In Which I Discover an Allergy

I had the misfortune to discover an allergy late in life. 

I wrote this when I was in Uruguay a few years ago.

"We went to the beach one day and everything was fine. The next day we got up and were preparing to leave when I started to itch. I had peed in the dark in a bush the night before and thought maybe I had squatted in some poison oak or something, but soon a rash had spread all over my body. Next the rash kind of dissipated and in its place was just swollen redness. We went to the doctor who gave me cortisone and told me to stay out of the sun. Apparently I had used a lotion or soap which in addition to the sun had given me some sort of allergic reaction. Who knew! To the right is a photo of my misfortune." (original post here)

I had no idea why I had swelled up. I was devastated becuase the doctor told me to stay out of the sun. I love the outdoors. The last thing I needed was to have an allergy to the SUN! However, I tried my best to stay in the shade but was hopeful that that was not the issue.

Then about a year after that, I was in Pensacola lying on the beach, when something bit me on the foot. I looked down to see a fire ant dining away on my instep. I killed him with one fell swoop of my hand. About 5 minutes later my palms started to itch. I looked down and my hands were swelling up. My chest started to itch and I looked down and there it was again, the redness and swelling! 

I have never had an allergy to anything. Give me nuts, dairy and gluten! Give me poison oak and mosquitoes!  They don't faze me! I am invincible! Not only am I invincible, but I am unaware of what one should do upon discovering an allergy. So, Mr. Lovely drove me to Publix, where we proceeded to buy about 40 different kinds of anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy medicines. Mr. Lovely even bought Claritin (which I ended up giving away to someone with "that kind" of allergy). 

But the winner was Benedryl. I took two of those and a cold shower, fell asleep immediately (this is the downfall of Benedryl) and woke up non-swollen and a lot more comfortable. 

I have been bitten a few times since and I have swollen up pretty badly. But now? I know what to do when it comes. I carry Benedryl around with me in my wallet, just in case. I don't freak out like I did in Uruguay. I don't need an IV. And I am so happy that I am not allergic to the SUN!

Do you have any allergies? When did you discover them? Was it scary? What did you do? 

This post is part of Karen's Flashback Friday blog hop!  
You can see some other hops I may participate in HERE.


  1. You don't have asthma do you? Allergies can be life threatening for people with asthma. My son carries an epi pen and benedryl with him wherever he goes.

  2. When I got my tonsils out in college, the doctor suspected i had allergies. So I got tested for all the standard things (pollen, carpet mites, dogs, etc). I was allergic to EVERYTHING. Not like deadly allergic, but those allergies caused all the sinus infections I got as a child, which is what resulted in me needing to get my tonsils out (long, boring story). ANyways, I used to take allergy shots, but now I have adapted better and can just take an oral med to control my allergies. And ideally, I shouldn't have carpet in my home, but I do right now...

    I have a gluten intolerance, which is technically different from an allergy, but sort of gets lumped in with allergies. And then who knows what my deal is with dairy.

  3. Yep - been there too. I got stung by wasps and hornets as a kid, but other than a painful sting there was no other effect. In my mid-twenties I got stung by a yellow jacket (very nasty wasp) on my little finger. It hurt like blazes and my finger got very swollen and stiff. After a while my armpits started swelling, and then my neck. Since I was home alone I decided I'd better drive myself to emergency. I figured there'd be some dramatic treatment to save me from impending doom, but after a quick examination I was given a benedryl and told to go buy a bottle. So now we make sure we have some at home. I'm a little more careful around wasps now.

    Glad to hear you found an easy solution too.

  4. How scary. Glad everything turned out ok. I've no known allergies or asthma but I guess that only means I haven't found mine yet.

  5. We have these nasty little things here in Virgina called "May flys". They're little blood suckers that show up seasonally!

    If they bite me the same thing will happen that happens to you!
    My hands will get itchy and I run for the Benedryl as fast as possible. I usually put ice on it too, that helps a lot.

  6. Allergies and allergy testing are the worst! I found out in my mid-twenties that I was allergic to gluten. Do you have anyone with asthma or other allergies in your family? I found my connection was that my mom has asthma.
    Stopping by from Comment Love! :)

  7. It's funny because it was my trip to Paraguay that eventually led to the discovery that I'm allergic to practically everything.

    Claritin is my miracle drug.


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