Thursday, July 05, 2007

Free At Last

Well, after 5 years and more money than I care to count up at the moment, I am finally finished with my allergy shots! It's so strange to think that Ryan was just a tiny baby when I first started getting them.

I would say that my immunotherapy has been quite--although not completely--successful. For the few years before my shots, no amount or type of over the counter allergy medicine would even touch my symptoms. For two years in a row, I spent several weeks with significant hearing loss in one or both ears because they were so clogged up.

Am I allergy free today? Sadly, no. However, I can do so many things now that I couldn't before. Here are some wonderful things I can do now:
  • Go outside in the spring
  • Stand outside while Brendan mows the lawn and even help sweep up grass clippings
  • Sit on actual grass for significant amounts of time
  • Be with my cats
  • Pick up a dusty book or two without going into sneezing fits
  • Vacuum with a HEPA vacuum (not that I actually do that, but I could if I wanted to!)
  • Retain my hearing in the spring and also my sense of smell without fun complications like conjunctivitis or wheezing
  • Dust things in my house
  • Attend my kid's soccer and t-ball games
  • Have a picnic with friends
  • Spend all day outside
  • Go hiking/geocaching
  • Exercise, indoors and out, without coughing and sometimes wheezing

I never realized the extent to which my allergies had negatively affected my quality of life until the last couple years. How awesome that there was something I could do about it!

Overall, I'm pleased. I will still need to use medication in the spring and when things get bad inside the house. But I'm so glad I got this over with now, so I can enjoy outdoor life with my family, especially now that my kids are getting a tiny bit older. I can imagine how horrible I'd feel if I had to miss all of their outdoor activities due to my allergies.

Now if I can just get rid of this sinus infection! My first ever, and yes, directly due to those stupid allergies--dust in particular--and a certain burning need to declutter my house of old, unused, dusty items. The timing of this follow up with my allergist couldn't have been better. Now I have a "housecleaning" allergy plan, so there's something anyway.

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