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Idiopathic

Posted on Monday, November 10th, 2008

Dave!After nearly dying early yesterday morning, I decided it might be in my best interest to see an expert allergist in hopes that they can figure out what's trying to kill me. With my luck taking a turn for the better, they were able to squeeze me in for an appointment this afternoon.

Alas, it was luck too good to last.

I'm told that my angioedema (random swelling due to the release of histamines by my mast cells) is idiopathic. As in "we don't know what the hell causes your body to freak out." The good news is that I don't have to worry about the food I'm eating or anything in my environment causing my tongue to swell up to four times its usual size. The bad news is that my tongue can swell up to four times its usual size for no reason at all. The worse news is that if this happens while I'm sleeping, it's kind of a big deal, because I'll have less time to react (assuming the lack of oxygen causes me to eventually wake up)...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave with swollen tongue and red eyes!

So now I'm on a steady diet of antihistamines in an attempt to eliminate (or, at the very least, reduce the severity of) my allergic reactions. I'm also a little more serious about being sure I have access to an EpiPen at all times. You never know when a nice shot of delicious adrenaline will be needed to save me.

Ain't life a bitch?

Oh well. It could be worse. They could have told me I was allergic to chocolate pudding.


Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Robin says:

    But with your insomnia, you don’t sleep anyway. Right? Problem solved.

    Seriously, there has got to be something causing that. A visit to another allergist maybe?

  2. Iron Fist says:

    Hmm. Are you going to try to get a second opinion? I only ask because I am vaguely suspicious of doctors when they say, “Gosh! No known cause! You’re on your own!”

  3. Brandon says:

    Ah ha….So it isn’t the clowns at all. Now I know why you are afraid to go to sleep. I don’t blame you one bit.

  4. jester says:

    Is there anyway you can, you know…. direct the swelling… you know… to other localized… you know… areas?

  5. yellojkt says:

    Good news and bad news. At least it isn’t hops, either. Life as a vegetarian without beer wouldn’t be worth living.

  6. metalmom says:

    WOW that sucks. At least you still have pudding…that is always a plus. :)

  7. theklotz says:

    dave – i have an auto-immune problem and my tongue is the first thing that swells when i have a flare, and generally it goes nuts at night. Things like lupus and MS are rare in men, but i would still look into it. You should get a second opinion at a rheumatologist and ask your dr. if you can try low dose steroids next time it happens to see if it has an effect. Steroids suppress the immune system response and are a quick solution to allergic reactions.

  8. jenny says:

    Idiopathic? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Maybe we should all get epi-pens as well, just in case you can’t find yours. Epi-pen keychains for xmas!

  9. Miss Britt says:

    Did they tell you that if you ever have to use an EpiPen that you don’t actually have to stab yourself in the heart a la Pulp Fiction?

    Because I hear sometimes they tell you that. They’ll try to make you think a shot to the leg is just as good.

    And I’m telling you right now, that’s bullshit. Shot to the heart!!!

    (And also, that really does suck and is very scar :-( )

  10. Kawika says:

    Aloha, Dave. I’ve been following your blog for a while now. I came across it one day when someone asked me if I was its author…because my name is Dave (I actually go by Kawika, Hawaiian for Dave) and it’s well known that I have a fondness for monkeys (only the illustrated kind).

    There’s something else we might have in common, too.

    Dave, do you sneeze if you look at the sun or go outside on a bright sunny day after being in a dark area? Can looking up at ceiling lights do the same thing?

    Add “Methionine” to a google search that includes Angioedema and Idiopathic.

    You’ll get some interesting results riding along amongst the garbage. Might be of some help.

  11. kapgar says:

    Have you always carried an EpiPen with you? Ever had to use it? Do the airlines ever give you a hard time?

  12. A Lewis says:

    you know, it would have been horribly helpful if they could have identified a little something for you to go on. Ugh. Now you’re still in the dark! I think the more handsome men are, and the more georgous that women are, the more they suffer in this way!

  13. Hilly says:

    Don’t worry, I’m a WebMD expert now…we’ll turn that “idiopathic” nonsense around in no time with my super skills of diagnosis!

