Wednesday, December 27, 2017
With this crown of thorns I wear, why should I worry about a prick like you?
After yesterdays "fuck you up" fest, Cookie should explain that he had been off his allergy meds for about nine days getting ready for today's allergy testing.
See, Cookie has watery eyes, a cough, itching, stuffy nose and a wheeze. I have had hay fever and and a world class allergy reaction to cats and kittens since I was but a wee small child. But since moving to Maryland, things have gotten beyond worse.
Finally, about two weeks ago, Cookie's doctor said enough of that, get thee to the allergist.
So we set up the appointment.
Thing is, that means no antihistamines for seven days. Cookie thought that if seven was good, lets get a couple extra days in for good measure, and I went for nine. No Zyrtec, no Pazeo, no calming cremes/lotions, nothing.
At first, everything was fine, by day three I starting having sneezing fits. The itching started on day four. By yesterday, with the car break-ins and the broken glasses and the leaking shower drain (and it really is true - it never rains when all this shit is going down, it pours) Cookie was a hot mess of rage.
So I really got those old ads that claimed "Woman Cured of Terrible Itch."
Today's appointment went well enough, as the doctor and I chattered. THEN it was time for the test.
The doctor exited and a young woman came in with a tray. She said I had two options. "If we run the tests on your arms, its a twenty minute wait. If we do it on your back, its half hour. The back won't itch as much.
Given that it was one of the colder mornings and the room was terribly cold, I had no issue with the arms. So she had me sit in a chair, my hands palms up on a table, and she bring in these three trays, sets them down and them washes my fore arms was alcohol swabs.
"Alright, there are eight substances on each pad, and each arm gets three pads, starting at you shoulder and down to your hands. Its really important that once these begin to react that you don't scratch anything in the touch area. You mustn't touch the area, either as it could ruin the results." I agree.
At first they look like large stamps from a stamp pad. What she did tell me at the last moment was "You may feel a small pricking sensation," and she was right. I imagined that that if this was bad, an iron maiden must be worse. With that, though, the iron maiden pads, of eight tiny needles at a time, went into my flesh, at one of the thinnest stretches of skin on the body.. Then comes the second, then the third - I now had 24 weeping punctures on the right arm and she moved to the left, and the tiny "scratches" (little stabbings) started anew. The iron maiden thing done, she took a special pen, broke the seal on the pen, and started writing with ink all over my arms.
And that is when the itching really started.
Mother of God!
After carefully blotting each stamp area, she turned on a dine and said "Now you get to watch a video and I'll be in in 20 minutes and with a smile, she spun on the balls of her foot and took the trays with her.
Ten minutes, Cookie's tender pale flesh was a rashy red, and the welts and hives were in full blossom, and the itch was tremendous.
My Kingdom for a tube of Lanacane!
But I sat there pretending to be a Catholic saint.
At twenty minutes on the dot she returned to find me as she left me, and I did not move because there is no fucking way I will go through this again, I thought to myself. I was almost in the promise land.
Then we did breathing measurements. They hand you a tube and you inhale and exhale as much as you can carry through your lungs. Then they give yo a steroid, and you do it again until you are light headed.
She took pictures and started measuring. Out of 48, I scored a 44!
I seem to be allergic to everything. Trees, bees, mites, and cats. But kitten dander was my number one reaction, followed by "timothy", which is a "hay". Ragweed put in a strong showing as did walnut trees and walnuts. Every variety of turf grass as well. Sycamores, pine trees, birch trees, etc and so on. Flowering bushes and molds. Just about the only thing that didn't send me over the cliff were perfumes, commercial scents, detergents and thank Christ on a cracker - dogs.
And how did dogs escape my body reactions? "When they brought you home from the hospital, did your family have a dog?" Yes. "Lucky you. You established a relationship with dogs early in life."
What about if they would have had cats?
"No, cats are different than dogs."
Duh. But a better explanation about what she said will come in a couple lines.
The woman than mercifully slathered my arms with extra strength PreparationH (which is nothing more than cortisone cream and mineral oil) which calmed the areas down immediately as far as the itching. "The mineral oil will help soothe the rash."
The doctor came in and said "You are a high achiever. And you also have asthma."
They ran more tests and sure enough, inhale and exhale is way off. "With everything you have going on with regard to windpipe irritation, you are not getting enough oxygen."
The goal is to get the windpipe calmed down, and then start me on shots. "And for the love of God, stay away from cats, and stay out of the houses of people that have cats. Spend a night in a house with a person who has cats and doesn't keep the house clean and you'll end up in the ER."
The tests were 12 hours ago, and cats and pine trees are still fleshy spots. Shots start in ten days.
And what is the big deal with cats? Evidently cat urine, cat saliva (because they lick themselves) cat gut bacteria (All that fur comes right back up in a hairball) and cat dander gets airborne and sticks to fabric, walls, rugs and floors. "And it stays active for up to six months."
So who loves kitty? Not me.
I have been pricked, steroided and will start my shots regime in a couple weeks.
I do feel better and am headed to bed as I wrap this up. Some folks from back home are coming by tomorrow for a visit.