you’re just chicken

Hot dogs are beef?  I coulda sworn they were pork.I was thinking of all the jobs I can’t do anymore now that I have my new disease. Can’t be the coach of a Super Bowl winning football team, I couldn’t survive the traditional Gatorade and ice dousing. Can’t be a SCUBA diver or ice fisherman. Can’t be a ski instructor or pro wakeboarder. Can’t be a Shamu-rider at Sea World, or a chainsaw-wielding ice sculptor. Can’t be Santa Claus, can’t be a meat packer. Bummer. Good thing I’m a computer engineer who gets to sit in a climate-controlled cubicle all day. The worst I have to worry about is hemorrhoids or maybe some kind of “repetitive stress injury.” I knew I went to school for something other than a lifetime-long school loan repayment plan.

So I’m gonna keep talking about this thing because it’s what’s on my mind of late. I was reading online that cold-induced urticaria can come up at any time, and last either: a) forever, or b) one to five years. Gimme a #2 and that scantron… I’m clearly and neatly bubbling in ‘b’ on this one. For real though, one to five years? I wonder what deity I angered to be cursed with this? Not only is it an extremely crappy ailment, it comes off as very dubious to the uninitiated. Like when everyone is like, “Come on y’allz, let’s swing off this kickass ropeswing into the lake!” And everyone is like, “Heck yeah, that ropeswing looks so fun and awesome!” Then Dave goes, “You guys go ahead, I’ll just stay on the shore – I’m allergic to cold water.” “Yeah right,” says everyone, “You’re just too chicken to do the ropeswing so you made up a fake disease!” “No, for real guys, it’s called cold-induced urticaria,” I reply. “Sounds more like cold-induced chicken-caria to us, bawk bawk!” comes the chorus. Sigh… woe is me.

While telling everyone about it at work, the question that comes up most is “Is this very common?” Which, I’m pretty sure, is a polite way to ask if it’s real or if it’s just something in my head. Either way, that got me thinking… how can I make some money off my new sickness? Maybe I could start a webpage that would be like a cold-induced urticaria support group. Then I could charge money or something. You know, cold-induced urticarians unite! Power to the people and all that crap. Maybe now that a person of such high profile, such as myself, has this disease, it will raise awareness of the tens of others who are suffering this very minute.

On the music-tip, I’ve had my MP3 IV set on a full drip of the Killers’ LP “Hot Fuss” for about a week now. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. From front to back it’s got some great tunes, even if they are in that becoming-ever-more-popular Hot Hot Heat/Franz Ferdinand vein. I don’t care, I’ve come to realize that, with the sudden increase in popularity of good music, I’m gonna have to be OK with sometimes finding new choons from the MTV or even a Toyota commercial. It’s cool, I’m cool with that. So yes, it was me you spotted driving around town with several lengths of 20ft schedule 40 PVC hanging out either end of a green Ford Explorer, listening to the Killers’ track “On Top” at a heinously ear-ruining volume. I don’t even care, that song kicks major butt… I’ll listen to it non-stop if I want to… so shut up. You’ll still not catch me with the Justin Tenderlegs or Ursher or anything featuring Lil’ John coming from my Alpine.

Time to go practice for my presentations tomorrow, nothing like being last minute. Dave out.

Also written on this day...

50 Replies to “you’re just chicken”

  1. So if you reach the five year and one day mark, does that automagically mean you´re urticaria for life (UFL)?

    Also, I´d like to reitierate my earlier (outside the blog) comment that this is the most hilarious ailment – ever.

  2. There seems to only one way to get over your fear of cold water. Start each day under an ice cold shower. At first you will scream and try to get out but be a realman and just keep yourself directly under the freezing spray. Eventually the shock of the icy water will wear off. I am surprised that none of your friends has thrown you into a freezing shower or poured buckets of ice water over you. If I were one of your friends you would have received an icing from me before now. I hope that some of your friends read this and promptly freeze your unmanly butt.

    99% of people are allergic to cold water. Most people just bear it for the moment that they have to endure the freezing water. They do not make up a phony disease to get out of it. Stop being a wuss and go douse your self with a couple of buckets of ice water.

