Question of the Day

Are you allergic to anything?

I’ve only recently developed some sort of summertime allergies, which may be hay fever or something like that. They’re not bad enough with regularity that I’ve felt inclined to go to a doctor about it. And I’ve become mildly lactose intolerant recently, too. I can still eat some dairy, but straight milk (even the skim I’ve always drunk) kills me gutz. So I just got my first carton of soy milk, and I like it!

Other than that, I’ve got three very weird allergies that I’ve had since I was a kid.

I’m allergic to some ingredient that’s used in lots of shampoos (and if you’ve ever looked at a shampoo label, you know it’s pretty much good luck isolating which of the bazillion chemical compounds it is). So when I find a shampoo that doesn’t irritate my scalp, I stick with it like a madwoman.

I’m also allergic to a component in some types of concrete. You know that sparkly kind of concrete? Whatever is in that causes any bit of my skin that touches it to go red and swell, but the worst part is the ITCHING! It makes me itch for hours and hours after I’ve touched it, especially the palms of my hands. I remember telling Mama Shakes about this when I was younger, and she thought I was completely crazy. For years, I think she was (understandably) convinced it was all in my head…until my first husband and his mother (a nurse) turned out to have the same allergy! They’re the only other people I’ve known to have this allergy.

And finally, what I think is the weirdest one…I’m allergic to the strep infection. When I get strep throat, I get a weird rash all over my body, and then my skin dries up and flakes off. Eugh!


Filed under 01_shakespeares_sister

122 responses to “Question of the Day

  1. Constant Comment

    I’m allergic to sulfa drugs, pine sap (can’t get near live Christmas trees), molds and some grasses.

  2. I’m allergic to penicillin, which is fairly prosaic. I’m also allergic to aspartame (Nutra-Sweet) which is not at all uncommon, but which totally weirds people out. Sometimes there is NOTHING I

  3. oops.

    Sometimes there is NOTHING I can drink because I’ll be at a picnic or whatever and there’s only diet soda. Aggravating. Turns out people who get the migraines from Nutra-Sweet (like me) who persist in partaking (and how crazy is our culture that people can’t give up something that gives them migrains because it’s “diet”?) get serious kidney issues after a few years.

    Also, I am sensitive to wools. I can’t stand a cashmere or angora sweater. Can’t stand it.

  4. Aly

    I’m allergic to bees. Thankfully, I’ve never been stung, but I had the test done and all, and I’m deathly allergic. My throat will close up within the hour if I don’t get the shot.

  5. I am allergic to Ivory soap. It’s the only brand that I’m allergic to, but I always have been.

  6. I am allergic to shellfish which is a bitch when I smell bouillabaisse. IT SMELLS SO GOOD!!! Two of my kitties, get 2 shrimp each a day and I have to wear plastic gloves. Otherwise, my hands turn beet red and start swelling.

  7. Kate217

    I’d blow your bandwidth with the whole list. Oddest: Swiss & Jarlsburg cheeses and all peppers other than black and white (although since I’m not used to hot stuff, I don’t really care for white pepper).

    Also,with the ironic exception of pet dander, if it’s airborne, I’m allergic to it. (Tellers of military Airborne jokes will be summarily shot.)

  8. christine

    I’m allergic to all forms of penicillin and poinsettia. Penicillin will give me a rash and poinsettia will give me an asthma attack. Since tobacco smoke and cats also give me asthma attacks, you could say I’m allergic to those as well. There are also several pollens that I’m sensitive to. They give me sinus issues and for the most part controlled by drugs like claritin.

    The really weird allergy is to the adhesive in tapes (think sports tapes, bandage tapes, etc) and bandaides. They leave a rash/blisters if left on my skin too long.

  9. When I was five I developed an allergy to bananas, of all things, which up to that point had been one of my favorite foods.

  10. SAP

    Long story made short:

    Movember 1999: I got sick, rip-roaringly, horribly, oh-God-the-light-hurts sick. The inside of my head compressed, collapsing sinus cavities and hearing canals. Two weeks went by like this. When I finally cleared up, I had developed pollen allergies every freaking winter and lost the hearing in my left ear.

    And that’s the main reason I had to leave Texas; it was either stay and get sick every winter or find someplace that wouldn’t kill me every November.

  11. SAP

    Oh, yeah, and I’m lactose intolerant, too. Been on the soy milk for about three years now.

  12. pine sap, so is my sister so was our grandfather, bees, probably, my sister is, my grandfather was. i’ve never been stung. hair perm chemicals and vicodin.

    (and anything to do with “grass” i’m better than a drug sniffing dog.
    smoke would drift toward me at a drive -in or a party and my eyes would swell shut and my throat would start to close.

    really stood out in the crowd in the 60’s!

  13. pilotweed

    The list is nearly endless. I relate to Christine with the adhesives in tapes thing. The weirdest allergy is to burns. Yes, when I get burned I have a reaction to the actual burn that can sometimes turn into a secondary infection. I am also allergic to sulfa drugs. I only have a slight sensitivity to cat dander…I can be around cats and pet them, but the instant I touch my eyes without washing my hands, they get swollen and itchy. This doesn’t keep me from having a cat of course. There are seasonal allergies and onetime I got(the E.R. doctor said) a mold spore or something in my eye on a very windy day. I had contact lenses in and the white of one eye began to swell. The part under the contact didn’t swell. It looked really gruesome. Oh yeah, contact dermatitis….I could go on…Sometimes I live on prednisone.

  14. Stayss225

    In no particular order: work, finishing things, and apparently money. Pharmacologically speaking, codeine.

  15. Growing up in Chicago, the only allergy i had was a sensitivity to wool. No matter how soft it was, it makes me itch like mad. It wasn’t until a few years ago that contact with wool had any lasting effect. Now it doesn’t quite give me a rash, but it makes the skin in that area extremely sensitive for a few hours.

