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Cat Allergies - Page 3

post #61 of 73
Thread Starter 
I'm doing my own test for a chocolate allergy right now. I bought one of those stocking gifts - chocolate coins, and ate one (just one, so that if it causes a reaction, it hopefully won't be as severe as last time). The EpiPen is sitting right here.

How long do you think it could take for a reaction to occur if it's going to occur?
post #62 of 73
it really depends on how severe. Could be minutes, could be hours.
post #63 of 73
Thread Starter 
There is no reaction yet, and it was over 2 hours ago. I should know by the end of the day.
post #64 of 73
Thread Starter 
I've also got my follow-up appointment with my doctor tomorrow (Tuesday). Is there anything, other than the fact that I want a referral to an allergist, a few more EpiPens prescribed, and that I want steroids and anti-nausea meds prescribed for an emergency kit to keep at the house and in the car, that I should discuss with him?

On my last appointment, he said that he was also going to consider extending my steroids (Tuesday will be my last night of prednisone steroids prescribed by the ER doctor).

Yesterday was also my last day of taking Benadryl every 6 hours (the ER doctor put it on my diagnosis that I needed to take it). I took it at 4:00 AM today and haven't taken it since. I am definitely hoping that an allergist will give me a prescription antihistamine which is hopefully stronger than OTC products to help reduce the risk of another shock. (The ER doctor thinks it's not going to happen again, and my regular doctor says it probably will, so I'm not sure who to believe - only time will tell.)
post #65 of 73
Thread Starter 
By the way, Merry Christmas! When I wrote my post above I forgot to include that.
post #66 of 73
Merry Christmas

I would discuss shots and testing but with the allergist. The emergency kit and all that you can discuss with the allergist too. He can do all that for you.

Ask about:

- allergy testing to pinpoint your allergies
- possibilities of shot treatment (they won't get rid of your allergies but will reduce the reactiosn)
- emergency kit content and presciptions
- other things you can do to avoid what you are allergic to. (My husband is allergic to dust mites so we have special covers for the pillows etc..)

That's all i can think of right now.
post #67 of 73
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I forgot to read this thread before I left to the doctor's office, but the good thing is, he prescribed 2 more EpiPens to leave one in the car and another around the house somewhere, and 20 more prednisone steroids. He wants me to take the steroids for 5 more days, and he says the others are just extras for an emergency kit.

I spoke with him about going to an allergist, and he doesn't seem to think it's necessary, but I think it is. We are still not sure what caused the reaction, but on those two days, I was taking a new medication (I'm off of it now). What is of note is that the first day I started taking it again (I took it before, but stopped taking it because the dr. thought it wasn't working), it made me VERY drowsy and I noticed a shortness of breath. The drowsiness makes me think it was a medication reaction.

I will go to my insurance provider's site and look for an allergist on there.

Thank you!!
post #68 of 73
If nothing else, you definitely need to see an allergist and get the scratch tests to determine what, if anything, you are allergic to.

I had problems with my throat swelling for a few years to the point where I had a great deal of difficulty breathing and swallowing. I was told by an urgent care doctor that it was most likely an allergy. However, allergy tests showed that I had only mild allergies not severe enough to account the reaction I was experiencing.

To make a long story short I finally figured out on my own that it was a reaction to a medication I was taking even though all the doctors assured me that that medication couldn't cause the reaction I was having. Later on, a doctor pinpointed an additional hormone problem that had also been contributing to the problem. So yes, you definitely need the allergy tests. Otherwise you may be treating the wrong problem. And if you are allergic then you need to know specifically what you are allergic to, otherwise how will you know to avoid it?
post #69 of 73
Thread Starter 
I don't notice any effects right now. Actually I just took the prednisone a short time ago and it did make me jittery, but that seems to be gone now.

I will be looking for an allergist (one of my friends goes to one, I'll send her an e-mail and ask her who she goes to) for a full skin test and any other kind of tests they would recommend.

Also, I believe this experience may have been caused by a medication as well, even though the doctor who prescribed it said it shouldn't cause any problems. I guess they didn't expect any allergy problems. It started on the one day I started taking it, and got worse the next day after I took it. (Both doctors don't seem to think it was that, however, but I'm still not going to take it again.)
post #70 of 73
i think you need to change doctor.
Why would he give you epipens but not send you to the allergist? That makes no sense to me at all.
Also, if he isn't concerned about it happening again, why would he give you the epipens to begin with? That also makes no sense to me.

The problem with finding one yourself is that if you are on a standard HMO, you can't just self refer to an allergist, you have to go through your pcp.

I wouldn't store an epipen in the car..it's going to get too cold in winter and too hot in summer for it to stay good.
post #71 of 73
Thread Starter 
The ER doctor is who prescribed the first EpiPen and told me that I should see an allergist specialist. My regular doctor prescribed the other two and told me that it probably wasn't necessary to see an allergist, but he prescribed the 2 EpiPens just in case. As I said, I'm still going to go to an allergist whether he thinks it's necessary or not.

The ER doctor recommended an allergist but unfortunately, I can't remember who it was now. I might have it written down or it might be on my papers. I'll go check.

Thanks everyone!
post #72 of 73
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post

I have severe cat allergies and a cat. If you aren't willing to deal with your allergies, you should not adopt a cat. I don't mean to be harsh, but there is no such thing as an allergy-free cat. It does not exist.

Individual cats can be less allergy-triggering for individual people, but if you are allergic to cats, you're allergic to cats.
She's right, if you're allergic, you're allergic. I have two cats, and I definitely have to deal with it through meds, etc. I found Claritin to be especially drying to my mouth and sinuses, but you can get the generic version now, so that could be an inexpensive route to go. For prescriptions, Zyrtec is really good if you get hives!

I should point out that it could have been just the sheer quantity of cats. The reaction I have with my cats is purely nasal, but I moved into an apartment once where I kept waking up with hives. I couldn't figure it out until one day I mentioned it to a neighbor. She asked if I am allergic to cats, and I said I was, but that they don't usually bother me THAT much. She replied, "well, maybe it's because the person who lived there before you had sixteen cats!" I thought she was exaggerating...but no, she wasn't.

I won't get started on how inappropriate it is to have that many cats in a small apartment, or how the landlord should have torn up the carpets, blah-blah-blah. I will say that after steam cleaning all the carpets, the problem went away...go figure!

Of course, the shelter may be a lot cleaner, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Last thing...you mentioned dander, so I should warn you that all cats have dander...some have less than others, but it has been reported that cat dander can be found in all corners of the world. I keep ours under control with frequent vacuuming and having the cats bathed a few times a year. I can't handle doing it myself anymore...I hate seeing them upset, so I take them to a groomer. It runs about $35 per cat each time, but it's worth it!
post #73 of 73
Thread Starter 
For now, I'm not going to be getting a cat, at least until my allergies are under control with a prescription antihistamine.

But 16 cats in a small apartment is definitely not right. I would consider one or maybe two in a small apartment. Do you know if the old tenant was breeding cats? Besides, shouldn't there be a clause in the contract about having too many animals in the apartment?

I definitely think my bad reaction at the cat shelter was, however, the fact that they had the dander of 400+ cats in there. One cat probably wouldn't have been that bad.

My reaction is mostly itchy eyes, or, when I'm by too many cats (i.e. the shelter), itchy eyes, hives, and sneezing.

Thanks everyone!
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