  4. Someone anyone please
    take this man to Lake George on Jan 1st 2006. A nice polar bear swim would be benefical to cure this mans disease. The shock of the icy water will bring him back to his senses

  5. My electric and gas bill has skyrocketed due to the fact that oil prices keep going up.
    I have 1 teenager and 2 preteens ages 11, 12 and 14. Their padre insists that they are old enough to take cold showers or cold baths. So every morning I have to deal with 3 shivering children who hate their padre for makking them wake up screaming under freezing watre. This is very hard in the winters.
    When I read your artical about you not being able to handle gaterade showers, I think that if my childern can do it so can you.

  6. So much for what jobs you cannot do. Who would want to swim in cold water anyway? Even though I think you are missing out on a great thrill. Not to long ago someone at a party came in with 5 gallon buckets of ice cold beer and I happened to receive one right over my head. I howled from the shock of the ice cold beer. It took me about 2 or 3 minutes to recover. It was a freezing experience that I would not have missed for anything in the world.
    One of the other people to receive a 5 gallon bucket of ice cold beer was a woman. She was so shocked that she could not stop screaming. Finally some women took her and placed her into a freezing shower.
    Cold water dousing is not so bad I just had to get used to it.

  7. Hey Dave!
    You better hide cause I coming to your house to douse you with a couple of buckets of gatorade. Then I am going to throw you into an ice cold freezing shower for 30 minutes.
    Thought I would warn you!
    Ha! Ha!

  8. Perhaps a good ice cold bucket of gatorade is just what you need. I coach girls highschool soccer and have received my share of gatorade showers. The girls enjoy dumping the gatorade over my head when the team wins. I scream and just shake off the icy feeling. I know that I can get warm again. Stop being a wimp and go have a gatorade shower. It will make a man out of you.

  9. You wimp! You wuss!

    I start my day under an ice cold shower. Ialso give my 2 sons ice cold showers every morning. When my 2 daughters are old enough they will also receive ice cold showers every morning.

    Nothing wakes you up like a nice icy shower. Try it.

  10. Dave you must be kidding! NO body I know is that alergic to the cold as you seem to be.

    I guess noone has ever given you a lockerroom shower.

    One afternoon not so long ago my gym class picked me yp and threw me under a freezing shower. Someone held my head directly under the ice cold spray and would not let me out for15 minutes. Then when the water was turned off and I stood shaking like a leaf someone poured a bucket of ice water over my head. I was never so cold in all my life. The fellows got a great kick out of doing this to me. I survived this lockerroom shower as have many other boys.

  11. I was browsing the internet trying to find information to show my baseball coach. I came across some very interesting articles about cold water dousing and cold showers but yours was by far the best. I finally found an article that supported mine and the rest of my baseball team that we should not be taking ice cold showers.

    I mentioned your article to my coach about your disease called cold-induced urticaria and he told me he had never heard of any such thing. I tried real hard to convince him but no such luck.

    Brrrr! Off to another ice cold shower! I swear, since speaking to my coach, the water seems a lot colder.

  12. it is a good thing you are not one of my children. I would have given you an ice dousing you would not believe.
    I have 4 girls and everyone of them has endured a freezing cold shower or a bucket of ice water poured over their head. I only use this as a form of punishment. I am thinking of giving them daily ice cold showers to save on the electric bill! What fun they will have waking up!

    Are’t you glad you are not one of my children?

  13. Did you not hear the cold water dousing is good for your skin? It also does wonders for your self esteem.

    Tommorow morning join the thousands who have chosen to douse themselves with ice cold water. It is an experience you won’t soon forget.

    The easiest way to get used to the cold water is simply by starting at your feet. Take a bucket of ice water and wet your feet and work your way up. When you reach your head quickly pour the ice water over your head and then jump into a freezing shower! Your will feel invigorated after 10 minutes under the icy shower. Good luck.

    PS. This should cure your cold-induced urticaria! If it doesn’t keep trying until you are cured,

  14. What brought up the sudden interest in this topic? One person leaves a comment and it spars all others to join in? Regardless, it seems that there are quite a few people responding here who do not have internet access – or an open mind to less common diseases. Yes, lets dump a bucket of ice water on Dave, then draw straws deciding who gets to inject the epinephrine and/or rush him to the emergency room.