    Once i moved to Atlanta, i developed allergies to shrimp and grass. I’m sure there’s something i’m forgetting, which really bugs me.

    My husband has also recently developed the shrimp allergy himself; a few years ago i read that shrimp allergies are far more common in the southern parts of the US… certainly makes me wonder. I can’t recall any of his other allergies except one: the bonding agent they use in Benedryl.

  16. evilchemistry

    Morphine. I can still feel it, like red hot glowing needles burning up my vein, from that ER visit 16 years later. Good times.

  17. I’m mostly allergic to mold, which is pretty normal, but it means I spend my autumns in a multicolored Benadryl haze. I’m not allergic to most cats and dogs, but every now and then I come across an individual cat or dog that I’m allergic to. My mom used to have an Irish setter, Connor, who adored me (dogs love me, because they know I’m a sucker for them), but made my eyes and nose run like crazy. I also have had allergic reactions in the past to some kinds of pollen, but it doesn’t happen every year.

    Sio is allergic to eggs, Monkey is allergic to dust, Loki is allergic to all kinds of perfume used in laundry detergent and wool. My niece has an anaphylactic peanut allergy.

    Deborah, one time I ordered a regular soda (back when I still drank soda) and got a diet, and I went back and told the order taker that some people are allergic to aspartame, so she really could be more careful – you could tell it was news to her!

  18. there is a certain type of peppermint candy that i ate once and it caused my throat to close up, i nearly died of asphyxiation. that said, i can eat altoids til the cows come home, so who knows what that was all about.

  19. Paul the Spud

    Molds, pollen, trees or something. We’re not sure exactly what it is, but when things are growing, I get all stubbed ub in by dose.

    Liss, have you tried Rice Dream? It ruuuulz.

  20. This is my second summer in North Carolina and last year, I didn’t have much allergy trouble. But this summer? I feel like I’m dying. I hate going to the doctor but it’s so bad right now that I’m about to break down and do it. I’m going to try some holistic shit first but if it doesn’t help, to the doc I go. It’s horrible.

    As far as other weird allergies, I don’t really think I have any. The closest I have to allergic reactions to food-type things is a splitting migraine when I eat bacon. Strange. Oh! I’ve also recently developed a mild lactose intolerance, particularly to cheese (pizza kills me), which sad because I love me some cheese.

  21. I can’t eat bananas because they give me a painful stomach ache that will not go away. Also, I have respiratory allergies to dogs, cats, tree pollen, grass pollen, and mold. Some of my worst allergy days come during or after really rainy days.

  22. Cats. To the point where I have to avoid certain blogs on certain days, because just looking at the darn things makes me wheeze.

  23. I am deathly allergic to cantaloupe. I can’t order any kind of fruit in a restaurant because just a drop of cantaloupe juice will cause an immediate allergic reaction. My throat swells up. My lips swell up. Then, something else swells up on the way out — if you get my drift.

    I am also allergic to the yellow food dye that is used in cheese-flavored products like Nacho Cheese Doritos and Cheezit and Goldfish crackers.

  24. christine

    pilotweed Jul 11th, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Really!!! I never ‘knew’ anyone besides myself and Mom that had this problem with tape adhesives. It’s real interesting trying to explain this one to medical people.

    I’m also sensitive to most perfumes, but that’s because they’re mostly flower based and many pollens get to me. Also honey will cause an asthma attack. I’m sure I’m forgetting something….

  25. Nothing that I know of.

    Sorry to be a party pooper. 🙂

  26. RayCeeYa

    Grass pollen makes life very uncomfortable for me, especially because the Willamette Vally is the “Grass Seed Capitol of the World”.

    But the biggest pain in the ass for me is nickel. No one ever told me you can be allergic to metals. I didn’t find out about it until I started getting rashes from a belt buckle. Since then I’ve had to quit wearing jeans (metal rivets), wrist watches (metal clasp) and I’ve had to quit carrying change in my pockets.

  27. As it pertains to shampoos, etc., I recommend Aubrey Organics. There’s hardly anything in there you won’t recognize or can’t pronounce. Since my hair has gotten long I’ve switched to an Aveda line of “Sap Moss” shampoo and conditioner which is great for my hair. I’m not real pleased with how they market themselves as being so green and shit, and their stuff is not as pure as I’d prefer (one of the leave-in conditioners has a warning about being inflammable!!) but I haven’t caught fire yet and haven’t had any allergic reactions to it. Which bring me to answering the QotD: Not so much these days.

    I believe there’s got to be a tie-in between diet and allergies. I grew up with the worst fucking allergies you can imagine, and at the time I was living on a diet of steak and fried potatoes several times a week. Now that I’ve been a vegetarian for 16 years, I’m hardly ever sick. I did get an annual case of what we call “cedar fever” when I moved to Texas 10 years ago — it’s actually an allergic reaction to the pollen from the juniper trees which are an extremely invasive non-native species around here. Supposedly eating native honey from the area helps prevent those attacks, but after I started smoking pot, those allergies went away.

    Now the downside to all that is that you folks have to deal with me under the influence in order for me to avoid having allergies!

    So, thanks for your patience, and I appreciate living a snot-free life.

  28. Wil in Minneapolis

    Cats .. though I have two, Bees .. deathly and found out by getting stung, Latex .. after years of being exposed during dialysis, penecillin (sp? and way too lazy to look it up!), Shellfish .. I think it’s the iodine in them, Catholicism .. one declaration from the Pope and I spontaneously begin to vomit and – strangely – my friend Leigh. She visited me for a few weeks a few months back and I sneezed the entire time she was here. Weird! She borrowed this laptop and I had to wash the keys because my fingers itched after I used it! [Maybe her hand/body lotion?? Not sure .. hope I am not allergic to her person!]

