Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Visit with the Allergist

Well, I saw the allergist yesterday about Aspirin desensitization.  Of course, he had a myriad of questions for me, some of which I couldn't answer.  (What all medications have you tried for your arthritis?  I remembered Naproxen, and Celebrex, to name two.  For the life of me I couldn't remember all the others that have been tried over the years.)
I explained that for the most part, the only analgesics I can tolerate are acetaminophen (Tylenol) and codeine.   Aspirin in particular (and several other analgesics) cause disorientation and vomiting.  Anything with anti-inflammatory properties cause me asthmatic distress. Naturally, I never continued taking anything beyond the initial negative response, so I couldn't tell him if I would have developed more serious reactions (swelling of the throat, lips, tongue -- all of which could be possible if the drug were continued).
He was interested to hear about the time my massage therapist used an oil on me that had anti-inflammatory benefits and I broke out in hives.  Yet I am using Voltaren gel (an anti-inflammatory) without incident on my hips every night.  Go figure!
Anyway, he agreed that I could benefit from Aspirin desensitization but he would not attempt it in his office.  It would have to be done in hospital and he is not in the hospital very frequently.  It happens that he will be there on June 30th if I was available and wanted to do it then.
Oops.  No can do.  I can't have this done before July 12th because I'm having a cortisone injection in my hip joint on that date and I can't be on aspirin or any anti-inflammatory for a week prior to the shot.
So he offered to find a colleague who could do the procedure for me.
His first choice could see me in a year.  That just won't do.  He thinks this should be done sooner rather than later.
His next attempt was successful.  I will see a different allergist on August 19th (but I will have to be assessed again) and hopefully I will have the procedure done shortly thereafter.
He also did a scratch test on me to see what I'm allergic to.
Nothing!  What a hoot.
He tested me for trees, grasses, ragweed, pollen. And I'm not allergic to any of them.
Wow.  I sure used to be!  As recently as five years ago I was allergic to all that and more.
"These things change over the years," he said.
He explained that my year-round stuffy nose is called "non-allergic rhinitis."  It is caused from having a thin lining of the nose which is sensitive to temperature, barometric pressure, strong scents such as perfumes, etc. (Years ago, I was told I had "allergic rhinitis.")
He prescribed a nasal spray which I am to use once a day.  He assured me that I'll find I can breathe much easier once I'm using the spray.
I'm to see him again on August 28th (just because he likes me).

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