Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ee-gads!



(FYI: This is a BlogFest series for May. Jump over here to check out the other participants' posts.)
Tuesday: This is the "May I tell you something about myself?" day.


I have ten minutes to blog before my sweet partner comes home, and because I promised that I would cook tonight (a rare occasion), I've got to scoot to make the tofu. But since I have to tell you something about me, and it's pretty obvious that I'm a writer, I'll tell you something on the gross side of information overload.

I have a somewhat rare disorder called eosinophillic esophagitis, which basically means that my white blood cells go on attack mode when I eat, and much like an asthmatic's lungs, my throat tightens into a fist, and I can't swallow anything. Not even spit. I can breathe, but my death-grip esophagus is extraordinarily painful from anywhere between 5 and 45 minutes. I have to excuse myself and pretend-walk (make a mad dash) to the restroom, where I stand over the sink and drool into it until my muscles decide to relax and let me swallow again. It's embarrassing. And then I have to explain to my dinner companions without unduly alarming them or giving them TMI over dinner.

It happens several times a week.

My fabulous specialist finally diagnosed and biopsied me, and has been following my case for several years, as I have the worst condition he's ever seen or heard of.

Then, (Hooray!) because the budesonide meds weren't working to fix my symptoms, he sent me to an allergist. We were both highly skeptical about those allergist people who like to stick needles in their patients. But I bravely went, and had over 100 "scratches" (these are pokes with needles, folks, which in my dictionary are shots), and 14 injections in my arm:

This was not a fun day.

Dr. Baxter (brilliant woman!) saw a connection between my choking and allergens in the air (I didn't show allergies to foods). She concocted a serum for immunotherapy for my plethora of allergies to grasses, trees, dog, etc, which I didn't realize I had, and placed me on a high dose of asthma Respules in liquid form, which I swallow twice a day instead of inhale on a ventilator.

And folks, ever since I've been on the combination of shots and double budesonide, I haven't choked once. I haven't felt this normal in years. This is a happy me.


If you have ee, or have a friend or family member whose throat swells shut when eating, I hope this info helps you. Ask your doctor about seeing an allergist and upping your budesonide doses. Good luck!

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