  29. I tell people I’m allergic to cabbage, so I don’t have to eat coleslaw. But I’m not actually allergic to anything.

  30. hk

    I break out in hives if I even just brush up against wool. In department stores I have to be really careful.

    I’m also allergic to bee stings. People sometimes make fun of me when they see me run b/c I see one, but I don’t need a trip to the emergency room.

  31. NameChanged

    Juniper and mulberry pollens. I don’t drink milk (farty) but cheeze isn’t much of a problem. Oddly, a few times a year I am allergic to nuts, but it comes with no consistency.

  32. Susan

    A few years ago the doctor put me on Lotril to control my (at the time) high blood pressure. My skin started itching with an intensity that even a toilet brush and brillo (yes) couldn’t stop, and I broke out in blisters. I still have scars.

    I’m very allergic to things which I can’t quite define–like flowers from a florist. I think they must spray something on the flowers to enhance their scent. My throat closes up and my eyes water. Same reaction to any dyed wool.

  33. Speaking of allergies (a favorite kona tactic for being off-topic), has anyone noticed how much Kathy Griffin in her “D List” series reminds you of Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish? Only Kathy is WAY better and I was depressed as hell when HBO cancelled Lisa’s series. That says a lot. Watch it. Her audition for selling shit on HSN had me rolling on the floor. We had a Kathy Griffin marathon last night.

    Note to self: No allergies there!

  34. sundry

    I’m allergic to Grinding, which is the sugarcane harvest. At least half of the people here are allergic to Grinding. Runny nose, watery eyes, sinus headaches, ear infections in the children . . . The whole bit.

    It usually starts in September and ends in December. The mill runs 24/7, throwing all sorts of stuff into the air. The cane cutters are out in the fields throwing all sorts of stuff into the air. Sometimes fields have to be burned – more stuff into the air. And of course, it’s wet and rainy that time of year. So I’m not sure that’s really an allergy so much as it’s just the immune system saying “ENOUGH!”

    Rural south Louisiana in the Fall . . . *sigh*

    Other than that – when our cat used to sleep in my bed, I would wake up with my throat swelling shut. So she had to find some place else to sleep.

    And certain smells give me a migraine.

    I also run from wasps and wasp-like bugs, but I’m not allergic (as far as I know), I just have an irrational fear.

  35. I became allergic to strawberris when I was a kid which got me out of working in the fields every summer which wasn’t a bad thing and as I got older it went away. Then about 15 years ago it came back with a bang. Figure that one out. And I have become allergic to pollen and fine dust which is totally unavoidable here where I live since we have so damn many imported tropical plants and they bloom all friggin year round. Plus, when the wind blows off the sahara as it does quite regularly my sinuses go crazy which is to say that I now live with a 24/7 snot factory and the worst of this is that (Any of you sensative types stop reading here as this gets pretty awful)during the night the snot, instead of politly dripping out of my nose, solidifies and stops the air getting in and for some unknown reason my mouth does not open automatically so I wake up totally deprived of oxygen which is no fun to say the least. It’s sort of like drowning but without the water. The good side is that I am probably one of he very few men my age who does not snore.

  36. Allie

    I’m allergic to codeine, which I discovered when in the hospital with mono. It makes my hand & feet swell up like balloons. very odd side effect.

  37. My balls are burning like a muthafucka. And I just sliced a jalapeno. And I’m a man. Does that count as an allergy?

    Actually, I think I’m allergic to txrad sometimes. I was so impressed that I was able to remember the Lisa Kudrow character (he acted like he didn’t know who I was talking about because I couldn’t remember either Lisa or Valerie) and when I finally remembered and told him, he abruptly changed the subject and starting talking about how one of my climbing roses was obstructing the path to his garden.

    Then I had a sneezing fit.

    Kathy Griffin also reminds me a lot of my friend Rebecca who comments here sometimes. She may be pissed that I’m saying this, or flattered, I have no idea. Should I tell her? I think it has something to do with the constant chatter. Maybe I should leave that part out of the equation.

  38. Penicillin, tetracycline, and sulfa drugs. Middle daughter is allergic to augmentin, bactrim, and ceclor. But the doc insists allergies aren’t hereditary.

    Liss, that rash with strep sounds like scarlet fever. Does it feel like sandpaper? My youngest child had a rash a few years ago that I attributed to sensitive skin (she’s had psoriasis on her feet since she was a toddler, and she had no other symptoms). After waiting a few days to see if it would clear up, I finally took her to the doctor, who said, “That’s a strep rash,” did a test, and came back with the scarlet fever diagnosis. Needless to say, I felt like mother of the year.

  39. I developed most of my allergies when I moved to the Central Texas area…the biggest one being lactose intolerance. Can I just say how much I adore Lactaid? I don’t care that it costs $15 for 60 pills, I need to eat my Creamy Creations ice cream!

    I’m also allergic to some weird antibiotic and lots of molds and cedar in the air here.

    One allergy I’ve had forever is severe (although not anaphylactic – sp?) reactions to insect and spider bites. Especially spider bites.

  40. JW

    Tetracycline gives me terrible heartburn, but I don’t think that counts as an allergy. Pollen/mold, sure. I used to be a lot more sensitive to stuff than I am now, but there are a few–mostly dermal; I have GI tract of a goat. Any metals with nickel in them turn me green, then red and rashy with gross weepy sores (again, as a kid. Now I just turn green). Back in college, I developed some kind of contact allergy either to latex or to Nonoxynol-9, I’m not sure which. *That* was a major bummer–so EEETCHY!–but it seems to have vanished as mysteriously as it arrived.

  41. C. Diane

    Penicillin. Which is fun and exciting when my job requires me to dispense reconstituted amoxil suspension. Also, perfumes (especially florals & musks) are migraine triggers for me, as is MSG.

    Melissa, have you tried Burt’s Bees shampoo? IME, the main allergenic ingredient in shampoos is sodium lauryl sulfate (a lathering agent), and Burt’s shampoo doesn’t have it. Neither does Johnson’s baby shampoo.

