Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Allergic to the air I think

Inspired by the mushroom incident of a few weeks ago, I finally went in today for allergy testing. I've been wanting to for about 10 years, since I first suspected I was allergic to dogs, but never had health insurance that made it reasonable and affordable until we moved here. Then, I just didn't make the appointment, until recently.

I didn't find out for sure whether I'm allergic to mushrooms. Apparently it's pretty uncommon, so I would have to have a blood test for that one, and I just figured if I can't eat them, I can't eat them, whether it's an allergy or not.

But I am allergic to ... everything else. Okay, not quite everything, but I think there were more positives than negatives. Cats was a big old itchy bumpy positive, as was dog, feathers, most weeds (Ragweed, I hate you), some grasses, a few trees, multiple molds, dust mites. Totally explains why I can't sleep under a down comforter - allergic to feathers and dust mites.

The one that upset me, because I just didn't know? Peanuts. It was mild, but definitely noticeable, and I have a mild allergy to peanuts. Funny, because I ate peanut butter before I went in to my appointment. I've never had any allergy symptoms from it. I LOVE peanut butter, and eat it every day, usually. Makes me wonder if I'm one of those who just has such mild allergy symptoms all the time that I think it is my norm.

I feel much better knowing what my allergies are, for sure. It gives me an excuse to get out of vacuuming (which Eric normally does anyway). Debating now if I should plant the fall garden or not, which I need to decide pretty fast.

We talked about the option of allergy shots. If anyone has any experience with those, give me your opinion. I need to learn more before I consider, and find out if the insurance would cover it.

I was given samples of an inhaler, which I sometimes do need - cats, specifically, can trigger severe wheezing and an inability to breathe - scary stuff. Also samples of Nasonex. I thought I'd give it a shot for the 2 weeks until the follow-up. I'm sorry I tried it, and I've only taken one dose. I'm sure there are people who experience relief with this drug, but for me, NO WAY! I started having mood swings almost immediately - severe sadness with no real cause. My heart is racing and all over the place. I have a terrible headache and nausea. I was terribly bloated earlier, with no other apparent cause. I'm dreading trying to go to bed. I'm jerky and jittery to the point where I'm having real difficulty typing this, because I keep hitting the wrong keys or in the wrong order.

Anyone else taken Nasonex? Was it good, bad, or ugly for you? If this is what it's like, for me, on the first day, I'm not going to try again. My day-to-day allergy symptoms are not bad enough (I rarely actually have symptoms unless exposed to a known trigger - cats are the big one, usually) to deal with side effects. I feel fine without the drug, but like crap with it? I'll take the default norm, thankyouverymuch.

And I have to say, as pleased as I was with the rest of the experience (the doctor and nurses were really great and friendly and helpful), I really wasn't given any information on the drug and possible side effects AT ALL. Not that I can say I ever really have been, but shouldn't that be an important part of the job? It's so frustrating, and moreso to think of how many people take a drug, don't know of the side effects, then take another drug to counter the side effects, which then might have side effects of its own ... and the cycle goes on and on. Not so much a complaint about this doctor, specifically (really, I liked her a lot), but a problem with the whole system. And I'm sure those drug commercials don't really help.

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