Our lab assignment that particular day was to sit for 15 minutes-ish in the cold whirlpool . . . literally a big metal tub with a motor and lots and lots of ice . . . think Arctic waters icy. I lasted three or four minutes before the pain started shooting from the tips of my toes up my legs. When all my classmates had gone numb from thighs down and my toes were still producing electric shocks, my prof agreed to let me get out. My legs were covered with white and red hives wherever the water had been. My professor and classmates debated entering me in a science-fair . . . and I have spent my entire adult life happy that I know had a good excuse not to go skiing or iceskating (really I'm too petrified of the ski-lift . . . but 'rare allergy to the cold' sounds much better than 'I'll wet my pants if I have to take that thing all the way to the top!').
Well, apparently cold isn't the only temperature extreme I'm allergic to. We can now add Hot&Humid to the list.
As I type this, the top half of my body is actually a strawberry. I say 'strawberry' and not 'tomato' because the redness of my skin is not smooth and shiny . . . no, it is bumpy and pitty, like a strawberry. And I itch as though I've been rolling around in poison ivy.
After several professional opinions of 'it's just heat rash,' over the past three weeks it has moved from small spots on my hands and left shoulder to across my chest and back, over both shoulders, down my arms and all over the backs of my hands . . . and today it has started to creep up my neck.
I've been prescribed several creams and a stronger-than-benedryl anti-histamine and have been sent home from work to sit in under in the air conditioner. Apparently I have one of the worst cases most here have seen . . . and what's weird is it's not in the usual 'sweaty' places. All my Nigerien co-workers insist I'm allergic to the heat and humidity. Bazaar!!
So, here I am, sitting in my AC cooled living room secretly hoping this warrants a med-evac to Alaska.