Friday, August 20, 2010

Hives give you answers

I had a very interesting visit to an allergist yesterday. The consensus? I am officially allergic to almost every plant. Well, not pine trees...too bad my favorite trees are the ones that turn colors in the fall. I am allergic to all those. And every grass and weed. I actually think I already knew that but now I have the proof! I am also allergic to cats, dogs, feathers, and mold. I guess this is a better excuse for me to not like animals or pets, right? So please don't be offended if I avoid your pets from now on. Unfortunately, there goes my down comforter as well... I am not, however, allergic to foods (thank goodness!), dust, dust mites, or rabbits. Random, I know. Perhaps I should live in a pine forest and make friends with the rabbits?
For those that have never experienced an allergist appointment, let me describe what it was like. You have to go several days without taking any allergy medicine so the doctor can examine your raw symptoms (so you are very uncomfortable already going into the test...wanting to itch everything), you fill out a long questionnaire that includes everything about what symptoms you have and when, your living conditions, bedding, pets, other triggers, your allergy history, family's allergies, pills used, etc. and discuss them with the doctor. Then they draw lots of little dots on your back and prick each one with a specific allergen. They tell you to sit there for 20 min. and resist the temptation to itch while hives grow all over your back. They came to check on me after 10 min. and said "Woah, maybe we'll stop now". They measured the size of the hives and marked down which ones I reacted to. They were so impressed with my reactions that they brought in another nurse to come and see. They wipe off the allergens with alcohol and put cream on them to help stop the itch. (Lucky me, I still have a few hives that decided to set up camp and continue to pester me). The doctor then discussed the results and treatment options. Avoidance is actually the preferred treatment... imagine that... but since I have no intention of avoiding the outside or living in a plastic bubble, I think I'll opt for the pills and shots. Looking back, I've gotten so used to allergy symptoms, I'm not sure I would recognize life without them. I am very interested in trying it, though. How amazing that modern medicine that can give me that option!

2 comments:

Kirsten said...

Maybe that's why we were such great roommates! I'm pretty much allergic to everything living (plants and animals), but my random non allergies include mold and horses! Who knew?! And I hated that allergy test! I had it done when we lived behind the 405 in West LA and realized that all that dirt/dust was getting into our apt! Allergy covers for our bed and an air filter on at night has done wonders for me!

D.I.M. Incorporated said...

That sounds awful! I've never had the allergy testing and now I hope I never do! You poor girl! I'm allergic to cats, bees and weeds. Remember that time when we were little girls and my eyes got all swollen and red? Good times!