Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To Answer Holli's Question

When I first went to the allergist, they said, "Let's try allergy shots."

So, a friend of mine that used to work with me and I were going once a week. I had to have three shots a week. She had two. (I think.)

When I went in for testing, I was allergic to EVERYTHING I was tested for except down feathers. I was allergic to mold, trees, grass, pollen, pet dander, etc., etc., etc. Mold and dust mites were +5 (the highest possible reaction) and everything else was at least +3.

So, they started me off on the normal injection. They actually inject a person with small amounts of what they are allergic to. They do this in an attempt to gradually make your body grow accustomed to these normal environs.

My body went haywire. In fact, after the initial testing where they pricked my back with the allergens, I had to go to the hospital for a breathing treatment. I was fine when I first left their office, but later my back became awash with welts and I started having shortness of breath.

I never stopped reacting adversely to the shots. They said, "Wait 30 minutes after your shot and we will inspect the injection site." My arm never swelled up much right away. By the time my coworker and I got back to the office, my arm would swell up to the size of a softball welt. I would call in and tell them that. They would say, "Would you say it was the size of a dime, quarter, or half dollar, this welt." I'd say, no, like the circumference of a softball. They would say, "That is not possible." So, I'd have my coworker take a picture of my arms and then I'd email it to them. Or I'd go back in and show them. They would say, "OH MY GOD! Can you breathe?!" I'd say, "Well, I'm a little short of breath."

So, next time, they'd cut the dosage in half. Same thing would happen. Finally, they said, "We're sorry, you're not a candidate for allergy shots. We have cut you down to the lowest possible dose and you are still reacting."

I no longer go to an allergist at all. I was supposed to do an "asthma prevention map" or something like that. I was given a chart and a device to measure my lung capacity. I was supposed to take measurements on my breathing three times a day for a month. I was then to bring it back to the office and discuss a prevention plan...strategies for getting my breathing under control. I didn't do that, because I kept forgetting or got too busy. Finally, the office I was going to told me they would not see me again until I did this workup. They said I was not cooperating with doctor recommendations for my health, therefore until I did so, they could not help me.

Now, my co-pay for specialist visits has increased to $50 per visit, so going back to them is not something I am even entertaining at this point.

Right now I take a Benadryl every night, a non drowsy otc allergy med during the day, my depression med, Effexor, which I only take 75 mg. of once a day; I take Prilosec otc for acid reflux. Acid reflux and asthma somehow go hand and hand, although I'm not sure why. One makes the other worse and visa versa. If I go off of the Prilosec for one day, my stomach feels like it's on fire and the pain is intense.

Right now I'm still using samples of Nasacort that the nurse practitioner gave me, as well as Singulair. Singulair works to block luekatrines, which is one element in the body that causes allergies. Antihistamines (Benadryl, Claritin) block histamines, which cause the body to overreact to environs as well. Then, of course, I have my albuterol inhaler, which I keep with me at all times.

I'm still in debate about what I should do. I had an appointment with my primary care physician tonight that I made over a month ago. He's hard to get in to see. I planned to talk to him about my feelings right now about my health. However, I got a call today from his office, saying he had a family emergency and was cancelling all appointments. I haven't decided whether to reschedule or not at this point.

I'm feeling better each day, but I know I have some decisions to make. Thanks for letting me ramble.


Holli said...

I'm so sorry sweetie! I'll do all I can and we both know that's prayer!

neicybelle said...

i have fybromyalgia and arthritis...i'm diabetic and have hypothyroidism...i get migraines and am allergic to dogs, cats, dust, and pollen...i battle fatigue every brain is overactive and my body just wants to sleep...

why am i saying this? i don't have to deal with what you have to deal with...cannot imagine going through what you go through...

i just understand the depression that battling illness can bring. i understand being sick and tired of being sick and tired...i'm so glad you shared with us when you didn't want us the chance to love on you and pray for you...*hugs!*

J.F. said...

Oh no Kristi, havingcaught up on some of your recent posts I'm sad that things are getting so out of whack. I really am, especially since it's supposed to be record pollen this year. I hope things get better,that's all I can say. Don't beat yourself up for things that you can't control, people will understand and you don't need the extra stress. I'm pulling for you!