  15. Hey Dave,
    I have the same condition. It started in September and everytime I go outside in the cold/wind I swell up and have the hives. An allergy to the cold, who knew. These people might think you’re a whimp but I know exactly where you are coming from. I dream of an Engineering climate controlled desk job listening to the Killers all damn day!!

  16. I know these posts are old but i thought id say that i too have the same problem with the cold. Its got nothing to do with fear of the cold, it is a skin condition just like eczema or acne. This disorder occurs everytime your body drops below a certain degrees or comes into contact with cold water or air and your skin breaks out into hives (red lumps)or redness. It is really awful but i have learnt to deal with it for the past 4 years and im hoping one day (soon) ill be free of this skin condition.

    Anyone with the same problem and would like to speak to me about this disorder or share their experience please contact me at

  17. I have had this condition since I was 15 and I am now 27, and no it has not gone away and it seems to be getting worse. I have taken so much meds it is not funny. I do carry 2 Epi pens around with me ,I can not go swimming with my kids, People call me a freak and my co workers do not believe me either and I work at a hospital. they tell me “just wear more cloths” well duh people how can I type if I wear gloves ect. I am sick of this diease and really sick of people not believing it does really exist. I feel for all of us who have it.

  18. Also, I hope that none of you agoles ever have to deal with this condition becasue it is miserable and you are dumb if you think taking ice cold tempatures can desensitize the condition becasue all that can do is throw your body into shcock and you can die, I can vouch for that I have been rushed to the Er for this and it is not fun. so take a hike if you are in disbelief.

  19. My Daughter has cold induced urticaria. She almost died last year as she went into a cold pool. She had a severe allergic reaction. Thank god for an Epipen.

  20. My husband breaks out in huge hives if he comes in contact with cold water or air. It’s for real but good luck convincing someone else. They have to see it to believe it.

  21. Hey Dave. You know what really grinds my gears? I was just diagnosed with cold-induced urticaria just today. I’m only 15 years old and now I have to carry two epipens!It’s real people, and it sucks!!! If you have such a hard time believing it why don’t you look it up on the net.Power to all the cold-induced urticarias’!!!!!!

  22. I just got diagnosed with cold urticaria. I knew it was genetic, but I was hoping I’d be in the clear by age 19. (My mom was one of the first people diagnosed with it.) Unfortunately I’m an athlete who was icing every day for numerous ailments, but no more. Hey, at least we know its true. Sorry for reviving such an old topic, but I see that I’m not the only one.

  23. hey dave,
    im pretty sure this is really old, but i have the same condition also. :/
    i’ve had it for about a year now, and i know how bad it sucks.. it almost feels like i’m making an excuse when i say i can’t do certain things.. like swimming. just know you’re not the only one out there who has to suffer from it.

    hopefully one day this will be gone, and i can go back to living my life the way i used to before i developed it.

  24. Dave,
    I’ve had cold-induced hives since I was about 18. I’m 32 now. I first found out when I got out of the ocean and I was covered in hives. They went away after a hot shower, so I blamed it on the ocean. After knee surgery and icings, they said I was allergic to ice. OK. I can handle that. As the years passed, I started breaking out in pools with 85 degree water in five minutes. So I started avoiding pools. I went to the allergist at 30 and found out that my allergy is life-threatening. Who knew? My allergist asked me if I have ever heard of people dying when they jump in the cold water? They used to say that it was due to a heart attack. Now they are wondering if those who have died had cold-incuded urticaria.

    This allergy, not a skin condition, worsens like any other the more you come in contact with what your allergic to. Over the years it has gone from direct contact to breaking out from: holding cold drink, sitting on the stoop, a metal chair, walking on a cold floor, the car’s air condition, washing my hands water that’s too cold, swimming in pools or the ocean, anything that involves cold. I can break out on a summer night because the temp dropped. When I go swimming I have to change immediately or my bathing suit gets too cold and I’ll break out. I also have to pick my hair up after swimming or a shower or I’ll get hives on my neck.

