Peanut-free. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Soy-free. Nut-free. I’m free. Well at least I thought I was! I’ve never been the allergic-type (whatever that means.) I did develop seasonal allergies after living in Cincinnati, and even though it may have had nothing to do with Cincinnati, Ohio is an easy target. Needless to say, when I was in the middle of an acupuncture treatment yesterday afternoon, I knew something was wrong. Suddenly I could see my left cheek in my periphery because it had swelled up enough to pop into view. The absent-minded itching of my scalp began to take on new meaning as my cheek continued to swell up and scare the crap out of me. I was convinced I was having a stroke because of the sensation and having the swelling confined to one side of my face. My acupuncturist, who also happens to be a great friend, took one look at me and started placing needles in the correlating points on my body to try to settle what was happening. Bottom line, it might have been the inordinate amount of shrimp I had eaten over the past two days, it’s hard to tell, but a shot of Benadryl from Urgent Care seemed to help tremendously. I know I’m off to an allergist in the next week or so to try and determine exactly what happened. There’s definitely anxiety about the testing, not only because it involves poking and prodding, but because what will I do if I can’t have my oysters?! I have been through this testing with my kids, so that helps alleviate some of the anxiety.
My kids had a temporary allergy to dairy, when they were infants, that they thankfully have outgrown. Two of my kids developed allergies to some medications, and since there was a reaction, the instinct is to prevent them from being exposed to those medications in the future, which we did. Last year, the pediatrician suggested having them tested for the suspected allergy to penicillin, since it’s such a broad spectrum antibiotic it is a good one to be able to use if necessary. My mom is allergic to penicillin, so it wasn’t surprising to find that my boys could be as well. Off we went to the allergist, where you need to explain to your kids that someone is going to purposely put something on your skin that may make you unwell and it is actually a good thing! They were both brave and even let me take some pics because naturally, the Totems were there just in case!! I even donated a set to the office so the doctor could use it in the future.
Bulldog seems to be the go-to Totem in medical situations as both boys chose Bulldog to keep them company. One son was deemed not allergic anymore, but unfortunately the other one didn’t even get passed the control phase of the testing when it was immediately apparent he was sensitive to even a drop of the medication on his skin. He needs to go back before college and had to be rehearsed on sharing the information that he is allergic to penicillin. Next it’s my turn, and I can guarantee that I’ll have all my Totems with me!
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