I almost love this time of year.
The warmer weather (high 80’s for the past few days!), enjoying a glass of vino on the back patio after work, joints not being stiff and achy from the cold. And then there’s all of that yellow stuff. I left one of my clients this afternoon and witnessed a pollen tornado when the wind blew slightly.
I got in my car and promptly called my eye doctor to order a new box of contacts so I can throw the ones currently caked to my eyes in the trash.
Pre RA, I had serious allergy issues starting in high school. I was the unlucky butt of the high school gossip machine when, for a whole week during an especially rough allergy season, I threw up every morning in the high school bathroom. Yes, they thought I was pregnant- friends, teachers, the whole lot of them- and even though I assured everyone that my boyfriend of the time and I were doing nothing that could even remotely cause a pregnancy, it was still highly awkward to have to field those questions, especially when my parents heard about it. For the record, we realized after a week of this that it was caused by my taking a new prescription of allergy meds in the morning on an empty stomach. The vomiting stopped when I started taking them at bedtime. Yes, I’m still slightly defensive of this.
In college, I wound up having to take allergy shots and continued to do so for about five years. The results were immediate- I remember calling my parents several months after I started them to inform them that I had just been on a hayride. Success!
I’ve always wondered about the interaction between allergy shots and RA. I mean, I know that if you have serious issues with one thing of the autoimmune variety that it does predispose you to having serious issues with another. When I was first diagnosed, I really wanted to go back on allergy shots to see if this would help. I based this off of the fact that I had had such tremendous relief from allergies and that if the shots could train my body how to appropriately respond to allergens, then maybe just maybe it could retrain my body’s response with rheumatoid arthritis.
I mentioned this to my first rheumatologist and he shot it down immediately. Oh well.
Apparently, from what he told me, this could actually make it worse. I can kinda see where he’s coming from with that- I guess that these are two different responses with one immune system- but I have always been curious. An out of whack immune system is an out of whack immune system is an out of whack immune system, right?
So, while the allergies subsided, the RA ran wild. My only solace is that allergies tend to change over time- I read somewhere that they run in seven year cycles- so I’m hoping that the RA will surprise me and do the same.
And for now, I will continue to almost love this time of year…with a healthy dose of Zyrtec.