Saturday, June 24, 2006

doing well versus not doing well, whatever that means

So, it's time for me to gripe. Haven't done that in a while--too much happy cheery blogging, not enough schadenfreude for you sadists in the crowd. Tonight's topic: oral allergies.

I developed my tree pollen allergy in spring of 2001. I remember it very, very well: spending many spare moments while in the midst of exam study with a kleenex over my eyes, rubbing with all my might, because they itched so damn bad. (The kleenex had a rougher surface than, say, my hands, so it both felt really good and made things worse at the same time.) Not to mention my itchy, runny nose... I got a prescription for Claritin, and things were ok. For the time being.

Then, that autumn, my folks came for Parents' Weekend, and they brought some apples, cheese and pecans for a light meal one evening in my dorm. We did this all the time when I was in high school--YUM. Except I noticed a little swelling on the inside of both cheeks and my lips tingled a little after eating the apples. Same thing happened the next summer with the influx of bing cherries. Turns out these fruits are both part of the birch family of allergies, and due to my crazy under-worked immune system's unfortunate response, I get an allergic reaction to eating them. It's not awful. I love cherries with every fiber of my being, so I put up with it. And apples are good, too, and not every instance triggers this...

...but twice now in a week, I've had granny smith apples that made my EYES itch. No, I'm not sticking the apple in my eye, thanks. I know what to do with an apple. But I'm starting to worry that I'm pushing it with my allergy issue, and that the more I test my body, the more rigorous a systemic assault it will mount till I'm walking that fine line between enjoying a tasty piece of fruit and anaphylactic shock. Yeah, yeah, I know, hellooo melodrama--but seriously. I HATE this allergy. I also hate that Claritin doesn't seem to work for my tree pollen allergy anymore, and I really, really hate the fact that eating apples makes my eyes itch, for God's sake. Please, immune system--don't make me give up cherries! I won't do it! I won't!

Anyway. Taking my contacts out so I can scratch at my eyes with impunity read in bed till I fall asleep. Nighty-night and sweet dreams.


Anonymous said...

Aw Kat, you have my sympathies. I'm allergic to GRASS of all things, and I love lying in the sun. I'm on Allegra now, which helps a lot, but I still sometimes have to restrain myself from clawing my eyes out.


Anonymous said...

now, have you tried eating different kinds of apples? or has it just been one kind? what about different apple-type products such as apple juice or applesauce? of course the obvious question is: did you go see the old medicine doctor yet? (granted I really really really wanted to ask whether or not you knew what to do with an apple but that was being very facetious...even for me) yeah, before using your body as a guinea pig (as interesting as that may be), perhaps seeking professional help might do some good and i'm only saying this since i DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express...two years Chicago. and don't go to the Student Health Center at Northwestern. I think most SHC's tend to say whatever it is you have is definitely mono. I think I'm gonna go have an apple now. :)

whitetrashmocha said...

hey kat,

i have terrible allergies to everything: grass, cats, trees, mold, dust, ragweed... you name it. i would suggest visiting a good allergist and having him/her run some tests (they will poke you with a lot of needles. though if you're terrified of needles, they can draw blood once and test it.) to determine what it is exactly you are allergic too. they may recommend you take allergy shots/drops (which would build up your immune system and allow you to eat apples and cherries without the itchy side effects. essentially those shots are full of the nasty things you're allergic to. i couldn't ever eat fresh citrus fruits without swelling up.)

anyway... i hope you feel better soon.

^kat^ said...

aw, shucks, guys--thanks for the kind words. I might have to look into those shots--my mom might, too, since she's been allergic to oranges her whole life. I think I'm going to get a prescription for something to kill the tree pollen allergy next spring, as I swear I'm just as itchy and runny with Claritin as I am without.

On a related note, I can breathe somewhat easier because I dusted the hell out of my apartment today. It took 5 swiffers. *phew*