A couple of years ago, I re-discovered my egg allergy. Then a few weeks later, I discovered I was allergic to everything else. But I always had the theory that I was actually allergic to the town. On my way home from the doctor, I drove past a wheat field on my left, a corn field on my right and knew there was a soy bean field up ahead. When I brought up the correlation of environment and food allergy, my allergist shrugged it off and encouraged me to continue not eating.
So the bright side of moving was knowing I was going to have to find a new allergist, and knowing they don't grow ANY of my major allergies down here, I was hopeful I'd be able to start eating again. With my epi pen about to expire, I made an appointment with a great allergist whose earliest appointment was in July.
I told the nurse to put me on the cancellation call list, and I was shocked when 2 hours later, they called saying there was a cancellation and the doctor could see me the next morning at 8:30 am. They prepared me that it would be a long appointment, and to be ready to stay an hour maybe an hour and a half. I let work know I'd be a little late, charged up the leapster batteries and Nugget and I headed to meet the MD.
While he's a great doctor, he looked like he was fighting REALLY hard not to roll his eyes at my previous doctor's diagnosis. He laughed off my list of food avoidances and when asked if I'd ever been allergic to anything in the past. I told him I was allergic to milk, eggs, poultry when I was younger, but kind of outgrew them and was able to eat pretty much anything except for straight up eggs from high school on up.
"You don't just wake up and become allergic to foods you've been eating for years."
Um. Yeah doc. Took the words right out of my mouth. Let's get this testing started!
The nurse came in with the trays of needles, I laid on my stomach and she began to draw. Then she ran out of room. Then she had to erase some lines and draw some more.
68 pin pricks later, I was instructed to stay on my stomach and try not to move. She looked at Nugget and asked if we'd be ok. I told her between my phone and his leapster, I'm sure we could make it for the 20 minutes I needed to be still. She told me she'd check on me and if I needed, she'd entertain Nugget.
10 minutes later, she peeked in, and Nugget and I were working on our letters with Mr. Pencil. She asked how I was feeling and I said I was a little itchy. She walked over to the table to take a peek and let out an audible gasp/shriek.
Me: That good, huh?
Nurse: Ummm.. did you know you were allergic to anything when you came in?
Me: Oh yeah, I'm allergic to everything.
Nurse: Oh thank goodness! I'll be back in 10!
And she was back in 10 with two additional nurses to help read off and record everything I'm allergic to. We celebrated in my negatives which include horses, red cedar and pine. So I can finally buy that pony and ride through certain forests. Yay!
Nurse 3 said she'd be back with something for the itching and swelling and nurse 1 took me down for my breathing test. These have also become more fun over the years! Now, they're hooked up to a computer that shows the image of a tree and you have to blow the leaves off of the tree (and there are little monkeys hanging out in the tree. Fun!). I failed that test. I had a feeling it was because I was having minor allergic reactions to 67 different things, but whatever.
Nurse 2 brought in a nebulizer, and I inhaled a little Zopenex and attempted the test again (10% improvement). Meanwhile, I inform nurse 1 that neither nurse 2 or 3 brought me anything for my my itching back and I was about to start scratching my back on the nearest tree. She brought me something to take for it right about the time I'm looking at my test results and realize she forgot to stab me with the corn needle. It became a race against antihistamines! She stabbed me with the corn needle and we waited to see if it was negative (and might be because I already had the meds in me) or positive and I was allergic even with meds.
It was positive.
In comes the doctor. He took a look at my chart and those rolled eyes popped wide open. We went over my results, and I re-stated my opinion about food vs. environment. He looked at my chart and said, "That makes total sense. We don't test for those pollens because no one grows that stuff down here, but looking at the way you react to pollens and grasses, you could have been fighting off them as pollen, then when you ingested them, your body just couldn't handle it."
Booyow! Just call me Mommychick, MD. He thinks, because I'm out of growing lands, I might actually be able to eat again. So I have my little list, and just like a baby, if I'm reaction free after a week of reintroducing a food, I can move on to the next. Because we know I'm not allergic to peanuts, he suggest I try soy because they have some connection. He has hopes that between allergy shots and tiny bites, I can be eating the majority of my list by this summer.
The ones I can't ever try? Eggs and Peas. Yup. PEAS! So every time my mom said, "You will sit at that table until you're finished with those," and she was talking about peas, she was killing me slowly.