    People have told me move to Arizona. But I’ll still break out when I go swimming or go in a house with air conditioning. It worsens over time as I said before. I had a doctor tell me no cold drinks. It makes me wonder: Is this going to come to a point that if I drink something cold, I’ll break out in hives internally?

    I have been told that there are specialists. The two top dermatologist in the country are located in Manhattan and North Carolina. I plan on going to Manhattan in the near future. I just want to play in the snow with my son. I want to be the one to teach him out to swim. I want to snowboard and surf again. Maybe one day. Even if it’s for 15 minutes.

  25. Hi,

    I was diagnosed with Cold Induced Urticaria 4 years ago after going for a swim in the ocean on a 40 degree day and had an anaphylactic shock and would have drowned if I had not dragged my husband along for a swim that day.He had to throw me over his shoulders like a sack of potatoes and carry me up the beach until a lady came to his rescue with a mobile phone and he rang for an ambulance. I was taken to hospital with a blood pressure that was in my boots and wrapped in a space blanket and fed IV fluids until my BP started to rise again. They told me I had sunstroke!!
    To cut a long story short it was actually an immunology nurse at the paediatric hospital I work in that partly diagnosed me as she had just received some information about it on her website. After having the tests I was officially diagnosed with it. I firmly believe mine as precipitated by a viral infection called Mycoplasma Pneumonia which I am exposed to every winter season.
    I don’t take any medication and just manage on a day to day basis using common sense. It is frustrating though that I live in Australia where it gets very hot in summer and I only live 5 minutes from the beach and can’t go swimming. Bummer! I have however been on an Alaskan cruise and had no trouble simply by rugging up and sometimes wearing thermal long johns. Not a pretty site but hey, it works.
    I was told by my immunologist that this problem could last from 3-5 years or a lifetime. I am coming up for 5 years and hope it disappears just as quick as it appeared as I am longing to throw this body into the ocean and frolic around like a whale.
    Hang in there fellow sufferers…. life goes on and hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.

  26. Pauline,
    I just went to an allergist who told me that it could also be caused by a protein abnormality as well as thryoid problems or lupus. I’m going for a blood screening and will find out more in March at my next appointment. For the time being, he has put me on liquid Zyrtec. I started two days ago on 1CC. Last night 2CCs. Tonight 3 and so on, until I get to 10. I tend to be very sensitive to drugs that make me drowsy so he’s gradually introducing my body. He said that the Allegra that I’m taking does nothing for hives but is still ok for my normal allergies. When I get to 5CCs I can go down to 180mg of Allegra. I was on 360mg. I’ll let you know if I find out anything interesting.

    Thank God your husband was there for you. Like you said, life goes on. I will continue to bundle up and look like I live in Alaska until it’s about 60 degrees. Then I’ll just need little gloves. =) Stay well and live happy! Wish I was there.


  27. Yeah. I’m 15 and I’ve had cold induced urticaria for 6 years now. For people who are saying it’s a made up disease, you’re just uninformed and ignorant. It’s a disorder to rapid temperature change and if you’re going to pick on people who have it, then that’s just plain insensitive. I’d like to see you last 6 years with this disorder and see how hard it is to be careful of EVERYTHING you do because of the fear you’ll have a reaction. As for you guys who do have it? Good luck with it. I seriously didn’t know so many people had it. I didn’t even know it had a name until I went to the allergist. It’s definately the hardest thing to deal with, and for the one guy who posted he feels like he’s making up excuses? I know exactly how you feel, but don’t feel bad. LoL. I personally don’t take any epipens with me when I go places. I just take an allergy pill and I bundle up like crazy! AHH today was -35 degrees Celcius and I was like dying! But either way, I’m babbling now ^_^ Good luck everyone! Hope you find an easy and affective way to deal with the cold. Ciao!


  29. This dood is definitly not making this up im 15 and have had it for 5 years. Mine has somthing to do with the blood and it is never going to go away. by drinking cold items of eating icecream me throat will close/ so stop saying this is bullshit and du ur research lol.

  30. I too have had cold-induced urticaria for about 15 years – so it started when I was around 33 (for no apparent reason). I initially took anti-histamine tablets every day in the winter but found in recent years that I need to take them all year round. What is worse is that I still get hives and it is not getting better. Today is rather mild in the UK but a short walk in the open air wearing just a t-shirt saw my arms turning red and blotchy. I don’t think I will ever be ‘cured’.

