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 Post subject: Sick from allergy shots
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
I almost ended up in the emergency room. I didn't get them last week because it was memorial day. This morning I got my four shots as the normal Mondays go. I didn't feel bad at the office, but when I got home I was dizzy and cold (I think my blood pressure was down), and I broke out in hives all over, asthma flared up as well as my reflux, and my everything was swollon. It was scary! My husband called the allergist and they told him to give me at least 50 mgs of Benadryl. So you can guess what I was doing all day--sleeping. The doctors office called back to see if the Benadryl was working and wanted me to go tot he emergency room if my hives weren't better, but they were. I'm just scared that they will lower my dose by a lot and it will take the building phase even longer, or they may even stop the shots! I wanted to continue immunotherapy but I am scared I won't be able to. :cry:

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2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Shai,

what a coincidence! I had a bit of a scare from my shots today too (although I'm not getting regular immunotherapy...I'm getting preseasonal grass and ragweed pollen vaccine.) Take care with those shots....that sounds like a really severe reaction. Kind of puts mine into perspective. I wonder if you were more likely to react because you missed your one shot? those shots are progressively potent as the weeks go by and perhaps you lost some of your immunity because of Memorial Day? (I have absolutely no idea whether this is true or not. I'm just wondering.)

I've had one slightly concerning large local reaction before that my allergist seemed a bit concerned about...he lowered the dose after that.
In the office this time, I started sneezing and was having sinus trouble...even more than usual. I didn't say anything. I should have, but I had a sneezing fit *before* the shots as well. And my sinuses are always more or less blocked. When I was buying some groceries I noticed some slight chesttightness (I think this was about 1 hour after the shot). I was walking down to the Bloor subway line....when I decided to head to my respirologist's office. (If it wasn't okay to show up like that without an appointment, her office is right in the hospital so I could go to emerg.) While there I got some swelling around my eyes and my ears were very very slightly itchy. I'm glad I went because if on top of everything else my eyes started to swell like that while I was in my apartment I would have been way more stressed. My respirologist was on call at the time (so out of the office), but the receptionist was wonderful. I do feel slightly badly because she hadn't had lunch yet and was just about to grab a bite to eat. She did the pulmonary function test and called my allergist twice to get his advice on what to do. (Ventolin took care of the chest tightness and she also gave me some reactine and had me wait until the doctor got back.)

So I guess the moral of the story is to always mention any allergic reaction to those shots no matter how slight.

I learned two other things today---1) my allergist recommends Reactine. I usually take liquid benadryl for these sorts of occasions. 2) I take my Ventolin wrong! The receptionist was watching me take it to make sure that I was getting the medicine properly...I had been told years and years ago to spray it into the air near my mouth (but not to put my mouth over it). Apparently, that's no longer the recommended method.

I'm going to continue with the treatment, but with a lowered dose.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
what a coincidence! I had a bit of a scare from my shots today too (although I'm not getting regular immunotherapy...I'm getting preseasonal grass and ragweed pollen vaccine.) Take care with those shots....that sounds like a really severe reaction. Kind of puts mine into perspective. I wonder if you were more likely to react because you missed your one shot? those shots are progressively potent as the weeks go by and perhaps you lost some of your immunity because of Memorial Day? (I have absolutely no idea whether this is true or not. I'm just wondering.)

Helen, that is exactly what the allergist said on the phone to my husband, so you do have a good idea of what you are talking about. :)
They also said it could have made it worse because the mold count is very high here in Pennsylvania right now form the days and days of rain we've had. Both those contributing factors probably played a part in it.
I guess it is important to talk to your doctor if you have any sort of reaction.

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2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
shai wrote:
Helen, that is exactly what the allergist said on the phone to my husband, so you do have a good idea of what you are talking about.


that's always good to hear :)

we had a lot of rain here too. on sunday evening i went for a walk in the park and got a hive on my face...perhaps something in the air set me off. and i had a sneezing fit on the way to the allergist's. but also the allergist put me on the highest dose (in the red vial) for what he thought was the first time (but I could have sworn that I got the red dose last time :? ) A systemic reaction is more probable when they up the dose...or even just change vials. I think though that the allergy shots are generally safe....but that you and I probably more likely to react because we have so many allergies. (My allergist said a few things that made me wonder if he thought I might not be the best candidate for the shots. And he said he wasn't surprised that I had a reaction like that. The thing is though is that we've tried everything else...so it is either this or I will just have to accept that my life won't be like a Claritin commercial!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
I fonly life could be as perfect as a Claritan commercial. Free from allergies because we take one little pill. That would be nice. I actually haven't found many people who feel improvement after taking Claritan. Most of those drugs I can't take because they contain milk proteins. :/

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2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Helen - have you thought of going to see a Certified Asthma Educator? Odds are, there's lots that has changed since you were first diagnosed, and maybe she or he could make sure you know all there is to know. Details are at http://www.lung.ca/diseases-maladies/as ... ndex_e.php .

