Friday, May 20, 2011

New Adventures in Futility

I really need to learn to ignore everything that the allergy shot nurses say about fractions.

Allergy shots come in four dilutions. The "red" vials have the full-strength vaccine. Green is 1:10 dilution; blue is 1:100; gold is 1:1000. You start out receiving 0.05cc of the gold (weakest) solution, and they step up your dose until you reach 0.5cc. At that point you move up to the next stronger dilution--but you go back down 0.05cc. So while the vaccine is ten times stronger, you receive one-tenth as much.

It has happened twice now: When I moved up from gold to blue and then again when I moved up from blue to green, the nurse has warned me that since I have moved up to the next stronger dilution that I should be extra-vigilant about a reaction because she alleges that I am receiving a much larger dose.

My claim is that one needn't be too concerned about the first dose from the new vial. Going from blue to green is nothing compared with going from one shot to the next in the red series.