See, I really miss having an animal in the house. A cat will be easier than a dog. I want a cat who is friendly and social and cuddly and lovey and smart and cute and striped and spotted and ... just like Darwin.
My parents have a cat. His name is Clyde. He is not at all friendly, and will hit you with his clawless paws and when that doesn't work he will bite you. He has attacked my daughter twice now (once I truly think he was trying to "play") and so she has become afraid of him.
So I thought I'd get a cat. Or start thinking about getting a cat. I found one, and I fell in love. Then I felt guilty. Then I fell in love again. So I wrote a little bit and then I went to bed.
I think most of that was denial about the anxiety I was experiencing about my daughter's allergy testing this afternoon. You see, my daughter has been chronically sick for a while now. She is sick all the time. When she's not actually sick, she's still snotty and congested and .... I, like most people I have talked to, including her doctor, chalked that up to being in daycare. (None of that will be new to regular readers.)
Mostly it was just colds and sinus infections and the occasional pinkeye. This fall, however, it began to be chronic ear infections. To the point that her doctor starting talking "tubes" and I just wanted to pass out. At some point I asked about allergy testing. His first response was that they don't normally do allergy testing until they are 2 or 3. But then I asked again.
Because, you see, I made a huge mistake during Open Enrollment last year. I have a health care flex spending account and a daycare spending account. Both administered by the same company. So last year, on the last possible day of open enrollment, while my daughter napped and I attempted to get on my laptop using my parents wireless router, with two hours until the deadline, I switched the two amounts in the two accounts. So I have very little money in the daycare spending account, and WAYTOOFREAKINGMUCH in the medical spending account. I have more sets of disposable contacts than I will wear before the prescription changes, and I still need to spend lots of money or lose it.
So I told the doc that I had medical money to spend, and asked again about the allergy testing, and they set up an appointment for us. For today.
I won't dwell on the part where I was anxious and scared. I read some stuff last night that helped me to feel better - supposedly it feels like a hairbrush being pushed on your back.
The nurse showed me on my hand what she would be doing. She poked me with an incredibly sharp piece of hard plastic. Over and over again. And then reminded me that my daughter's back is more sensitive than my hand, and that she still has baby skin. I got it, lady, this is going to be hell, can we get on with it? She cleaned C's back with alcohol, drew letters and dots on her back to mark what was going on, and then she started.
She said I did good. She said C did good. I thought the heavens would fall from the screaming.
Then we waited 15 minutes to be told ... she is allergic to cats. And eggs. And that dry skin that I try to fight every day with oatmeal lotion? Is probably excema. I should learn how to spell that, since my kid seems to have it.
Then the REALLY fun part. On her arms. This time ... needles. 23 of them. More alcohol and marking with the pen. C is screaming because she thinks she is being poked again. Then the needles start.
God love the nurse. She had a little red bucket that the needles were supposed to go in. But she was trying so hard to go really fast and get it over with, that she just started throwing the used syringes in the general direction of the bucket. They were bouncing off the wall and everything. I was almost amused. If I hadn't been, you know, holding a screaming child that was getting 23 shots up and down her arms.
There was blood. Tiny little pinpricks of blood up and down her arms. And all over my shirt. But I had brought Dora books and snacks and they gave her some new toys so through her sobbing and snotting, she was trying to tell me that ducks say "quack quack".
15 more minutes, and they write up our results. She is pretty allergic for her age, he said. (At least it explains the chronic running nose, watery/crusty eyes, allergic shiners, etc.)
Moderate allergies to indoor and outdoor mold spores, Johnson grass, dust mites, cockroaches, and cats. Also she was positive to the eggs, so they want me to eliminate eggs from her diet and see if that helps the dry-skin-stuff. Then he started talking really fast and telling me all kinds of stuff like how allergy shots work and the hours they are open but they don't do first shots on saturday and you have to stay for 30 minutes in case there is an anaphylactic reaction which only has a 1 in 10,000 chance and if she comes twice a week they will take six months and if she comes three times a week they will take three months and then we go on maintenance and that's two years and if she's symptom free then we stop the shots but by then she will be 4 and maybe allergic to new/different stuff but at least she won't have ear infections in the meantime and we can retest her then and check with insurance to see what they will pay for and it takes two weeks to make the shots and follow up in three months. And the nurse will be in to show you how to use the Epi Pen. Any questions?
The nurse has a handout (thank god because she talked as fast as him and I was done when they said "cats and eggs"), Mite blocking covers for pillows and mattresses, HEPA filtered vacuums, MERV something furnace filters, wash bedding every 10 days, keep her out of the house for 2 hours after cleaning, and here's the Epi Pen. If her throat closes up and she starts wheezing for air (okay, at this point MY throat is closing up) then you jam it in to her leg. If it doesn't work, then 5 minutes later you have to do it again (okay, if my daughter's throat closes up and she wheezes for 5 minutes after I've jammed a needle in her leg, you will have to come see me in heaven because I will be DONE.)
(Please can I go now, because I need to go sit in my car and cry.)
1. Delayed vaxing doesn't prevent allergies. We are now the poster child for this.
2. If someone else adopts Waddles, can I come and visit him?
3. I'm calling insurance tomorrow to see what they say, then I'll probably call and tell them that we want to start allergy shots. Because hell, after today, what's the big deal about two or three shots a week? If it reduces the snotty nose/watery eyes/allergic shiners, and especially if it prevents ear infections/tubes, shouldn't I go ahead with it?
4. I can't get the purple marker off her back.
|She just looks like she feels great, doesn't she?|