A Few Words...

What is written here is my opinion and personal experience only. I am not qualified to give advice - medical, legal, or otherwise. Please be responsible and do your own research regarding treatments, diets, doctors, and alternative therapies.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Allergy Testing, a la House Ear Clinic, Part I

I woke up at 4 am this morning after a fitful night of little sleep to make it to L.A. for my 8:30 appointment at the House Ear Clinic to have (more) allergy testing.  I was very tired on the 2-1/2-hour drive up there, but I had my four shots of espresso and the new Ryan Adams album download, Fire and Ashes (listen free here) to keep me company.  While there was little traffic, and I did arrive an hour early, my check engine light came on as I neared downtown L.A.!  This is not a part of town where one wants to break down, especially at 7:00 in the morning.  I had a moment of panic and ran through a quick contingency plan before I realized that there were no weird noises coming from anywhere in the car and that it was still moving forward at a normal rate of speed, so I just carried on.  I did text my husband once I got to the clinic, just to give him a head's up to stay close to his phone. Obviously, I ended up making it home safe and sound.

But I digress.  As you may recall I had scratch-test allergy testing this past spring which did not result in the identification of any specific allergies, just "nonallergic rhinitis."

I took these results to my doctor at House and he referred me to their allergy specialist, Dr. M. Jennifer Derebery.  I visited her last month and she recommended more thorough testing.  So thorough, in fact, that the testing spans four days!  I started today with the first of two days, half days really, devoted to inhaled allergens.  The other two days will be spent testing for food allergies.

I think I got somewhere around 50 shots in 2 hours this morning.  About 2/3 of them on my right, upper arm.  These shots are just like getting a TB test, but the results are read 10 minutes, not 2 days, after the subcutaneous injections.  Most were relatively painless, but a few stung a bit.  Apparently some are given at higher antigen concentrations and these are the ones that burn.  Good opportunity to practice meditation.

I don't have any final results to report yet, but the nurse did point out that my largest wheal was from cat antigen.  Sorry Maisy and Daisy!  The second largest wheal came from horses.  Some others included grasses, weeds, and feathers.  These all rated moderate to mild responses, so nothing to panic about.  But at least I am feeling a little less crazy for having unexplained nasal inflammation.  Though I do have a secondary theory that it could also be explained by a chronic inflammatory response to a theoretical viral infection.  But more on that another day.

I head back to L.A. next Tuesday.  I hope I get more sleep the night before this time!  Stay tuned for Part II...


  1. I was thinking about you yesterday too!

    Glad you are getting a more thorough investigation. I have a friend who had the prick test (yeah, that's what they called it when I had it to..should be the shot test.)
    anyway, he showed up negative for everything, except for some minor reactions, while he was at the office...but after a few hours, a few of those wheels got huge!
    He has an odd type of delayed allergic reaction. He comes in contact with an allergen (our cat for one) but doesn't react for hours, after he has spent the afternoon at our house, and gone home, he will start having symptoms that night.
    That would really make it hard to figure out what you are allergic to without a lot of help!

    My little story for the day.

    I'll probably post today. Right now, I just woke up and I'm tired and sore...and unfortunately, have loud tinnitus. *sigh* It's always something...but not spins.

    I was to the point where I told Stuart I needed to where a neck brace so I wouldn't forget and move my head. Every movement made the world go wonky. I hope BPPV isn't that bad. Every single time I moved my head...whoosh. eck.

    hope you find out about the viral infection.

    OH, we had a car where the check engine light came on after so many miles...it just made you go in and have it checked out and they charged an outrageous amount to turn the dang thing off.

    Hope your car is alright. or easy to fix.

  2. Super good to hear from you, Wendy! Glad you are feeling better. Maybe the tinnitus is just from the change and will hopefully adjust to the new pressure and chill out.

    I had a couple of spots on my arm that stayed inflamed all night. I wouldn't say they got bigger, but I did wonder which allergens they were. That would be frustrating to have such a delayed response to something. Poor guy!

    The check engine light has come on before, but now we can't remember why. Lol! Must not have been anything major. Phil has one of those little computers to read the code which he'll do tonight.

    Hope you continue feeling better today! Are they still thinking that it's this new acronym? Hang in there. :-)