Allergist, part 2: the whining edition

Thursday, August 7, 2008

After 2 and a half hours at the allergist, I have a lot I want to share, or rather, rant hysterically about.

First, I met with the doctor, who was wonderful. He asked me about 10 trillion questions and then went over everything again to insure that he had it all correct. Then he looked in my ears (clogged! infected! pressurized!) and my sinuses (clogged! infected! pressurized!) and my throat (awesome!) and said that hey, it seems like you have some allergy related issues. He said that if the tests came back showing strong allergies that there's a reasonable chance it could be a part of the ongoing headaches, which was and is music to my ears. You know, as much as I can hear with the cloggedness.

The first thing he did was run a weird ear test that involved suctioning a thing on my ear that played a really high frequency sound. It was awesome. My left ear it turns out, is not. Steroid nasal spray and decongestants. Will check again in a week.

Then they prepared somewhere between 90 and 100 different FOOD only allergens which were then stabbed into my back (nope, never even slightly dramatic). Thankfully technology has improved since I was 13 and now they do 6-8 stabs at one time instead of 95 individual ones. As my iPod blog showed, after about 2 minutes the doctor popped his head in to make sure my throat hadn't closed up (it hadn't) and noticed that I was already reacting to some of them. Lovely.

So then I waited another excruciating 8 minutes of itching before they came in and read the stab marks for swelling (has to be larger than a nickel to count, so imagine how pretty that was on my back). I knew in advance that I had an egg white allergy, but on the previous allergy tests I had, um, 12 years ago, I was not at all reactive to egg yolks. Today, it was both. Which begs the question of whether my horrible anesthesia reactions might have to do with the fact that they're injecting egg yolks into my blood stream. Food for thought. You know, because I can't eat it.

However, unlike last time when eggs were virtually the only thing that showed up, this time it had friends. The allergist said that if they pulled 100 random people off the street and gave them the test they gave me, approximately 18 of them would have one reaction of a 3-4 (on a scale of 0-4). Of those that had one reaction of 3-4, on average, only 3 of them would have more than one 3-4 level allergy. I had 17.


He politely explained that my allergies were somewhat, well, extraordinary. I asked if this made me some kind of superhero, but he did not respond. It's possible that I didn't ask it out loud.

After they sprayed me with antihistamines and got my back swelling and itching under control, they did a pulmonary function test which turned out perfectly normal. After the asthmatic bronchitis episode there was some concern, but apparently it was unfounded. Yay.

Once all of this was finished we went back to his office to create a game plan, which is a nice way of saying, a really effective way to SCREW WITH ME. For the next 3 weeks I am not allowed to eat anything containing any traces of any of the following:

Walnuts (2 different varieties)
Sunflowers/sunflower seeds
Sweet Potatoes

It's just a damn good thing that alcohol isn't on that list because in the absence of ALL THE FOODS I ENJOY, I'm going to need a drink. After 3 weeks I can add one food back per week and see how I tolerate it. Can you guess which one is coming back first?

Oh and did I mention that I get to go back next Wednesday morning to do the environmental allergy panel? After which we can discuss the reinstatement of weekly allergy shots? Yea. And I know that if it stops the headaches and means my brain is fine, then I'll do it happily. But seriously God, why did it have to be chocolate?


the queen said...

Sinus infection! I win! I win!

And, sorry about the chocolate.

And, Mom took me to an allergist when I was a teenager and he refused to test me. He said allergy tests are pointless since you can shift allergies in a day.

Daisy, Just Daisy said...

I can't even comment on your list other than to say it is TRAGIC and I want to send you a sympathy card. The type reserved for "close familial deaths" not "intero-office co-worker sympathy" because oh my goodness GARLIC and sweet potatoes? AND chocolate? AND tea? But

I'm fairly excited for your enviornmental test because my friend once found out she was allergic to moose. Which would have been super tragic except the pet store was all out of baby moose that week so she ended up being just fine considering her average yearly run-in with the moose population hovered around zero. Maybe you can be allergic to cheetahs. Or lions. Just for fun of course.

Anonymous said...

um holy hell. That sucks. I mean not just sucks a little bit, but a WHOLE lot. I hope that Chocolate does agree with you in 3 weeks. I can't imagine that. AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

I think this gets you off the hook for the next few years of Lents.

Oh wait, you're Jewish, right? Never mind. But there must be some kind of good universe karma for abstaining from chocolate for that long a time period. There has to be!

Overflowing Brain said...

Slappy is Jewish.

I'm currently between religions. You could say I'm unreligioned. Or you could use real words. That works too.

Ness said...

Katie, you remind me of my daughter...if it can happen, it will(re: allergy test results). Chocolate is simply not allowed to be an allergen for's unAmerican! Hope the headache is on the run and you feel better soon. Take care and you're in my prayers.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Are you supposed to live in a bubble? Goo lord - you sure have your work cut out for you!

Hallie :)

Flea said...

Oh my word, woman. Chocolate? I know it can be a migraine trigger, but giving it up isn't an option. Ugh.

I know this probably won't help, but a good friend of mine's son was hideously allergic to nearly everything for a long time. Poor child. Then they found a new allergist who tested not for allergies, but his immune system. Turns out the allergens, which kept changing periodically, weren't the real culprit. He's been on a series of shots for whatever the immune problem is and now eats whatever he wants. Worth looking into.

Anonymous said...

You ARE a superhero. Now, we need a name for you.... Super Puff Girl? Wonder Sneezer? Congesti-O? Hmm. This will take some thought. Get Slappy to help us....

Gabi said...

Sucks about the chocolate allergy! Yikes! That would be a HUUUGGGEEEE problem for me.

Hope the change gets you feeling better.

lace1070 said...

GARLIC and Watermelon ~ those are totally stunning me ~ I think they might be just royally messing with you ~ seriously ~ Add as much alcohol as necessary to get through the next 3 weekd!

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie... since I'm the queen of food allergies, I feel ok putting my 2 cents in here.

1. I'm 911 allergic to garlic which happens to be in the lily family along with green onions and the rest of the onions like shallots. I have the most problems with red onions.

2. alcohol has GRAIN in it... so that is an area you have to check out before you get hammered.

I've lived the last 15 years asking whats in their foods at restaurants including getting the chef out.... it is ubba embarrassing and humiliating to this day. SO my suggestion is to CALL the restaurant ahead of time and find out what the "safe" foods are.

Eventually you will find out that certain foods are "safe" and that you pretty much order the same stuff all the time.

Did he check you for yeast? I'm very allergic to yeast - wine, beer and breads. Just a thought

Good luck! Mary Lee

Overflowing Brain said...

ML- not allergic to yeast, that one came back a 0. I was mildly allergic to cow's milk, which isn't a big surprise, so I'll cut back on that.

I was mostly joking with the alcohol thing, but I appreciate the tip because otherwise I probably never wouldn't known about that.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and moral support! Go eat chocolate on my behalf.