Warning - Sorry for the gross arm picture. It felt far worse than it looked though.
Three weeks ago we went down to Melbourne (the Big Smoke) for our long awaited appointment with the allergy specialist. Allergist? I was in a mild panic before hand. Well - mild for me anyway. I didn't really know what was going to happen and not knowing causes tears and the rest. We made it there on time though and the doctor was super nice. He explained everything very carefully and didn't seem to phased by my deep breathing techniques.
He drew all the tiny marks then made little scratches next to each with an needle. After that he dropped different things on the scratches and told me to wait while he did the same to Joel. And I wasn't allowed to itch. I thought that would be easy - for the first minute. Then the itching started and I had to hop around the room to stop myself. I think we waited about 15-20 minutes before he was ready to do the analysis.
Joel - no allergies. We had discovered through an elimination diet that he is intolerant, possibly allergic, to dairy but the things we were tested for at the doctors all came up negative for him. Half his luck.
Me - Pretty much allergic to everything. Moulds (phew - no more cleaning for me!), pollens (and highly irritated by strong perfumes as is Joel), grasses and grass dust (hello - we live in a farming area which is apparently the worst for allergies in Australia), animals (minimal expect for cats which was the strongest reaction) and dust mites (again - yay for no cleaning! Kidding. Mostly). Isn't my arm pretty with all those red dots? I said to Joel "Take a picture for my mum!" and the doctor says "Take it with me holding the ruler up. Seriously. It will show the reactions better." That was after he'd finished measuring. Told you he was great! But you could tell that because he had an ipad and nikon.
So, in the words of Martin Luther, what does this mean for us? Well, aside from continuing to fear and love God despite him allowing me to be allergic to the world he created it means a few things:
- I am getting desensitised to grasses and their dust. When the word 'desensitised' was mentioned I immediately pictured a giant needle but the doctor proved his greatness yet again when he told us that the newest technology being used in Europe is drops under your tongue instead of needles. And the angles sung praises in heaven. No needles. I just have to put drops under my tongue every week day for 9 months then get retested to check they are working. After that I keep going for 2 and a bit years making 3 years in treatment. It costs a bit but it's effective for up to 15 years. I'd pay than the treatment in Telfast & fenugreek teas over that time. So - drops for the grasses.
- For the pollens. It's not so bad at this stage that I can't manage it. But if it gets worse we can do the desensitisation thing for that too.
- Same for animals. And just try and stay away from cats. Sorry friends with cats. At least I can still visit you if I bring Telfast. Luckily for Morgan we got him because we knew he is a breed I have no problems with.
- Mould - don't know. Guess I just have to be very careful and not lick the grout in my shower.
- Dust Mites. Well, there are only 3 things you can do: wash all linen in hot water, put special dust mite protective covers on bed things and get rid of all carpet. We're working on the first 2 and our fabulous church council are investigating option for ripping up our carpet. Bless them. Even if it takes a while or the solution they come up with is not the exact one I'd chose I'm thankful they are considering it seriously for me. They're very good to us.
And that's it. I feel like the lame sick kid in movies where the lame sick kid has everything wrong with him. But I'm a grown up with the power to fix things so I'm getting on it.
And Joel never asks me to mow the lawn or vacuum.