We went to one for my youngest, and it made a world of difference. They know A LOT, and they could ensure that your technique is good too. It was because of our Asthma Educator that my youngest finally got the correct amount of meds and started sleeping through the night (after night waking for 2+ years....).

I've actually been told that even adults should use a spacer such as the Aerochamber - http://www.trudellmed.com/Consumers/consumers.asp - to ensure that they are getting an adequate amount of medication. I have adult friends who use them. Maybe something to check out.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Karen,
I wasn't aware that there were certified asthma educators out there. But there is some disagreement over whether I have asthma....respirologist says I don't have asthma anymore. allergist says yes. My respirologist has been checking up on me for the past 7 years and has run me through all of the tests which have come back negative. She does prescribe Ventolin, however, as I rarely take it. (If I have chest tightness at night I don't bother because the Ventolin makes me jittery.) I'm fine with breathing out (which is the problem with asthmatics) but (according to the breathing test) when I breathe in my breath is slightly obstructed which is a sign of vocal chord dysfunction (which has many of the same symptoms as asthma). My allergist thinks that I must have asthma because people with all my environmental and food allergies get asthma. I imagine that he will think that this last incident was a case in point. (The ventolin really worked---I would think that it wouldn't if it wasn't asthma?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
Same deal with me! The doctors never decide on whether I have asthma or not. Some say it is swelling of the airways from my allergies (isn't that asthma???), my ENT looked down there and thinks it is from my reflux, and the pulmonologist I saw tried to say I just had a vocal cord dysfunction and to "throw away my inhaler." Luckily I did not throw it out, and I do not have a vocal cord dysfunction. She also tried to diagnose my husband as narcoleptic when he was just tired from the pain medication the VA gives him. Crazy lady!
I'm thinking of talking to the ENT Monday about a peak flow meter(I don't even own one), and an epipen. Perhaps I will mention a spacer too.

_________________
2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
That's funny that we seem to have the same allergy-related health issues. I do think that I probably have some mild vocal chord dysfunction---all of the tests that I've had to inhale for show the same thing (the inspiratory curve always flattens out.) Also, if I have a slight wheeze it is when I breathe in instead of when I breathe out (which suggests VCD rather than asthma.) I have to say that my respirologist has been *very* thorough in her attempt to find evidence of asthma. But I'm also pretty darn sure that I get some allergen-triggered chest tightness. I'm wondering if I have a bit of both.

I'm actually not 100% sure if the VCD is a definite diagnosis or not---I think ENT doctors diagnose VCD? I went to an ENT who said that my vocal chords look fine but that my larynx is inflamed. I was having trouble with reflux on a regular basis as well----but I have my reservations about the reflux meds and (after I shared my reservations with my doctor) went off of them and tried to see if I could get it under control by changing my diet. I think I've figured out most of the triggers.

A note on reflux: Sometimes eosinophilia esophagitis (sp?) (which is related to allergies) can masquerade as GERD. I don't know a whole lot about it, but it seems to be something that doctors are just becoming aware of now. (Karen posted a link somewhere on this site about this...can't remember exactly where though.)

About the peak flow meter---I may be wrong, but as I recall one doesn't need a prescription for one of those (at least in Ontario). I'm not sure how accurate they are, but I think they roughly indicate if there are problems---my respirologist had me using one for awhile (to see if I had asthma). She wasn't sure if it was working properly so she had me buy a second one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
The link to info about eosinophilic disorders is at http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=842 (in Resources).

Sorry that you're not getting a clear diagnosis. I guess it's not always as black-and-white as we'd like it.

