Saturday, February 25, 2017

Living with AERD: Early on...

My doctor told me early this month that I was following the typical AERD timeline, including when I was diagnosed with Asthma in high school.  I wanted to share a condensed history in hopes this helps others.   You can read my AERD introduction post here.

When I was younger I had allergies but nothing that wasn't handled by just taking an allergy pill during the spring and fall.  However during my sophomore year of high school that all changed.  I was diagnosed with Asthma and slowly it became worse, affecting my ability to play Field Hockey.  It was "controlled" but not well enough where I could go back to my old daily life just treating the symptoms that I was experiencing.

Fast forward to my college years, I started to get migraines that seemed to stem from eating certain foods, but instead of changing what I ate, my doctor prescribed me the NSAID Anaprox.   I couldn't have aspirin due to an allergy.  The same allergy my mother had, which eventually caused her death due to an aspirin induced asthma attack.  That worked well enough and I went on with my life.   I still ate MSG and other related food and just treated the symptoms.  

During my early 20s, I had moved from NJ to Virginia with my boyfriend (now husband).  I was working at a bank in Northern Virginia when I started to get a headache.  My coworker had an Aleve on her so I took that and within minutes I started to have a severe reaction.   This was one of the worst asthma attacks I had experienced in my life thus far.  Thankfully I was able to recover, and a note was then added to my medical records saying I was not only allergic to aspirin but to NSAIDS as well.  Again, symptoms were treated but nothing else was really done. 

All during this time I was also suffering from severe sinus infections.  I feel like I've been on some sort of antibiotic to treat them most of my adult life.  After this experience with Aleve, I have had worsening Asthma, Allergies, sinus headaches, and other symptoms that were always just treated but never really resolved.  I was suffering daily and it was affecting my family, home life and work life.  

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