Apparently I’m Allergic To Grass Pollen

Allergen testOr grass seed or something like that.  I’ve had bad allergies in the spring for the last 5 years or so,the kind where if on the wrong day I leave the car window open between home and the train station I end up sniffing and sneezing for the next couple of hours.  Not fun at all.  People have been telling me to go to the doctor and tell them and they can just give me a shot to make the allergies go away.  Sounded awesome so this year I finally got around to doing that.

Of course it’s never that easy, first of all my doctor had to refer me to a proper allergist.  Then the allergist had to call me, and I had to play phone tag with them.  Then I had to book an appointment for 3 months later.  Then I had to navigate my way there from downtown on the bus (not an easy feat for someone who hasn’t dealt with busses from living in the middle of nowhere and always having a car).

The appointment was pretty short, and fairly un-exciting.  About the time I said “it happens when the cottonwoods are out so I think” “it’s not cottenwood” “but it happens when the seeds are” “it’s not cottenwood.”  Anyway, I got poked by 12 little pokers and let sit for 10 minutes while two of them flared up awesomely.  End result, allergic to grass pollen.

HDR Downtown VancouverI get three alternatives.  One – treat with normal drugs, a bit more powerful than the stuff you can buy at the drug store. Two – a seasonal treatment of needles, one a week for 3-5 weeks before the start of grass pollen season which will get me un-allergic for the season, but with no cumulative effect (ie: doing it 10 years in a row won’t make me un-allergic the 11th if I don’t get the shots).  Three – a yearly treatment, 3-5 years long, of shots with increasingly more of the allergin weekly for 3 months and then monthly for the next three to five years, with the end result being completely (or at least mostly) un-allergic at the end.  3-5 years is a long time, but hey, being able to breath for those 2-3 months in spring is nice too.  Best of all the cost is something like $155/year.  Yay for government health care 🙂

Did manage to get a few neat shots that day too.

West Coast Express Station Tilt-Shift West Coast Express Mission Station