    Also, a flaky rash due to strep isn’t a bizarro allergy. It’s rare, but it’s not super weird. There’s a fancy medical term for it, IIRC, but I can’t think of it right now. 😛

  42. pidomon

    nothing except apparently long term relationships

  43. sab

    Other than a mild lactose intolerance (irrelevant because I don’t like milk, and I’m fine with cheese and yogurt, which I do like) I was never allergic to much of anything (except eggs, which precludes most vaccines.) I moved back to the midwest from the real west a few years ago, and discovered that I’m now allergic to midsummer grasses. I get asthma, which I’d never had before. So sad- my husband has to mow the lawn instead of me, until we buy the goats I want. A couple of years ago I was bitten by our cat (due to an unfortunate series of circumstances that in no way reflect on the good-will of the cat, who is as nice as a cat that stupid can be.) After a nasty infection and hand-surgery, I discovered that I am allergic to the most basic antibiotics. That’s scary. I feel a certain amount of resentment against all the people who have been over-using antibiotics all these years, so that people like me who have not been abusing them are facing resistant bugs. Now we have to use enormously high dosages that we can’t handle, when a generation ago we could handle the smaller dosages that worked on those bugs at that time. Just saying. Whatever.

  44. pilotweed


    Kathy Griffin RUUUUUULZ!!!! I was sad for her when her dad died. He seemed really cool.

  45. Susan

    When I was a kid I was allergic to grass, cat/bunny scratches and bandaids (an unfortunate combination), but I outgrew all those at about puberty. The one allergy I’ve never outgrown is to onions; if I get a drop of fresh onion juice in anything, I spend the rest of the day in the bathroom. My mother says I used to spit onions out as a baby, which was either smart– or led to never developing a tolerance for them. I’d like to be a vegetarian, but vegetarians love onions and seemingly put them in everything.

    –Different Susan

  46. oddjob

    I’ve had pollen and mold allergies since I was seven or eight. Twice in my life I’ve regularly had allergy shots for them and they really, really, really helped. Within the last year or two I’ve developed an apparent lactose intolerance for I also can’t do dairy like I used to. I can still drink lactose-free milk with no problem, but the usual kind leads to bathroom trips I’d rather not make! Likewise (& MOST annoyingly!!!!) while I still love many, many cheeses, my guts no longer do! 😦

  47. txrad talking to his basil: why are you tipping over?

    konagod: because they aren’t ready to be chiffonade yet. They want to live free and be leaves until it is their turn to be chopped up.

    Don’t rush it.

  48. Christ… another Austin blogger? I developed most of my allergies when I moved to the Central Texas area…

    Tell me it ain’t so.

  49. metrices happen.

    that’s the new bumper sticker I want to have metaphorically stuck to my car.

  50. oddjob

    Oddest: Swiss & Jarlsburg cheeses and all peppers other than black and white (although since I’m not used to hot stuff, I don’t really care for white pepper).

    Not surprised hot & sweet peppers bother you while black & white pepper don’t. Black & white pepper come from a tropical plant in the genus “Piper”, which is an altogether unrelated plant from the one you’re allergic to, which is in the nightshade family, in the genus “Capsicum”.

  51. Hey, can someone give me a barometer please? I need to know how I’m doin. Am I pissin’ people off? Should I go over to Toast’s blog and have a “konatasm” or whathefuck ever.

    It’s been a really lame-ass week at work commencing with an unexpected and disturbing company-wide staff meeting impromptu at 9:15 Monday morning.

    Maybe I should just call it a night until Friday. Hey, Liss, get that bar open and ready with libations for the masses. OK?

    By the way, my lips, eyes, and balls are chillin’ now.

    All is well at the Kona Ranch.

  52. Oddjob, I feel compassion for thee. I really do. Because I know my day is coming, and I am in total denial.

    About to slice into a one or two cheese pizza.

    Tomorrow, colon cleansers. And then, the shit-0-rama.

  53. I’m allergic to dust/mold/pollen and some certain kinds of grass. The bigger problems are nickel (which apparently shows up even in nickel-free earrings), and some cats.

  54. Sycorax

    My freaky one is nickel. Gives me hideously itchy blistery rashes if worn against my skin for any length of time, which makes it deuced difficult to find a cheap watch I can actually wear, as almost all of them have nickel in the backplate. I ended up with an extremely incongruous-looking pink plastic Powerpuff Girls number for a while there.

  55. Before I go, what IS it about Scandinavia?

    Norday is a dick, limp; Sweeden is a dick (rather erect); and Finland is a dick (flacid).

    So, inquiring minds want to know. What does that make Denmark? An anal toy?

  56. Like RayCeeYa and JW, nickel hates me. No cheap jewelry (even it says it’s nickel-free — or even with gold jewelry) because often the clasp is made of nickel. Then I too get those weepy, itchy sores. Very attractive. I have to be careful with glasses frames, too.

    I must wash my hands after petting son’s Doberman or my eyes swell up (but not daughter’s Lab. Hmmm.)

    And lately I’m mildly stuffy all the time, but I haven’t checked out why. It’s just the price I pay for living, I suppose.

  57. One cut isn’t definable yet.

    It’s not until there is a 2nd cut, that you can begin to lay out terms.

  58. Jackson Pollock would fucking LOVE my comment style.

  59. I’m allergic to fake cinnamon flavoring – the kind in Red Hots and Big Red gum. My mouth gets all sorts of white bumps all over it, and then I get a massive cold.

    Also can’t tolerate whatever is in buffalo sauce. Or Hot Fries. Makes my throat close up and I feel like vomiting.

    I used to also have an aversion to libraries. I love books, but every damned time I’d go to the library, I’d have severe stomach cramps and other “issues” within fifteen minutes.

