You’ll feel a pinch: Allergy Shots Part 2

In part 1 of my allergy shot series I talked about how I made the decision to pursue allergy shots to treat my year round allergies. Now comes the hard part: actually following through with the recommended course of treatment. Like all immunotherapy patients at my allergist’s office I fell into a pattern. I would often see the same folks sitting in the waiting room with me week in and week out. In the early part of the course when I was going once a week it definitely took some planning on my part to make sure that I had a gap in the calendar every week.

I was fortunate that at the allergist’s office I didn’t have to make an appointment. They just had designated times slots Monday to Saturday where allergy shots were given on a first come, first serve basis. At the student health center, where I got my shots when classes were in session, I had to make an appointment to get my shot. There were pro’s and con’s to both the walk in and scheduled shot approaches. It definitely helped me to have an appointment in my calendar in terms of being prepared and not missing a dose. However, it was also nice to go with the flow and not worry if I overslept by 10 minutes when I was home at getting shots at the allergist. Tried to give myself appointment times in my calendar to stay accountable and make sure I stayed on track.

Not to state the obvious but needing to be there for an allergy shot every week really puts a cramp on vacation plans. There was a touch of flexibility that I could be gone for 8 or 9 days without getting behind on my shots. However, going backpacking across Europe or spending a month on a family cross country road trip wasn’t going to happen until I finished shots. As I got farther into my course of shots it got easier to plan time away. I would also try to keep in mind where shots would fall within semester schedules. For me, after I got my shots all I wanted to do was take a nap or maybe watch some TV, or read a book. Clearly not a good combo if I had 2 big papers due the next morning or needed to study for an important exam.

The actual process of the shot for me was no big deal. I rolled up my sleeves, let the nurse pinch the skin in the right spot, a quick jab, and we were on to the other arm. Shots in general don’t bother me so I just wanted the nurse to go for it without any countdowns. I just closed my eyes, took some deep breaths, thought about my weekly to do list, and let them do the shots. I’m sure they would’ve counted down or given me some other warning if I’d asked. From there it was out to the waiting room for 30 minutes of quietly keeping myself busy. They’d take a look at how my arm reacted and then I was headed home to reunite with the couch. Are your allergy shot experiences similar to mine?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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