Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Aspirin Desensitization Experiment

So I saw the allergist last Monday morning.
Most interesting visit.
His office was jam-packed when I arrived for my 9:00 am appointment.  I thought it might be hours before I got in to see him.
By 9:05 am I was sitting in the inner examination room, talking with the good doctor.
While the office was full of patients, (and noisy as hell!), it is obviously run very efficiently.
Anyway, the doctor took my history and asked if I had time to do the desensitization that morning.
I had the time but I must admit I was a bit taken aback by the approach.  So different from the first allergist I had seen.  He also explained that he would use the drug Celebrex because that's the safest one for this purpose.
He's the doctor!
He sent me off to be instructed on the use of a Peak Flow Meter, and the EpiPen (just in case!).  Once I was armed with both, I was back in the room with the doctor and he gave me a quarter dose of Celebrex and sent me back to the waiting room.
Fifteen minutes later he called me back and had me check my lung function.
Still good.  
He gave me a half dose of Celebrex and again sent me back to the waiting room.
Another fifteen minutes later he called me back to again check my lung function.
Still good.
I reported to him that I was feeling light-headed and slightly disoriented (which is my usual response to Aspirin, along with vomiting).  He wasn't concerned about that -- his concern was my breathing.  So I sucked it up and decided that he could concern himself with my breathing but if the disorientation continued or worsened with use of the drug, I would terminate the experiment.  Regardless to what his concerns might be.
This time he gave me the full dose of Celebrex and returned me to the waiting room.
After another fifteen minute wait, I was called back into the inner sanctum where my lung function was again found to be good.
He wrote a prescription for Celebrex, which I am to take daily.  I am to monitor my lung function morning and evening.  If it drops below a certain level, I am to call his office.  If I go into anaphylaxis I am to use the EpiPen and go straight to the hospital.  See him again in one or two months.  (I opted for two months, not wanting to subject myself to his zoo-like atmosphere waiting room any time sooner than I have to.) 
I drove home, arriving much later than I had anticipated, had lunch and called my physiotherapist's office to cancel my appointment for the next day.  I knew there was no way I could face the round trip to the city again after the morning I had just put in.  Then I promptly crashed for the rest of the afternoon.
The next day I again crashed all afternoon.  Very unlike me.  And that evening, I battled nausea to the point where I wondered if I should prepare a bucket beside the bed.  "Just in case."
On Wednesday again I slept all afternoon and battled nausea in the evening, although it was slightly lessened from the evening before.
On Thursday, I saw my family doctor and she urged me to stick with it.  It sounded like the effects were lessening and hopefully the benefits would kick in soon.  (I wasn't yet feeling any benefit from the drug.)
By Friday I was feeling almost normal.  We were out most of the day so I obviously didn't sleep all afternoon, but I didn't feel any compelling need to sleep either.  I did however, experience horrid nausea that evening.  In fact, it was worse that any of the previous episodes.
Yesterday, I again didn't sleep through the day so I guess that effect has run its course.  And there was no nausea last night so perhaps that's the end of the ill effects.
I'm still waiting for the benefits.  I'll know when that happens when I can raise my arms above my head without pain (shampooing my hair, blow drying my hair, using the curling brush -- basically "getting beautiful").
Bottom line:  I guess I am now among the many who take Celebrex for their arthritis.  That makes my doctor really really happy.  I will join her in her elation when the benefits become obvious.


Bonnie said...

I hope the celebrex works for you. The celebrex helped with my pain, but it made my restless leg syndrome go through the roof. I finally had to stop taking it, because I wasn't getting any sleep at all. Good luck!
Gentle Hugs,

C. Bonnie Fowler said...

Let's hope that doesn't happen to me. I've had to stop medication in the past because of leg cramps but restless legs have never been a problem for me.
I'm sorry it didn't work for you. My doctor tells me it really is the most effective drug out there.