What It's Like To Be Allergic To The Cold

What It's Like To Be Allergic To The Cold

Winter is NOT my friend.
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When I say "I'm allergic to the cold," my friends usually say "me too." That's when I say, "No, but I'm really allergic to the cold." Yep, that is right. Allergic.

If you've seen me wear my thick Canada Goose parka in 50-degree weather, it's because I break out in (very itchy) hives when exposed to the cold. This is a condition called, Cold Urticaria. Ironically, I used to spend my winters with my family skiing and was even a figure skater for a few years. I only started to feel the itching during my sophomore year of high school during lacrosse practice.

Being allergic to the cold has made me extremely sensitive to my environment. I can't swim in cold water, or barely last in cold showers, be exposed to wind, get wet from the rain, keep an ice pack on my injuries, and even be in highly air-conditioned rooms indoors.

But it got worse. It turns out I also have Raynaud's Disease, where my hands and feet would turn black and blue from the lack of blood flow as a result of my blood vessels spazzing. In essence, I just turn out to be one big ball of an allergic reaction from the cold. This probably sounds a lot scarier than it sounds, but thankfully I do not have this condition seriously compared to others.

From this, I've definitely missed out on a lot of experiences and only dread the future missing even more. I fear I will not be able to stand outside on a brisk Fall morning watching my kid's soccer game. Or take my family skiing or show off my skating skills around an ice rink. I love the winter season, where the world lights up with decorations for each respective holiday.

Unfortunately, the only treatment that undoubtedly works is to stay indoors. I miss the days where I could go out in the snow and not worry about it getting in my shoe when I'm sledding or making a snowman. I miss that I can't freely go outside in what I think is the warm weather because my body tells me otherwise.

Some may suggest me to wear more layers or keep myself moving, but I could be sweating up a storm and still break out. Cold air that seeps through the fibers in my clothes could do the trick. Or the fact that a part of my face would be exposed, even with my hood up and a scarf wrapped around my neck up to my nose.

I've definitely come across many people who have not believed me when I say I am truly allergic to the cold. I even faced a few difficulties with Public Safety, who challenged my condition before giving me a ride back to my dorm on particularly frigid nights. Although I would never wish Cold Urticaria or Raynaud's upon anyone, I hope that this could help bring awareness about conditions I didn't even knew was possible.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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44 Lyrics For When You Need An Instagram Caption

Your caption is just as important as the filter.
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Choosing the caption for your Instagram can be almost as challenging as deciding on a filter. So, if you’re ready to post that Insta, but don’t know what to say, here are 44 lyrics for when you need an Instagram caption.

1. “Be young, be dope, be proud.” - Lana Del Rey, "American"

2. “I can’t really see another squad tryna cross us.” - Drake, "No Tellin’"

3. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” - Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"

4. “I’m throwin' shade like it’s sunny.” - Nicki Minaj, "Want Some More"

5. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.” - Sia, "Chandelier"

6. “Find me where the wild things are.” - Alessia Cara, "Wild Things"

7. “If I was you, I'd wanna be me too.” - Meghan Trainor, "Me Too"

8. “Sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

9. “I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” - Drake, "Over"

10. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” - Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

11. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? - Bastille, "Pompeii"

12. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” - John Lennon, "Imagine"

13. “You can’t choose what stays and what fades away.” - Florence + The Machine, "No Light, No Light"

14. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” - Train, "Drops of Jupiter

15. “She’s a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America too.” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Free Fallin’"

16. “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.” - Coldplay, "Fix You"

17. “Say you’ll remember me.” - Taylor Swift, "Wildest Dreams"

18. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” - Sia, "Elastic Heart"

19. “Give me the beat boys and free my soul.” - Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away"

20. “One of these days the clocks will stop, and time won’t mean a thing.” - Foo Fighters, "These Days"

21. “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.” - Brad Paisley, Perfect Storm

22. “You are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.” Zedd feat. The Foxes, "Clarity"

23. “Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she’s got the Mercedes bends.” - The Eagles, "Hotel California"

24. “Life imitates art.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

25. “Nobody said it was easy, no one said it would be this hard.” - Coldplay, "The Scientist"

26. “You’re gonna keep my soul, it was yours to have long ago.” - State Radio, "Keepsake"

27. “Celebrate we will ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Two Step"

28. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” - Florence + The Machine, "Shake it Out"

29. “There are many things I’d like to say to you but I don’t know how.” - Oasis, "Wonderwall"

30. “You say you want a revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world.” - The Beatles, "Revolution"

31. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” Billy Currington, "People Are Crazy"

32. “Well my heart is gold, and my hands are cold.” - Halsey, "Gasoline"

33. “I don’t want to be heard, I want to be listened to.” - Twenty One Pilots, "Forest"

34. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” - Mumford and Sons, "Awake My Soul"

35. “I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset.” - Augustana, "Boston"

36. “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.” - Brandi Carlile, "The Story"

37. ‘Ready or not, here I come. Where you at? The night is young.” - Bridgit Mendler, "Ready or Not"

38. “In the land of Gods and Monsters, I was an angel.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

39. “Turns out not where, but who you’re with that really matters.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Best Of What’s Around"

40. “Know yourself, know your worth.” - Drake, "0 to 100"

41. “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown.” - Lorde, "Still Sane"

42. “Didn’t they tell you I was a savage?” - Rihanna, "Needed Me"

43. “Hands in the air like we don’t care.” - Miley Cyrus, "We Can’t Stop"

44. “I’ma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.” - Beyonce, "Freedom"

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com

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Stop Hating On Cold Showers Until You Try Them Out

Cold showers began as a punishment but slowly crept up to become a positive, powerful device for my early morning awakenings.

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One June day when I was eight years old, I had just finished engaging myself in a screaming war with my mother over why I shouldn't have to limit my electronic usage during the school week. Far too many expletives were thrown around towards both sides, and it led to an unpleasant surprise as I stormed upstairs to take a steamy shower to 'cool off' my frustrations. I should have known mom would hear me disgustedly murmur to myself about the ways in which she was oftentimes too restrictive as a parent.

I halfway closed my bathroom door, stripped down and optimistically entered my shower, hoping somehow the day would get better from that point forward. About thirty seconds into my routine, I heard the restroom sink faucet begin to run, and I sure as heck knew it was on no timer. The next hint that sparked my attention that I was not alone was the monstrous-looking shadow that now casted over my shower linings.

In complete panic and fear of what was to happen next, I clenched my entire body as my mother ruthlessly drenched my steamy body in ice cold tap water. A jolt of shock soared through my body as I attempted to rid myself of the petrifying, brisk water that splashed against me so distrustfully. I knew from this point forward that I could never be left so vulnerable again, and that's when I begrudgingly decided to make a change that would better my life for years to come. Some parents take away electronics, some parents put their children in timeouts, but my mother was savvy enough to know how to really make her mark on my freshest behaviors.

As a stubborn youngster, I angrily implemented an action plan to slowly make my way towards taking consistently cold showers. This way, I would never have to experience the sheer disturbance of being alarmingly jolted by my mother's devious post-argument acts ever again!

Each and every day, I would increasingly make my showers colder and colder. I first started this regimen by beginning my showers with the regular warm temperatures and slowly turning the nozzle clockwise until I could no longer stand the frigid temperatures. Eventually, no hot 'warm-up' was needed and I was able to enter my showers at 50, 40 or even 30 degrees Fahrenheit as if this were a completely normal thing for a third-grader to do.

When my mom found out I did this out of spite to combat what she thought was a painless punishment, she immediately apologized for having done this in the first place. She then began to try and convince me that the cold showers would lead to hypothermia or frozen pipes during the winter time, both of which I have been fortunate not to deal with since embarking on my chilly journey. What began as retaliation soon led to a pleasant surprise, though. There are so many benefits that I have noticed since taking cold showers, and I would like to discuss some of these below.

Starting my day with a challenge makes the rest of my day seem like a breeze (no pun intended). When I wake up at 5 A.M., 6 A.M. or 7 A.M. and immediately force myself to jump into a frozen, unwelcoming climate, it completely wakes me up regardless of how many hours I slept the night before. Cold showers revitalize my body and mind. They cause me to wake my brain up and consciously think about my morning rather than zombieing through my typical routine.

Secondly, my breathing has vastly improved since taking cold showers. When you enter a cold shower, it is your body's natural reaction to huff and puff as if you were trying to blow your shower curtains down. This is one of the solutions for the body to maintain homeostasis in the heat of the moment, or should I say, cold of the moment. I notice myself able to take more relaxed, deep breaths when performing any type of aerobic or cardiovascular activity, which is a huge plus for wanting to build stamina for a race or timed event!

Thirdly, cold showers have been a blessing for my skin. I don't know about you guys, but when I reminisce upon my teenage years, one of the first images that circulates in my mind is acne. Acne is difficult to deal with no matter what type of topical medicine your dermatologist has decided to experimentally assign you with on a given week. Believe it or not, cold showers do in fact alleviate one's acne. Not only does the overall quantity of your pimples and scars begin to fade, but you will also begin to notice more smooth, clean, authenticate skin from head to toe.

Alas, cold showers are not the end-all-be-all to a perfect life, but they have definitely made a lasting impact on mine. Some people get their morning boost from a freshly brewed cup of coffee, I just prefer a more natural, awakening approach, and I hope you will give my technique a bracing try!

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