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Hi all! Results are in!

Hi everybody

It's been a while since I dropped by. Things have been a little hectic around here to say the least.

Went for 2 PFTs and an allergy skin prick test.

My breathing was at 97% with the first PFT and it was 117% on the second. YAY!

As far as the allergies go…well.. 10 trees, 3 weeds, 1 indoor mold and 1 outdoor mold. Not allergic to my dog, cats or the Timothy hay I feed my guinea pig. YAY!

I live in the mountains in Central PA and our house almost butts up against the woods. Close enough that we're having some trees around the house cut down. I know one is a beautiful huge Red Maple tree that shades the side of my house. That's one of the ones I tested positive to. The rest are mostly Hemlock. Our neighbor will help us identify the trees on our property thankfully.

If I would have known I had tree and weed pollen allergies I would have moved out to the desert instead. Already talked to quite a few people that moved out to or near Lake Havasu because of their breathing issues.

I start allergy shots next week. They'll teach me how to stick my self. Great! I don't like other people poking me much less poke myself.

I do have a quick question.  My welts were measured at 3, 4 and 5. Anyone else with similar numbers and if so what are or were your symptoms?

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Comments 17

  • Shea

    Yay on no allergy to the pets! Bummer on the trees, but its good that you can take the ones nearby you down. You can always look up allergy-friendly trees if you feel guilty-' (Ive done that before). I cannot remember welt sizes. Yay on the awesome PFTs!!!

  • K8sMom2002

    Wow, I'm echoing Shea — so good that your allergies weren't to pets! 

    I am sorry you're having to say goodbye to a beautiful old maple. 

    On the choosing places to live based on your allergies … What I've been told is that sometimes what happens is that after a few years in your new place, you wind up developing MORE allergies to the native plants and pollen that's there.

    The exception might be dust mites — they tend to be more of a problem in humid areas.

    I'm not clear on the allergy shots — you mean they are going to let you do the allergy shots at home? Or they're allowing you to give yourself the shots in the doctor's office because you're more comfortable doing that? 

  • mrsartz

    I do feel guilty for cutting them down but I have to. If lightning strikes them at the right angle they will fall on our home or our neighbor's home and we'd just hope and pray that no one would be inside if it did. Unfortunately, some of the trees that I'm allergic to have really small pollen grains so they can travel from miles away and get me. I swear me and our vehicles are magnets for it all.

  • mrsartz
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Wow, I'm echoing Shea — so good that your allergies weren't to pets! 

    I am sorry you're having to say goodbye to a beautiful old maple. 

    On the choosing places to live based on your allergies … What I've been told is that sometimes what happens is that after a few years in your new place, you wind up developing MORE allergies to the native plants and pollen that's there.

    The exception might be dust mites — they tend to be more of a problem in humid areas.

    I'm not clear on the allergy shots — you mean they are going to let you do the allergy shots at home? Or they're allowing you to give yourself the shots in the doctor's office because you're more comfortable doing that? 

    I've heard about allergies getting worse the longer you live in the environment as well.

    They're going to have me give myself the shots at home. Surprisingly. They have me going in 3 days next week for the first week of shots and then I'm on my own with Children's Benedryl and an Epi Pen. Probably because of my insurance to be honest. I really don't look forward to it. My husband says he'll give me the shots but I don't want to count on him especially since he's gong to truck driving school in October and is looking forward to long hauls. The allergist did show me that it's easiest for her to twist around and lean the top of her arm on the back of a chair to push the muscle to the side where I'd simply stick yourself. Looks simple enough but needles make me squeamish.

  • K8sMom2002

    Sounds like the maple has more than one reason to say goodbye to – I can definitely understand. Also, aren't maples kind of "short-lived" trees anyway? So if it's older, it might be more of a hazard in storms. I like Shea's idea of planting a tree in its place that would be more allergy-friendly to you and work with your particular situation.

    I AM surprised that they would have you do allergy shots at home! Especially because of the  … this is what the AAAAI website says:

    "The preferred location of allergen immunotherapy administration is in the office of the physician who prepared the patient's allergen immunotherapy extract. The physician's office should have the expertise, personnel, and procedures in place for the safe and effective administration of immunotherapy. However, in many cases it might be necessary to administer the allergen immunotherapy extract in another physician's office. Allergen immunotherapy should be administered with the same care wherever it is administered. A physician or qualified physician extender to treat anaphylaxis should be in the immediate vicinity when immunotherapy injections are administered."

    There are some sublingual (under the tongue tablets) immunotherapies for environmental allergies, but they are mainly for grasses, and there has been one approved for dust mites as well.

    Here are a few AAFA blog posts about immunotherapy and allergy shots:

    Most insurance companies will cover the injection itself, but some won't cover the medicine because it is compounded.

    Could you talk to your doctor and ask about why they want to do it this way? 

  • Melissa G

    Glad you were able to get the testing done! It is so hard to be allergic to the area you live in. I hope the shots work for you. I agree with Cynthia, I would ask why you are doing them at home instead of at the doctor's office. 

  • mrsartz

    Thank you!

