Allergies, Med School, and Diabetes--Bad Combination!

Hi, everyone. It's been a while since I posted--mostly because I started med school in August and a lot of the time before that was spent preparing (and all the time after that has been spent studying). I check in every now and then and snoop quietly (just in case you were wondering).

I guess I'm posting now just to vent. My blood sugars have been not great lately, even on days when I exercise (though that's been helping somewhat). My fastings are even edging perilously close to 100 (I know, it isn't that bad, but I have NEVER had issues with fasting numbers, not even before I started taking meds). I guess a lot of that is stress, but some of it is...something that could only happen to me.

It turns out that I'm allergic to both the anatomy lab and to the washing machines in the dorm. I take Zyrtec daily because of my airborne nut allergy, but now I have to add Benadryl a half hour before anatomy 2-3 times per week and I also get to wear a mask to lab.

Long story short about the laundry in the dorm is that the detergent has to go straight into the machine, not on the clothes, so my detergent gets to mingle with everyone else's, and I'm allergic to most of them. That could explain the crappy blood sugars of the last...four or so days (and I guess I'm washing my clothes at a friend's house from now on). When you add that to anatomy lab allergy high blood sugar crap, you get two highs that last for hours (one of which was a 180 that stuck with me for almost all of my 2 hour lecture).

I'm frustrated because, as far as I know, no one else in my class of nearly 200 has diabetes, and because I am the ONLY person in my year allergic to everything (and definitely the only person in the past few years allergic to the anatomy lab). I guess I should be happy they haven't made a big deal out of the anatomy thing, but there is probably very little tolerance for not studying because I'm tired from both Benadryl and being high.

I've always been interested in the real-life, day-to-day of living with chronic diseases, especially multiples like me. I guess it'll make me a more empathetic doctor, but right now I'm just annoyed.

I don't have any advice except to say I hate diabetes and allergies and especially the combination of both. It complicates everything so much. I just got my A1c done and found it has risen to 7.9 because I'm finding it impossible to eat low(ish)-carb with all my dietary restirctions and because I'm taking multiple steroids (I know topical steroids aren't suppose to raise blood sugar, but taking 3-4 of them at the same time might!). I try stopping the steroids and last about a week before my nose and lungs implode and I wake up barely able to breathe. And I know all too well how crappy the medication is. I hate taking it. I end up choosing between feeling exhausted all day or feeling sick all day from allergies.

I'm starting allergy shots this week. Would that be an option for you? My shots won't cover all of my environmental allergies (and of course they can't do food), but they will cover about half of them. To be honest I am somewhat terrified of having a bad reaction, knowing how twitchy my immune system is, but I am so hoping it helps my body calm down or at the very least not develop any new allergies. (I'm now apparently anaphylactic to milk. I knew I was allergic but didn't think it was THAT bad until I had a severe reaction to a muffin with milk in it (that was missed when checking ingredients) over the summer. I was stupid (again) and didn't use my epipen even though I should have.)

I'm also starting to have airborne reactions on planes. Never had those in my life until the past year and a half. In that time I've had two reactions while onboard planes. I used to sort of think people were over-reacting when they talked about planes and allergies. Now I find myself seriously considering getting a mask and calling the airline to request a cat buffer zone (the only food they will buffer for are nuts and peanuts) and wiping down my seating area next time I fly.

I hope medical school is going well otherwise. It must be extremely busy. You will be an amazing doctor when you are done, though!

Hi Guitarnut: Well, I don't know much about allergies, but I do want to give you a HUGE CONGRATS on starting med school!!! Awesome!