Family Magazine

My Kingdom for an Antihistamine

By Daisyjd

Yesterday I went to the allergist for a fun filled day of allergy testing. I’ve always suffered from seasonal allergies, my tolerance towards cats has grown decidedly low (I have 1 hour in a house with cats before, in a matter of minutes, my sinuses completely close, my eyes burn and begin to swell around the lids) and last December I had a scary anaphylactic reaction to something I ate, resulting in a quick trip to the ER for steroids and antihistamines. It was probably time to sort it all out and I was lucky enough to snag an appointment with allergist I saw back during my Fire Ears Episodes.

After filling out many forms and answering many questions about what I perceive to be allergies I was sent to the testing room. I sat with numerous other individuals, all of us with ink slashes on our arm and I was tested against the top 26 enviornmental allergens: a range of trees, grass and ragweed, dogs, cats, dust mites, mold, and cockroaches (which disintegrate into dust that many people are allergic to). Within minutes my arm began blooming, and while everyone around me got reassuring “oh look, no reactions!” statements from the nurses, I was offered cold compresses and told I really got my money’s worth (photo of the reaction at the bottom/below the fold – just in case that stuff grosses you out). Greeeaaat.

The end result: I’m allergic to all the grass, many trees (oak, maple, beech, box elder and a mild reaction to ash), dust mites, two kinds of mold and cats. I’m surprised I didn’t react to the ragweed- isn’t everyone allergic to ragweed? I had a mild spot on the dog test, so they did that one again in the other arm with a slightly deeper prick and that time it popped up. Luckily for Rhett Butler we are not kicking him to the curb. I’m not particularly interested in allergy shots at this time (I’ve always been able to mostly contain my symptoms with medication) so I’m going to try a new regimen of antihistamines, nasal spray and eye drops, in addition to getting some dust mite covers for the bed and an air filter for our bedroom. As far as the food reaction, we think it was to German curry ketchup, so they ran a blood test to check for allergies against a variety of spices (tumeric, saffron, allspice, and cloves). I will now carry an “emergency kit” with an Epi-pen and a single dose of Benadryl and steroids in case it happens again. Hell, I bet I can find a cute allergy kit bag on Etsy if I really wanted.

I’m not sure what I expected at the appointment- I’m happy to have confirmed the cat allergy and can now appropriately premedicate before visiting friends with cats- but I can’t really avoid grass, trees, mold and more….so I’m just hoping my new medication combo is effective for me. I actually had a lot of relief from allergies while I was pregnant/breastfeeding although my allergist assured me if we have more kids, they can put me on pregnancy approved drugs if I need them. Mark this up as confirmation to things we already knew….and a firm reason to never, ever get a cat.

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