  60. pidomon

    Python has no problem with Finland

  61. Eroticism 2007: Movies with lead guys running around naked except wrapped in a towel. Has lots of potential!

  62. Percoset(sp?) sent me into a body-wide itch when I took it after wisdom teeth removal. I now get Vicadin for all my post-op pain needs. Oddly, I never had a “doped-up” response to either drug, and even drove and went to work on Vicadin (clinic refused to give me a quarters slip).

    Nickel also gives me a rash, (contact dermatitis) but I’ve never had it checked by a doctor. If you wear jeans, just brush the metal bits with clear nail polish and let it dry. Then you won’t get those rash spots on your butt and belly. I once forgot to do this to a new pair of jeans with a rivet at every pocket corner, and then some. Not pretty.

    Perfumed products and smelly dogs/cats up my sinuses to unbearable pressure and goopiness.

    Raw red tuna is a good substitute for express-laxatives, though it didn’t bother me this last time I tried it.

  63. oh I forgot , sorry , (heh) we were talking about..



    Oh, I know!!! Allergie$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  64. Jewel

    Your standard airborne shit – pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, especially cats, which is so very very sad because I LURVESSSS kitty cats. Can’t resist ’em. My friends have the two most wonderfuly lovable phat little kittes who I adore and I cannot NOT play with them and pet them and cuddle them, even though they make me sneeze and make my eyes red and itchy. It’s worth it. 😀

    Also allergic to my parents’ house, even though it’s been pet-free for sometime now. I think that one’s mostly psychological. ;-D

  65. This is my night job. I just wait around until a popular mega-blog dies down, and then I lay my fuckin larvae. My Fucking Fly Larvae.

    It’s my opening, my wound, and just to stay on-topic.

    I lay it regardless. And you folks are gonna have to learn to deal with it. It’s like winter; you dread it, but you know it comes every year, and in some regions it can strike in June, July or August. Depending on your altitude there are no such things as seasons, not in the senses that we understand them, but in others, yes.

  66. Jewel

    …and by ‘kittes’ I mean, of course, ‘kitties’.

  67. cln

    I’m allergic to sulfa and pine.

    To everyone who says they’re allergic to bananas or cantaloupe… you could also be allergic to latex. Everyone I know who’s allergic to latex is also allergic to those two items; apparently they go together.

  68. oddjob

    Question for you all, since we’re discussing allergies & such. Have any of you ever heard of (or experienced) excema/allergic skin reactions to cold air temperatures (ie., to winter temps?)

  69. RedSonja

    I have some mild seasonal allergies, nothing too exciting. But there is something in PetsMart, either a cleaning product or something, that makes my hands ITCH!!!!! and swell up like mad. The first time it happened I thought my engagement ring was going to tourniquet my finger off….

    I was also informed today that I will likely, at some point while working at the zoo, become allergic to aardvarks. I guess they hit nearly everybody.

  70. It’s OK really, I routinely blow out my eyeballs to satiate my soul. We do what we must in the interest of Tracey Ullman.

  71. “He’s working in discount tires, so he’s doing something he loves.”

  72. I know I shouldn’t encourage him, but Kona you are on tonight. I keep laughing at your random ass shit as honestly allergies are not that funny.

  73. When I was a kid I wasn’t allergic to anything except Bermuda grass and the tuberculin skin test (isn’t that one fun?).

    Then I gave myself a nickel allergy by piercing my own ears with a non-hypoallergenic needle (who knew?). That one gets old, but I find that if I’m careful, silver, gold, and stainless serve me pretty well. Alas, those cool dangles from India, etc. are guaranteed to give me the itchy rashes every time.

    Then after a rainy spring and a move to the Midwest, I discovered that I was allergic to feathers, dust mites, mildew, mold, and – I kid you not – SMUT. (It’s a thing that grows on wet grass.)

    None of it is life-threatening – just lots of sneezing and getting stuffed up and watering eyes – but here’s what makes it particularly annoying: all those lovely over-the-counter antihistimines, anti-allergy medicines, etc.? They give me panic attacks (Benadryl and all the ones like it), or, in the case of Claritin, make me so dopey I can’t function. I have Allegra for when the sneezing and stuffiness gets so bad I can’t function, but mostly, I have to avoid the medicine as much as the disease.

  74. Most annoying? I’m allergic to nickle. That rules out most wristwatches and the inside of the snap on my jeans. Oh yeah, and any earrings that aren’t sterling or gold, which sucks.

    I’m DEATHLY allergic to raw pineapple. I developed this after working in a supermarket 20 years ago during National Pineapple Week. (No, really.) They made me cut up pineapple all week without giving me any kind of protective gloves, and by the end of the week, my hands were cracked and bleeding. For some odd reason, though, I can eat it cooked.

    Molds. Tree pollen. Cut grass. Oil-based paint. Dust. Most pet dander.

    Ivory bar soap makes my skin feel like it’s burning.

    Anything with Nutrasweet triggers those weird opthalmic migraines.

    Can’t eat garlic, ice cream, or sour cream anymore. Not a true allergy, but INCREDIBLY unpleasant.

    Melissa, I can pass along some shampoo allergy wisdom: It’s not any one ingredient per se – you’ll develop an allergy to ANY shampoo you use steadily. My allergist told me to have several shampoos and rotate them.

  75. Konagod – I work in Austin but do not live there.

  76. I tell people I’m allergic to cabbage, so I don’t have to eat coleslaw. But I’m not actually allergic to anything.

    I tell people coleslaw sucks ass, so I don’t have to eat coleslaw.

  77. Jewel

    Oddjob, my little sister is allergic to cold air temperatures. She gets red, bumpy, itchy fingers and toes in the winter. I’ve never met anyone else with that problem (that I know of, anyway).

