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Monday, February 9, 2015

Why Yes, I'll Have a Little Cheese With My Whine....

Reading back over my last post I realized how whiny I sounded . Oh, poor me, I had a bad night, boo freakin' hoo. It really wasn't as dramatic as all that. I managed to trudge through my day without feeling too terrible, and when I got home I took two Benydryl and slept for a few hours. I had thought of taking some in the middle of the night to stop the itching, but it was already so late that I knew I would have a hard time waking up for work if I did. They're a big help, but will definitely knock me out and make me groggy.

If anyone else suffers from eczema and allergies (I know Sarah mentioned having eczema) then you know how hellish it can be. I have spots on my knees, ankles, and lower legs that never go away completely no matter what I do. Lately a patch keeps appearing on my left wrist, too. Not only is the itch nearly unbearable, but those places get terribly sore and seem to ache all the way down to the bone. Some days I find myself limping because my ankles are the worst places. Sometimes the skin gets a little bit weepy, or else it dries out and cracks, and it looks terrible. I hesitate to wear sandals in public in the summer, or shorts if my knee patches are flaring up, because people will comment on it...."Oh my God! What happened?!" being the usual remark. It's embarrassing.

I need a referral to a good dermatologist and an allergy specialist. My allergies have progressed to the point that any contact with scented soaps or lotions will make me break out in hives and go into a sneezing fit. I'm also somehow allergic to my dog George. It's the weirdest thing; Ginger has never bothered me at all. I can pet her, kiss her, bathe her, and I'm not bothered at all. But any contact with George's saliva, even the tiniest lick, and big ugly hives break out on the exposed skin. He also makes me sneeze and my eyes water if I don't immediately change clothes after playing with him. How one dog can cause such a reaction when the other doesn't is a mystery to me. I knew I was severely allergic to cats, but thought I was home free with dogs. And allergies flaring up lead to eczema flares, as well. So finding an allergy specialist is something I need to quit putting off. I suspect that a regimen of allergy shots might be called for. It might even help with the eczema.

 I saw a dermatologist years ago, but he wasn't very good and didn't seem to give a damn about my misery. He just prescribed the same old creams my GP always did. He spent a grand total of about 5 minutes with me and acted like I was imposing on his schedule when I tried to discuss different options. Steroid creams always work for a little while, and then slowly lose effectiveness. After depending on those creams for awhile, my skin becomes all the more easily irritated. I think I need a new approach, somehow. Eczema, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis all run in my family. As they are all inflammatory diseases, I've been trying to do some things to lower my inflammation levels, like taking fish oil, reducing added sugar in my diet, losing weight (I lost 30 pounds last year, and still need to lose 30 more) and lots of water and walking. Hopefully if I can find a good new doctor(s) and start immunotherapy shots things will improve even more.

It would be really nice to wear shorts and sandals this summer, and to be able to play with George without nearly needing a breathing treatment afterwards! No more sleepless nights due to itching would be nice, too.

7 comments:

  1. Not whiny at all Jennifer, just letting a touch of frustration me dear. Now I'm certainly not going all hippy on you but are there no natural treatments of foods that would help?
    John

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  2. Maybe it is something George eats. Have you been skin tested? My son is allergic to nuts. My brother wanted a dog, knew he was allergic, and got the shots before getting the dog. All is fine.

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  3. I would have thought that this was more an internal problem than external. Maybe you should consult a dietician as well, or keep a detailed diary of exactly what you eat and drink. The answer may be in there somewhere. It sounds awful; I sympathise.

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  4. I'm with Cro. Keep a diary for a start.
    If you go see a really good naturopath they may tell you to cut out sugar all together, a bastard for your social life but it will probably change your whole body system for the better.

    It's not fair, to be allergic to one dog and not another. That's not fair!
    Commiseries.

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  5. Thanks for the responses everyone! I've considered keeping a food diary, and/or trying an elimination diet to see if it helps. Cutting way down on sugar has been more difficult than I expected, but I'm getting used to it and it can't do me anything but good.

    And I plan to talk to an allergist about a series of allergy shots. From what I've read, after a few years most people can be cured of pet allergies. I can't live without my dogs, and it would be nice to be able to visit friends with cats and not end up having full blown asthma attacks!

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  6. I haven't had any of those things so I can't give you much advice. But I was wondering if a change to a vegetarian or vegan diet might help. I've been vegetarian for 40 years and I'm very fit and healthy at the age of 67 apart from slightly raised blood pressure. But I know it's hard to give up meat and dairy products if you're keen on them!

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  7. I haven't had any of those things so I can't give you much advice. But I was wondering if a change to a vegetarian or vegan diet might help. I've been vegetarian for 40 years and I'm very fit and healthy at the age of 67 apart from slightly raised blood pressure. But I know it's hard to give up meat and dairy products if you're keen on them!

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