Every year brings the same twisted fate for me and other allergy sufferers. As the winter draws to a close and Spring starts to bloom the prospect of entering the outside world (cue Vampiric hiss) becomes less and less endurable.
For twenty-four years I’ve waged a war with this unnecessary genetic phenomenon and have come up short. I always lose. Runny nose, persistent sniff, itchy eyes and throat—it’s enough to drive a person mad. While I’ve yet to check in at my local asylum for some R&R, those cruel days locked inside a dreary house on a beautiful day make me wanna stop by and take full advantage of that complimentary padded room everyone keeps going on about.
Pharmaceutical corporations have made promises to my people for an eternity. Be it Reactine, Aerius, Allegra D or the countless generic brands I’ve tried, salvation has been pledged but NOTHING. EVER. WORKS. The primary result: a day-long buzz that keeps me awake long into the night. Plus my stomach lining gets to take on a losing battle.
Not to mention the workout my liver’s forced to take on. Who needs that liquor store membership anyway?
So, in this—my darkest and most allergenic hour—I decided to visit my GP for his educated take on things. I figured he’d encountered my problem a million times before and with one illegible scribble on a yellow notepad, I’d be cured.
Instead, he referred me to an allergy specialist and within three weeks I was in the office of a kindly Korean man (excuse the alliteration). With a short introduction to his practice he took my arm and started marking different parts of my wrist in a 6X2 grid. In a thick accent he muttered “dog, cat, horse, pollen…” and began injecting a series of allergens underneath my skin. Without further ado he ushered me into the waiting room and requested I wait for fifteen minutes.
“Don’t itch,” was his only advice.
I’d never been more fixated on a body part North of my own waist before. Slowly, yet alarmingly quickly, a series of 12 blotches began to grow at varying degrees of severity. Despite the obvious discomfort, it was fascinating to see my seasonal ailment in the flesh (literally).
Turns out, I was allergic to 7 of the 12 allergens I was tested for. Among the things I should avoid: Dogs (despite owning one for 13 years), cats, birch, dust mites, Timothy, Alder and Orchard trees. These are the histamines that make every April a physical eye sore. After this discovery the allergist recommended a long-term series of shots that would possibly rid myself of any and all allergies.
No guarantees, however. So, over the course of the next…100 years or so, I’ll be visiting the clinic on a regular basis for a date with Doctor Pointy.
There are three vials in total. Beginning with 2 shots a week for 2 and half months and ending with one a week every month, the treatment is expected to take effect by next Spring—just in time for tissue season.
If you have to batten the hatches like me every Spring, this treatment plan seems like a viable path for those of us with intolerable seasonal allergies. While I’m yet to discover if the shots actually work, be sure to ask an allergist about the options available to you as an official enemy of sunshine and happiness.
For the Latin Lovers among you, my vials contain birch, alder, standard mixed grass and standard D. pteronyssinus mite (No relation to the pterodactyl or any other prehistoric creatures).
If you have any questions about the treatment I’m undergoing, or would like to offer any suggestions for other forms of treatment, please have your people contact my own.
Or just comment below.
(Submit equally witty and thought-provoking sign off here)