    Om a separate note, my PTC is idiopathic as well…luckily though, it comes and goes a helluva lot less frequently than your tongue swelling. :)

  14. Sue says:

    Wow. I agree, get a second opinion. I’d hate to think there is *nothing* they can do for you that prevents this completely.

    I thought idiopathic was a made up word for the doctor being an idiot.

  15. sizzle says:

    I’m glad you are finding the bright side (PUDDING!).

  16. Ren says:

    Maybe you’re allergic to Photoshop? Perhaps you can be on an episode of House and they’ll figure it out after nearly killing you several times.

    Seriously, though, this sucks.

    Maybe you should insert a breathing tube before sleeping?

    Oh, and I have that sunlight-sneeze thing.

  17. Lisa says:

    Wow Dave, I’m so sorry you are going through all of this. It has to be scary. You are in my thoughts.

  18. Nicole says:

    If it makes you feel any better Dave, I am allergic to chocolate AND dairy, so chocolate pudding is totally out for me!

  19. ChillyWilly says:

    The big relief of course, is that chocolate pudding is safe for you to eat.

    Sorry you are going through these allergy issues. I will certainly be grateful that the worse I get is stuffy nose during wet weather.

  20. Sybil Law says:

    That scares the crap out of me! Geez.
    I would keep searching for a better answer, too.
    I hope you are safe from here on out.

  21. claire says:

    That really sucks. 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinions sound like a good idea. You’ve gotta figure idiopathic means either the doctors you’ve seen don’t know, or they just don’t know yet. At least there’s still pudding.

    Also, I once had a dream where I got shot and getting shot felt like not being able to breathe, so I woke up… because I actually couldn’t breathe. So if you get shot or are suffocating in your dreams, wake the frak up!

  22. SunSpotBaby says:

    Dude – you need to get one of those things they attach to preemies that sound an alarm when they stop breathing – what if you DON’T wake up one time when your tongue/throat swells??? I’m just sayin…..

  23. Dude. I’m so sorry. But, CHOCOLATE PUDDING! But, that whole “can’t breathe while sleeping” sucks. But, RED LICORICE!

    Did I help any? Dang…

  24. Mooselet says:

    Sounds more auto-immune than idiopathic. Either way it blows goats. I mean I’m glad you get to keep your chocolate pudding and all, but random tongue/throat/epiglottis/any part of your respiratory system swelling is NOT good. Understatement of the year, that.

  25. My tongue only swells like that with a few things…namely chicken/eggs. I know you’re a vegetarian but it isn’t really chicken/eggs that makes my tongue swell but the protein.

    So if you saw an expert allergist just TODAY..who were you seeing before? A clown doctor?

  26. Oh my goodness, dude please be careful. I sure would miss your blog if you know, well if you have a swollen tongue and can’t post a blog due to swollenness!!!

    :O)

  27. Jeff says:

    I’m with Brit. That Pulp Fiction scene was intense. You should pull it out sometime at a party and jab it into your chest just for the awesome effect of it.

  28. TSM says:

    I just realized what a horrible friend I am.

    All I can think about is the many uses for a tongue that is four times its normal size.

    I’m sick. Just sick.

  29. Sarah says:

    Now I feel a little guilty. The other day I was just making cupcakes for me when obviously I should have been making chocolate pudding to cheer you up. How rude was I?

  30. twinkie says:

    Dude. Are you wearing a “wife beater”?

  31. Dave2 says:

    It’s a tank top. I was wearing it under my shirt at a party where these photos were taken. As the night went on, and I got drunker, the over-shirt came off, leaving only the tank top.

  32. Yeah, I’m leaning on the ‘get a second opinion’ side of the fence. I hate those fuckers that just shrug their shoulders. Srsly though, good news about the chocolate pudding eh?

  33. True says:

    I think you’re having an allergic reaction to your ego. Good luck with that.

  34. Dave2 says:

    YES! It took you long enough! To think some people were actually betting that NOBODY would take the bait on my greatness entry! Thanks so much for having absolutely no concept of sarcastic humor!

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