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My visit to the allergist

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've known I'm allergic to cats since long before we started rescuing.

And I know that as we age sometimes allergies pop up.

So after 4 1/2 years of Zyrtec-D and an increasing amount of steroid cream for the hives, I finally went to an allergist.

Given my profile, he didn't test me for food allergies. But he tested for animals and all that seasonal stuff, grass, trees, etc.

And? I'm allergic to everything he tested for! No wonder I can't breathe when I mow the lawn! (I was tested for 39 different things, including cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, grass/tree/etc. pollens, molds, dust mites.....)

Thank GOD the house is already crammed with HEPA filters, &etc., or apparently I would be insanely miserable - given that we live in the middle of the woods on a property that grows incredible amounts and types of fungus (and thus molds).

So... once again I have the cats to thank! If we hadn't taken up rescue, we probably wouldn't be nearly as conscious of using filters, and vaccuming and dusting really frequently (though I guess my increasing discomfort would have eventually led to that, lol!)

.... but have any of you had those allergy tests - and been allergic to something?

I was going NUTS not to scratch - I was itching so badly I thought I'd rather scratch it all until I was bleeding rather than sit there and do NOTHING. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
I've known I'm allergic to cats since long before we started rescuing.

And I know that as we age sometimes allergies pop up.

So after 4 1/2 years of Zyrtec-D and an increasing amount of steroid cream for the hives, I finally went to an allergist.

Given my profile, he didn't test me for food allergies. But he tested for animals and all that seasonal stuff, grass, trees, etc.

And? I'm allergic to everything he tested for! No wonder I can't breathe when I mow the lawn! (I was tested for 39 different things, including cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, grass/tree/etc. pollens, molds, dust mites.....)

Thank GOD the house is already crammed with HEPA filters, &etc., or apparently I would be insanely miserable - given that we live in the middle of the woods on a property that grows incredible amounts and types of fungus (and thus molds).

So... once again I have the cats to thank! If we hadn't taken up rescue, we probably wouldn't be nearly as conscious of using filters, and vaccuming and dusting really frequently (though I guess my increasing discomfort would have eventually led to that, lol!)

.... but have any of you had those allergy tests - and been allergic to something?

I was going NUTS not to scratch - I was itching so badly I thought I'd rather scratch it all until I was bleeding rather than sit there and do NOTHING. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie
I've had the testing done a few times. Foods too. That's only cause my mom is the office manager for an allergist. I just had my most recent screen done a couple of months ago and I was allergic to 29 out of the 30 things on the list. Go figure. I've been doing the shots though and I think it's a good idea for anyone and I recommend it. It does make a difference. I can now mush my face into Peanuts fur again and not come out sneezing like mad and all itchy. She was the one that bothered me the most - so she's my test subject.
post #3 of 18
I am allergic to everything also!

I started allergy shots in October. I'll let you know how it works out
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
For the allergy shots - did you go every week for a few months and now you go monthly?

My Doc said I'm a candidate for allergy shots, but wants me to think about it. He explained the idea behind them and suggested I do some research on it before coming back to him with an answer.

He said I'd have to have three shots every week for a few months (I forgot how long he said) and then monthly. They scale up the amount in the shots based on reaction to them (but I have to stay on the Zyrtec in the meantime), is what I understood.

Going once a week for 3 shots for several months is a big commitment. But the thought of being otherwise medication free - and essentially "curing" the allergy is really attractive! With the Zyrtec, I snuggle with the kitties without itchy and runny eyes, sneezing, etc. But it would be nice to be able to lose the pill 2x a day at some point.....

Anybody else taking allergy shots - or have success with them? How long did you have to be on them - or how long have you been on them?
post #5 of 18
i was tested years ago [like 25?] & i'm allergic to loads of things. i'm on zyrtec & flonase for the inhalant stuff. i know cats must be one of them, because i'm not as stopped up when i'm away from home for a few days. but they're worth it. i also have a raft of food allergies, which i treat with avoidance. my main ones are chicken, fish, broccoli, bell pepper, almonds, carrots, MSG& pineapple - but there are others that aren't as severe, or that you don't find as ingredients in things very often, so i don't have to worry much about them.

ETA: after reading about shots - i tried those, too - i think they just made things worse... of course, we would hope that medical science has made improvements in the last 20 years...
post #6 of 18
I am getting the weekly shots (also called the buildup phase) and have been since some time in October. I get 4 shots every week. I reached the maintenance level on ragweed today, so I think that will start being every other week. I am having a tough time getting up to the maintenance level on dust mites and cats. Based on today's reactions, they are going to have to cut back next week, instead of going forward. The other injection I get is for grasses.

