I’d rather take an algebra test…

One day, I’m sitting in a school library helping a student take a standardized test, snacking on my healthy trail mix. A little while later…yep, another lip swell. Okay, I think, let’s just wait it out.

But it doesn’t get better, it gets worse. The swelling starts to journey across my face onto my cheek and for some reason, that’s the last straw. I ask a friend to cover for me and leave early, driving straight to an allergist’s office in town. No appointment? That’s not gonna stop me! I want the doc to see me at my swollen best.

Turns out he wasn’t even there, so I went home to wait for three hours, hoping this time that the swelling did NOT go down. Luckily for me, sitting in his waiting room later, my chin started going, too. Yay!! Now we’re gonna get some answers, I think — wait ’til he sees THIS!!

Goldie Hawn without makeup 2008Okay, so this is Goldie, but you get the idea!

Once I get in to talk with Dr. Lane–allergist to millions by now as he is a thousand years old–he allows me time to tell the whole story: how my Dad got sick in October and passed away in December; how I started itching during that time, but just figured it was stress; how it’s gotten worse and worse; how I went to an Ayurvedic doc (to which he scoffed, as all the modern day docs do); how I’ve been reacting to anything and everything. He listened and said that my case was very interesting, then he charged me $500 for allergy tests. Here’s a little info from a med site:

Skin prick test A skin prick test, also called a puncture or scratch test, checks for immediate allergic reactions to as many as 40 different substances at once. This test is usually done to identify allergies to pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites and foods. In adults, the test is usually done on the forearm. Children may be tested on the upper back.

Allergy skin tests aren’t painful. This type of testing uses needles (lancets) that barely penetrate the skin’s surface. You won’t bleed or feel more than mild, momentary discomfort…

OKAY WAIT!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

 THIS stuff HURTS!!

…After cleaning the test site with alcohol, the nurse draws small marks on your skin and applies a drop of allergen extract next to each mark. He or she then uses a lancet to prick the extracts into the skin’s surface. A new lancet is used for each allergen…

THAT’S A LANCING OF THE SKIN, FOLKS. LANCING! LIKE A SWORD. LIKE A LITTLE SWORD CUTTING INTO YOUR SKIN,

 47 TIMES!!!

…To see if your skin is reacting normally, two additional substances are scratched into your skin’s surface:

  • Histamine. In most people, this substance causes a skin response. If you don’t react to histamine, your allergy skin test may not reveal an allergy even if you have one.

NOW, LET ME STOP THEM RIGHT HERE! SEE, THIS HISTAMINE CREATES A REALLY, REALLY ITCHY, BURNY HIVE! FOR ME, IT WAS WORSE THAN ANY OTHER HIVE CREATED. IT’S JUST PURE POISON FOR A PERSON WITH ALLERGIES. P.O.I.S.O.N.

Anyway, I only get eight more hives and they tell me what I’m allergic to: peanuts (yep, the PB&J episode); beef/veal; plums/prunes; lobster, oysters, scallops; grapes/raisins; and almonds.

So that’s when I pulled out my little bag of healthy trail mix, featuring almonds as the main attraction, and gave it to the receptionist; why waste an expensive snack???

What made me mad, though, was the unnecessary painful, horrible lancing with unnecessary allergens: I don’t even eat beef, veal, oysters, pork, perch, trout, or clams, yet I paid $10 for each of these extracts! I thought they were just all in the same food package and they are, but I could have taken some out!! Too bad I didn’t find that out sooner.

So, now I knew what was causing the hives, but not the swelling lips, apparently. According to this doc, I am allergic to Advil.

Advil?!!!! Yikes. I live on Advil….oh. I see the problem. NOW< what do I do???

next post: Salicylates and Me 😦