For years I have jokingly told my husband that I am allergic to him. This week we found out that, in a roundabout way, that is true. Poor Daniel! I felt so bad after my appointment with the allergist.
After giving up on trying to figure out what is wrong with me, my family doctor said that I should see an allergist. That doctor, he said, can also look for autoimmune disorders and know more about where to go next. Not thinking it would do any good, but willing to try just about anything at this point, I made an appointment with an allergist. Thank goodness for really good insurance! I never would have been able to afford this visit if we were paying cash.
The allergist spent over an hour just going over my history and symptoms. At first, he said he could have written my book for me. Then he hit the part where I got "shingles" two years ago. That was the part that started to not make sense to him. Fortunately this doctor seems to enjoy a puzzle and said that he has lots of homework to do.
Then it was time for the exam. The doctor verified that I have four distinct rashes on my body. That, too, was confusing to him, and he agreed that we need to find the cause not just treat the rashes. Especially since there doesn't seem to be anything that works effectively for all the rashes. When one starts to go away another gets worse. It seems to be never ending. Again, he said he wanted to do some homework and do some allergy testing before he began treating the symptoms. He REALLY seems to want to understand what is going on with my body. I haven't felt this hopeful in years. We FINALLY might get some answers. If nothing else, this guy doesn't think I'm nuts. I was beginning to wonder myself.
The appointment had time scheduled in for one round of allergy testing, and the doctor decided to throw in ten ten foods to check as well. Forty different allergens were scratched into my skin, then we waited fifteen minutes to see if there were reactions. Boy were there reactions!
I had severe reactions to Bermuda grass, Mesquite trees, and cats. Well, guess what my landscaping husband plays in all day? You guessed it, grass and trees! Those are the most common varieties in Arizona, which is why I was tested for those to begin with, and there is no question my body reacts. So, I'm allergic to my husband when he comes home from work.
From now on Daniel will be putting his clothes directly into the washing machine and showering before he does anything else. No kissing me, no sitting down for a glass of water.... straight to the shower! He has already moved his landscaping equipment from our garage to a place where it won't be bringing debris into the house.
Out of the ten foods tested, I reacted to three of them. There was enough of a reaction that the doctor said to start cutting out tomato, onion, and orange. In fact, he said that I should just skip all the citrus fruits. Ug! He's tested for more foods next week, too.
Even the doctor was surprised at how many reactions I had. There were some sensitivities, too, but he said we aren't going to worry about those for now since there were so many bigger issues. I don't have a treatment plan yet. We'll finish the allergy testing, the doctor will compile and analyze the data, then I will have a third appointment to decide what we are going to do. No matter what, I see some big lifestyle changes coming my way!