Finding the Funny in Going To The Allergy Doctor

So, I have been having sinus issues.  I saw an ENT, who said allergies are the culprit.

What happens when you go to the allergy doctor for an allergy test?

First, you fill out some paperwork at home. For whatever reason, my husband decided to fill out the forms and ask me the questions. I am glad he did, because I answered them game-show style and that made us laugh. For example…

Q: Do you have any known allergies?
A: Laundry.

What do you do about them?
A: Complain.

Q: Are there any aggravating factors.
A: Children.

Q: Do you have exposure to latex products on a regular basis?
A: Define regular.

A few minutes later, I saw this on Facebook…


Back to allergies.

The Allergy Test

You remove your shirt and wear the paper shirt they give you. Then you lay down on the table on your stomach and the physicians assistant (female) writes on your back with a pen and starts popping little needles everywhere. It’s like little pinches, mostly. Only one or two made me wince.

Then she left. I had to wait 15 minutes and was given a dvd remote to watch what was basically a sales pitch for allergy shots. Genius marketing to a captive and targeted market, by the way. That got me thinking about how much money they must make (residual income) from allergy shots if the average patient takes them for 5 or so years.

Right about the time I was deciding I should have been an allergy doctor, I started to experience some intense itching. Since you can’t scratch, I found myself doing small arm circle exercises and when I got tired of that switched to forward shoulder circles (all of this while topless except for a paper shirt!) – all in the hopes that it would alleviate some of the itch-factor. It didn’t.

That would be an AWESOME place for a hidden camera. Watching people who want to itch but can’t. I can only imagine the faces I was making.

Ding! Ding! – Round 2

I wasn’t allergic to everything on my back. My reward? More shots. This time, in my arm. Apparently, if you react to ALL the stuff on your back you are pretty much allergic to everything. If you don’t,  more testing is needed to pinpoint (note the word choice there) some other things that might bother you. That meant another 10 or so needles. The arm ones hurt more, in my opinion.


For the record, it’s not easy to take a picture of your own upper arm.

What Am I Allergic To?

Dust mites were the big one for me. And cats, which I knew.  But the dust – hearing that made me think about how I got really busy when my book came out and how I have been cleaning less. So, yet another example of me causing problems for myself. (Great.)

Allergy Shots?

Nope. My instincts told me I didn’t need them, so I am really glad they didn’t try to sell me on the shots. Instead, I got a prescription nasal spray. And directions for how to reduce my allergy reactions to dust at home.

And I think it’s pretty interesting to find out exactly what you are allergic to. Though, I already knew I was allergic to laundry.

What household task are you allergic to?


8 Responses to Finding the Funny in Going To The Allergy Doctor

  1. Amy March 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Great post, H. You should have seen Ben’s back when they did his. Pitiful. Glad yours isn’t too bad!

    • Heather March 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      Thanks, Amy. I think it’s really kind of cool to know exactly what it is you are allergic to. I know Molly has a few allergies. I suspect hers are the same as mine.

  2. Hilary March 21, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    How funny! My husband just went through this last week with the allergist and came home with all sorts of bumps all over his arms. He, too, was super allergic to dust mites (#housekeeperfail) and cats (ironic, since we have two) and tons of other stuff. He tried to convince me that the allergist told him he was also allergic to me, too. The sad part is that he had me going for awhile…

    • Heather March 21, 2013 at 10:19 am #

      I suffer from housekeeper fail as well. I did go buy a mattress cover – what a racket! Those things are expensive!

  3. Kate March 30, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Great post! I love your style of writing, Heather.

    I have a number of allergies myself — dust mites being a major offender in the environmental category. Dust mites are not the same as dust and I hope your allergist explained this.

    There are some easy things you can do to help reduce your exposure to dust mites … I recommend focusing on your bedroom first since it’s likely you spend most of your dedicated time in there: put a piece of cheesecloth in any air vents (this will help “catch” the dust mites from entering the bedroom via the vents), remove any stuffed animals from the bed, do a thorough and regular cleaning of any drapery (preferably remove any heavy drapery), encase your mattress, pillows and blankets (while this can be costly, it’s worth every penny — I’ve written a review about some products from Allergy Control on my blog) and (admittedly not always possible — it wasn’t for me) remove carpeting.

    I hope these suggestions are helpful. The great news is you have allergy answers!

    • Heather March 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      Hi Kate,
      Thanks for the tip. Cheese cloth – who knew!

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