A bit of common sense goes a long way. When going to get your weekly allergy shot wear a sweater that you can roll the sleeves up on. Today I made the mistake of wearing the worlds’ tightest sweater. It is new and has neat stitching which makes for a no-stretch situation. So as I walk in to get my shot I panic and try desperately to get either sleeve up over my bicep. Not happening. So my kind allergy shot deliverer rolls down the blinds and closes the door so I can wrangle the sweater off, my hair looking like it is part of an electricity experiment.
I have been getting weekly and twice weekly shots (one in each arm – cat allergies require their own arm) since April 2013. I was allergy tested at the end of March. I had been on Nasonex for a year before that and was pleased with the effectiveness of the drug, but thought a permanent fix might be wise as the allergies are a year round life long deal. My arm “lit up like a Christmas tree” and I had “an exuberant reaction” to most everything – this is the way my kind doctor described it. He said I had the most exuberant reaction he’d ever seen. Adding to this the fact that I am petite, the size of a pre-teen using immune therapy (is that the word for it?) was going to be tricky.
The first month or so of shots was a walk in the park. No reaction whatsoever. Over the spring and summer I had varied reactions, some days I’d end up so tired I’d sleep away the afternoon after a shot, one day I slept until the next day. Fatigue. My worst reactions were fatigue coupled with neck aches/headaches so severe I thought I might actually have to schedule with a chiropractor. I had to cancel piano lessons one day as I became severely nauseous and sick. During this time my cats must have become concerned that I would not feed them and they brought a poor bird in the house. Wonderful. One new health issue was recurring pink eye, I can’t say whether it was in any way related to the shots, but is a new thing. My eyes are severely dry and I can no longer wear contacts for long periods of time. What has helped with dry eye is: fish oil supplements, GenTeal eye drops, and TranquilEyes moisture goggles. I was also doing a hot compress early on, but wasn’t sure that helped.
As for allergy therapy: I am on the last bottle now, not sure if I will reach the highest dose. I am allergic to cats, grass, ash, cottonwood, juniper, kochia, pigweed, ragweed (most severe allergy), Russian Thistle, sage, molds, soy, some nuts and alfalfa pollen. I used to love collecting alfalfa for our “cow cafe” on the farm. The cows would moo at the fence in the morning requesting their alfalfa. Once I reach my highest tolerable dose I can scale back to biweekly, once monthly etc to maintain my allergy immunity.