Saturday, November 7, 2009

Allergies

I've had allergies my entire life. I grew up allergic to dairy. It sucked. No ice cream, no cereal with milk, no cheese. I was allergic to pollen and cats and dogs and mold. I remember going in for allergy testing- when they do all those pricks on your back. Awful. In early puberty, I developed an allergy to horses. I was outgrowing my milk allergy (which caused ear infections). My mom, dad, and I used to go downtown and the highlight of the trip would be stopping on Fountain Square to visit the horses and buggies. There was one horse I loved the best -he looked exactly like Black Beauty with the white star on his forehead and one white stocking by a rear hoof. One night, we went to visit the horses and on the drive home... I broke out into hives and swelling and such. I've been allergic to hazelnuts my entire life. Swelling, hives, and impacting my breathing. I still avoid hazelnuts at all cost. Over the past few years, I've needed some over the counter assistance with allergies but nothing major. In fact, I've been surprised that I can live with dogs and not be allergic beyond normal reactions. Something weird is going on and I'd love to know if anyone has dealt with this or has any recommendations. About once every 3 weeks, I get hit with a major allergy Attack. And I do mean Attack. I will sneeze and sneeze and sneeze and then BLAM-O! My sinuses are filled with cement, my nose is running, I can't breath in or out through my nose, my eyes are red and itchy and watery and swollen. I completely lose my sense of taste (to the point that I was able to eat spoonfuls of hot sauce in a Cuban restaurant and not taste even a hint of zing). It lasts about 2 hours and then I'm left slightly congested for another few hours and then... nothing. It's happened at work, it's happened at home, it happened outside with my kids today. There is no known trigger... Christy and I have reviewed and reviewed the circumstances of each attack- environment, food. It's awful. Had one hit this afternoon at 3 and now it's almost 10 and I'm finally able to breath through my nose completely. When it hits, I take a double dose of my allergy meds and a dose of Tylenol Sinus. I've tried using saline spray or a neti pot, nasal medicated spray, blowing, not blowing... nothing makes it stop, nothing makes it better. I just have to suffer through it. Any advice on potential triggers is appreciated. Stories of similar issues are appreciated. Words of pity are fine, too. I just would really love to have some answers.

7 comments:

Jason, as himself said...

I've never had many allergies to speak of...and after reading this I'm especially thankful.

The crosses we bear....

Joanie M said...

Yikes, Liz!! I wish I had some great remedy for you, but I'm blank!

Kristi said...

NO idea what the trigger could be. Possibly some type of fall allergy maybe? I would keep an allergy journal. Write down what you eat everyday, etc. and then the day you have an attack, be sure to put that down. Kind of a pain, but it might help you see a pattern. Even put down if you were outside or in a certain location for any length of time. Sorry you are going through this. My 2 kids and my husband all have allergies and I know it isn't any fun!

Teacher Tom said...

A similar thing happens to me occasionally. I haven't figured it out either, but I'd always assumed it was seasonal allergy-related since it's occurred during spring and fall. Then I started thinking it's some sort of combination to things, like a seasonal allergy AND something I've eaten.

Kristi's idea of a diary is a good one, although, like you, it tends to go away after a few hours so I'm prone to just learn to live with it.

One thought. Many of us with allergies also have a tendency to develop nasal polyps. Kind of gross, I know, but I'm wondering if you have polyps that occasionally become inflamed, swell to take up more space in the nasal cavity than usual, then it only takes a slight allergic reaction to make everything feel sealed off.

Karen said...

I don't know. Dust mites? A detergent or cleaning product? Mowing the lawn?

None of that makes sense because you would probably have problems more often than every 3-4 weeks.

I hope you get it figured out and get better! That stuff is NO fun!

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

"Word of pity are fine too."

LOL!

Mrs4444 said...

What a bummer! Wish I had some answers for you!!