  31. It is rare…nobody ever hears about it but the doctors I see. I’ve had it for about 15 years. It came on while I was talking a walk on a fall day. It wasn’t diagnosed for about a year. If I hold a cold drink without protection my hand swells up. I live in northern California so I only take antihistamines once in a while. I try not to visit the mountains in the winter, I send my husband with the kids. I wear ear muffs and scarfs in the fall all the way through early spring. You just have to adjust. My friends and co-workers believe me as they have seen the hives when I forget to bundle up.

  32. I also have cold induced urticaria…I’ve had it since middle school but didn’t find out until much later that it had an actual name and other people had it as well. I am well beyond the 5 year mark, (this is about year 10) and it seems to be getting worse, but still hoping that I will return to normal eventually. It’s gotten to the point where ice pops make my lips swell. My mom jokes that I wouldn’t ever need collagen injected into my lips- all I need to do is eat an ice pop (not that I would ever want or need to inject collagen).
    I’ve explained to everyone that I’m allergic to the cold and they laugh and think that I’m joking. It’s not until they see the reaction to cold water, air, rain, icecream, a cold beer, etc, that they actually believe me.
    Oddly enough, I was in the steam room at my local athletic club, I started to get the same reaction I get to cold. It wasn’t as severe, just the beginning redness & blotchyness and tiredness. But I’m not usually around that type of heat, so I’ve never experienced that again. I didn’t know if anyone else has ever had that happen to them either.
    Goodluck to everyone with their hives & stay warm.

  33. I just recently found I have cold urticaria. I’m 46 and I started feeling the symptoms 2 years ago but didn’t pay much attention. Last month I went into the California ocean (a warm 69 degF) and had an anaphylactic attack (hand/feet/skin swollen, sudden drop in blood pressure, weakness). Thanks to the quick response by family and the Huntington Beach coast guard I was OK. Went to the Mayo Clinic and was diagnosed with cold urticaria. They ran extensive blood tests to check that it wasn’t caused by hepatitis or some other blood disorder. It wasn’t. My skin is just “rich in histamines” and has decided to react to the cold. I am (was!) a scuba diver and now I have to find another hobby. I also have to carry an epi-pen and be conscious of my surroundings at all times. I live in Arizona so I don’t have to worry about snow but I have to check the pool temperature before I go in and, just like with small kids, I need somebody to be present when I go in the water! Desensitization doesn’t work and, as mentioned in other comments, it could go away in 5 years or just stay with you the rest of your life.

  34. hi people i have had cold induced urticaria all my life and im nearly 27 the hospital said im not allowed to scuba dive anymore and have to carry an epi pen. mine goes from one extreme to another, from small rashes like a nettle sting is what it looks like to a full blown rash and swelling to the point were i struggle to breath. to any one who has this and dive,s i have over come being able to dive by wearing a full dry suit and a full face mask. or for a cheap option get a sting guard which covers your face to keep warm. cant stop diving its my life.and every one who thinks this is a fake condition think again its rare and can be life threatning trust me i know having to jab your self in the leg with an epi pen can be frightning. just wish there was a cure. good luck to all that have it rap up warm

  35. My 8 year old daughter has been suffering with this for 3 months. It’s miserable, if she goes out to recess, her expossed skin is covered in hives, her hands and feet get cold and they swell up, she had ice cream and her lips swelled. Very scary…no joke.

  36. I have this condition too! I am always trying to decipher why it started. It started when I was 23 after I came back from a run. My body was hot and my sweat made the surface of my skin cold and out popped this mysterious rash. I took ages to find out what it was, no doctors knew, i had a miserable summer on a sunny island because i couldnt go swimming with all my family, or even ride a bike because of the breeze on sweaty skin factor (cools my skin). I am now nearly 28 and take an antihistamine tablet every day. If i do let myself breakout, I nearly scratch my skin off and it sends me MAD with itchiness. I used to bruise my legs scratching them through my jeans in winter. Its kinda funny after, but when I get itchy i get really obsessed and grumpy at anyone talking to me.

