Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Visit to the Allergist

I grew up in CA and had no allergies.  I attended college in OR and had no allergies.  I graduated and moved to ID and had no allergies.  I got married and moved back to OR and now I HAVE ALLERGIES!

My allergies have been progressively getting worse within the last couple of years.  In late June I visited my regular doctor to talk to her about additional options.  My doctor prescribed Allegra (a new allergy medicine), different eye drops, Prednisone (for a week), and she recommended I go see the allergist doctor.

I scheduled an appointment to see the allergist (for today, 7-28).  However, in July I was still having serious bad allergies so I went to the doctor again and got another round of Prednisone (for a week, but double the dose). 

So today, my visit to the allergist finally arrived.  Travis had recently gone to the allergist so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  I wasn't overly hopeful that there would be a solution at the end of the appointment, but I thought it was worth a try.

After talking with the doctor about all of my symptoms and my family history it was time to do the skin tests.  I was a little nervous but figured it couldn't be too bad.  I went into another room and had to hold my arms still on a pillow and gets lots of little scrapes. Then I had to sit for 15 minutes and not itch my arms, which was a little difficult.  Then the doctor came back in and looked to see if I had a reaction or not to the specific scrape.  Notice I am still doing ok (smiling still) at this point.
Ah, my arms itch!

Check out those beautiful reactions!  Yes, I am allergic to GRASS!

Well, I definitely tested positive and allergic to grass, but most of the other weeds and trees ended up being negative.  When the doctor saw and heard this he didn't think that could be right.  So he ordered a level 2 round of testing.  He wanted to inject the allergens under my skin and then see how I responded.  Yes, check out my arm I had to have TWENTY injections!  Ah, I didn't sign up for this, did I?  Thank goodness Travis was with me as I needed to squeeze his hand during most of the injections.  They stung quite a bit.  Well, the level 2 round of testing did the trick... Yes, I am allergic to EVERYTHING in OREGON!  I tested positive for weeds, trees, CATS, and DUST MITES!  I was glad I didn't test positive for dogs... yeah, we get to keep Sophie (don't worry we weren't going to get rid of her even if I was allergic).  Being allergic to cats kind of surprised me, since I have never noticed a huge reaction, but it was one of the last bumps on my arms to go away (hours after the testing was over).  And being allergic to dust mites is just gross!  Now, we have to buy special dust mite covers for our bedding...oh good, more money to spend!  It better help me feel better. 

So what do I do now... ALLERGY SHOTS!  The doctor said I am a perfect candidate for allergy shots.  Well, since life with allergies is miserable I am going to attempt the process.  The process of allergy shots can take 3 to 6 years.  I am not overjoyed about the prospect of getting shots two times a week for a month an half, but hopefully they will help me feel better.


Leia and Jason said...

You poor thing! That does not look fun at all!!! At least you know now what causes you allergies to flare up.

Brad & Emily said...

way to be brave Kalina!!! Yikes. I have NO allergies here in HK. A spouse of one of the new teachers here his wife is an acupuncturist from CA and he said that allergies can be cured that way. Brad is going to give it a shot :-)