I would just like the record to state that Mike and I had allergies before they were the cool thing to do. These days, I don't think I know more than 4 people who aren't either gluten free or soy free or dairy free or sugar-free. It's what all the cool kids are doing - being tested and diagnosed for allergies. But, as lifelong allergy sufferers, Mike and I feel like the cool kids are appropriating our nerdly territory. Long before all these trendy new diets, we were the ones on the playgrounds with inhalers and at home on our nebulizers.
When I was a little kiddo, I had to go through the less sophisticated food testing in which you denied yourself of certain foods for a period of time: no wheat for a month, no dairy for a month, etc. As it turned out, I did have mild allergies to milk, wheat and oats (as very many people do), but thank God my parents decided to just feed them to me anyway. A life without dairy is not to be conscienced.
My main allergies have always been environmental: grass, dust, mold, and anything that is alive. Really, anything. If it has hair, I'm allergic to it. One of my great prides in life is my ability to be allergic to any animal you place before me.
"Oh, no," people say, "you won't be allergic to Snickers, he's a yorkshire-poodle-seal mix."
I consider it a great accomplishment when I break out into instantanteous hives and a swollen lip. My body's great weaknesses are far more powerful than your dog's fancy breeding. I defy you to find a mammal I'm not allergic to. Tonight at small group, the leaders had specially shampooed their couches in hopes that I could sit on them (I usually sit on a folding chair). But within minutes of sitting down, my lip was fat and I was sneezing away. Mwahahaha! Their shampoo is no match for me.
But Mike's allergies are much more spectacular than mine. He says, "If you don't have to carry an inhaler at all times and occasionally hit yourself with an epi pen, you don't have allergies."
He has food allergies (fruits make his mouth swell), but more than anything, he has stupendous allergies to...everything.
When Mike went for allergy testing as a kid, they did the prick test on his back. For the prick test, they draw a chart of about 40 boxes on your back and then in each box they put a little drop of an allergen. Then they close the door to give the reaction time to develop, and leave you alone in your anguish, as you can't reach your back to scratch it. They shouldn't have left Mike alone.
Mike left scratch marks on the wall. Really, like a werewolf. His reaction was so bad that he couldn't control himself. He had a cast on his arm, and he left bite marks all along the length of his cast - he needed any way to divert his attention from his back.
When the doctor finally came back in the room, he took one look at Mike, said, "OH MY GOD!" and ran back out of the room. He gathered the staff to marvel at the fantastic specimen that is my husband. Everyone gathered around to see: His entire back was a huge welt. The doctor was an allergist from Denver and he said, "In my entire 25 years of practice, this is the worst reaction I've ever seen to a scratch test."
They never did figure out what all Mike was allergic to, as the welts had fused together beyond their boxes. The doctor simply said, "Just be glad nothing worse has happened to you."
That's my husband. In our first years of marriage, when we still lived in Fort Collins which was far worse on his allergies, we frequently would have to cancel engagements because Mike had turned into Quasimoto. Have you ever seen Hitch with Will Smith's allergy reaction? That would be my husband. He will just occasionally wake up with both eyes swollen shut and a monstrous visage. On the one hand, I want to comfort him, and on the other, I want to grab out a camera to document his mutation.
Nowadays, he's much better. We haven't had to stay home because he's morphed into a monster in a couple of years. But Mike is constantly medicated. If he's just 5 minutes late in taking his drugs at night, his eyes will begin to swell shut. For this reason, we can never stay at small group too late or he will transform. He can't take allergy shots, as the minor amount of allergens in them could kill him.
I'm glad my husband was born this century. He would most likely be dead if he had to live in another time. So next time you cool kids decide to test yourself for allergies, just remember, us nerds had them first.