Yesterday, I had the unfortunate pleasure of going to the doctor’s office for a basic check-up and to get my allergy/asthma meds refilled. I have year-round allergies, and am allergic to everything found in nature, animals and plants included, which really sucks for an outdoorsy, animal lover such as myself. My asthma, while not exercising, is always set off by my allergies (just let me hang out at your house if you have a cat for while without my inhaler… I do an epic Darth Vader impression).
When the doctor asks me how everything is going and how my asthma is, I tell him the usual; I always use my inhaler before I workout and run, and generally right before I go to bed. This is always when the writing stops and he peers up at me over the rim of his glasses. “If we look back at your test results,” he says, “you responded the strongest to Maple trees, mold, dogs, cats, and grass. You have pets don’t you?”, I proudly respond with, “yes, a cat and a dog.” I always stand firm on this, I have already broken up with 2 allergists for telling me to get rid of my cat…at the second one I replied with, “Sure, lady, kill your second born”…I don’t think so. But my primary doctor knows to tread lightly on certain subjects; my weight and my pets in relation to my allergies/asthma.
He continues to educate me though. “Where most people with allergic reactions show a level of 60 or below, your levels are clear above 1500, so… you are pretty allergic”. Levels of what, I am not sure, but I am smart enough to do the math in my head and realize quickly that 1500 is a heck of a lot higher than 60 (gotta love college).
“Do your pets sleep in your room or on your bed?” I get a quick image in my head of me, sleeping diagonally across my bed, clutching what little covers I can out from under my 70 lb dog, who always wants to sleep right where my body needs to go. Meanwhile, my cat not only sleeps with me, but across my neck, resting her chin in my eye-socket.
“Sometimes,” I reply, not being proud enough of this explain to him my nightly ritual.
“You might want to start shutting your bedroom door, even during the day, to keep them out of there. It will really help. What type of pillow do you use?”
Do I explain to him that, at 27, I sleep on a monkey pillow pet? I am trying to formulate the argument in my head that it is SO soft and supportive, and he’s a monkey! Thankfully he cuts off my train of thought of searching for an answer to give him, “Is it a down pillow?”…”No?”, said with no conviction….”It probably isn’t, down pillows are about $100. You probably haven’t spent $100 on a pillow recently.” Oh great… being poor is now a diagnosable, medical condition. “I would recommend you get a hypo-allergetic pillow, that will help too.”
“Do they make a hypo-allergetic pillow pet?” I want to ask, but I don’t. I know how to pick my battles.
20 minutes later, and loads of sound, adult, doctor recommended advice later, I headed home, where I dove head first into my pillow pet and proceeded to nap for an hour, cat on my head, dog at my feet. Some sacrifices are just so worth it 🙂