Today I went to the allergy place for an allergy test and it was a very exciting moment in my life! I had heard about allergy tests and them “pricking your arms with different allergens” but I had never experienced one and I wanted to see what it was all about.
First of all, I feel so glamorous any time I go to a doctor beyond my general physician/OBGYN (it’s the same gal) (I’m a hypochondriac about everything but most often OBGYN things so I made her my primary doctor because I go there like every month). Do you want to know why I feel glamorous? BECAUSE HEALTHCARE IN OUR COUNTRY IS AN EFFING JOKE.
If you’re my friend and you’re reading this…you already know that healthcare in our country is a garbage fire so I won’t elaborate. But just know that as soon as I got a job that gave me the real health insurance I feel we all deserve as working and productive members of society, THINGS GOT REAL FANCY. I went to a dermatologist, acupuncture, ACTUAL THERAPY (not just bothering my friends and relatives about feeling shitty in my mind), THE WHOLE SHEBANG.
Quality healthcare is a REVELATION…and it is rare. At least among the folks I hang around with. I do consider myself lucky and grateful every day that I work for a company with “San Francisco ideas”(TM). That’s my personal “TM” that I created and I joke with myself about in my mind. It makes fun of San Francisco yet praises it at the same time.
Get on board.
I really shouldn’t feel like I’m going to a spa and doing something super special every time I go to check on my health. Like it’s at that level. We have the science and the technology and the resources for everyone to have affordable access to this kind of stuff. Everyone should be going and getting poked and pricked and prodded and told by a trained professional what is wrong and how to fix it, DAMMIT.
Back to the allergy test! Here’s how it goes down:
You arrive at the doctor’s office at 8:50am for your appointment at 9am.
You wait 40 minutes until they call you up and you fill out a form.
You wait another 10 minutes.
It is now 9:50am and you’re going to be late for work.
The doctor calls you in!
You chat for a moment about allergy shit. I shared that my eyes are itchy EVERY DAY and I have a headache EVERY DAY. This is not hyperbole. This is true. WTF is going on?
You sit in a chair and put your arms on your thighs, forearms face up. The doctor stabs some stabby things in your arms! It’s like, 6 needles/vials of allergens per stabby set and they kind of look like a big stamp and she stamps them out one by one then throws out the needles part because she cares about your health and avoiding the spread of infectious diseases. Also that part is disposable. Again, FOR YOUR HEALTH.
There are 60 kinds of allergens contained in these stabby things, and each one is arranged on a specific part on your arm so when that part of your arm starts to itch and freak out you know that that particualr allergen is to blame.
The doctor sets a timer for 15mins and you go to sit in the waiting room.
THE ITCHING IS UNBEARABLE.
It was seriously itching so bad I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t move, I thought I would get in trouble. So then I couldn’t grab my phone to text work that I was late and I was freaking out. The places on my forearms that had been stabbed by the allergens I supposed I was allergic to started to get red and rashy or straight up welt-y.
I started to panic…WHAT IF I AM SUPER ALLERGIC TO ONE OF THESE 60 ALLERGENS AND I STRAIGHT UP GO INTO ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK AND FREAKIN DIE RIGHT HERE AT THIS DOCTOR’S OFFICE?!
The woman that went into the doctor’s room after me was sucking up all of the doctor’s time along with all of the air in the room. She thought she was the only one in the world and that the whole planet exists for her benefit. Pretty much every woman in Manhattan. I heard my timer go off in there. 10 more minutes passed by.
IT WAS AGONY.
An aside, or maybe NOT an aside since it’s part of the story – The Notebook was on in the waiting room. I haven’t watched The Notebook in centuries and I never really gave a shit about The Notebook. But OMG it really got me emotional today. So much so that I’m still thinking about it now and feeling a full ache in my soul 7 hours later. Like all of the yelling and fighting and crying…but then the LOVING?! HOW CAN ANYONE BE EXPECTED TO STAND IT?! Maybe I’m allergic to The Notebook.
FINALLY, MERCIFULLY, the other patient shut the heck up and left so I could go back in and get my results.
So one of my welts was from being allergic to hickory trees! Cool! I bet there are a ton of those around…somewhere. I googled them a few times today but I didn’t recognize their leaves or flowers or bark or seeds or anything.
Okay I’ve said this before, I love trees and forests and the woods but I am terrible at identifying trees so…yeah. I guess it’s kinda like how I’m bad with names.
The other welt looking area was for walnut trees. The doctor was all wide eyed like, “Not the NUTS though!” I think because nut allergies are marginally terrifying. My sister and her fiancé have a tree business and they’ve showed me walnut trees before so I think I may be able to pick those out of a lineup.
Oh my gosh, these freakin things. I’ve fallen down a google hole into their little world before and luckily I forgot about it but now it can never be forgotten because I am ALLERGIC TO THEM. I mean maybe everyone is a little bit allergic to dust and dust mites. But the dust mite section of my arm was very red and rashy. It was uncool.
All of the stuff I found about them on google was also uncool. Like they’re microscopic and they’re just…there. And then they make your eyes and face itchy whyyyyyy?!?!
The doctor recommended getting covers for my mattress and pillows and said that would help. She didn’t say why or how but THE INTERNET SAID that they burrow into those beloved bedtime items and BREED IN THERE. Your bed is their DUST MITE SEX MOTEL.
I MEAN COME ON.
But seriously, I’m annoyed they’re itching my eyes but it seems like I may be able to get them under control. Or at least get them to stop boning all over my apartment. I’m gonna get the covers, and maybe an air purifier.
I’m going to put it out there that I overall don’t feel gross about them like I would maybe feel about certain kinds of other bugs. Maybe that’s wrong and I’m giving them too much leeway and just inviting them to have their lewd sex parties in my domicile. But you can’t even see them with the naked eye so like how gross can they even be? Just try not to think about it, JEEZ.
Additionally they don’t have antennae and some other more developed bug technology, and silverfish eat them so maybe I should let some of those populate. JK I hate them. And this concludes 7 paragraphs about dust mites ur welcome.
I enjoyed this allergy test a great deal because: I love science, I love tests, I love going to the doctor, and most importantly I love learning more about ME.
Have you ever gotten an allergy test?! What did you find out? Do you have any tips for dust mites? Are you afraid of dust mites? Do you think dust mites are okay to hang out with sometimes at the bar but like you wouldn’t be REAL friends with them?