmarks in Canada

After 1-2 more hours of driving, we finally arrived at our destination. We all got out of the car, done our journey for a little bit. Me and Elena then took off, quickly made our way up the rocks while the boys lagged behind. I wanted to see my ocean! I had missed it since we left P.E.I. last summer and I wanted to see it now!

I got to a beautiful spot and sat down waiting for Joe. Because I know how nervous he is around heights, I didn’t sit too close to the edge.

When he finally got to the top where I was sitting, we sat and cuddled for a little while enjoying the breathtaking view. But Joe was shaking like a leaf! I thought it was the height and the slight (15-20 ft) drop onto more rocks. Or the fact that the waves have been know to engulf the rocks we were currently sitting on, and we could then be dragged out into the ocean.

“You don’t have to be nervous Joe! You are up here with me!”

“I know,” he said, his voice shaking too. I just cuddled in closer, hoping that he would stop being so nervous. I mean, there was nothing to be afraid of! Nothing bad was going to happen! Then I decided to be a smart a**.

“You know, it is so beautiful up here, it would be an amazing place to propose!” I said, cheekily nudging him.

The View of my Ocean!

The view of my ocean

He turned his head, and gave me this smug smile, and started reaching into his pocket. I gave him a questioning look thinking There is no way…

As he pulled his hand out of his pocket, he opened it up and said;

“Andreah Lynn Laurentino, will you marry me?”

Sitting in his hand was the ring I had admired last year at an antique barn. I then burst into tears, “Yes! Yes, of course I’ll marry you!”

We both laughed and hugged and kissed. I just kept thinking that this can’t be true! I can’t be so lucky!

Meanwhile, Elena and Mike were in on it of course, so they grabbed the champagne Elena had brought and we toasted to our future, and to the amazing moment they all helped make possible.

I never thought it would happen to me.

I get to marry one of my best friends! And I couldn’t be happier or more overjoyed! I clearly know nothing about the future, and as long as I can face it with him, I don’t care.

Joe on the Ocean floor at the Bay of Fundy! My Fiance!

Joe on the ocean floor at the Bay of Fundy. My Fiance!

 

~ Andreah