Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And Now For Another Installment of . . . Overshare Theater!!

Right. So. I went to the allergist (finally!) last week and got tested (finally!) for various things. And I am allergic to everything.

Ok, I am not allergic to everything.

But I am allergic to pretty much all the grasses there are, most trees, cats (yep, as I suspected, I'm allergic to my cat), dogs, other stuff, and dust. I am very, very allergic to dust. Yep, I am the one in the "one in ten people are allergic to dust" statistic.

This list of many allergies? It explains so much. For example, why I feel so lousy most of the time. I go through tissues faster than I can replace them, frequently using paper towels because that's all I have left. That leads to an attractive condition called "chapped nose" that everyone feels the need to comment on, only I don't really mind because they know I'm not faking feeling sick when I look like that. But then I forget about until I wash my face with salicylic acid face wash, which hurts like heck, and I start to swear, but I get as far as "holy feeeerrrrr" (that's the sound of me trying not to swear), bite my lip, and then wash it off as fast as I can. And then my nose looks even better.

I use my neti pot, oh, 6 or 7 times a day---more if I'm home all day. At least once a month, I have a night where I wake up at least once an hour to have sneezing fits, and then I sneeze all day (hello, chapped nose!), which I'm sure disgusts my coworkers. I have frequent sore throats. And, apparently, I rub my eyes a lot. Normally, if RR catches me, she will point it out to me because I do it so much, I don't even notice anymore.

And it explains how, whenever I get close to a carpet, or go in a room with a lot of dust, I get all those things, sneezy, congested, itchy throat and eyes, plus I have a little bit of breathing trouble. Rights. That's allergies. This, I could not figure out for myself. The pollen allergies, I noticed that all by my lonesome, but the dust problems, that I had to have someone tell me.

So my allergist gave me a list of things that should help, although the costs start to add up, including (and this is the part that cracks me up), I should not be the person doing the dusting. In fact, I shouldn't even be in the house when it's being done. But if I have to do the dusting, (specifically, this is what cracks me up) I must wear a dust mask.

So now I will look like my grandmother, who I always kind of made fun of. Not to her face, but in my head. Of course, she wore one outside---I can still picture her walking out into their giant backyard, approaching us with that mask on her face, gesturing the whole time and telling us that it was time to come inside and we could play Uno or bingo or something---but it may come to that for me. I should add that she was very loving and sweet, and I think really she wanted us to come inside so that she could spend time with us without having to be outside with the pollen. But she looked ridiculous.

Ok, you are saying, this is just sharing. This is not so much oversharing. Wait! I'm getting to it!

(and I promise all of my oversharing won't always be about mucus) (but this is) (but first, a little something to make you sleep better tonight)

Did you know that dust contains, among other things, the feces and decaying bodies of dust mites? Did you know that the average mattress contains tens of thousands of dust mites, and then of course, when they die, they stay there for you to breathe in their decaying bodies at night while you sleep? Did you know that the weight of your pillow increases over time with the addition of dead mites and their droppings, which you also breathe in at night? You're welcome!

So anyway, back to phlegm. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I had ye olde green mucus again. I don't know why it is that when I finally figure out what I need to do to get rid of my allergies, they take a turn for the worse. Using my neti pot has been fun, let me tell you. Especially when that stuff comes out of my nose and then doesn't go immediately down the drain but just sits there in the sink looking at me, so I have to look back at it while I'm trying to pour enough water into the sink to encourage it to move along. Yes, I know, it's gross, and it's not the sort of thing you should share with other people. But that's why I'm sharing---I refuse to be disgusted alone.

I think this may be related to the pressure I've been feeling in my ears. Well, first of all, Monday at one point, I sneezed so hard that my ear popped, or whatever you call it when your ear goes from being fine to feeling clogged. I do not have feminine, dainty sneezes to begin with, they are much more of the "AAACCHOOOOO" variety (which is usually ok because as my dad says, if you have to sneeze, you might as well make it worthwhile), but this one was a doozy. But luckily, I later sneezed again and it unclogged. At least, it felt like I did, but I've been doing that old man, cup your ear and say, "Eh?" thing all day, so maybe not.

