Getting used to grass

I’ve started a new treatment for my hay fever allergies, which is desensitisation immunotherapy.

I take a pill of grass extract every day (incidentally called Grazax), for 3 years, and it’s supposed to help my body acclimatise to, well, grass.

I’ve been taking it for a few weeks (orally), and I’ve been getting an allergic reaction from it in my mouth which is, well, relatively mild compared to my worst hay fever flare ups. And it does sort of go away after a few hours. Then I do it again the next day, and so on.

I’ve started noticing slightly increased allergic sensitivity around my face and neck, and this is starting to overlap with the natural “hay fever” season in February so more and more things are co-occurring around the same time, which is the way the treatment is supposed to work.

The overlapping also includes triggers from rash that usually happens after I shave every few days.

Oh, and I need to keep an eye on clean bedsheets and linen, because the prick tests showed I’m equally badly reactive to dust mites, which the allergists initially advised for me to get treatment for because dust mite suffering is all year round but tree / grass is seasonal but I said no, let’s tackle the grass and tree one first because I can control my home environment for dust mites – I can’t control for trees and grass.

(This gets in into patient vs. clinician-centred logic, but I won’t go there)

And apparently they can’t treat for tree, grass AND dust mites all at the same time. But they can treat for tree and grass at the same time, and after three years, treat for dust mites (for another three years). 🤷‍♂️

Anyway, I’m not the sort of person who is naturally good at keeping to daily pill routines, but it’s a habit I’m now getting used to and I have now set up some behavioural and environmental nudges – basically putting my pills next to my daily coffee path, so it co-opts my coffee making path into a coffee+pill path.

The only complication being that the Grazax pill requires me to not eat anything 5 minutes before and after I take the pill.

I must say that I’m still highly appreciative of the NHS and the hospital system this treatment is coming from because it is a university hospital (teaching and research) and the whole thing costs me £0. My other treatments cost me just over £100 a year.

But anyway. New life habits.

A pill every day under my tongue for 1 minute, with no eating anything 5 minutes before and after the pill – for 3 years
Prick test results – I score high for trees, grass and dust mites. I can control for dust mites, but not trees and grass pollen although it is seasonal

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