Friday, May 1, 2009

Nickel & Time

I feel like I should open a new topic following a post about infertility with the transitional line between sketches from Monty Python...

"And now for something completely different."

I'd like to talk about allergies today. Not the life-threatening, Epi-pen on standby kind, just the everyday annoying but mostly avoidable kind.

As far as I know, not having gone through an allergy panel, I'm only allergic to a few things:
  • poison ivy
  • kiwi fruit
  • nickel
Poison ivy is pretty easy to avoid. I know what it looks like and can avoid it fairly easily. Right now it also helps that we don't live in an area where it is rampant. But there have been times when I had to take a steroid regimen to clear the rash. Mostly when I scratched it into infection.

Kiwi fruit gives me a very localized rash, similar to a light poison ivy rash, on one hand if it's mild, on both hands (same location) if it's stronger. Again, pretty easy to avoid but the reaction is bearable with calamine lotion (or Benedryl) if I miss avoiding ingesting the fruit or fresh juice.

Nickel is a little harder. There's a lot of costume jewelry I can't wear, but I'm okay if I stick to gold and sterling silver. I can use metal utensils, door knobs, and handle coins without issues. But, I can't wear a watch with a stainless steel back because when I sweat, the sweat and steel react to give me a rash.

I recently found out the same thing is true with my cell phone. Part of the key pad is metallic. Last week while talking on my parents on it, I had pressed the phone to my face to be able to hear the other end of the conversation most clearly. Being an overly warm day (90's) and a good 20-25 minute conversation, sweat collected between my face and the phone. I didn't think anything of it, except that it was annoying, until a couple days later when a rash in the exact shape of the metal on the key pad showed up on my face. Sexy. A few days of Benedryl gel, cortisone cream, and triple antibiotic have minimized the effects but it will probably be next week before all is back to normal.

Prior to the cell phone, the strangest thing that had given me a reaction was a metal claw hair clip. Being on my scalp, it took me a while to figure out, and was a real bummer because the clip was my favorite accessory at the time.

In case you are wondering, the needles I use for the infertility medications shouldn't cause a problem, but I will have to be careful if I ever require a joint replacement as apparently nickel allergies have caused problems with the metal parts they currently use.

I am grateful that none of my allergies are life threatening. You have to admit the kiwi allergy is pretty weird though. Can you top it?

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