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H'IVE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN
In my seemingly neverendingly-growing list of things that I need to fix about myself, today I went to see an allergy specialist in Eslöv. I have been to many, many allergy doctors in my life, but it's been years and I figured it was time to get a handle on my worsening symptoms and see if there were new possibilities that might help. I spend so much time sneezing and blowing my nose and having itchy, running eyes, etc.—finally figured enough was enough.

I already know what I'm allergic to, but the nurses sat me right down and did a "prick test" where they drop tiny drops of allergens in a grid on your arm and then prick them into your skin. Sure enough, a huge blister hive for birch developed almost immediately, and the "histamine" control on the other end was nearly as big. Miniscule reactions for horse, dog, cat and grass, but nothing for dustmites, "gråbo" (a kind of ragweed-type plant) or mold. They also did a blood test but I won't have the results of that back for 2 weeks.

I filled out a 4-page form about my allergy symptoms and history, and then got called in to talk to the doctor. We talked about options and I got information on the hyper-sensitization procedure that I've heard so much about the past few years, but the doctor told me that it appeared to her as if my actual allergies are minimal and the problems that I have year round with my sinuses and symptoms are actually related to something else going on with my nose and its surrounding blood vessels. I told her about the horrible procedure that I had done a few years back that involved giant needles and cauterizing, and that it helped absolutely not at all, and she sympathized. But, she said, even if I go ahead with the hyper-sensitization, there is no guarantee it will help with the problem...though it will probably minimize the symptoms I have during the spring that are actually caused by my birch allergy.

I have to decide soon, before the end of October, since the procedure has to be started well before the spring pollen season. It involves a major commitment for an entire year: a shot a week, during work hours (either 9 am or 3 pm), plus a half-hour wait after each one in case of a bad reaction, for six months, and then a shot a month for another six months. URGH.

She prescribed some different meds for my nose/sinuses: tablets, nose spray and eye drops. I guess I either have to pay for medicine the rest of my life or kleenex. One of my friends suggested I try a homeopath and see what other alternatives might be available that way, but I'm not even sure where to begin.

Choir starts tomorrow! A new choir leader is starting too, so it will be interesting to see how things change. And Friday, we are going to see the new Cirque du Soleil show, Varekai, at Malmö Arena. Yay! I'm excited, it seems ages since we went to see any kind of show. Maybe not the best time financially to spend the money, but it's worth it, for sure.
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Comments

Oh Liz! I feel for you. L-G's son is also allergic to birch (in Sweden!!!) and every spring begins the miserable cycle of various medicines and sprays just so he can function enough to get through the day. I don't know how you manage it. I have a day of a dripping nose when I get an occasional cold and I am just about insane with constantly having to wipe my nose.

Minimal??? Is she serious? I'd like to see her cope with these minimal symptoms. What is it with the attitude here that man ska kämpa? When I told the specialist about changing my triple mensskydd every two hours, twenty four hours a day I was told that it was "acceptable". To whom I wondered, certainly not to me. If it had been every one hour they might consider helping me.

I hope you find something that can help you. Perhaps the hyper-sensitization procedure is worth a shot if there is even a remote chance that it will help.

That is so far beyond the bounds of "acceptable" that I am completely boggled. Did you ask her if it would be acceptable if SHE had to deal with it?? Unbelievable.

It was a "he", so that might explain it! And he's Dr Ek as well. Though he has a Stockholm accent :)

We vigorously deny all relation!

(Anonymous)

I think finding a homeopath is a great idea. Ask everyone you know for recommendations - and if nothing comes up -ask at the health food stores -or go online. It works to desensitize -but with drops not shots-so much preferred! Love, Lizardmom

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