Just when I thought it was all behind me, the next chapter in The Allergy Saga continues. It, again, has been a troubling and worrisome couple of days, but I think the worst is behind me now.
(If you'd like a refresher course on all that has happened previously, read this post, this post, and this post before continuing. I'm going to write this post as if you are all fully briefed on the situation, so keep that in mind if you choose not to read the previous entries.)
After getting rid of our dog and being exiled from my apartment for a week, I was symptom free. I returned home on August 31st, and didn't have any problems with any allergic reactions at all... Until Thursday. I woke up on Thursday with some minor hives on my wrists, hands, and arms, with some minor joint pain in my arms as well. I didn't think much of it, and treated it with Benadryl. The symptoms continued and worsened through Friday and Saturday, at which point I called my PCP's office to see what they thought I should do. I was advised to take Claritin to treat the hives and naproxen for the pain, both of which relieved the symptoms. By Sunday morning, I was hive-free and there was no pain.
I was symptom free through Monday afternoon, at which point my body pretty much exploded in hives. I had them on my chest, back, buttocks, thighs, groin... everywhere. After I didn't show any response to two doses on Benadryl, I called my PCP's office again. I was advised to take some of the Prenisone I had left over, and a dose of Claritin. It took until almost 3am for the hives to go away.
Tuesday morning, I woke up for the day feeling completely fine. I had no hives anywhere, no throat constrictions... nothing. I took some additional Prednisone as directed, along with the Claritin and Singulair that I had been prescribed previously. I started my shift from home at 8am.
By 9am, I started feeling like my throat was a little tight. I waited to see if it was going to get any better or worse, but by 10:15 it was getting to be more severe. I called my PCP's office yet again, and they advised me to go to the ER, and soon. I made some phone calls to The Boss and my parents to fill them in on the situation, and was being triaged at the ER shortly after.
My vitals were not good when I was being checked in. My blood pressure was high at 189/100, my heart rate was over 140 (normal rate is 80 or so), and my oxygen saturation levels were at 90%. I was quickly taken back to a room, where I was put on oxygen and given IV steroids and anithistimines.
I had some blood drawn, and pissed in a cup for a urine test. I had a few chest x-rays taken, which came back clear. The blood work showed nothing, short of a slightly elevated white blood cell count. I was given an albuterol nebulizer treatment shortly after that. I was discharged a couple hours later, once my blood pressure and pulse rate had stabilized a little bit. Before I left they gave me an albuterol inhaler, to use as-needed when I feel my throat tightening up again.
I followed up with my PCP yesterday. The long and short of it is that he feels I shouldn't return to my apartment until I get to see my allergist. Currently, I have an appointment scheduled for October 5th. I'm trying to get an appointment sooner, and I am on a cancellation list, but there is very little availability for the other allergists in my area. I'm trying to get a short-term disability claim started with my employer, so I can take some time to focus on staying calm and relaxed, and try to keep myself open for an appointment with an allergist, should one open up sooner than October.
I'm on Prednisone for the next three weeks, with a refill available if I need it. I'm also on pretty much every antihistimine there is on the market, and with all of those circulating in my system, I'm feeling okay. I've had to use the albuterol inhaler a few times, for those random moments when that throat constriction hits. At least I have what I need to keep me from having to return to the ER any time soon.
There are a lot of things up in the air right now, with me not knowing what is triggering these attacks, not knowing when I can return to my apartment, not knowing what is going to happen with my job and the short-term disability. I had hoped that all of this was behind me, but I guess there is more that I've got to put up with. It puts a lot of stress on The Boss and I, with us being forced to live in separate places for the time being. I know we'll get through it, and everything will be easier to process once we know a little more about the situation.
On a somewhat lighter note, I'm thinking of offering up my forehead as advertising space for HEPA air filter brands. You know, so I can get a few air purifiers for my apartment for free. They don't come cheap, and The Boss and I definitely don't have the financial means to purchase one. The best appliance with a HEPA filter we can afford is a vacuum cleaner. Not exactly the quietest model on the market, but it might have to do for now.
P.S. If you don't see me making the blog rounds as much as I normally do, please forgive me. I'm trying to stay caught up, but it is an uphill battle.