Finding Out If Allergy Testing Hurts . . .
Not too long ago, we brought our daughter in to get some allergy testing done. She kept asking me what it would feel like and if it would hurt. When I was young, I remember it feeling like a quick needle prick (over and over again as the nurse did it with each allergen in what seemed like super sonic mode). So, I told her it would hurt just for a second since they only needed to scratch just the top of the skin.
After arriving at the doctor’s office, she again asked if it’d hurt. The doctor said ‘yes’ but assured her that it wasn’t bad at all. As we sat down for the test, Munchkin again asked the nurse the same question. The nurse said it felt like a hairbrush on your skin.
The nurse then pulled out this contraption that had 12 protruding plastic rod, each with a tiny needle on the end. My daughter prepared herself, just as she would a for a shot. Instead of a quick poke, though, the nurse proceeded to roll the needles over her arm. She then did this 2-3 times on each arm (they do it on the back if there’s not enough room).
Then, she took out a single applicator and kind of dug it in and swirl it around to make sure the control histamine really got in. My daughter’s face changed drastically as she said, “OW!” in a stern voice. After that, she calmly waited the twenty minutes for the results. Turns out the poor thing is allergic to practically every tree known to man! I felt so bad for her 🙁
What did it feel like though? I was about to find out as I had my test set up for the following week. Did it feel like a hairbrush? As if! Those things hurt! It wasn’t just an poke and it was over with. No, it was like “Y-E-O-U-C-H” in slow motion. Just like my daughter, instead of one cry of pain, I kind of just stated it. Very weird, indeed. That wasn’t the worst of it though.
Apparently I was VERY allergic to some things. The twenty minutes I had to wait felt like forever as my arms began swelling like the Michelin man. Even after the nurse cleaned up my arm and put Benadryl gel on, it continued to itch and the welts stayed there for another week or so.
So next time someone asks you if allergy testing hurts, tell them ‘yes’ and that a horrible twenty minutes might follow. Still, you’ll learn a lot to prevent allergic reactions in the future and that they won’t have to be subjected to the torture for many, many more years if at all. Oh, and compared to this, shots will feel like nothing!