It still feel like I had a lot of pressure, and I hope that's why my ear was itching, because I always have this fear that a bug has crawled into my ear and died. That is not an irrational fear because people do get bugs in their ears sometimes when they sleep. The bugs crawl in and then can't get out. I slept with my sheets pulled over my ears for months after I learned that.

I spent most of Monday holed up in my office because I was afraid that I would sneeze with all that force, only in front of someone, and it would be scarring and gross for them and horrifyingly embarrassing for me. And I felt so bad for my coworkers anyway because you really can hear everything through the walls, so the coworkers with offices next to me get a real treat when I have this kind of thing going on. On Monday, I was relieved to see one of the coworkers, the one who can hear the best what's going on in my office, had on headphones. Because the sounds I was making when I blew my nose . . . those are sounds that would make me wish I had headphones if I was forced to listen to someone else making those sounds. I just hope that I'm not *why* he had on the headphones.

Anyway, I'm feeling better today, still stuffy and phlegmy, but of the normal variety, and things are mostly clear. But I'm still irritated that I had to deal with it at all because I'm already THAT person at work. That person that is always sick and talking about being sick. So now, I'm THAT person, plus I'm disgusting.

And oh great, I just realized that if I'm talking about my allergies all the time, then I really AM my grandmother. Next thing you know, I'm going to be saying that my parents' dog "thinks she's people" and using "quaint" little expressions like "dishy-washy washy dishy!" Please stop me if this happens.


That concludes this installment of Overshare Theater.


Deals On Wheels said...

I, too, am allergic to dust. Although my off-the-charts reaction is to mold. Which, after yesterday's flood, I'm sure there will be a lot more of.

Anyway, my dust allergies improved 100% after I bought my Tempur-Pedic mattress and pillow. For whatever reason, dust mites cannot live in that Tempur-Pedic foam (it has been scientifically proven), which greatly reduces the number of allergens in the bedroom. Expensive solution? Yes. But totally worth it. Plus, the mattresses comes with a 20 year warranty - twice as long as a conventional mattress.

So, are you also plagued by the same food allergies as RR? Or are yours different? Because I was thinking about what would happen if you were both allergic to different foods, and tried to cut what the other was allergic to out of both diets. Like if you were allergic to milk and wheat, and RR was allergic to corn, rice and protein. What would you two eat? Stuff like this keeps me up at night.

I’m glad that you finally made it to the allergist. I hope that your experience will be similar to mine (i.e. a drastic reduction in sinus infections).

And poor Wally! As if he doesn’t have enough problems without you being allergic to him! He needs a kitty psychiatrist!

JLR said...

well, your thought is actually accurate! Well, they didn't test me for the kind of allergic reactions rr has (involving eosinophils, a white blood cell that responds to allergens) because I don't have EE like she does. So I don't know if I have any of those types of allergies. What I do have are the typical IgE-responsive allergies (or whatever one calls them). And they are not the same as RRs! Well, wheat and barley are. But I have quite a few others that she doesn't, and I didn't have some of the ones that she has (although, again, they did two different tests, so I don't know for sure that I don't have her allergies, I'm just guessing that I don't).

So, yeah, grocery shopping has been SO MUCH FUN.

I decided to test one of the foods that I was positive for today to see if it was just a false positive, and boy did I feel cap'n crappy all afternoon. I can't believe that I'd never figured out before that I feel this way when I eat this food because I am allergic to it. I am brilliant.

I definitely need to look into getting one of those tempurpedic mattresses. When I go to sleep at night now, I imagine all the dust mites I'm sucking in, even with my new mattress cover. It does not for a good night's sleep make.

And we have only told Wally that I'm allergic to him in French, so we're hoping he hasn't actually figured it out. But from the fact that he decided to get me out of bed this morning by planting himself right in front of my face, I think he has.

Deals On Wheels said...

Atta boy, Wally! Atta boy!