As wished for, my allergy test was indeed an enlightening experience.

Before the appointment, I watched a video that described the process in good detail. I found it helpful to see—it helped answer any questions I had left over after my initial phone consultation with the office. In the video, the doctor showed a plastic device with, for lack of a better description, eight plastic legs with “medicine” tipped needles. When my test started, I longed for those things. Instead of eight at a time, I was given ninety-six separate skin pricks. One at a time all the way down the entirety of my back. And then the itching started.

It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, to say the least. However, it was 100% worth the discomfort because I now have a better understanding of what I’m allergic to and should stay away from.

I’m allergic to every grass that they test for:

  • Bermuda
  • Perennial rye
  • Kentucky blue
  • Meadow fescue
  • Johnson

Most of the trees:

  • Cottonwood (Lambordi)
  • American elm
  • Olive tree
  • American sycamore
  • Mulberry mix
  • White (Arizona) ash

This would all explain why I feel so miserable during the hay fever months. I will happily continue taking my antihistamine pills from now on.

The food tests were where it got weird. As expected, I’m allergic to cashews. In fact, I think that one produced the most dramatic reaction of the entire test. My wife commented that I had a particularly large and angry-looking red bump on my back. I’m confident cashews were the culprit.

Pistachios, since they share similar proteins with cashews, also triggered a reaction.

That’s where it stopped making sense. I’ve been unable to eat peanuts for as long as I can remember. They cause an impressive and unpleasant reaction—my throat constricts and I’m racked with debilitating stomach cramps for a few hours. Not fun. However, according to the test results, I’m not allergic to peanuts, but I am allergic to buckwheat.

This is confusing because buckwheat is something that I’ve enjoyed in the past without issue. Peanuts have always been a problem. I’m thinking that those two got mixed up somehow; there’s no way I’m not allergic to peanuts. Even if I was able to eat them, at this point in my life I wouldn’t—the smell is just too off-putting to me.

This test, despite my confusion regarding some of the results,1 was worth doing. There’s no question about it. While there may not have been many surprises, I’m happy to have all of this information down in writing now for my understanding and future reference.

Now, I’m going to eagerly start taking my seasonal allergy pills again.

  1. I’ve got a follow-up phone call with them soon. You can bet that I’ll be talking with them about the peanuts. ↩︎