Sunday I came face-to-face with a friend who follows my blog. She said, "I've been checking every day for 17 days now to read the results of Lance's allergy testing that you promised back on August 31!" I know, I know; I've been a ba-a-a-a-ad blogger. If you follow my other blog, you know that time and energy have been in short supply; in the case of this blog, I've lacked motivation, too. Oh, there is much to report on, but when you are dealing with a chronic condition like Lance's you never get to announce a recovery or cure. :-/
About the allergy testing. On the last Friday of August the dermatologist and his resident came out to do a skin test on Lance. Rick was running late so they weren't sure how to proceed, since they often tranquilize their patients and Rick was going to do that. But I told them I thought the test would be a non-issue; Lance has always been a great patient and needles aren't a problem. Sure enough, he stood like a rock for getting shaved, marked, and finally, "pin-pricked" (Rick showed up once the test was underway).
The results were pretty clear – and heartbreaking. Out of 61 sampled allergens, Lance has several "hot triggers": nettle, mosquitoes, household dust (not to be confused with "dirt dust," they said), alder, maple, walnut, and black ants. Only one of ten different mold spores got a reaction, which was a pleasant surprise since molds are a common trigger and they run rampant here three seasons out of four. But nettles, alder, maple, and walnut grow all around us, and their pollens aren't just around when they bloom because those pollens become part of the dust/dirt. I don't see black ants around here, but we do have some mosquitoes.
What to do? Allergy shots for that many triggers would be prohibitively expensive and would have to be redone at regular intervals. Moving him to an environment devoid of most if not all his triggers would be ideal, but where would that be and who could I trust with my big red goober? One name came to mind: Anna Blake. The photos on her blog don't show our lush green growth, and from blog posts, emails, and meeting in person, I knew I could trust her with Lance . . . if my heart could let go of him. Shipping Lance to eastern Colorado – and shipping him back to OR if CO didn't help him – would be expensive. But it might give him the opportunity to live a long, loved, useful life without daily drugs. Anna and I have exchanged emails, and for now have left it hanging because I'm not really sure my heart would go on....
Sorry; I was going to update you to the present day, but am having trouble seeing my computer screen at the moment. More later.