Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Rolling Stone Attracts No Allergens
There is a distinct danger in my living in one place for very long. You see, this is the first month of my lease renewal, marking the beginning of the first time I will have lived in one dwelling for more than a year since I graduated from high school. And indeed, the danger has come to pass: the allergens have found me.

I haven't had allergies this bad in forever and ever, and because I'm no longer used to them, they feel that much worse. After I had been on antihistamines pretty much non-stop for a week, I decided to seek professional help. I staged a contest between Eastern and Western medicine that Monday morning, calling both an accupuncturist and the allergist/asthma doctor who has seen me since I was two years old. The accupuncturist saw me that afternoon. The allergist scheduled me three weeks away, with orders that I take no antihistamines for 5 days before I arrived, so he could do a new panel of allergy tests. I figure if I had been only relying on the allergist, I'd be dead by the time the appointment rolled around, or at least wish I was. (On the other hand, I have jury duty two days before that, so I figure I'll get out of being selected simply by looking like I'm going to keel over any minute.) After my first trip to the accupuncturist, I was able to stop existing solely by reliance on antihistamines.

I've actually seen the accupuncturist twice now, and I have to say that the one good thing about living in one place long-term is that I can actually take the time to have enough treatments to have a significant effect on my allergies. My dad had his seasonal allergies essentially killed by his accupuncturist years ago, and I've been wishing I could do the same for some time. Maybe, at the end of this, I'll be able to travel to Florida again, land of asthma-inducing pollens! That would please my grandparents, certainly. Oh, the possibilities!

It'll be interesting to see the Western allergist in two weeks and find out what all I'm really allergic to now, but other than that, I'm betting he'll just want to put me back on steroid treatments that only target the symptoms and not the root problem. This all sort of reminds me of the argument I heard between two of the doctors at the hospital I was teaching at in China, about the merits of the two different medical approaches. Perhaps when my allergies clear some more, I'll have something insightful to say.

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