So one would think I went to the doctor today because I have been sick (still fighting this cold/cough D bestowed upon me). Logical guess but sadly you'd be wrong. Today was my all-too-regular visit with my allergist.
To back up: all through life I sniffled. I used to joke that I had a cold year-round. It wasn't until grad school when a friend of mine said, "Are you sure you don't have allergies?" I'll be honest, the thought had NEVER crossed my mind. And why would it. No one else in my family has allergies. But once it was there, I decided I had to get it checked out. So I scheduled an appointment with an ENT (I cannot remember if that was recommended to me or if I just didn't know that there was such a thing as an allergist). I remember that I was 5 minutes late to the ENT and that there was a LONG line at reception. Of course, being a new patient, I then had to fill out tons of paperwork. When I finally got called back it was 30 minutes past my appointment time.
I strongly remember the nurse who was going to administer the allergy test basically telling me that she was none-too-pleased she'd had to wait for me. I'll grant her the 5 minutes. That was on me. But the other 25?? I tried to mention something about the long wait and she was having none of it. It was her lunch time and I was the barrier to lunch. She briskly rolled up my sleeve, brought over a tray and started stabbing me! (Ok ... the stabbing part was really her pricking the skin). She then left me for 30 (I think?) minutes for everything to react.
And oh it did! When she came back in and saw my arm lit up like a Valentine's Day light display (image: lots of red bumps!) she seemed...happy and surprised. I guess she thought I was just some girl who was wasting her time before. But when she saw my arm, her whole attitude changed. Glad to oblige her! Turns out I am allergic to ... life. Not literally ... but close enough! I am not allergic to cockroaches (but with my love of bugs, this does not really help me) or mold. I am also not allergic to food (that I know of) or medicine. Everything else ... yes. Dust? Check. Pets? Check. Trees? Check. Grass? Check. Apparently re: pets, I am more allergic to cats than dogs (as a dog lover and future dog owner, I knew this already!) and some breeds more than others (though tests for specific breeds don't yet exist). The ENT recommended some nasal sprays which I tried to a bit of success.
And then I discovered my allergist. Maybe I like him because he was born in the same down as D. Maybe I like him because he has the same first name and initials as D. Or perhaps because he is a nice doctor? Who knows. But I like him. Even though I am maxed out on drugs. I take TWO pills every day and TWO nasal sprays TWICE day. I am maxed out ... legally. He actually had to fight with my insurance company to approve the second nasal spray dosage! Today was just a regular visit. Since my allergies are consistent I now only have to go ever 9-12 months for a visit! For a while I was going every 3 months. While I like my doctor, I don't like the co-pays so I am thrilled with the reduced frequency visits.
Alas my allergies persist ... but at least I have a doctor I like! Now to find a new ENT (not going back to that one with the scary nurse!!!) to see whether I should have my deviated septum fixed. Oh the life...