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My Weird Allergy

File this under weird things you read on the internet. It’s true… but weird. 

This summer, I was finally, officially diagnosed with an unusual allergy. I say unusual not because not many people have the same allergy, but more because of the reaction I get when I tell people about this particular allergy.

I am allergic to cold. Yes, cold. Cold weather, cold water, ice, cold wind… cold. I live in freaking East Coast Canada. It’s cold. Not all the time but about 75% of it.

Ice cubes on blue background
The official diagnosis is known as cold urticaria. My symptoms include swelling of the hands and feet and hives… hives on my skin. Winter is not pretty around here. But lately, neither is Spring nor fall nor summer.

Early July, when I went to see the allergy specialist, my swim career ended. No more swimming. It’s too dangerous. It could cause anaphylaxis. So that was that… but it sure made a summer living at the beach a little hot. The irony is that I have been swimming since I was three years old. First in our home pool and then competitively for a number of years and at the beach ever since. But no more swimming… unless you count circling the hot tub with wine in my hand!

So now what? Two allergy pills a day (me = stoned). Never leave home without an Epipen. Repeating “blue to the sky, orange to the thigh” until those close to me get it. No swimming. No hockey rinks unless there are heated viewing areas (but I’m a hockey mom). No snow blowing the driveway (my rule). No cold drinks… gasp! (Good think I like red wine, no chill necessary.)

The good news? I finally have a diagnosis and get to tell my husband that I’m not REALLY crazy after all these years of complaining and showing him the hives every time they appeared. See? Any chance I can, I use the I TOLD YOU SO card.

Happy wife = happy life.

PS – I’m also allergic to cats, dogs (even Wacko), dust (my constant companion), dust mites (gross), apples (unless they are cooked), pollen, grass, etc… etc… etc. Again… thankfully, I’m not allergic to wine! Phew.

Next I need a prescription to go and live in Florida. Doctors have those, don’t they?

Do you have any weird allergies? Are you allergic to cold? Let me know!

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