  78. La di Da

    I’m allergic to red wine, most white wine, and most beer, especially the nicer stuff that still has a lot of sediment. And grain vodka and gin. I can eat yeasty bread with no problems though, and also dried fruit (so I know it’s not the preservatives that sets me off), so presumably it’s some particular type of yeast in the wine and beer combined with all the histamines and volatile compounds. When it comes to booze I mostly drink hard cider, whisky, rum and tequila, and various cocktails made of such. I haven’t tried potato vodka yet, but I surely intend to.

    As for the irritating shampoo (and conditioner), it’s mostly the heavy fragrances in hair products that are the problem rather than the detergents. My scalp has completely calmed down since I switched to a fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner (Paula’s Choice brand, FWIW). Even “natural” stuff can be pretty irritating – many plant extracts and oils still make your skin angry. (The site I just mentioned has a very useful and informative cosmetics ingredients dictionary, too.)

  79. La Di Da. Is that one of your Chippewa Falls expressions?

    Is everything from here on out going to be peachy keen?

    Jesus, where do they get these people.

  80. Angelos

    Nothing here, fortunately.

    But there’s was definitely not enough anal sex in today’s posts.

  81. Cats, though I wasn’t allergic to them until I was 11 or 12. Occasional dogs, though it seems to be specific to the individual dog — some work out okay, others don’t. Erythromycin makes me feel like my stomach is full of knife-waving maniacs in stiletto heels, but I don’t think that’s technically an allergy, and I was told that that’s not that uncommon of a reaction.

    I also had the suspicion for quite a while that I was allergic to cigarette smoke. This was while I smoked. (I didn’t quit right away! Though I did eventually.)

  82. [quote]Question for you all, since we’re discussing allergies & such. Have any of you ever heard of (or experienced) excema/allergic skin reactions to cold air temperatures (ie., to winter temps?)[/quote]

    Loki has terrible ezcema, and it is worse in the winter, when the air is dry. Although it is also really bad when it’s humid – he feels like his skin is melting in the summer and he can’t stop itching in the winter. There is definitely a weather component to it, although it is mostly triggered by stress.

  83. Misty

    All kinds of grasses, most trees, kiwi, goats, pseudoephedrine, phenergan & reglan. (anti-nausea meds)

  84. Hippodameia

    I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one allergic to cantaloupe! That came on in my teens and really upset me. I can’t eat honeydew either, but mercifully I don’t have problems with watermelon.

    I’m allergic to whatever it is in liquid soap that makes it liquid. My hands will be covered in tiny itchy bumps half an hour later. I also get nasty red hives if the weather changes suddenly. A temperature drop of ten or fifteen degrees in a short period (like in spring in Seattle) will make my hands break out and look gross.

    I can’t do wool at all.

    Finally, I used to love salmonberries, but if I eat even one I’ll get a classic migraine, throw up, and have to sleep for three hours.

  85. But there’s was definitely not enough anal sex in today’s posts.

    Sorry, Angelos. I was doing the very fucking best I could.

  86. Angelos

    Maurinsky, I get dry and cracky, but I think that’s mostly a function of forced hot air 24/7. Even humidifiers don’t help much. I just use some heavy-duty skin-healing creams.

    Once spring comes around, and we get a little humidity, I’m fine.

  87. I’m allergic to shellfish, officially, but I have some strange reactions from other things from time to time, and I’m not sure why. Eg, any kind of cold sore medication causes my lips to puff up. I can’t take nutritional supplements, becuase after 3-4 months, I start to develop a rash along my face. The mere smell of fresh tomatoes makes me nauseous, but cook the hell out of them and mash them into tomato sauce and I’m fine.

    Like Melissa, I also found, within the last couple of years, that my tolerance for dairy has gone way down. (Rice milk is good, too, BTW, not just soy.) I generally eat very little dairy, and far less meat, than I used to, because it keeps my digestive system happy.

    As with other commenters, it all gets much, much worse with stress…

  88. Oddjob, my little sister is allergic to cold air temperatures. She gets red, bumpy, itchy fingers and toes in the winter. I’ve never met anyone else with that problem (that I know of, anyway).

    Jewel, I get that problem too – at least if it’s sort of swollen, raised, itchy red patches around the nails and joints. One doctor I asked about them said that it was actually a viral eruption, and that part of what caused it was poor circulation. I’ve found that wearing cotton socks in winter instead of wooly ones (or wool over cotton), keeping my fingers and toes warm, and using a moisturizing lotion does a lot to head off these reactions.

  89. tharine

    i’m not sure it’s a proper allergy, but i blow UP from mosquitoes, and they always find me. i live in san francisco, in the fog and all, and if a window is left open, they will find me. mum is the same way. we blame it on too much wine, sweetening our blood.

  90. There’s a type of weed native to south-central New Mexico that can really get me. Since I moved away in 1991, I don’t really care anymore. Mold can get me pretty badly. Cut grass used to bother me a lot. And when the kochu pepper in Korea ripens and is laid out on long mats to dry, I almost live in the ER.

    The last few years my allergies have morphed into just a generalized over-protectiveness on the part of my immune system.

    I’m willing to bet that most of us will see a decrease in our allergies starting January 21, 2009.

  91. Kym

    Pistachios. At least, that’s the only thing I ate that was unusual, and the only thing I haven’t eaten since I had the most awful allergic reaction in my life. I’m not willing to try them again to find out for sure.

    Also mold, pollen, and some sort of medication or anesthetic. I keep asking my mom what it is, but she never remembers where she wrote it down.

  92. metalsguy

    I’m mildly lactose intolerant, especially with milk; I can still eat ice cream and cheese within reason.

    But I’m really allergic to certain kinds of fish. I can eat things like catfish, salmon, tuna, anchovies… but fish like Dover sole, turbot, halibut give me hives, make it hard to breathe, stomach pains. And shellfish are perfectly fine to eat. In fact, I could go for some oysters right now.

