Saturday, October 31, 2009

Breathe Deep The Wild Air

For those of you who have been following my long series of illnesses, most of which are allergy related, we may have reached the final chapter of this ongoing saga. I had my annual check-up at the beginning of September (by annual I mean every eight years) and my doctor suggested I see an allergist. Apparently, I am an ass to everyone around me for a good chunk of the year, and she thought there might be a solution...
She suggested her top allergy guy (who is apparently everyone's top allergy guy, since it takes two months to get an appointment) who I finally got to see last week. After talking about my issues for a couple of minutes, we got down to the testing stage of the appointment, which was a lot of fun. Not. Before I even got the results, I learned a little something about myself - I'm not a little pain person, I'm a big pain person. In case you haven't been tested before, here's the scoop. First, they do a skin prick test, which means they put a drop of an allergen on your skin, and then scratch you with this sharp little needle. If you're allergic to whatever the thing was, you get a little red itchy spot where they scratched you. Unfortunately they tested me for about 40 things, waited, didn't see anything, decided to try some intradermal tests to be sure, and then proceeded to inject me with allergens in a bunch of different spots instead... which led to my "little pain, big pain" theory. I cut my pinkie knuckle off once while I was boning a duck - one misplaced flick of my new filet knife, and I could feel the blade grab onto the bone in my finger. Cut my leg once too, so badly that I left a trail of blood from the kitchen of the Ritz Carlton through the main lobby, down the pristine marble steps, and on the floor of the taxi that took me to the hospital. Burned part of my left arm once so badly there was a strip of crispy black skin, skewered a lobster tail and the palm of my right hand together, broke my right big toe while working the line at a jazz bistro, and once had to discard an entire bowl of perfectly sliced Spanish onions because I somehow chopped off my entire fingernail into the bowl. And you know what? Every single one of those things sucked, but I'd do them all again before sitting through another allergy test. There's something about the little pricks and scratches, over and over, that just drives me out of my mind. Every little injection was like torture... on the other hand, when you put a knife through your thigh you get that warm flood of dopamine and endorphins going, and it's not that bad. The clean-up sucks, but at least you don't have someone picking at you for twenty minutes. Eew.
Anyway, I bit my lip and waited while they prodded away, and then sat on the table all itchy while I waited to see what which spots would turn into welts. Everything looked pretty good except for one angry little spot with the number '14' written in red marker next to it on my left shoulder. One spot, I thought, can't be that bad. After all, they tested me for everything on the face of the earth, so one thing should be pretty easy to fix. "Did you say you have two dogs?" the doctor said when he walked back in, "because number 14 is dogs."
So after all the prodding and poking, I'm stuck. I would sooner live in a cardboard box than get rid of the dogs, so I'm back to square one - or so I thought. I'm not really a big drug-guy these days, don't really take anything unless I need to, and a was a little sceptical when he suggested I try fexofenadine.. but you know what? Love it. Feel like a million bucks and I can type really fast. I wasn't even logged on to the internet 20 seconds ago, and here we are, four paragraphs in. Wee! I'm on fire.... think I might build us another house this afternoon...

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