The way it was explained to me is that eventually the shots are once every 8 weeks.
post #7 of 18
I got allergy testing done - this is how I looked afterwards



They couldn't believe how bad it was, and how they couldn't tell where reactions started and stopped I was allergic to pretty much every sort of tree and grass, so they put me on allergy shots straight away.

And yes, it was a huge commitment. I went 3 times a week for maybe about 6 weeks but then I started working again and just didn't have time. I barely had time when I wasn't working.

I was still barely through the course, and gave up because it was just too much time, and the shots were beginning to hurt every time as well. The time, pain and itching was worse than the allergic reactions I was having.

I think it built up some tolerance though, because I'm certainly not as bad, and I just take Zyrtec when I need to.
post #8 of 18
I was told there is a blood test for allergie detection, that you don't have to get all the scratch test. I have an appointment next week because I am allergic to our office. When I go in I get a sore throat, heavy eyes, and somethinmes a headache. They claim our airtests are ok, we claim there is something afoul. I will see what the allergist says.
post #9 of 18
I had allergy testing done recently, but they did it on the inside of my forearm, instead of my back- much better! (had it done on my back when I was a child, oh, about 31 years ago- said I was allergic to about everything under the sun , cats, dust mites, cows milk, eggs...). My mom finally gave up when she figured out that the dark circles under my eyes weren't getting any better- still have them .

This time I had it done, only mold, golden rod, and feathers (which wasn't one of the things that showed up the first time- and my dad is also allergic to feathers, so go figure ). I thought I was allergic to ragweed, but nope, golden rod. She said they don't have a lot of sucess with mold and allergy shots, so I'm just taking a generic chlortrimaton, nasonex, and Singular. So far, better than last year .

Oh, they are also working on a "under the tongue" drop to use at home instead of allergy shots, but it will probably be a while before they get approved for a lot of different allergies...*sigh*
post #10 of 18
Right after I had a bout with bronchitis a long time ago. I started having trouble breathing.

It got bad enough that they had me on Theo-Dure, some little white pill, I forgot the name, two inhalers and the Theo-dure was twice a day, the white pill was 4 times a day and the inhaler was two puffs every 4 hours.

I went down the Cutler Army Hospital and they did the allergy tests. The lady put some liquid on my arm and then picked up this huge needle. I asked her what she was going to do with it and she just smiled.

She then proceeded to prick the skin on every one of those liquid dots. I wanted to kill her. Then she said wait outside for about 1/2 hour.

Inside of 15 minutes some lady sitting in the hallway looked at me and asked if I was having trouble breathing. That when I realize, yeah I was. It took 3 shots of epinephine to stop the reactions to the tests.

I hate allergy tests. They told me I was allergic to everything, cats, dogs, horses, cows, chicken, geese, grass, hay, moose and probably Sasquatch too.

I had never been allergic to anything in my life. Guess what we had on the farm in New Hampshire.....grass, hay, cats, dogs, chickens, geese, horses, no cows. I had to give up all my animals including my colle Mindy Mutt.

Now I take no medication for allergies at all. I don't understand this, but I'll take it. One thing, I firmly believe that a lot of allergic reactions are actually stress, because when I divorced my husband, all the allergies went away.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
For the allergy shots - did you go every week for a few months and now you go monthly?

My Doc said I'm a candidate for allergy shots, but wants me to think about it. He explained the idea behind them and suggested I do some research on it before coming back to him with an answer.

He said I'd have to have three shots every week for a few months (I forgot how long he said) and then monthly. They scale up the amount in the shots based on reaction to them (but I have to stay on the Zyrtec in the meantime), is what I understood.

Going once a week for 3 shots for several months is a big commitment. But the thought of being otherwise medication free - and essentially "curing" the allergy is really attractive! With the Zyrtec, I snuggle with the kitties without itchy and runny eyes, sneezing, etc. But it would be nice to be able to lose the pill 2x a day at some point.....

Anybody else taking allergy shots - or have success with them? How long did you have to be on them - or how long have you been on them?
I am going once a week for a few months, then every other week, then once a month...etc. The whole process takes about 3 1/2 years until you are completely done. It is a big commitment and it doesn't work for everyone, but it's worth a shot (no pun intended ).
With my 29 things I'm allergic too - I get 2 shots weekly.
I've already seen a difference as I said - so I recommend giving it a try. Can't hurt.
post #12 of 18
I haven't ever done the offical scratch test.

I still eat the stuff I'm algeric.

