Mary has had horrible allergies since she was about three. I remember being in a Walmart, with Mary as a toddler in the back of a cart, trying to find children’s Benedryl because her eyes were so red and swollen it looked like she had been punched in the face. Seriously, if you would have taken a snapshot of the two of us, I could have gotten anti-Mother-of-the-year...that’s how bad she looked.
By putting her on Claritin, and using the occasional Benedryl, we were able to keep her allergies (mostly) under control until she reached elementary school. After having pneumonia twice in one year, her pediatrician suggested we see a pediatric pulmonologist because she suspected Mary had asthma. The pulmonologist diagnosed Mary with asthma when she was six, and put her on a buttload of prescription steroids and various allergy medicines.
Although the asthma medicines helped, she was still sick way too often.
|Summer 2010 allergy test--she was allergic to ALL the trees!|
Many times a regular cold would progress into bronchitis and a few times pneumonia. Her pulmonologist suggested that we see an allergist and get her allergy tested since it seemed that her asthma seemed to get worse in the Spring and Fall. Mary was allergy tested for the most common trees, weeds, grasses, and household allergens in the summer of 2010. Her back was one big welt! We were finally able to convince her that it would in her best interest to start allergy shots, and we began with those in December 2010.
In the beginning we went for shots every week, but after a few months (I can’t remember if it was 3 or 6 months), we went every three weeks. Yes, every three weeks for the past four+ years we’ve gone for shots. It has definitely been a commitment, but has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.
Almost immediately after starting the shots we noticed that her colds didn’t last as long, and she hasn’t had bronchitis or pneumonia since starting them (knock on wood). Mary went from being on five different prescription allergy and asthma medicines, to taking the occasional benedryl if she feels it necessary. A friggen miracle!
|Summer 2015--Compare the"A" column to #1-10 in the pic above...big difference!|
The great thing about allergy shots is that they are "all natural"...since they are basically dosing you little by little with all of the things you are allergic too. Over time, your body is supposed to build up an immunity to what you were originally allergic too. Mary was retested in the summer of 2012 and then again this week. Since her past two allergy tests came back negative, she is now considered to be in the clear for now. Her allergist said that the shots will “last” for the average person, about 10-15 years. Some people can go the rest of their lives without having to worry about allergies again. Either way, I will take it! Let’s cross our fingers that this lasts a good long time!
If there is anyone out there in a similar situation as Mary was, please see an allergist that you trust and get either yourself, or your loved one, evaluated. Allergy shots have truly changed her life!
Have you had a similar experience with Asthma or Allergies?
**All of the medicines that Mary was taking on a regular basis, if not daily, when she began her shots: Flovent (asthma med), Singulair (asthma/allergy med), Nasonex (allergy med), Allegra (allergy med), Benedryl (allergy med), Elestat eye drops (allergy med), Xopenex (asthma med), Albuterol (asthma med).