Two weeks ago, I was having massive issues with my seasonal allergies. It is not even fully spring where I live. I knew that I would be in serious trouble when it did finally arrive. I am prone to having my allergies transfer to other things (anaphylaxis reaction to Italian seasonings for 5 years as a result of environmental allergens that are closely related to them). Attempting to be proactive, I decided to go into my allergist and have testing done to see what’s going on and what medications (if any) I can take to help me before it is too late. Another concern is my solar urticaria getting worse.
So, I was taken off of all allergy, inflammatory medications, and NSAIDS (Allegra, Pepcid AC, and OTC Motrin) I am on for 7 long days in preparation for the testing. That is when my body decided that on top of the hives I was experiencing, I also needed to have a breakthrough period (I am on birth control to stop my periods), an endometriosis flare-up, a massive (3-day) nausea-inducing headache, and my mystery autoimmune flare-up all at once. Yes, it was a rough and very painful week.
My allergist was livid that I have been taking NSAIDS and proceeded to chew me out over it for several minutes. I sat there in complete silence biting my inner lip to not respond. She left the room and I took several deep, deep, deep breathes to regulate and ground myself.
As the tech began the testing, we noticed that my pain receptors have absolutely changed. It felt like I was being stabbed with knives instead of barely being pricked with tiny needles. Makes me question if I will be able to get a tattoo now?
As I was waiting 20 minutes for the results to literally show up on my back, my allergist decided to come back in and proceeded to have another conversation about my use of Motrin. I again said nothing as she told me I need to consider Eastern medicine and to not try and have someone give me a prescription for opioids (Uhm, what the fuck????). I need to consider doing acupuncture. It was getting really hard to stay silent. I knew I would sit up and that can’t happen during this part of the testing. So, I did everything I could do to stay silent and remain calm. Once I was done with the first stage of testing and I was asked to sit up for the final testing on my arms.
I did not remain silent.
I asked her “What would you like me to use to help navigate the pain I now feel? While I understand completely what you are saying about using NSAIDS, I need something to take for nausea-inducing headaches, body aches from whatever I have that has not been diagnosed yet, and pain from things ripping, pulling, and tearing in areas of my body that you should absolutely not have things ripping, pulling, and tearing from. Where in the hell did you get any kind of inclination that I wanted to rely on opioids for pain management? If you had bothered to ask me what I took or did prior to using Motrin to deal with the pain you would know that it is always my LAST resort, not my first. As for Eastern medicine, I incorporate it into my healing as best as I am able to. I do not believe that Western medicine alone is the best option for me. My insurance does not cover acupuncture so, it is a no for right now unless you are willing to pay for my sessions.”
You could have heard a pin drop in the next room. That is how silent my room went.
I also told her that I am so done with specialists drawing their own conclusions based on zero information and not listening to what their patients are saying to them. Again opioids???? Where in the hell did she get that I was looking for a prescription for opioids from taking 4 Motrin in a single day????
She promptly left my room and I sat in silence for 20 minutes trying to decide if I needed to find another allergist after this appointment.
When my timer went off, she read my results and asked the tech to leave the room. She apologized to me for everything she said earlier. She did something very unexpected she sat down and said I need to add 3 new medications to your daily medications. Please let me go over all your medications with you and let’s double-check and figure out the best time for you to take them.
We did just that. And in doing this, we discovered that one of my medications needed to be taken alone and at least 30-60 minutes before all other medications. It is known to cancel out other medications when taken with them. Dr. Google agreed with her. This might explain some things.
Over the course of this past week, I have been adding in the new medications one at a time while adjusting all my previous medications to accommodate the stand-alone medication. The side effects have been anything but easy. I know that I need to give my body time to adjust to everything and to listen to my body. Two of the three new medications have increased depression and anxiety as one of the main side effects. I am absolutely feeling these side effects. My family has also been made aware and they are keeping a close eye on me. The amount of nausea I have had for the past week is unreal. It is triggering my PTSD. I am doing everything I can to not itch a line of hives from my testing a week ago that is still on my arm. It will be there for a few more weeks. I have THAT much inflammation in my body.
I am done taking doctors’ and specialists’ abusive words and “labels”. Not everyone is looking for a quick fix etc. Maybe this specialist will think before judging someone without actually asking them questions or understanding what they are going through.