Went to the hospital once becasue of it. But by the time I got thier I was breathing okay.

Once when I was a kid I thought I was okay eating bing cherries.

My aunt gave them to me and I'm chowing down on them thinking I'm not algeric.

Well, eat enough of them and my throat will start to close up!!!

I also notice my algeric reactions are worse if I eat soy products.

So some of my algeries are probabley combo.

Nuts mildly algeric. Bannanas and peas the same. Now Cherries that can be a near ER trip for me.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
OMG Sarah - you pooooooor thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They did the scratch tests on the inside of my arms too. It didn't hurt at all to have it done - it just itched like crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They do have blood tests for it, and we asked about this. My Doc doesn't like them because according to him, they're not as sensitive, so if you're going to do allergy shots, they don't have all the info they need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKiya View Post
...Now I take no medication for allergies at all. I don't understand this, but I'll take it. One thing, I firmly believe that a lot of allergic reactions are actually stress, because when I divorced my husband, all the allergies went away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
I am going once a week for a few months, then every other week, then once a month...etc. The whole process takes about 3 1/2 years until you are completely done. It is a big commitment and it doesn't work for everyone, but it's worth a shot (no pun intended ).
With my 29 things I'm allergic too - I get 2 shots weekly.
I've already seen a difference as I said - so I recommend giving it a try. Can't hurt.
We don't keep a regular schedule, so it'd be kind of tough. But despite the commitment, I'm still leaning towards giving it a go!

And I really want to thank everyone for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie
post #14 of 18
I have so many allergies that it's hard to keep up with them all.
post #15 of 18
I have lots of the same allergies already listed: cats (but im tolerant to my own, its other peoples cats that trigger me), grass, ragweed, golden rod, and oak pollen. Mine dont bother me too much if I take an Extra Strength Reactine or Aerius. My boyfriend however, has a major seafood allergy to the point where I cant eat seafood(ANY fish or shellfish etc) either (luckily for both of us, I HATE seafood) because even following tooth brushing I could still give him a kiss of death. He also claims to be allergic to "beans" but has NOT been told this by an allergist, and Im fairly sure thats his way of not eating chili, bean salads, or east indian foods I like to have on occasion
post #16 of 18
Quote:
They do have blood tests for it, and we asked about this. My Doc doesn't like them because according to him, they're not as sensitive, so if you're going to do allergy shots, they don't have all the info they need
Well, I just want to know what molds I am allergic to so I can tell my workplace the mold is making me sick. several people there and I are really aggravated by the air, which we suspect has too much mold. I had been allergic to a point by some fragrances, now I can't tolerate any of them, except for natural stuff thankfully.

The company doesn't much care about our complaints, so are continuing to fight it however we can. We don't think it is too much to ask to work in a safe enviorment.
post #17 of 18
I've been thinking about going and getting tested for allergies, but there's no way I could make the committment for that many shots! I had no idea that you have to go in multiple times a week! At this rate, I'm not sure its going to be any better knowing what I'm allergic to. All of you guys who are getting all those shots have my admiration - I'm not afraid of needles, but the time committment! Yuck!
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LottomagicZ4941 View Post
I haven't ever done the offical scratch test.
I still eat the stuff I'm algeric.

Went to the hospital once becasue of it. But by the time I got thier I was breathing okay.

Once when I was a kid I thought I was okay eating bing cherries.

My aunt gave them to me and I'm chowing down on them thinking I'm not algeric.

Well, eat enough of them and my throat will start to close up!!!

I also notice my algeric reactions are worse if I eat soy products.

So some of my algeries are probabley combo.

Nuts mildly algeric. Bannanas and peas the same. Now Cherries that can be a near ER trip for me.
I had blood drawn for my food allergies - not a "scratch" test. Not even sure if my mom's office does that, but I'm allergic to all the things you are food wise - nuts, fruits, etc. So bad in fact that my grandfather gave me a kiss on the cheek last week and 20 minutes later the whole side of my face was swolen, hot, itchy and completely covered in hives! Just from a kiss! He had eaten a plum 2 hours prior to that. My fruit allergies are so bad I need to carry an Annakit (sp??) with me wherever I go.

Just a little tid-bit of info too. Most food allergies have relationships to other types of allergies. I don't know all of them, but like in my case apples are the worst and it's been proven they have a direct connection to birch trees which I am also deathly allergic too. It's interesting some of the stuff the docs at her office tell me they learn in seminars. Of course the doc in my moms office is such a funny guy - I asked him what I could do about my apple allergies (him being the doctor right?) and he said - don't eat apples.
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