  37. Yeah I’m 13 and I have this condition since I was 8. It runs on my mom’s side of the family, and my poor little sister seems to have gotten it too. Unfortunately, this winter it seems to have gotten worse, and instead of just having itching on my legs, I itch everywhere and have some difficulty breathing now. I’m kinda hoping I’ll grow out of it and the reactions won’t get worse.

  38. Hi Dave,
    I was searching for info about cold induced urticaria online and stumbled onto you newsletter/blog.
    I was diagnosed in Jan 2007 and I’m 43 and seems as though I may be one of the ones to have it for life Ive actually had ciu since 2005 that i remember.
    Maybe we can talk sometime.


  39. My son being 6 years old has this condition.
    It can be very deadly. The allergy to cold weather, cold objects, etc.. as we are finding out, it can be limiting to our everyday life.
    We just found this out last night, but have been dealing with this issue for most of the summer, but not knowing what is was caused from. It seemed like every time he touched something cold or was in the water her got hives or swelled up.
    But could not figure out why as he had never did this before, BUT he does have other allergies. So off to see the allergist to figure it out, and get an epi pen or what ever he needs to be safe.
    Do not ever underestimate the world of allergies! It seems to be opening up a Huge book of the unknown!!
    Good luck to those who have this condition.
    Question ? Does anyone know if it can be outgrown?

  40. I have had cold-induced urticaria for almost 20 years. Yes, my mouth swells up when if I eat ice cream; my legs, face, arms and torso, swell and get red and blotchy when I go out in the cold. My whole body breaks out in a rash/hives when I go swimming. However, I have not let this ailment stop me from doing what I want to do. I love skiing, so when I go skiing, I take a strong dose of anti-histamine and I do the same when I go swimming or diving. It is all a matter of prevention. Dress appropriately for diving–no less than a 3mm suit. Take breaks often when you are skiing (control exposure). Dress appropriately when you go out in the cold. ALWAYS carry an Epi-Pen if you are going to be exposed, especially swimming. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT–teach your friends and family how to use the pen. I had this ailment for many years before it was actually diagnosed. My physician said I should never go swimming again…well, that attitude was not going to work for me. Educate yourself as to the level of anti-histamine that you need for the level of exposure, your age, and your height and weight. It can work wonders. This ailment does not have to limit your life in any way if you are careful and smart. I have gotten myself into situations that were less than safe (got caught on a storm/cold front while on a small boat and didn’t have anti-histamine, I did have my pen, though.) and I learned from those experiences. Your skin can break out an it is not a big problem; however, when you start experiencing difficulty breathing, it is only a matter of minutes–you need your Epi-pen. Understand your body and how it reacts. After a few years, it all becomes second nature and you don’t even think about it much. You will even get used to people staring at you at the beach or at the pool because you are all red and blotchy. Who cares, you are having fun doing what you want to do.

  41. Wow. I was just researching this to see if it really existed… I guess it does. I feel bad for anyone who has this, and I totally wouldn’t insult, or doubt anyone who said they had it. I wonder what the statistics are for people who have this. Like what percent of the population. It must be very difficult to live with a condition like this.

  42. Hey! I definitely know how you feel. I’m 16 years old, and ive had CIU for close to five years as it is. Nobody actually thought it was possible to be allergic to the cold, so since they didn’t know it, it wasn’t true. Naturally. PFFFFT. It was even worse when I was forced to go outside and run laps during gym class, only to get intense hives and have my asthma act up. GOOD TIMES. The only way i managed to get anyone (including the teacher) to believe me was to put on only a t-shirt and shorts and stand outside until i was swollen up to twice my size and coughing on the ground. To condense, this SUCKS! But I’m glad that there’s a website coming from someone who really has it, not just a reference site for doctors who have no clue what they’re talking about outside the theoretical issue. Thanks!