    Also the first few springs after I moved to DC I developed some airborne allergies, but they didn’t come through this year. What it is, I’m not sure (grass? pollen? mold? etc etc etc?); but it wasn’t bad this spring, or last one.

  93. Bitty, RayCeeYa and JW:

    A thin layer of clear nail polish (usually) works on earrings as well. However, unlike one commenter, fabric between skin and metal is enough to (usually) prevent a rash, so I might not be as sensitive to it as you are.

  94. Xocolotl

    Cold. I break out in hives when exposed to cold air. It started when I was twelve, and it’s weird as hell.

  95. i told a guy that was offering a gig through the midwest and eastern seaboard that i couldn’t go. i’m allergic. he was all about “wha? they told me the kid was strange and stuff. . .” and i added “being too far on the wrong side of the pecos gives me a rash, and chicago gives me hives. seriously dude, i can’t go there to change fucking planes.”

  96. Pingback: University Update - Allergies - Question of the Day

  97. The only thing I’m allergic to is mango skin. Not the mango itself, just the skin. (It’s due to some really serious poison ivy reactions several years running. Betcha didn’t know p.i. and mongoes are related. I sure was shocked.)

  98. My wife had a bit of an endocrine thing going on for awhile, and she was on meds. About six months into it she started having allergic reactions, really bad ones – not quite anaphylaxis, but short of breath and panicky. It took us a long time to figure out what she was allergic to, because it turned out (some of this was trial and error, but some of it was confirmed by an allergist – that’ll become important in just a minute) that she was allergic to:

    peanuts, soy, almost all raw vegetables (cooked were fine), and apples.

    Let me just say that until you shop for someone with a soy allergy, you never realize JUST HOW MUCH packaged food contains soy. It was in EVERYTHING. One time I cooked a stir fry, but left the carrots on for too short a time, and it was off to the ER because she ate a big biteful without noticing how raw they were.

    Now, here’s where the “allergist confirmation” becomes important: after nine months to a year of this, it all suddenly stopped. I can’t remember how we figured that out; she had stopped taking her endocrine-related medicine about three months after the allergies started with no change, but today the only thing she has is a bit of scratchy throat after eating an apple, and only if she eats a huge one. She drinks soy milk (sometimes), eats baby carrots by the bagful, with no adverse effects. Her endocrinologist swears the medicine had nothing to do with it, so it’s really kind of a mystery.

  99. twibs

    Chocolate. I’m not even sure what the side effects are because my gag reflex is so strong that I vomit if I even smell it.

  100. Jo

    Cupcake, I’m allergic to mango, too (don’t know if it’s the skin or the fruit; something in it makes me rashy) and I didn’t know it was related to poison ivy. Good to know.

    I’m allergic to the adhesives used in tape and Band-Aids, probably as a result of constant contact with the stuff for years (nursing). Nothing else, save the usual airborne seasonal shit everybody in Central Texas gets.

    I live on loratadine.

  101. Erin

    I have many alergies…animals (I have 3 cats and a dog, so notice how much I care), grass, many trees, something that releases pollen at the same time as cottonwood, the list goes on.

    But my partner has the most unusual chemical sensitivity/allergy she is allergic to a preservative used in many personal care products which includes many contact lens solutions, but the worse one to find out about…it is used in many types of lube. That is a definite romance killer.

  102. DBK

    Giving up dairy entirely may reduce or eliminate that summertime allergy you mentioned. Worked for my brother.

    I developed some kind of summertime allergy in middle-age and have recently given up milk products even though I had no lactose issues that I knew of. The summertime allergy seems to have disappeared.

  103. Thunderbird

    I can’t have any kind of seafood. Shrimp, crab, lobster, shellfish? Can’t have it, or I get violently ill.

  104. If it’s breathable, I’m allergic. Including oxygen. Or at least it feels like that some days. On the skin tests for allergens, the only ones that didn’t go off the charts for me were some of the molds. Everything else – pollen, pet dander, dust, cockroaches – caused me to become The Weltitron 2000.

    And yet, I volunteer at an animal shelter and insist on keeping my two dogs and two cats in the house with me. Heh. Sure, I’d breathe better, but I’d miss out on all of the critter fun.

    The strep thing? Not so unusual – that’s all scarlet fever really is, is an allergic reaction to strep. I’ve had it a few times too. It SUCKS ASS.

  105. Fran

    Well we have the usual run-down in our house: pollen, cats and dogs (of which we have 1 of each), dust. My kids have food allergies, mostly to peanuts, but also slightly to milk, soy, and eggs. My eldest who is 7 still cannot eat eggs, although thankfully now she no longer goes into anaphylactic shock. The most unusual one though would be this sugar allergy I have. Whenever I eat sugar, even natural sugar in fruit, I get these streaks of red on my cheeks from my mouth diagonally up to my temples. It used to be much worse as a kid, but at 30 I still get it. I can’t feel it at all, it doesn’t make me itch or sneeze or anything. Doctors aren’t sure what to think either, but since my only reaction is streaks on my cheeks, no one seems to care, myself included.

  106. oddjob

    It’s due to some really serious poison ivy reactions several years running. Betcha didn’t know p.i. and mongoes are related. I sure was shocked.)

    Cashews are in that plant family, too. Some people very sensitive to poison ivy/oak also have ugly reactions to eating cashews.

    Thanks all for the responses to my question about cold weather! My housemate has a nasty skin condition during cold weather. It’s on some of his fingers and quite visible – not good when you’re a waiter! His skin dries out, then blisters. The blisters itch with a fierce burning itch, and then burst when he scratches. After that the exposed skin cracks and bleeds. After the onset the skin turns red and scaly. It’s just nasty, nasty and leaves him in considerable discomfort!

