Archives for September 2010

So Easy, A Caveman Could Do It

The other suggestion Dr. Nofsinger had was to try the Caveman Diet (also Paleolithic of Paleo diet). I tested allergic to all of the food categories they tried. The purpose of the Caveman Diet would be to see which food is causing me the most problems. The diet would consist of eating only fruits, vegetables, and meats. Everything must be fresh or frozen and nothing can be canned. I can’t have anything containing milk, wheat, soy, egg, or corn. I think this eliminates almost all of our normal meals. Caveman and womanAs hard as the diet will be, she said that if I find the food that is bothering me it will make such a difference that wont miss the food anymore.

I will be on the Caveman Diet for at least seven days (preferably fourteen days if I haven’t starved by then). This time period allows time for traces of the food offenders to be cleansed from my system. After that I will gradually add the foods back one at a time and track any symptoms that result. For three days in a row you eat the purest form of each food. If I’m fine, I keep that food while I add the next one. If I’m not fine, I can quit that food and try the next food.

I think the hardest part will be that Jesse can’t really do this diet with me. I’m not really sure how we will handle the meals that we eat together, as this is obviously not a Fatboy diet. I started looking up some recipes on the internet, and seriously… do these even count as a meal? Roasted carrots with a whole onion, that shouldn’t be a suggestion. Anybody have some good recipes that would be allowed on this diet? I would really appreciate them.

The other thing the doctor suggested was things to reduce and eliminate dust from my environment. One of the tips included plastic encases for my pillows, comforter, and mattress (cozy, huh?). Another was to replace all of our carpet with wood or tile floor (um, who would pay for that?) I don’t think we will be going that far yet. We’ll wait and see how the diet and shots go first.

By the way, if you’re interested we googled what the doctor called my response yesterday. It was a vasovagal attack.

Allergy Test Experience

The overall allergy test experience was not as bad as it could have been. I was getting even more nervous on the way to Dr. Nofsinger’s office reading the waiver I had to sign. It explained something about understanding that serious reactions, such as anaphylaxis, can occur. And I had to agree to resuscitation, intubation, and ambulance transfer to the emergency room if necessary. OMG!! I am so not used to being the patient. I hate thinking about all that could go wrong. Thankfully none of that happened, and hopefully the pictures aren’t too yucky to look at.

The nurse who did the testing was fantastic! She was very calm and explained everything before she did it. I was tested for forty-eight items.  I don’t understand the cockroach one.  Why would I be allergic to cockroaches?
After wiping down my arms with an alcohol wipe, she dabbed a very small amount of each item on my skin.  She used a plastic device that had small circles with several pocky points on each one.  It didn’t hurt, it was only sharp enough to let some of the liquid get under the skin.  Then she set the timer for fifteen minutes and waited for my reactions.Pretest wipeRight armLeft armLeft arm 2Waiting
She kept asking how I was doing and if I was breathing alright. I was fine… for the first few minutes (this is where the pictures stopped for a while). Then all of a sudden I was majorly hot and itchy. I was so lightheaded that it felt like I couldn’t hold my head up. I felt extremely nauseated and was grasping the arm rests because I felt like would fall out of the chair. My vision was getting blurry and dark. The nurse reacted quickly. She turned a fan on me, got Jesse to hold a cool cloth to my forehead, and put my feet up on another chair. She was asking me about everything I was feeling, but I was too confused to give many clear answers. She went to get the doctor to check on me. By then, my vision was completely black. I was FREAKING out. The doctor tried to assure me that I was fine and that this would go away soon. I just kept saying “I can’t see you… you’re right there, but I can’t see you!” It felt like it lasted forever, but Jesse says it was about three minutes. After that I was fine and the pictures resumed.

I don’t think the black out was anything to do with allergies. I think it was more of a nervous system overload. All the pocking was combined with all the allergens getting into my system. Then I took my inhaler to make sure I wouldn’t have breathing troubles. When all of that was added to my already nervousness, I think that is what caused it. Scary!
She measured each bump to see how bad my skin had reacted. Many of them had a large, red bump. For the ones that had little or no reaction, she then injected me with a small amount to see if that would cause a reaction.
Injection needles
InjectionsIt hurt a little, mostly the ones closer to the inside of my arms. Thankfully, I didn’t have any bad reactions to those.

The nurse gave Jesse the homework of taking pictures and measuring the injection reactions after two days. After sending that information in, they determine what I’m most allergic to and begin treatments in two weeks. I am allowed to shower, but the writing stays until Friday. Cute, huh?

After it was all over, they kept me for a while to make sure I wouldn’t have any delayed reactions. They gave me Xyzal right away, and surprisingly I haven’t even had any itching. Plus she gave me a prescription to keep refiling the Xyzal, and Jesse got us a couple free samples.  YAY! I’m so glad that it is all over. I’m getting very sleepy as the meds are getting back into my system.


Almost There

Sorry if you’re getting tired of hearing about all my allergy problems, but… it’s hard to concentrate on much else when it makes me feel so sick.  Hopefully I will be able to survive the last couple of days.

The doctor had predicted that my symptoms would be too hard to handle for the week without antihistamines.  I agreed with her, so I started taking the prednisone she gave me on the first day.  Everyone thought that would make it so much more bearable.  Turns out… I had a really bad reaction to the prednisone!  The last time I was on a similar steroid it was a much lower dose, so I hadn’t connected the dots on what was causing the problem.  This time, it was really obvious.  I felt sick shortly after taking it in the morning, and the nausea came and went throughout the day.  By the end of the day the pain and swelling in my legs and feet was so bad I could barely walk.  After an urgent call to the doctor, I had permission to take a couple doses of benadryl until the swelling and itchiness was gone.  Apparently prednisone can stay in your system up to 36 hours, so it took a while until I felt better.

The doctor was very surprised at my unusual reactions.  When I listed all my symptoms to her over the phone, she just kept saying “huh!”  Then I would continue and she would say “wow, that is very interesting.”  I guess most people are fine taking this drug?  That left me with nothing to take for this week.  Now I’m just back to having a stuffy head, and I can’t wait until this is over.Calendar

Wednesday morning I go for my testing.  They will poke me with all kinds of allergens and see what happens.  I’m just really hoping that my reactions will hold off long enough to complete the testing.  I do not want to do another week of cleaning my system of antihistamines to finish the tests.  Both my mom and my brother have had to have the same tests done.  Both of them had a bad enough reaction that the testing had to stop and an epipen was given.  I hope that doesn’t happen to me!