    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Sounds like the maple has more than one reason to say goodbye to – I can definitely understand. Also, aren't maples kind of "short-lived" trees anyway? So if it's older, it might be more of a hazard in storms. I like Shea's idea of planting a tree in its place that would be more allergy-friendly to you and work with your particular situation.

    I AM surprised that they would have you do allergy shots at home! Especially because of the  … this is what the AAAAI website says:

    "The preferred location of allergen immunotherapy administration is in the office of the physician who prepared the patient's allergen immunotherapy extract. The physician's office should have the expertise, personnel, and procedures in place for the safe and effective administration of immunotherapy. However, in many cases it might be necessary to administer the allergen immunotherapy extract in another physician's office. Allergen immunotherapy should be administered with the same care wherever it is administered. A physician or qualified physician extender to treat anaphylaxis should be in the immediate vicinity when immunotherapy injections are administered."

    There are some sublingual (under the tongue tablets) immunotherapies for environmental allergies, but they are mainly for grasses, and there has been one approved for dust mites as well.

    Here are a few AAFA blog posts about immunotherapy and allergy shots:

    Most insurance companies will cover the injection itself, but some won't cover the medicine because it is compounded.

    Could you talk to your doctor and ask about why they want to do it this way? 

    Our neighbor also suggested replanting. We definitely plan on it. Plus that's less cleared land for my husband to mow.  =) We especially want something out front to replace the huge double Black Walnut tree's shade that we also need cut down. If lightning strikes one side it could land on our house and if it strikes the other side it could land on our neighbor's house. Even though we do have home insurance to cover it we'd much rather take every step to not have to use it.

    Thank you fro info! I will look into that and take the info with me to the office when I go on Monday. To be honest though, the option sounded good to me. It would cost me over $200 a month just in gas and copays to go to the office 3 times a week. Money is tight right now with both myself and my husband on unemployment. Schools out for summer and the wood mill my husband worked at is all but shut down for good. I do have a couple people who I could hang out with who would recognize that I need the pen and knows how to administer it. I will definitely see what all options I have when I go Monday.

  • mrsartz
    Melissa G posted:

    Glad you were able to get the testing done! It is so hard to be allergic to the area you live in. I hope the shots work for you. I agree with Cynthia, I would ask why you are doing them at home instead of at the doctor's office. 

    I hope the shots work too. My specialist told me that he used to go there for the shots. He said he didn't want to say it was a hassle but it kind of was. He stopped going after a year. He said what sots he did get helped bring his allergies to at least a tolerable level.

     

    I will be asking about why the shots at home but please see my response to K8sMom2002.  =)

  • Melissa G

    I would want an action plan from the allergist pertaining to the shots. And to make sure whoever you are with is capable of administering emergency medication. Let us know how the appt goes. 

  • mrsartz

    Thank you Melissa. I will ask about an action plan if they don't talk about one and yes I do have a couple people who can administer if need be. I'll definitely keep everyone posted.

    Melissa G posted:

    I would want an action plan from the allergist pertaining to the shots. And to make sure whoever you are with is capable of administering emergency medication. Let us know how the appt goes. 

     

  • K8sMom2002

    Sounds like a great plan of discussion, MrsArtz! And I can definitely understand the money issues with everything you have going on. I hope you and your husband can find work that will last and have good insurance! 

    And on the tree … I hear you on not wanting to use home owners insurance! Just the inconvenience of having to be out of your home for repairs would be bad! 

  • mrsartz

    Well I went for my first shots yesterday. The shots went well. No reaction. Came home and fell asleep at 4 pm and woke up 8:45 this morning though. I plumb tuckered myself out worrying and stressing out more than I needed to. I'll definitely continue to remain on high alert with each shot to be on the safe side. I now know how to use an epi-pen as does my husband and the others who will be my allergy shot partners. Luckily my son is an EMT and the others are trained to use them through the local fire department/EMS stations or use them themselves when needed. I have an information sheet that points out any symptoms that might arise where I would use it. With the asthma I was also told that if any excessive mucus or chest tightness comes on suddenly I'd want to use the epi-pen.

    Still not 100% sure how I feel about sticking myself but I'll find out tomorrow as she guides me through every step of the way. Then Friday is my last day until I go back for the next vials. This will go on for about a year when they retest me. Hopefully I find some relief to these year round allergies and make less trips to the ER. I was averaging 3 a year. We shall see.

  • K8sMom2002

    I'm glad your first shot went well! And it's good that you've discussed the shots with your doctors … if you don't feel comfortable with the current set-up, is there a way that they can change things up? 

    And sending good your way that your shots will help you improve and make less trips to the ER!

  • mrsartz
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    I'm glad your first shot went well! And it's good that you've discussed the shots with your doctors … if you don't feel comfortable with the current set-up, is there a way that they can change things up? 

    And sending good your way that your shots will help you improve and make less trips to the ER!

    Thank you! I'll see what other options there are when I see the allergist tomorrow. I think the only other option is oral but from what I understand they're pretty much for pet dander, mites and stings. I'll find out tomorrow for sure.