Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Family Affair

Unfortunately, Rapunzel is not the only one in our family to suffer from allergies.  Eric has some pretty severe environmental allergies.  Here is his skin prick test from back in October.
He doesn't have a ton of them, but the ones he has are high.  And he was sooo miserable from them, even on different antihistamines.  Finally in the fall, he decided to start allergy shots and they've helped him so much.  He's noticed a huge difference since starting them.

I've never been allergy tested, but I know that I have environmental allergies.  I just don't know to what exactly.  Ever since moving to San Antonio (aka the allergen cesspool), I've taken Zyrtec everyday and it works great for me.  If I miss a couple days (which has happened just a few times), my allergies end up flaring so bad that I will end up with a severe sinus infection, ear infection, the works from all the build up!  No fun!  But as long as I take my Zyrtec like a good little girl, I'm no worse for the wear most days.

Belle, our oldest daughter, was tested for allergies a few years ago, and while I don't remember exactly what she was allergic to, I do remember that it was nothing significant.  She had a few slight allergies, but nothing to write home about.  She started taking Zyrtec daily as well, and has seemed to do great until just recently.  I noticed that over the past several weeks her asthma has started to act up.  Anytime she'd come in from playing outside or going to soccer practice, she'd be wheezing.  She was taking breathing treatments everynight.  So I knew it was time to get her in to see the allergist and see what we could do to better manage her asthma.  She had to be off of all antihistamines for 3 days prior to the appointment so that they could do allergy testing.  Wow, these past 3 days were miserable for Belle!  Because she's been taking the Zyrtec for so long (and because I'm a good little Mommy, she's not missed a single day), we didn't realize her allergies had gotten so bad.  Each day off the meds, she got progressively worse.  By last night, her throat, eyes, ears, and nose were so itchy that she was writhing on the couch in pain and frustration.  I was *this close* to calling off the test and giving the girl a Benadryl for goodness sake!  Instead, I told her to go take a shower and call it an early night.  That helped and we were able to get through the night and to the appointment this morning.  She was anxious about the test, but was such a trooper.  After seeing how miserable she was the past few days, I was expecting some reactions for sure.  I was not expecting such severe reactions to literally EVERY SINGLE tree, grass, and weed that she was tested for.  She tested either moderately allergic or highly allergic to EVERY tree, grass, and weed on the list.  Plus, she's highly allergic to cats and moderately allergic to dogs.
We decided that it was a no brainer to start her on allergy shots as well.  We're still on the fence as to whether or not they're helping Rapunzel (I'll blog about her follow-up appt. tomorrow) with her eczema.  But there's no doubt they've helped Eric, and we believe they'll help Belle too.  They should also help with her asthma, which will be great.  In the meantime, she's going to go on a maintenance inhaler through the winter (which is when her asthma tends to flare) and until she gets to a maintenance dose on her allergy shots.  We also got her a new rescue inhaler, a refill on the nebulizer solution for breathing treatments, and 4 new epi-pens (for her severe nut allergy).
Since it was a double appt. for both girls, we were there for quite awhile.  The girls were trying to find things to do to pass the time.  They spotted this Fire Alarm on the wall:
And decided to recreate the picture.
 Belle is the man running away and Rapunzel is the fire.  Get it?  These girls sure are characters.  I don't know why I found this so funny, but it had me in stitches!

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