I have very severe allergies. When I was five, my cousins and I played in the very tall grass next door. When we came in, I had to lie on the couch with a wet washcloth over my eyes because they'd swollen shut.
When I was sixteen, my mom took me for allergy testing and I've been on daily allergy meds ever since (10 mg Zyrtec now).
Recently I've been thinking about "What would you do if you were not afraid?" and about how there are a lot of reasons I wouldn't just pick up and go somewhere exotic. For me, one of the big reasons I wouldn't do that, and one of the things I'm afraid of is, "What about my allergy meds?" As I've been thinking about this and about removing the barriers to the life I want to live, I've been thinking about allergy shots.
I asked my doctor about allergy shots almost two years ago, and I've basically been putting off making any sort of decision ever since.Big Fear
Around the time my mom took me to the allergist, she also took me to a dermatologist for my acne. We tried various options that didn't work, and then he finally put me on Accutane
. They told me that you do Accutane (which is actually some pretty nasty stuff) once and then your acne is gone forever. So I did Accutane, and my skin was really clear for about 18 months. And then it wasn't. By that time, I was living 3000 miles away, so I went to a different dermatologist who put me on Accutane again. This time, my skin was clear for about six years. The way they talk about allergy shots is the same way they talk about Accutane. My big fear is that I'll do it and my allergies will come back anyway.Little Fear
I called yesterday to get more information about what they do to control your allergies during the shots. My doctor said she would want to redo the skin test, so I also wanted to know if that would mean that I would have to be off the Zyrtec for some time before then. The woman who I talked to told me that I would have to be off the Zyrtec for five days before the test. A couple of years ago I was, for some reason, behind in picking up my refill, and I was off the Zyrtec for a couple of days. At somewhere around 58 hours, my skin started to itch. This was not a symptom I had before I went on meds. My little fear is the discomfort of being off the Zyrtec for five days.Emotional Baggage
One of the most hurtful (if unintentionally so) things my mother says to/about me is, "I should have taken you to get allergy shots when you were five." On the surface of it, this doesn't seem hurtful. On the surface of it, I even agree with her. If she'd done it when I was five, I wouldn't have suffered through allergies all those years, and I wouldn't have to contemplate the cost (money, time, and anxiety) of doing allergy shots myself. (Of course, everything that's happened has made me who I am today, and I like me now.) But it's not the words that are so hurtful. It's the way she says them. What I hear is that my dislike of the outdoors is some kind of moral failing and she considers herself to be a bad parent because she didn't fix it.Help!
If you have any experience with allergy shots, personally yourself or known about someone else, please share it with me. You can take the poll whether or not you have any experience.( Poll )