My specialist immunology appointment was Monday, January 23rd. In summary, I got the referral (it’s a referral only clinic) due to confusing allergy shots complications. I was thinking I probably had MCAS (mast cell activation syndrome/disorder), my gastroenterologist suspects I may have eosinophilia of the small bowel, and I really just want to know what’s going on and why I’m so itchy all the time. Thankfully, none of my unknown allergy attacks have actually resulted in anaphylaxis; I just get miserable.
On the 28th of December, I had a gastric emptying study done. Today, the 6th of January, I had my follow-up appointment with my gastroenterologist. It wasn’t quite what I expected…
First of all, let me explain what a gastric emptying study is. While the way they are conducted can vary quite a bit, the premise is the same: eat some food with a radioactive tracer in it, then get scanned periodically to see how fast the food empties from your stomach. For me, I had to eat some radioactive eggs (more like, one very small scrambled egg), then I could eat two pieces of toast with jelly, and I got a shot glass sized amount of water to wash it all down with. After I ate, they scanned me immediately to get a baseline (see what 100% looked like). For the next four hours, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything at all. Yes, four hours; I sat in a pretty, sunny hallway and read a book for four hours, minus the few minutes each scan took. The scanned me again at one hour, at two hours, and at four hours. After I left, they calculated the percentage of food left in my stomach at each scan, then sent the results to my doctor.
I’ve concluded I need a reusable respirator mask that I’ll wear more often.
The allergist that had been dealing with me (I’ve stopped seeing him for various reasons) told me to get an N95 mask to wear whenever I’m around airborne allergens – like when I’m cleaning, gardening, etc. He wasn’t entirely clear how often I was supposed to be wearing it, but it’s supposed to help reduce my permanent rhinitis and my eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) symptoms.
My recent throat infection horribly flared up my EoE and made me realize I need something to reduce infections and filter allergens… on a regular basis. There was also a wildfire less than ten miles from my house, at the tale end of my infection, and it really brought the point home. My EoE is still completely flared up.
The last several weeks, I’ve been absolutely miserable with allergy symptoms: crazy amounts of phlegm in my nose/sinuses, crazy amounts of post-nasal drip, even more intense nausea than normal (probably from swallowing all the phlegm), extremely itchy skin, itchy eyes, itchy ears, itchy nose, etc. It’s been extremely painful actually.
So why all the symptoms? I just assumed it’s because EVERYTHING is blooming. There is so much cotton blowing around (from cottonwood trees) that it looks like there was a giant pillow fight somewhere; the cars have been yellow for weeks thanks to the amount of pollen in the air.
How do you recover from a month of crazy emotional stress, travel stress, chronic illness, and allergy testing?
I just got home from my allergy testing, and this is the first thing I did. Well, technically the second. This has just been the most ridiculous month, and definitely not in a good way. Grama passed on the 3rd, and now suddenly it’s the 19th. I do not know what exactly happened to the month of April, but I do know it has been a giant ball of stress of all kinds.
Here’s a collection of good quotes about living as a young adult with chronic health issues.
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.
I went to my gastroenterologist today. The appointment’s purpose was to follow-up on my eosinophilic esophagitis, which is actually doing a lot better on the ranitidine and on the rotation diet. I’m hoping it continues to improve as my allergens die off. We have also been working on doing a thorough clean of our house, which we just haven’t gotten a chance to do since we moved in (we do clean, just not a thorough job around the whole house every time). I am going to go see Dr N tomorrow (allergist) and I’m going to ask for specifics on the testing (like what chemical they tested for the “house dust,” even though he only did food he should know), so hopefully I’ll know exactly what I need to know to better control this EoE thing. Right now, not having throat spasms daily and not having choked in months is a plus! A huge plus!
On top of the skin testing, Dr N ran some blood panels. One panel was for candida yeast, one was a liver panel that was ordered preemptively because it’s necessary for the candida yeast treatment, and one was to check the likelihood that I could have an anaphylactic allergic reaction. Apparently, candida yeast overgrowth in the esophagus could cause my EoE symptoms.
So, I realized I need to stop apologizing for being late with my posts. There is nothing wrong with providing you guys an explanation, but I can’t keep apologizing. I just don’t need the guilt.
All of you with chronic illnesses understand that life is anything but predictable for us, and sometimes even breathing hurts. Those of you without Chronics understand that life just can get crazy sometimes.
Yesterday (8/31), I wrote up a post. Completely typed in a Word doc. I found photos I wanted to go with it. Then, my pain medication wore off and BAM!!!!! out for the count. So, now that post will get posted a little later today (9/1). Hopefully, my regular blogging schedule will return shortly!