Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Went to the allergist yesterday.

It's odd. I grew up with a cat. I mean, I literally had the same cat from the age of four until I was in my mid-20s. I used to pet that cat, brush him, play with him, sometimes use him for a pillow. He was a very laid-back cat, even for a cat. And in all that time, never so much as a sniffle or a sneeze.

Cut to shortly after my cat passed away and suddenly I have pet allergies. Severe pet allergies. "Holy cow, I think my eyes are melting because they itch like crazy and there are tears streaming down my face" pet allergies. "My sneezes are registering on the Richter scale" pet allergies. And let us not forget pollens, grasses, dust and so on. I've been suffering with increasingly severe allergies for more than fifteen years. They're not debilitating or dangerous like a food allergy could be, but they really mess me up when I'm exposed to an allergen.

So what did I learn at the allergist? Not much new, really. It was more a confirmation. That I'm allergic to damn near everything. The worst offenders are dust, dog & cat dander, grasses, birch trees and mites. Those were all rated 4+ on a scale of 1-4. For the numerically impaired, that translates as "off the charts."

About the only things on the list that I wasn't allergic to were molds. Yippee - now I can keep using my shower without fear of an anaphylactic reaction. It also turns out I'm not allergic to my daughter's gerbils or the family's guinea pigs. Hooray. I may go stuff a gerbil up my nose to celebrate.

So, anyway, the next course of action is to start a 5-year regimen of weekly/bi-weekly and eventually monthly allergy shots because this level of sensitivity can easily lead to sinus and respiratory complications as I get older. The nice side-benefit will be that if my family wants a real pet (like a dog or a cat, rather than just fish and rodents), we'll be able to get one without turning me into a big gob of runny, sneezing, itching mucous.

So to sum up:

Allergic to everything
Looking forward to 5 years of getting jabbed in both arms

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