I wonder if a visit to an asthma educator would help you get some answers to your questions. (It is free!)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
I've had a biopsy of my esophagus and there are eosiniphils in there, but they said they are not too significantly increased. But eosiniphils are not normally found in the esophagus, and I also had the worst gatroenterologist at the time. That's a whole nother story. :roll:
I had a pulmonologist, who is also a moron, try to tell me I did not have asthma because I wheezed when breathing out, not in. As Helen already mentioned asthmatics wheeze when breathing out, so the pulmonologist was mistaken. She also laughed at me and basically called me an idiot when I told her I couldn't use Advair because it contained milk and I am anaphelectic to milk. I pulled out an FDA article on it for her, and then she changed her tune and tried to turn it around to make it look like she was the one who knew milk was in Advair, not me. Then she sent me to the ENT who looked down there with a scope and said it looked like eosinphilic esopagitis after he went over my report of operation from the GI doc, and he found that I was refluxing into my throat. He put me on prilosec twice a day and did the allergy testing. It turned out I was not just allergic to milk and eggs like I thought before, but also to wheat, oats, tree nuts, corn, yeast, turkey, fish, soy, mold, dusts, pollens....the list goes on and on. But now that I have been not eating the things I tested positive to, and I try to stay away from the environmental allergies as much as possible, the feeling like something is stuck in my throat all the time is gone, and the asthma is better, plus the chronic hives are gone too. So, what they are doing is working, whether it is EE or just allergies and reflux.
I would like to continue the shots, but if I have another bad reaction again I might rethink the whole thing.

I don't think I have a VCD. I never wheeze breathing in, Benadryl, albuterol, and staying away from the things I am allergic to help me feel better, and I never have problems with myvoice. Doesn't VCD make you loose your voice,or at least it becomes hoarse or something?

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2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Karen, I'll give some thought to the asthma educator idea.

Shai, is that biopsy painful at all? I'm hoping I won't need that. But my respirologist decided to send me to a GI specialist...that eos disorder thing will be a topic of discussion.

Your respirologist said that asthmatics don't wheeze when breathing out !? That's pretty pathetic. You sure have had bad luck with finding good doctors. I guess that is why it is so important to do one's own research. It's good that your symptoms are improving in spite of the sketchy diagnosis.

Yes, VCD can make one lose one's voice. I don't know if everyone with VCD does, though. I don't have too much trouble with my voice these days....although I usually sound like I have a cold first thing in the morning (but I'm thinking that is just allergies.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
Helen, the biopsy doesn't hurt at all. They will sedate you, probably with something like vercid (sp?) and demoral. They put me out with pentathol, but they were extremely unprofessional. I woke up sort of beat up (fat lip, scratches and bruises), and was groggy for days. I called them a week later and they said everything had looked normal. I went and got a copy of the report of operation anyway and it said I had celiac antibodies, a hiatal hernia, and eosiniphils in my esophagus as well as gastritis and evidence of damage from long term LPR. My ENT is a really great doctor and looked down there while I was awake and diagnosed me in 30 seconds and now, a couple months later, I'm starting to feel better. I couldn't get other doctors to believe me that my reflux, chronic hives, eczema, asthma, and swollon esophagus were all from allergies. They would say, "what makes you believe you have food allergies??" and blow me off. The ENT immediatly did RAST and it came back with a lot of seriously high allergies. I've been anaphelectic to milk for some time without a proper diagnosis. He said it was smart of me to stay away from it after numerous trips to the emergency room when I reacted to pizza.
It can be hard to find a good doctor sometimes. I've lived all over the country and this is the first doctor I found that has started to help me be healthier. I owe him a lot.
Don't be afraid of the endoscopy. It's no big deal for most people. I just ended up at a drive-thru gastroenterologist. :roll:

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2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
I'm nervous because tomorrow morning is my allergy shots again. I don't know if I will be able to sleep tonight. I'm actually most afraid that they will want to discontinue the immunotherapy. I still have a bump where they gave me one of my shots last week (I get four a week). I don't know if they will want to do it at all any more.

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2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Shai, Thanks for getting back to me on the biopsy. I always prefer to know what I might be getting myself into. I've never heard anything about the GI specialist I'm going to, but my respirologist always refers me to good doctors so I don't think I have much to worry about on that front.

Good luck with the allergy shots today! I bet that your doctor will let you continue on a lowered dose but will not want you to skip a week. Still, I'm sure it will be stressful.

I was a bit stressed today before my shot....but so far so good! My allergist just lowered the dose. Unless I do exceptionally well with the shots, he will not put me on the higher dose again.


Last edited by Helen on Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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