Allergy 1 2 3 Patient Experience: Mary Trivett
Like many of our patients, Mary Trivett experienced occasional bouts of seasonal allergies. But over the last couple years, she noticed that her symptoms were never really going away as the seasons changed.
One of the most common symptoms of environmental allergies (after the standard sniffles and sneezes) is fatigue.
“Having allergies drains your energy, and also causes other things you wouldn’t normally associate,” says Mary. For her, an unexpected symptom of her allergies was acid reflux, brought on by constant (but not always noticeable) nasal and sinus drainage into her digestive system.
“If I can control the drainage, which isn’t always obvious, then the reflux disappears.”
She came to see Jessica Cantwell, FNP, at Apple Healthcare Group and took the scratch test from Allergy 1 2 3. This locally-customized test covers 58 allergens common to East Tennessee. The results revealed that Mary was allergic to several items on the test, and her beloved cats were near the top of the list.
Mary grew up with cats, and had never been allergic to them before, but allergies can and do change over time. Periodic re-testing is a good idea, especially if you have symptoms that are not resolving on their own.
Like most devoted animal lovers, Mary had no intentions of giving up her beloved pets, so she started the take-home immunology treatments to build up her body’s resistance to cat dander and the other allergens she for which she tested positive.
She admits being a bit nervous about the at-home treatment protocol at first, especially wondering what might happen if she had an allergic reaction to the treatment itself.
First treatments are always given in the office, under the supervision of a provider, to make sure that patients are comfortable with giving themselves the shots and that no unexpected reactions occur. Most patients are quite comfortable with the procedure after the first treatment, and the subsequent at-home treatments save hours of time compared to having to drive to an appointment multiple times over many weeks.
As with many things, a little wisdom and common sense go a long way.
“She said, ‘don’t go play out in the yard and then come in and take your shot, because you might have a reaction,’” Mary recalled.
While reactions after the first treatment are very rare, it’s still a good idea to make sure you haven’t been recently exposed to large quantities of allergens and that your skin and clothing aren’t contaminated.
Managing allergies is still a balancing act for Mary, but with the progress she has made in building up resistance to allergens, minimizing exposure to allergens (except the cats, of course!) and responding to occasional short-term symptoms with appropriate medications and other treatment, her energy levels and quality of life have improved greatly.
Want to learn more about how you can benefit from testing and treatment options from Allergy 1 2 3 and Apple Healthcare?
Call us today at 865-769-9685!