  107. Lancastrian

    I am allergy free (including poison ivy and mosquitoes, so no summer in New England itchiery for me), but my dad is allergic to basically every fruit on the planet in raw form. Thus I make a mean mango pie so he can eat his favorite food without death.

  108. Constant Comment

    oddjob: my ex-boyfriend had the same condition as your housemate. He would have a terrible time in the winter and I seem to recall he had to put on Playtex gloves to take a shower.

  109. bernarda

    When I was a kid, I lived out in the country, but not on a farm. My brothers and sisters and I ran around all the time getting dirty, building bridges in the swamp, playing with animals, that sort of thing. None of us has ever had any allergy.

    Though I can’t speak of others individual cases, in most events I think that allergies are brought on by too much cleanliness. For most people, probably, if you are in contact with the real world when you are young you don’t get allergies.

  110. Jewel

    Wow, oddjob, what your roommate has sounds much more severe than what my sister has. Sounds miserable.

    Rana, thanks for the tips. A circulation issue sounds plausible – sis always has cold hands and feet due to poor circulation.

    Bernarda, I grew up out in the country, more or less on a farm (right across the street from Granny’s farm). I played in dirt, ate mud, etc. I’m still allergic to just about anything breatheable. 😦

  111. CJ_in_VA

    Jewel – my mother-in-law is allergic to the cold. She has the same reaction. I used to think she was making it up until I met someone else who had a similar reaction!

    My husband is allergic to potatoes. Not life threatening, but trust me – you don’t want to be anywhere around him if he’s indulged his love of sheperd’s pie. (Gastric effects are impressive!)

    Me, well, seasonal allergies. It seemed to be at its worst when I was living in northwest Ohio and surrounded by corn. I also had a weird sensation when I drank soy milk – sort of like my throat closing – so I never touched the stuff again.

  112. Lots of allergies. The worst is that I am allergic to penicillin. Luckily, it only causes hives but still! I am also very allergic to dogs, cockroaches, various pollens including sage, mugwart, maple, pine, grass, hay, and ragweed. Sadlt, the worst allergy I have for me is that I have an allergy to alcohol – the type you drink. I dno’t do well with things like white wine, beer, or hard liquors, but most red wines are the worst because in addition to the whole alcohol thing, many red wines have added histimines, which totally sets me off. It’s an unfortunate allergy for a chef 😦

  113. oddjob

    Me, well, seasonal allergies. It seemed to be at its worst when I was living in northwest Ohio and surrounded by corn. I also had a weird sensation when I drank soy milk – sort of like my throat closing – so I never touched the stuff again.

    It’s not unsual for a farm that raises corn to rotate the corn with soybeans (since soybeans don’t draw nutrients from the soil in exactly the same way, and at least with regards to nitrogen can actually increase the nitrogen in the soil). Perhaps what you were experiencing in Ohio was airborn soybean allergens.

  114. oddjob

    It’s an unfortunate allergy for a chef




  115. That’s what i forgot! The adhesive specifically used in duct tape! Other tapes/adhesives i’m okay with, but even holding a roll of duct tape (you know how the sides are kinda sticky) will make the skin on my hands break out and will make the bones in my hand ache like mad.

  116. DBK

    Thank goodness I’m not allergic to red wine. It may be bad for a chef, but I’m a foodie. I hope I don’t develop such an allergy by 2010, when I plan to pop the cork on the 1985 vintage porto I bought in Portugal in 2003.

    To all of you allergy sufferers, I do recommend that you take a stab at getting off of milk products and see if that doesn’t help with the other allergies. It’s worth trying for a brief time, at least. Also, gluten allergies are very hard to diagnose, but are frequently masked as other allergies. Again, worth trying if it relieves a lot of other allergies. Also, if you are allergic to gluten, you may be eligible to deduct the cost of your gluten-free food on your taxes.

  117. I am allergic both to Earth and its Sun.

    Seriously, if it bites or stings, I’m allergic to it. If it is pollen or a spore, I’m allergic to it. Dust mites? I REALLY ought to be living in a sterile environment given how allergic I am to them. Grasses, trees, flowers, molds, fungi, animals, dust, etc., etc., etc..

    As for food, I’m allergic to dairy (cow), eggs, soy (this one is the worst because soy is in EVERY fucking thing), oats, barley, asparagus, oranges, shellfish, salmon, beans, nuts, and a few other minor things.

    Also, if I spend more than a few minutes in the sun, I break out in hives on my arms and chest.

    Oh, yeah, life is good. I love you, corticosteroids.

  118. sari

    First – for all you lactose intolerant people (like me), let me recommend Costco’s house brand of lactaid pills – Kirkland. It’s at least half the cost of Lactaid brand and the bottle comes with a cute little plastic tictac-like box for carrying the pills around in your purse or pocket.

    I was allergic to all kinds of random stuff as a kid – most likely from not being breast fed and missing all those good mommy anti-bodies. All the allergies are gone now (mustard, tuna, horses, feathers, animal fur, chocolate – thank god!) except for nuts. And I can eat peanuts and pistachios. Whenever I travel to a foreign country I always make sure to learn how to say “I’m allergic to nuts.”

    Until a few years ago even US restaurants were pretty lax about nut allergies – telling me there were no nuts in dish, when I asked, even when there were. My best friend Stacie has taken to saying “Nuts kill my friend” (even though they don’t – I just get REALLY sick) – to make them to pay attention. It’s pretty funny.

  119. Lisa

    I’m allergic to eggplant. Found out in high school home ec class. My throat closed up and I got a fun trip to the ER in an ambulance. That and cats and the usual seasonal hayfever type stuff.

    I was allergic to chocolate (horrible rash including my stomach lining) from age 5 until around 15 or so. It was such a bummer.

  120. pilotweed

    Bernarda, I grew up on a farm and was constantly dirty. I did everything from shoveling shit to playing in swamps and rolling around on the ground while watching bugs. In spite of that I am still very allergic to a lot of things.

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