The Lydster, Part 126: Allergies

looks like a young Stormy

looks like a young Stormy

The Daughter went to the allergist in early August to get a skin test. She tested positive for dust mites, plus pollens in grass, ash, birch, beech, maple, oak and poplar. These were previously known.

The new wrinkle: she’s now allergic to cats.

As noted, we got two cats last year. Continue reading


Bring back the bad weather!

EMPACMother’s Day, May 10, was absolutely beautiful. Blue skies, decent temperatures, no rain, flowers in bloom. Had a nice dinner with an extended troupe of in-laws in Catskill, an hour south of Albany. Got home that evening, went to bed with a hacking cough, which led to a sore throat, in lieu of sleeping. This was not a cold or the flu; this was allergy, to trees, and grass, and pollen. There are conflicting theories as to whether a long and harsh winter could lead to an equally irritating spring allergy season, because it postpones the budding.

All I know is that I was miserable, despite getting injections every four weeks for several months. Now I’m on Fluticasone (nose spray), Advair (an inhaler) and am taking Zyrtec tablet (actually the OTC equivalent); the latter makes me tired, so I take it only at night. I’ve been sleeping sitting up for most of last week and a half.

Oh, yeah, The Daughter has almost exactly the same symptoms.

Saturday night, went to the concert of the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in nearby Troy. EMPAC is a technological marvel, but more than that, it is really cool. Inside the glass enclosure, it reminds one of a ship, in a good way.

I was so looking forward to the concert. ASO highlights living composers. But shortly after the beginning of the first piece, by John Harbison, I felt a coughing jag coming on. Since I was smack dab in the middle, I had to quickly climb past several people, and leave the theater. Couldn’t stop coughing for about ten minutes. Finally, the hacking subsided, and I caught, outside the doors, most of the second piece, also by Harbison.

But I was happy to sit in the back while catching Scattered, a “Concerto for Scat Singing, Piano & Orchestra,” written and performed by Clarice Assad. Here’s the second movement, performed a couple years back; that section is much slower than the first or third movements.

After intermission, composer Joan Tower, who is quite funny, introduced her piece that featured famed percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie in her return to the Albany Symphony; she played on the ASO’s Grammy-winning recording, awarded this year. Glennie, not incidentally, has been deaf since the age of twelve.

The concert was not a total bust, as I did to hear more than half of it. Still, I want this lousy feeling to GO AWAY.

Like father, like daughter: to the E.R. again

The Daughter: STILL allergic

When we last saw our intrepid little family, the father of the household was getting a ride home from his overnight hospital stay Friday afternoon by his lovely wife. Saturday, he was still exhausted; he didn’t sleep well Thursday night, and Friday night’s rest was insufficient. He muddled through Saturday, doing a minimum of vacuuming and dish washing, and not much else.

Even Sunday morning, there was a sense of fatigue within him. But since almost everyone knew about the hospital incident, he wanted to show up to prove he was still among the living. Fortunately, all the songs the choir sang he had performed before.

At the coffee hour, somehow the Daughter had gotten permission (not from her father) to eat some coffee cake, despite being unclear about its origins. Apparently it’s one of those items that had that warning that it may be processed in a plant that used peanuts or nuts. She is allergic to peanuts, and peanuts and nuts are often processed in the same place.

Shortly after consuming it, she got every upset. Was it a belated sense of fear? Her father took her into a quiet room and tried to calm her down. She was OK for a bit, but by the time she got home, she had a stomachache, and eventually upchucked. This was actually a good thing; the first time she had an allergic reaction, when she was three, that was how her body responded. So the family thought it was in the clear.

A couple hours later, the Wife noticed, above the knees and below the neck hives over about 30% of The Daughter’s body. It itched greatly. After a call to the pediatrician, another trek to the E.R.

It’s much less busy Thursday at 8:40 a.m. than Sunday at 5:30 p.m. She got some Benedryl, stronger than the OTC we had given her. Then the family stopped at the McDonalds; the Wife seems to believe going inside is faster, an unproven premise, but staying in the car would have meant avoiding the most rude, vulgar-language customer; “Where’s my f@#$ing food?” , more than once, among other things.

The Daughter was asleep by the time the family got home. she got through dinner then was practically carried to bed; the Wife stayed home with her on Monday.

The lesson relearned – no food where peanuts or nuts are processed. I hadn’t heard the rule had changed…
That evening,there was an ambulance in front of our house. It was actually called for our next door neighbor’s house. The father of one of the college kids had been drinking a couple bottles of beer with the guy when he was having some difficulties – I didn’t get the details. Turns out e had food poisoning; glad it wasn’t worse.


A is for Allergies

I was feeling pretty lousy in the spring, worse in the summer, and not so great in the fall. Sneezing, scratchy throat, watery eyes, off and on for months. So I decided to visit my daughter’s allergist. After the doctor took my health history, a nurse treated my arms like pin cushions in trying to ascertain what, if anything, I was allergic to.

The good news is that I am NOT allergic to any animals or any foods; so no peanut allergy, like my daughter has. The bad news is that I am allergic to – and no, I don’t know what they all mean Continue reading


The Lydster, Part 85: Peanut free

As some of you know, the daughter has a peanut allergy, discovered when she was given a peanut butter cookie shortly before she was three. Interestingly, she didn’t have the typical symptoms of swelling. Instead, she vomited – several times. And she has been tested about a year ago, and she is still allergic.

I’ve noted here in the past that there are basically two kinds of people, when it comes to food allergy safety; Continue reading