I have an allergist. And I love her.
Consult yesterday lasted for 1.5 hours. She took down my full history. Nodded when I told her I reacted to peaches ('of course you do') and agreed that citric acid was a real issue for corn allergy sufferers. When I told her I was moving into a new office building at work she exclaimed 'oh my goodness, you could be allergic to anything in that building, the paint, the carpet, the air freshener!' when talking about antihistamines she said 'it's going to be awfully hard for us to find you an over the counter that doesn't have corn.' when talking about the grocery store she said 'i bet the detergent aisle gives you hives.' she knows, she understands .. HOORAY!
Bad news, she was very clear that there is no 'approved' treatment for food allergies (as we all know/suspect). Here's the emergency reaction plan she outlined for me.
On first sign of a reaction I am to:
1. Leave the area (if the area is large and will take me more than one minute to leave I am to put on a surgical mask to mitigate the allergen).
2. Take 10mg of Loratadine and 20mg of Pepcid (both I have with me at all times) in an attempt to slow down the reaction and prevent anaphylaxis.
3. Use my Epi-pen (which I always have with me) if the reaction is progressing at a dangerous speed or if after 20/30 minutes the Loratadine and Pepcid haven’t started to mitigate the reaction.
4. If I use my Epi-pen I am to go to the emergency room for additional anti-histamine treatment, steroid treatment and observation of at least 4 hours.
She's also providing me with documentation of my diagnosis the an explanation of the chemical sensitivities that I may experience to cleaning products and other environmental nonsense. I can't tell you how great it feels to sit with someone who really grasps the lengths I go through to simply feel good. The appointment made up for all the times I just knew people were thinking I was crazy or dramatic or just lying when I explained to them how hard it is. It is hard and it is valid and it's something I live with 24 hours a day. While she gave me no hope of a 'cure' or treatment, she did give me support - which means almost as much.
I love my allergist!