Thursday, March 15, 2007

Allergies

Here is a valuable lesson that I learned. When you have an allergy, don't tempt fate, God, your body, or anyone/anything else for that matter by testing your limits.

I have had a cat allergy for some time. However, this week it became evident that I can't mess around with it anymore. I was informed by my doctor that I am to be on medication the rest of my days and never be around another cat. If I choose to not follow through with this: 1. I would need to find new employment or 2. I would be on disability the rest of my days or 3. Anita states - death. Seems a bit extreme and I informed him that I'm not going to settle for that. Obstinate or determined? I'm not sure. I talked to my bosses. Changes have been made at work and I'm no longer doing home visits to anyone that has a cat/had a cat/getting a cat/or has a cat come to visit. The goal is for this to be treated and my life being back to normal at some point. I'm counting on the treatment working. However, I think I'm a planner. Therefore, if the allergy doesn't get alleviated, I will be seeking new employment as a large part of my job and my belief in the importance of home visits is vital in my line of work. My supervisors aren't impressed with the thought of me leaving but one of them understands my thoughts on it.

The whole point to this story: I apologize in advance for not visiting any family members that have indoor cats. The other sad part is that I'm allergic to horses and don't dare be around them either. It isn't even just the cat or the horse. I had clothes in my room that were worn at someone's house who had a cat. Hauling them from my bedroom to the washer in the porch, led to increased difficulty breathing. That night, I didn't dare go to sleep due to breathing problems, turned out someone must have sat or laid on the bed with clothing on that was worn in a house where there was a cat. We stripped the bed and I got my breathing back to normal.

I didn't know that continued exposure to allergens can greatly increase the reaction to the allergy. I learned my lesson and am taking it serious. The inability to breath and the firm belief that you are going to die (it sounds so dramatic and I'm not a drama queen) aren't pleasureable and I don't want a repeat performance. I have my epi pen if needed.

Have a wonderful allergy free day!!

Heather

5 comments:

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

We were discussing the epi pen at
Haps and wondering if it contains
just one shot? Glady needs it for
bee sting. dk

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

The epi pen does just have one shot in it. When you use it, you're supposed to immediately seek medical attention.
Heather

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

Heather, do you still have your cats? I have never had allergies, but after watching Frans suffer every spring, I am sure glad I don't! The weather right now is perfect for keeping the door open in the evenings, and for being outdoors with the kids....but we can't. (well, Frans can't)

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

I do still have one cat, but it is outside and never comes in the house. I don't hold it. We will have to see if it bothers me in the spring/summer when I start working outside. If it bugs me, we will have to get rid of it.
Heather

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

Remember Steven's allergy story? He had a critical allergy to peanuts, but likely due to his lack of exposure, his body mellowed out and he can now eat peanuts without trouble. Of course his initial exposure was minimal - only what he got through breast milk for the first 2 months of his life - but that was enough to send his body into a tizzy. By age 5, he had no antibodies to peanut anymore.

It pays to be careful.

The nice thing is that allergies are dynamic. What you are allergic to right now may not be what you are allergic to next year. If you do your best to stay away now, you might find you are less sensitive in the future.

Scary stuff. Be careful.
-b