This is what it looks like when they test for allergies. This poor little guy doesn't look too bad, they must not be testing for very many allergens. When Asthma Doc tests my kids, they have 4 columns that go all the way down the back, my kids have a LOT more welts on their back.
After they scratch the skin with a vial of allergen, you have to wait 20 minutes for the welts to form. Oh, and did I mention that you can't move??!! If you do, it messes up the test. They measure the welts after the test, if it's a certain size, that means you are allergic to that particular allergen.
Then they mix up a vial of serum just for you, and you start allergy shots. We start out going twice a week (every week), you get a shot in each arm. So you are really getting 4 shots a week. Then once you get to a certain level, you go once a week. Then you can move to every other week, then once a month. The whole process usually takes 3-5 years.
The most important thing about allergy shots is that you stay 20 minutes EVERY time. They are giving you an injection of what you are allergic to, so there is small chance that you can experience anaphylaxis. Think it won't happen to you? Well, we didn't either.....
You can read more about our "fun experience" with anaphylaxis
All three of my teenagers have had allergy shots.That means years, and years, and years of going to Asthma Doc for shots. First with Son #2, a few years later with Son #1, and then with Kitty. She FINALLY made it to maintenance!!!! Which means that we can go every other week now. If she can maintain allergy control at that level, later on we can move to once a month.
Allergy shots have been such a big part of our lives for the last 14 years. (Each of the kids qualified for allergy shots at separate times, so each one was on a different 5 year schedule.) It seems strange that she doesn't have to go every week. I won't have to leave work early/find a neighbor to take Kitty/try to persuade one of her brothers to take her.
Having allergy shots is a LONG road, but for some people, their allergies can't be controlled by taking medication. My kids take medicine year round, but still have problems. We were all laughing the other day because Kitty sneezed about 17 times in a row!
You know, I really should have bought stock in Puffs Lotion tissue company. I have probably bought cases of tissues over the years....