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November 12, 2004: Excuse me while I scratch

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I've been getting the allergy shots now for about three months, and with two exceptions, I have gone in dutifully, twice a week, because I am determined to stick to the schedule they gave me and get through this as quickly as I can. It's not always pleasant, of course, since I tend to get lots of nifty reactions from the stuff they're injecting under my skin, but I keep thinking about those damn sinus infections I get every year and that's been enough to keep me on track.

Today when I went in, the nurse told me I'd progressed enough that I now only have to come in once a week. I'm not quite sure how they measure progression, since I have yet to have a single treatment where there haven't been lovely hives at the shot sites, and about once a week or so one of the shots causes my arm to swell up, or gives me a serious case of itches all over my arms and neck. But aside from the swelling (which can sometimes last a few days before going away completely), the reactions have been only minor inconveniences. That is, of course, until today.

It started with the usual itching and hives that I get around the injection sites. But then the itching spread, and this time, instead of just dissipating after an hour or so it kept getting worse and worse. By the time I made it to the sushi restaurant where I met Richard for dinner, I was itching everywhere, and rashes were popping up on my arms and neck. I even had rashes on the palms of my hands, and they itched like hell. I tried to just eat sushi and hope it would go away but no such luck. By the time we were done eating I was about ready to peel off my skin in order to relieve the itching, and the rashes had been joined by some oh so lovely hives. I left Richard behind to pay the bill and headed home to take some antihistamines and then sit and wait and hope that it would kick in fast, all the while trying desperately to not scratch.

It took about half an hour before the meds kicked in and I finally felt like I was starting to get back to normal. There's no more itching, although a few of the nastier rashes (like the weird ones on my palms) are still hanging around just to taunt me.

I'm really hoping this was just a one time fluke; that after this my body will adjust to the new dosage and the new schedule and go back to just occasionally turning one arm into one huge hive and leave the rest of me alone.

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