Thursday, December 04, 2008

allergies, ears, earrings, and a discovery....

My whole life I've been allergic to silver. I can wear it on my wrist (not a watch, too close to my skin, and I've been able to wear silver rings before by simply painting the inside with clear nail polish - allergic dad was SO smart with that one!). I'm not writing to lament the fact that I miss out on jewelry, because I don't. NAH has been very good to me over the years, and I have some beautiful pieces of jewelry, I just wear less jewelry than most people, and certainly less often. Every once in a while it would be fun to put in a pair of dangly earrings, or buy a pair at a craft show. This isn't dire, and it was never worth the pain and the subsequent reaction. I did this once when I was fourteen (wore a pair of earrings with silver posts), and had blowfish-of-the-ear syndrome. I tried again in college and had an even more severe reaction, not only blowfish-of-the-ear syndrome, but purple-blowfish-of-the-ear syndrome. I'd learned my lesson.

Except...the other day I was in Kohl's finishing up my Holiday shopping. I was waiting for NAH to pick me up, and I started browsing in their fashion jewelry department. I spied a pair of earrings, "Axcess - Liz Claiborne" (in case any of you have similar jewelry allergies). What interested me was the bottom piece of the card that said "surgical steel earwire." With the sale, they would cost $7. Eternal allergy hopeful that I am, I purchased them.

I waited a full week to try them, and did so the weekend after Thanksgiving. I wanted to make sure I was at home, near the Benadryl and rubbing alcohol and Neosporin. My rationale behind this purchase was simple, I had a med-alert bracelet that was surgical steel, and my online research confirmed that yes, in fact, surgical steel is the same material that knives, scalpels, etc are made out of. In other words, it's not silver, and there's no nickel involved (Even the nickel-free silver earrings gave me problems, by the way, and I've read plenty of stories on the Internet about other women who had the same problem). So last Saturday, I put a delightful pair of silver-toned teardrop earrings made of surgical steel earwire in my ears. I left them in for 2 hours, and took them out. Sunday I wore them all day, and Monday I was able to confidently wear them to work! I have discovered something new, and inexpensive, that I like a lot! One more stride towards 'normalcy,' no?

I went on yesterday to see what they sold in terms of surgical steel earrings. Gone were the fun colors and funky shapes I had seen in Kohl's, and what was available was silver, small, and very cold looking (not to mention pretty ugly).

The moral of the story? After the holidays, I'm going back to Kohl's to get some more dangly earrings (they have turquoise and other stones in some of them!). Hopefully they'll be even cheaper than $7.
One small step for your allergic diner, one giant danger for my credit card (because at $7 I can LOAD UP!)

Yours in allergies,
The Allergic Diner

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