Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From the allergist's office.

Today I went back to have a nice, long visit with Dr. A-.  It seems as though my bee sting from October 23, 2011 flared up when I smacked my shin on the step, it was healing and I itched it, causing the bee sting area to get big, red and welted. 

Y'all, it wasn't so pretty.

On Monday morning, I called the allergist's office to see if he had any available appointments.  He didn't have any, but they said that they would call if he added some to his schedule.  I told her that I would go ahead and make an appointment with Dr. W-, my family doctor.  An hour later, I got a call that there were free appointments and would I like to have one.

Yes, please.

I had to leave work for an hour and a half, but the time was more than well worth it.  Here's the scoop:

Dr. A- said that he was "stunned by the negative bee tests given [my] family history" and my reaction to the yellow jacket sting.  I said that I was rather surprised myself and it was a two-sided coin.  On one hand, I was relieved to have it come back negative.  On the other hand, I told him that I feared that it made me look like a fool.

He assured me that wasn't he case.

He went on to tell me that though I tested negative, he's having me come back in 6 months for a retest on the bee venom (skin only) and to continue with the remainder of the skin testing for general allergies.  Then, I was told the most interesting piece of information. 

He's not convinced that I'm not allergic to bees. 

Seems as though there is 3% of the bee allergic population that tests negative.  Though he has never had such a case in his office, he said that he certainly would not discount it.  Family history (Grandpa died as a result of bee stings) and my reaction are enough to keep me hauling the Epi.  He said that I should have one, especially if I go down south.  "Do you go golfing?"  "No, but we camp."  "Do you camp in cabins or in a camper?"  "No, we tent camp."  "Oh!  Hearty people!"  He asked where we go and I told him Hocking Hills and Ohiopyle were a few places, and those aren't particularly close to hospitals.  He reviewed my concerns, discussed my welted and discolored leg and has given me a delightful prescription for a cream to apply "one week on and one week off" as it can cause skin atrophy.

"I like my skin.  I'd rather not have atrophy."  He smirked.

He discussed that when I shave my legs, I want to make sure to use the cream 12 hours later.  "Dr. A-, it is the winter and women don't shave their legs much in the winter."  "I didn't really know that."  "Just take a poll.  Others will agree."  He couldn't help but to laugh. 

So, the wind-up is this.  I have this cream.  I'll use it as directed.  If the cream doesn't make the bee irritation bit go away, I'll need to go to Dr. W- and have him perform a "punch biopsy" to remove the core of the scar that I have.  Perhaps that is something in there that is causing an irritation and the punch biopsy would possibly take care of it.  Hey, it could be worse. 

What is truly delightful is that Dr. A- is extremely thorough.  He takes his time with you.  He was with me for about a half hour.  He didn't think that I was a nut case and completely understood my concerns.  Hooray for scoring yet another wonderful doctor!

On a somewhat related note, I took my cream prescription to the local grocery up the street.  I was able to speak with the pharmacist at length about my need to fire my pharmacy, my desire to switch over to them and how things will be filled through their pharmacy.  I explained what happened with the Lipitor and he explained that insurance companies will possibly not be honoring the name brand version anymore.  Generics have to be the same active ingredient as their name brand counterpart, but their filler components can be different.  I explained my concern about switching to generic from name branded Lipitor and he understood.  He told me that I would need to have the prescription written "dispense as written" and all would be well with the insurance companies.  He was a wonderful young man who really took his time with me.  I did find out that they only carry Allegra D OTC, so I'll have to have the prescription for that transferred over to another Giant Eagle, or just bite it and leave it there.  Argh.

Hooray for good medical people!  What a wonderful thing to be thankful for!

Have a great day!


Rach said...

I KNEW you had to be allergic given your reaction. I'm glad you scored well with another excellent doctor. This is good news. The bee sting allergy? Notsomuch, other than it means you aren't a nutjob. ;o)

And, hooray on the pharmacy front.

Michelle said...

Yep, I'm one of those who definitely slows down on shaving during the winter! My legs are covered by my jeans so what does it matter! Ha! Glad to hear you had a great experience with this doc!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

We always say "Reaction Trumps Result". If you presented allergic then like the Dr. said, consider yourself allergic and be prepared with the Epi. What can it hurt? If you really aren't allergic than you are just carrying around some meds for nothing. If you are allergic and aren't prepared... well, we don't need to talk about that.
I'm glad you like him! So many doctors are busy and don't give their patients enough time. He sounds really good!