  43. Hi I’m 51 and I got cold urticaria when i was about 26. Ay first it curtailed my life – end of yachting, surfing skiing etc. Then when my kids were young I took them skiing – I took antihistimines and carried an epipen. Although you get hives I dont think its a problem skiing because you can wear an insane amount of warm gear. ( I managed Niseko Japan last year!) Swimming is dangerous though. In hospital they worked out I react at 15 degrees so now I max swimming in full summer – even did a 4.3km swim this year and scuba course in Vanuatu! If you are seriously want to participate though you can do a process – its not a cure but a treatment. While taking antihistimine tablets you immerse your body a small part at a time in cold water to encourage the reaction. By gradually adding another part of your body and doing it consecutive days you deplete the mast cells of the chemicals ( including histamines) The theory is that it takes 24 – 36 hours for your mast cells to make more chemicals so if you keep having a cold bath ( or cold swim) everyday once you start this process you cant have a massive reaction because you havent allowed the build up to occur. So guys if you really want to do it you can! It wasnt that great lying in a cold bath for ten minutes in winter but going for a swim for 10 minutes in winter when noone else dared turned things around! Good luck fellow sufferers! The internet is awesome – years ago this sharing wasnt possible. Cheers Susie NZ

  44. I have heard of this ailment, during my extensive research on allergies, and I know it is very real. Please pay no attention to the idiots, who will probably at some time in their lives either develop or have to deal with relatives or friends with life-threatening allergies. These things affect us all. I am living with multiple food allergies and am a single parent of a food allergic child. I am also undergoing immunotherapy for my environmental allergies and last week I had my first anaphylaxis in response to one of my shots. Nothing like a near-death experience to make your week. But at least people believe in peanut/nut allergies, for example, and have heard of it. It’s rougher going trying to explain my Oral Allergy Syndrome (can’t eat raw fruits or veggies, they have to be cooked) but most people don’t think I’m crazy. And I’m getting really good at explaining to random strangers how to use an epipen.
    I feel for you, because as much as I go through in a week, making all my own food, worrying about anaphylaxis, carrying the epipen, slapping a medical alert bracelet on my daughter–at least I don’t have to worry that the rain in the Pacific Northwest could kill me. That is truly the limit. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God I can still ride a bicycle in the rain. I guess my life’s not as limited as I thought. I’m going to try to be grateful for what I can do while I’m still here. As difficult as your condition is, I’m sure there’s lots you can still do. And at least you’re not one of those people who is allergic to all food and has to eat through a feeding tube! I mean, it can get worse than allergic to water.
    I wish you well and I hope your condition improves and then goes away completely!

  45. Dave
    I’m the mother of a 6 year old boy (or will be 6 in November) and he was officially diagnosed with Cold Urticaria last December 14th. His first symptoms showed on Mothers Day 2009 and it went something like this … while sitting on the couch early Sunday morning, my son walked into the den with his arm outstretched and his hands opened wide. I didn’t have time to look at his hands but his face told a story which was immediately concerning. His words were worse, he said “Mom? Squeeze my hands so I can feel them.” This was the first of 7 instances that occurred over the course of six months. (we did go to the doctors office, who happened to be on call that Sunday morning)

    It isn’t just water, it is anything cold. Try explaining to a (then) 4 year old that he can’t eat ice cream or popsicles … that he can’t hold drinkable yogurts or an apple out of the fridge … or how about, you have to wear a full head/face mask when you go outside from October to March (and note, we live in North Carolina) and be sure not to sit on the potty too long as the cold porcelain will make your bottom and legs break out in hives.

    It is no joke and it is scary. We carry an epi-pen jr. and he will once again start his nightly med to help control the reaction if something happens. I’ve had to repeatedly educate teachers, babysitter, friends, even strangers about his condition. I’ve been told he will not outgrow his allergy, that it is the worse pediatric case our allergist has seen and that it could get worse as he grows up.

    Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a terminal situation however this is life changing condition that creeps up and reminds you that you don’t call the shots.

    My bub is a trooper and we’ll keep telling people of the story, as you have. But for everyone else who is immature, hasn’t been interested in something more than the nose on their face – do some research and find some compassion for others different from you. My young son would appreciate the support as he grows up.

  46. I want to tell all of you ignorant people who said shit like “get over it”; look it the fuck up if you don’t believe it… there’s a thing called Google Incas you haven’t heard.

    For all those that suffer with this illness please try something called salt therapy it helps cures allergies and other ailments. I believe it helped me with cold urticaria

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