Allergy Update

I went to the allergist yesterday (when I was talking about it with my mom later, we both wondered why I hadn’t gone before. I guess my method is to suffer and complain, rather than get some, you know, help).

There was an extremely long wait–it turned out that the person before me didn’t know to leave the exam room (I discover new things about people every day). Once I was in the room, however, the doctor was lovely! He asked lots of questions (How old is your house? How many pets?) and looked in my nose (I wondered, of course, if my nose was presentable!). He wrote me a prescription for a medicated nasal spray. When I was at my primary care physician’s office, she recommended that I use a saline spray. He asked me why I thought spraying salt up my nose was a good idea! I had to explain I was doing it on doctor’s orders. So, I’ve stopped snorting salt, you’ll all be thrilled to know.

It turns out that before he worked where he is now, he was the head of allergy stuff (not the official name) for one of the hospital systems locally. I was pleased that I’d stumbled onto him–full disclosure, I went to my insurance’s find a doctor thingie and looked for an allergist who was in-network. He’d won an award for spending time with patients, so I chose him. Lucky, no?

He also didn’t think much of the blood test I’d had done, so in slightly under two weeks, I’ll be getting a skin test. I was so relieved that it wasn’t another blood draw (vasovagal syncope is just so embarrassing!) that I really don’t mind being scratched with needles for a few hours. And I’ll have the results when I leave.

I’m then hoping that I can get allergy shots. I don’t know if he’ll start with grass, since that’s what provoked such a reaction, or if he’ll go with whatever I’m allergic to most (and has shots available). I know it’s a time and money commitment, but I’m already buying Claritin twice a month and spending twenty bucks a pop on it, so I think I’m trading up. One thing I’m not looking forward to is that I’m going to have to go “cold turkey” for a week on the Claritin so that we get a good  reaction. And the nasal spray won’t have fully kicked in, if at all. But I want this to be better, so I will endure being sniffly and stuffy and feeling like my brain is draining out of my head for a few days.

All-in-all, I’m cautiously optimistic.

PS: I am allergic to cats (not as severely as other things), so of course, the day after I see the allergist, my cat decides to snuggle with my face. I’m already having trouble breathing, and now there’s a giant, furry creature blocking what little air I get! Love you, kitty. 🙂

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