So this is entirely rambling on my part to put my experience down “on paper” and update my friends & family on what’s “going on”. I’m afraid to hit “publish” because it makes this mini-nightmare all too real…
Today marks a very un-fun anniversary for me. I’ve officially been really sick for two months. The afternoon of Monday, February 13, I started sneezing every few minutes and obsessively blowing my nose. By sneezing, I mean blow-out-your-eardrums-and-get-a-sore-throat kind of sneeze. Our President’s office is right across from mine. He would call out “Bless You” until about the 15th time, then he kindly asked of the last “bless you” could cover the rest of the day. (Of course it does, because then I don’t need to say “excuse me” everytime too!)
Fast forward two months. Still sneezy, constantly congested, miserable. In the past two months, I’ve gone to my family doctor who prescribed an antihistamine pill and a dose of antibiotics in case I have a sinus infection. I took the meds for two weeks with no improvement. I’ve gone to an allergist and had the traditional 80 count skin-prick allergy testing which was inconclusive.
Then I had a round of the higher dose 80 count allergy testing (done with mini needles, no longer a skin prick) which was also inconclusive aside from the outcome I’m allergic to indoor and outdoor mold.
They prescribe me a nasal spray and a pill antihistamine. (Someone please explain how I take a nasal spray when I can’t breathe thru my nose??) They send me to get a blood test to look for 36 additional allergies focused on trees and included Mushrooms. The belief was that It is a seasonal tree allergy due to the timing of the onset. I also have a belief that I have a mushroom allergy, so why not test that too? The entire blood test came back negative!
:::Queue the panic:::
Why would I be panicking? Well, I was hoping it was a seasonal allergy due to the ridiculous increase in pollen this year. If that was the case, I could start on a regime of weekly allergy shots to prevent this madness in the future. No dice. If they don’t know what “it” is, they can’t administer shots to fix “it”.
Due to the fact I couldn’t get my allergist to call me back, I turned to Dr. Google. Stemming off the fact I can’t sleep (I’m in fact writing this at 4am), I spent a lot of time researching mold allergies. I became obsessed with the possibility I had Allergic Fungal Sinusitis. Don’t even google it. It’s really disgusting.
I sent my allergist an extensively long email explaining my thought, fear, and new friendship with Dr. Google since he never returned my three phone calls. Eh hem. He recommended I see an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) to get this checked out and get a second opinion.
I called an ENT recommended by a friend. They could see me in three weeks. I immediately burst into tears and had to hangup. Three more weeks of this before I could even see another Doctor?
I called Mayo Clinic since I have the privilege of having them located in my backyard. They don’t handle Mold cases at their Florida branch. I would need to visit their Minnesota location. Sigh.
I called the ENT referred by my Doctor. That doctor is out of the country for 6 weeks. (omg!). They referred me to another ENT that was able to accept me that afternoon and give me a cat scan. (omg x2 I need a cat scan??)
I go to the visit. The doctor is very interested in the fact I started a new job mid October and even more interested in the fact I moved to a new place the third week of January. He tells me this long drawn out story of a woman in south Florida that had to have her house entirely rebuilt due to Chinese Drywall. Uh… He advises me to spend 4-5 hours at the beach this weekend saying that the clean, pollen free, sea air may clear me up. If that’s the case, we know this is allergy related to pollen, mold or Chinese Drywall. That narrows it down. [sarcasm]
He looks at my nose, my throat, my ears & say I look fine. (I’m NOT fine). He sends me for a CT.
At the cat scan, the nurse is extremely friendly and goes over the quick procedure. I tell him everything will be fine because I’m very photogenic. He laughs.
That night a friend randomly messages me (trying to help) saying it must be Chinese Drywall. I turn to Dr. Google.
I proceed to turn my house upside down at 2 am checking for signs of Chinese Drywall in our house.
:::Now I’m paranoid:::
The next day, I beg Adam to help with looking. I’m exhausted and snotty making it difficult to check things myself. He too is tired, but willingly puts up with my paranoia and inspects our ac unit, copper piping, pennies, silver, and the attic. No signs of Chinese Drywall OR mold, but he did find plenty of spray insulation. Great.
Now I sit and wait for my CT results & pray they give a sign to the Doctor so we can end this madness…in the meantime we’re going boating this weekend. I’ve never been a “sit on the beach” type person but Doctors orders!