I went to the pulmonary doctor this week because my primary care doctor is concerned that my asthma isn’t well controlled. She prescribed the Trelegy inhaler, which has another medicine in it compared to my other inhaler. The Trelegy inhaler is just one puff once a day, which is better than the 2 puffs twice a day the other one required.
They asked what respiratory allergies I have, and I’ve always known cat dander is one of them, along with grass, trees, mold, etc. The doctor ordered a blood allergy test and the results are a bit surprising. The normal range for cat dander is <=0.34 kU/L. Guess where my results landed? 19.40. That means I’m a bazillion times over the normal range for allergy to cat dander. Next was birch tree, at 15.00 (normal range <=0.34). Alder tree, grass, and oak tree also play a big part in causing my allergy problems. I grew up in an oak savannah surrounded by fields of grass, and we had 20 cats (outdoor) at one point and I enjoyed spending time with them. I mean, I’ve known I was allergic to cats and grass since I was a little girl (funny nobody ever said anything about the trees) but no wonder I’ve always been a mess of allergies! The asthma came along when I was 7 years old, about a year after we moved out to the country full of all the allergens. When I was young there were no asthma inhalers, and no helpful allergy meds that didn’t cause me to sleep all day. If I had an asthma attack I just had to suffer through it, until I was 11 or 12 years old and they invented albuterol rescue inhalers. Then they invented Seldane allergy pills in the late ’80s or so, and those were awesome. They took it off the market for some reason, which is too bad.
We had an aspen tree out in the front yard here for many years until half of it fell down. It was sort of two trees growing out of the same spot and the other one was leaning toward the neighbor’s, so The Hubs cut it down a couple of years ago. Aspen and birch are in the same family so it’s good that that tree is gone now. We also live in what used to be a walnut orchard with some really big walnut trees, but I am only at 0.10 kU/L (normal range <=0.34) for walnut, thank goodness, and the same for maple tree. Our neighbor has a huge maple tree that is on our side of his yard and it drops pollen like crazy all over our cars during the pollen season.
Other surprises included that I didn’t show as much of an allergy to dust mites as I thought I would, and that most of the mold allergens didn’t show much of a reaction. Whatever A. Alternata mold is showed up the highest at 6.87 kU/L (standard range <=0.34). Our valley is a fairly humid environment so fungi/mold is to be expected, but thankfully God has blessed us with a dry house. I’m concerned there may be mold in my office ceiling because of the roof leak above, but I haven’t seen any mold so far.
I had my tonsils and adenoids out when I was 5 years old because of chronic ear infections. I don’t know if those were caused by allergies or not. I remember being in the hospital eating grape Popsicles, and a lady from church brought me a Fisher Price Little People circus set. They wanted me to let a little girl with a broken arm play with some of the pieces and I remember not wanting to share, ha!
A really annoying thing about having allergies (other than, you know, not being able to breathe and stuff) is that my eyes are constantly itchy so I want to rub them. This causes bags under my eyes. My nose and the face around it is also always itchy. I have in the past gotten hives (urticaria) which caused my lip to swell up in a very strange manner. It happened at work when I was in my early 20s, and I actually walked a mile in the snow to go to the allergy doctor (I walked to work so didn’t have my car with me, and wanted to make sure the doctor saw my swollen lip before it went away). The result of that appointment was that my hives had “no known cause”. Hmph.
So unfortunately my allergies will have to stay around for awhile, specifically the cat dander allergy. Philip isn’t going anywhere that we know of, and we love him so. He is especially a daddy’s boy and would be sad if he had to go to a new home, and I wouldn’t want to put him through that. <Ahchoo! Snif> excuse me — I might just have to find a way to keep him out of our bedroom though. And I should set the Roomba to vacuum more. I do take an allergy pill (Xyzal) and that keeps some of the allergies at bay.
Also, Happy Groundhog Day! I’m up too early to know if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow, but I hope spring is just around the corner!