So, as I mentioned earlier: I have another ear infection. Yes, another one. Yes, the same ear that was just operated on. Yes, the same ear that has pretty much been non-stop infected since mid-March. Yes, I’m about to rip it off and throw it out the door and make it fend for itself.
Okay, maybe I won’t do that last part. I do kinda like my ear. My ear is useful for hearing (when not infected), and definitely useful for wearing my glasses. Maybe I’ll just drill to widen the hole so it’ll finally drain and I can stop getting infections?! Yeah, maybe I’ll do that.
Anyway, because of the infection, I’m back on ear drops. Apparently, this infection is caused from swelling: my ear canal tissues have swollen, and therefore have started weeping, and since my ear doesn’t drain the weeping got infected. Lovely. The drops he gave me are Ciprodex drops, which are anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops. I forget how long I’m supposed to be on them… but it’s definitely helping. My ear doesn’t smell like rot anymore, so that’s good. I think I’m going to go for at least seven days on the drops, since these clear up so slowly. I think that was probably what he said anyway. I’ll call again a bit later to double check (the length of use was not on my prescription box). This had really better go away soon; I’m going to go crazy. Dan’s even on the verge of crazy.
I went to see Dr N last week, as a follow-up. I asked about all the allergy stuff (food and the other stuff since he is an allergist). He told me that the main component of dust is the breakdown of fabrics, with house dust mostly being natural fibers (offices are mostly synthetic). I’d always thought dust was mostly dead skin, so that is interesting. But yeah, apparently I’m allergic to old fabric? Yikes. At least I’m not allergic to myself or to Dan 😛 Guess it’s a very good thing we’re going to be cleaning our house really thoroughly, get all the fabric dust out. When I told Dan, his response was, “No wonder your clothing irritates you so much!” Yup. I can wear my yoga pants and sweats and stuff without much irritation, but I think it’s because the yoga pants are synthetic and sweats are loose. My jeans, on the other hand (so, mostly cotton), will drive me bonkers if I have to be in them for too long. I always thought my annoyance at jeans came from them being snug (binding) and they aren’t the softest of materials… guess I’m actually allergic to them? At least the old ones. Being allergic to fabric breakdown dust is the weirdest thing I think I’ve ever heard. Dr N told me that if I’m going to be cleaning (or anything else that can stir up my allergens) to use a respirator with an “N95” rating. Ugh. I should also probably wear gloves since dust being on my hands for too long has always driven me up the wall (I get SO itchy, especially my knuckles). I hate respirators because I have such a hard time breathing through them. But, if the respirator will keep me from having wheezing attacks and chest tightening and throat spasms, I’ll give it my best shot. I need to check on the ones we have, and see if they’re any good still. I’ll probably need to go to Home Depot and pick one up though. At least if it does workout I can get a package of 10 from Amazon for significantly less money.
About the throat spasm stuff, I have been given a new medication called Cromolyn (oral liquid). I have little ampules that I need to mix with a bit of water, swish around my mouth, then I swallow it. The liquid coats my mouth and throat, and is supposed to prevent my cells from even reacting to contact allergens. They taste like plastic. The taste makes me queasy. Luckily, the liquid itself doesn’t seem to make me queasy, just the taste. Unfortunately, I’m only allowed to mix them with plain water. It’s also enough water that I can’t take it like a shot or anything (plus, the swishing around the mouth bit is necessary). I also just read that for it to be effective I need to take it for 2-3 weeks… He’d said this was an as needed thing, I thought. I guess I’ll take it for about 2-3 weeks and see if it’s calmed my throat down enough that I can just use it for management. I ended up with a box of 480 ampules, and I’m extremely happy my insurance is awesome and covered it without question! The ampules are extremely expensive, but the insurance made them 1/24 the (out of pocket) cost. Phew. Really dodged a financial bullet with that one. The few I took already seem to have helped. My ranitidine is also helping a lot with the EoE stuff.
I’m still doing my allergy shots. I forgot to take the Benadryl before my shots on the 14th, and that was a nightmare. The shots are definitely necessary. I had a MASSIVE reaction without the Benadryl. Since it was the same dose as the week before, and I didn’t react then, I determined it was definitely just a reaction from the lack of Benadryl. I made sure to take my Benadryl on the 21st though, and I didn’t react to the raised dosage (just bruised from being sensitive to stabbing). Benadryl is 100% necessary for these shots apparently. I really hope when all the pollen dies off I can progress normally with the shots.
I also found out more about my food allergies. Yeast extract and yeast are the same thing. Having an allergy to baker’s yeast means I almost certainly have an allergy to all the other kinds of yeast as well. At least I’m not obsessed with beer too, or this would be even harder (I don’t actually like beer at all, except Red’s Apple Ale because it doesn’t taste like beer). Have you ever noticed how many things have yeast extract in them?! RAMEN HAS YEAST EXTRACT IN IT! Yeah, that one sucks, I eat Ramen when I don’t feel well because it’s really gentle on my belly. Tons of spice mixes also have yeast extract in them. Also, store bought flat bread and naan have yeast in them. Um, you don’t need yeast to make either of those things. I’m still trying to figure out a recipe for naan that I like. The last batch of naan I made tasted like soft pretzels. The yeast allergy has got to be my absolute least favorite of all of them (yes, even the chocolate) because it eliminates so many foods. On days I’m not supposed to eat yeast, I can’t go out to eat (even KFC’s chicken contains yeast extract). Being a spoonie means that some days I only have the energy for fast food, but now I can’t have that. One super quick and easy thing we’ve found that doesn’t contain yeast is Kraft Mac’n’Cheese (it also doesn’t contain cheddar; actually, I don’t think it contains any real cheese). However, you can only eat so much mac’n’cheese before it gets boring, and I know we’ve hit Dan’s boring line already! Any ideas for super quick things that don’t contain yeast of any kind, nor any of my other allergens (beans, aged cheese, chocolate, all nuts, cabbage)? Seriously, food allergies are getting annoying. I’m just glad my medications help with the throat stuff.
The food allergies did cut me a small break, however. The allergens need to build up in my system to cause reactions. That means that as long as I manage my allergens with the rotation diet a majority of the time, I can disregard it for special occasions (like holidays). Thank goodness! Thanksgiving without yeast would have made me cry! I LOVE stuffing!!!! I need to try my best to manage my allergens the rest of that week though, or else I might start reacting again (though he thinks it should take about two weeks to build up). Oh, and Halloween is the end of this week, so I’m definitely going to be eating too much chocolate two days in a row (the Friday before is a party, and I eat tons of candy during trick-or-treating since I have no will power haha).
The antispasmotic seems to help. I have to take it more often than I’d like, but hopefully it can calm things down in general. I need to call about the ultrasound though, because they were supposed to call me last week and never did. I’ll wait until after two to make sure that there are people in the office (it’s probably lunch time right now for everyone).
The new muscle relaxant from Dr S seems to have helped with my headaches. And the new heart medicine from Dr J seems to be working much better than the old stuff; I definitely have more energy and stamina.
Thank goodness for functional medication.