What the nose knows

Finally, something to write about other than snow!
I saw the allergist yesterday, got some test results, and talked about what might be affecting my head. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Severely allergic: dust mites and rough marsh elder
  • Moderately allergic: hazelnut (the tree, not the nuts)
  • Mildly allergic: oak, white alder
  • Sensitive: timothy grass, cat, birch, elm, ragweed

Some of these I already knew or could guess. Oak was a surprise to me, though, and also a bit disconcerting since we live surrounded by oak forest. There isn’t really anything there I can easily remove from my environment, so it’s going to be just a matter of managing things.
I talked with the doctor about the bad flare-up I had at Thanksgiving time. His best guess was that maybe there was something in the firewood in the stove that night. It doesn’t seem like there’s any ongoing danger, especially since I’ve been in the house before and since (with the stove going) without any trouble. Most likely it was just one unlucky piece of firewood that wasn’t burning properly for some reason.
With the doc’s advice, I’ve decided to start a course of immunotherapy. For the next several years, I’ll be going to get weekly shots of very dilute samples of all the things I’m allergic to, in an effort to gradually convince my body not to be afraid of them. If all goes well, it should eventually leave me with much lower sensitivity to these things and hopefully not needing my medicines any more.

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2 Responses to “What the nose knows”

  1. pj Says:

    wow! what a list. any special cleaning instructions? will be on the lookout for marsh elder and will pull it if find it. like we do with ragweed. glad you’re going to try the shots route. Mom

  2. pj Says:

    is hazelnut the same as witch hazel? we’ve been finding that in our woods.

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