Wednesday night was about as miserable as I expected it to be. I didn’t have allegra to calm my flare up so I basically just had to ride it out and deal with hives all night into the morning and wait for my allergy test. Needless to say, sleep did not come easy. I took an extra prednisone in the middle of the night to try to get a little relief, but really I was just laying in bed counting the hours until the allergy test and trying not to scratch, reminding myself that all I had to do was make it through this period of time.
I didn’t end up with any swelling the next morning and actually the hives weren’t as bad as I thought they would be considering not having the allegra (they were still pretty bad mind you – but I’ve had worse). Unfortunately, when I got to the allergy testing center and I took off my jacket the hives on my arms were enough for the allergist to cancel the allergy test on me right then and there. Since allergy testing is typically done by pricking the skin on the forearms and upper arms with different allergens and then seeing if you get a reaction on the skin there, me having hives on my arms already would make it basically impossible to see if there was a reaction to what I was pricked with. Essentially, I had no “clean skin” to do the prick test on.
Can you say SUPER FRUSTRATING? I suffered through that whole period of time without allegra just for them to turn me away for having hives. Well DUH! That is what I told the ENT would happen as soon as I stopped taking my pills. And I didn’t even go the 5 days they had asked me to! I only was off the allegra for a little over 24 hours. I had arranged time off from the office to do the test and everything, so I was not a happy camper when they cancelled on me. I left the ENT’s office and headed over to Pinnacle Health to get my blood taken for the thyroid specialist, so at least I got something accomplished out of my time off. I also was able to take a nap before I went into work, since the hives had kept me from sleeping the night before.
The allergist called me back later the same day when I was at the office to tell me that she talked to my ENT and that they would have to do the allergy test by blood, since every time I try to stop taking my pills I break out in hives. She also told me that I didn’t have to stop taking any of my pills before the blood test now that we are doing it that way. In my head I was literally screaming like “REALLY??!!! There was an option this whole time that didn’t require me to stop taking my pills and sit there covered in hives and you didn’t give me that option FIRST?” As I mentioned above, I had told the ENT when he set me up for the allergy testing that me being off the pills, even for a little bit, was going to be miserable and that the pills were the only thing keeping the hives away. Knowing that, I have no idea why he didn’t just send me to get the allergy test done by blood in the first place and save me all this time and trouble. Especially because getting blood drawn takes only a minute or two, compared to the prick test which would have been about a 3 hour event had it happened (which is why I took a half a day off of work). Considering I waited a month and a half for that allergy test appointment, I could have had my results a lot sooner if we had gone the blood testing route in the first place. Now I will have to wait probably another month or more for me to get in to get my blood drawn and then wait for the results to come back. This is particularly disappointing because it messes with my timetable regarding the functional medicine doctor too, since I had decided I would make a final decision by February 1st. I thought I was going to have all of my testing results by then, but obviously not now that the allergy test ended up getting scrapped.
Throughout all of this, my frustration with the traditional medicine doctors just continues to build. I feel like they are working against me instead of with me more often than not. Most of the time when I see them it is when I am on my pills and not during a flare, so maybe it just isn’t sinking in for them what I have been going through every day. More and more I feel like the only person who is going to really look at me as a whole person and not just as a symptom is Dr. Rosinski, the functional medicine doctor. It is ridiculously frustrating that the one person I feel could truly help me be healthy again isn’t covered by insurance.