26 June 2012
May today bring answers - updated Tues pm
Three times since May 7th I have been in an ambulance. The first reaction was in the middle of the night with me initially thinking it was my heart. I won't lie, that night was pretty scary. Medical conjecture was an insect had bitten me but no bite mark could be found. We agreed I'd carry an EpiPen and emergency kit and if it ever happened again I'd be tested. One month later on June 6th, at school while in the courtyard, the symptoms returned full force. EpiPen used, 911 called, transport to the ER and another 5 hours being observed. An appointment made for testing. Five days later at home, late morning and the symptoms start up. Really not wanting to do the whole 911/ambulance thing again I decided to drive to Urgent Care near the house and let them handle it. Ugh, they called the EMTs and I got to ride once again to the ER. Consensus at this point is that the third attack was not a new one but a biphasic anaphylaxis, a continuation of the June 6th one. I was being tapered off the steroids and antihistamines and evidently had gone low enough for the attack to break through @@ So I've been on a "maintenance" dose of both meds until last Thursday. Every day I felt the symptoms but at "controllable" or "maintainable" levels. Going off the meds kinda freaked me out but I know I can't stay on steroids. We do have a dr approved plan in place, if a reaction starts I monitor it, if needed take Benedryl then have someone take me to the ER to just sit in the waiting room until I know I need medical attention. Sounds dicey but really I will be in close proximity to the care I might need but by not registering I don't have to stay 5 hours if not needed. Unfortunately Saturday night I had a pretty strong reaction so took 50 mg of Benedryl and went and sat in the ER to determine if I really needed the EPIpen. In truth, it was a pretty intense reaction and I wavered about self injecting but ultimately after an hour I was much better and Stephen and I went home. The allergist knows I had to take meds and said they will have to do a histamine challenge before the testing but hopefully we can move forward. This morning I am being tested and I am praying that the allergen can be identified. I would be ecstatic of it was identified AND something I can control but I will be thankful for identification. My attacks occurred under very different circumstances, I have been told there is a likelihood they may not figure this out. The cause remains unknown in 32-50% of cases, referred to as "idiopathic anaphylaxis". I have too many times in my life managed to be in the 1-2% of people something can occur with so my hopes are a bit dulled by that stat.
Tuesday afternoon update: The skin tests were not done since the antihistamine could have compromised the results plus he thought it was pointless. He had blood (6 vials!!) taken for testing of food allergies. He thinks he knows what it is but can't be sure until we get the results next Tuesday. Although it's a toughie, I have persistently prayed that it be identifiable and I would be thankful. So if the tests are conclusive there will be some pretty big changes but I will lift praises. Thanks so much for ya'lls prayers and concerns!