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Monday, 20 December 2010

Allergic - but to what?!

Before I write this post, I should point out that I am anaphylactic.  I had never even heard of this word before three years ago, when I suffered my first attack.  I was visiting my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in Paris. 

 We had had a lovely time at the Church Summer Fete and started to walk back home.  I should point out that it was that very hot summer and temperatures were in the 90's.  Anyway, whilst I was walking along, I started to feel really ill and ended up collapsing in the road.  Fortunately we were quite near to the house, and my son-in-law was able to carry me into the house and they phoned for the ambulance.

As you can imagine, it was quite frightening for my family as they just didn't know what was going on.  First of all, they thought that I had suffered a stroke.  Anyway, I was whisked along to the nearest hospital with the blue lights of the ambulance flashing.

The next thing I knew, my daughter was looking down at me, telling me that I had nearly died.  I found that very difficult to believe, as I had never really been ill before that.

I am sure that some of my blogging friends might suffer from the same condition, but it is very worrying for me, in that I do not know just what it is that I am allergic to.  As soon as I returned to England, I had to attend the local Hospital to have all these different allergy tests, but they couldn't come up with a positive result.

Since that time, I have suffered from about three attacks each year, and I had my latest one on Saturday afternoon.  I hate needles and, at first, the thought of having to inject myself with the Epi-pen was quite frightening, but now, you are just so anxious to get some relief, that you do it without thinking.

The attack on Saturday was particularly bad and lasted much longer than usual.  At first, my hands start to swell, then my tongue.  Then I feel my head getting bigger and my eyes swelling, so that I end up looking something like the elephant man - NOT a pretty sight!  Then my skin starts itching, which gets so bad that I feel that the blood is literally boiling just under my skin, and I have to scratch until it bleeds and, finally, my throat starts to close over. 

That is the really frightening bit, because you are literally trying to gasp for air and it is very easy to really start to panic.  The thing with anaphylaxis is that, once you have had your first attack, your body can become allergic to things that, in the past, you have eaten with no problem whatsoever.

I try not to let it worry me too much, and do eat all sorts of things, but there's always that niggling doubt at the back of my mind as to whether it will start off another attack.

I always carry my Epi-pen with me, along with a supply of anti-histamine tablets, so that I am prepared at all times. 


On a much brighter note, I seem to have gained NINE new followers in the last few days, which is rather lovely.  I would like to say a big welcome to all my new followers and do hope that you will enjoy visiting my Blog. 

31 comments:

SkippyMom said...

Wow! How terribly frightening. Aren't there some sort of allergy tests they can run to narrow down what it might be.

I know that shellfish, nuts and bees are at the forefront of allergies requiring epi pens here in the States, but I could imagine it could be just about anything. That must be so scary.

I am glad you are okay - honestly - I cannot even imagine. Hope they figure it out for you soon.

Hugs! [Still loving the snowflakes!]

SkippyMom said...

Oh my goodness I just saw Santa ride by. How neat! :D Thanks for that too.

Thisisme said...

Glad you like Santa! As you can see, I'm throwing everything at your this week to get into the Christmas spirit! LOL!

Thisisme said...

Hi SkippyMom! I think perhaps I will have to see the Dr again and get them to look at the allergy thing again. It seems to be happening a bit too often at the moment. Strangely enough, I can eat nuts and shellfish!

Garnetrose said...

Oh, my! That has to be so scary. You would not know what to eat or what you were around that causes the reaction. I know my niece has to be very careful her husband does not get anything with peanut butter or peanuts in or he will get violently ill. I hope they find out what your allergy is.

Gawgus things... said...

How scary for you - on SATURDAY.... Hope you keep your epipen with you at all times. Congrats on your new followers!

Thisisme said...

Garnetrose - thank you!

Thisisme said...

Gawgus things - yes, I will certainly make sure that my Epi-pen is glued to me!!

Odie Langley said...

When my grandson's were born we had our first experience with alergy attacks finding out they are extremely alergic to peanuts. As much as my side of the family loves and has eaten so many jars of peanut butter. Now my daughter has to read every label before letting them eat anything.

Thisisme said...

Odie - It must be very worrying for your daughter, as nuts seem to be in so many things, or at least nut traces. Have a good week.

ANichols.Too said...

Wow--that really has to be horrible, to not even know what it is around you that can set off your reaction...and such a potentially deadly one at that! Glad you keep your epinephrine close...please don't ever forget it!

Shady Del Knight said...

I am terribly sorry to learn about this health concern, Thisisme, especially since doctors have been unable to pinpoint what's triggering these episodes. Keep that pen close at all times and try to keep track of what you consume or come into contact with because it might help you identify the culprit. You are in my prayers.

Thisisme said...

Thanks Too! I won't. Seems to have been a while since i've heard from you!

Thisisme said...

Shady - thank you so much. That is very sweet of you.

Bouncin' Barb said...

This...I'm very glad you shared this but now every time we don't hear from you I'm going to panic. Glad you have your pen with you. I do believe that you need to see another specialist for testing. There's got to be a reason why this is happening. Something triggers it. Hope you are good now. I guess you know we love you by now right? congrats on all the followers you've gained. Way to go!

Thisisme said...

Bouncin'Barb - thank you for your caring comments and, yes, I can feel the lurve from here!!! Hope all is well at your end.

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Ah! That's so scary.

Crissy said...

You are so brave! I have been allergic to shellfish my whole life and used to get allergy shots for many other things and have never had to use my epi-pen. I don't know if I would be able to even IF I had to. But you made the valid point about just wanting that relief...luckily benadryl has always done the trick for me in case of a problem. I feel you on your allergy issues though, hope you stay safe and are able to always enjoy yourself!

Ann Nichols said...

Oh my... so so sorry to read this. I do so hope that you find out what it is that you are allergic to soon! But you have the right attitude...carry your meds and keep vigilant. Isn't it something how we can be without allergies and then suddenly... we've got them. (I was never allergic to bees but am now!) At least you know it now.
Blessings for a lovely week!
Ann
PS Please visit with me at my blog - I'd love to have you along! (I'm your 40th follower!)

Thisisme said...

Crissy - thank you so much for popping over to my Blog. Lovely to hear from you and thank you for your wishes. Believe me, you would use your Epi-pen if you had to!! All best wishes for Christmas.

Thisisme said...

Hallo Ann. Nice to meet you and thank you for visiting me and becoming my 40th follower. My! I feel I should offer you a prize!!! I have gone over to your Blog and become a follower. All best wishes.

Becky said...

How scary!! I am so glad that you are alright and I pray that you can easily find out what is causing this reaction so that you won't have to go through this again. I can only imagine how scared you must have felt! ((HUGS)) to you!!

becca said...

wow makes me glad i carry mine with me as well though thank goodness i've never had to use it and from this post i how i never do. so happy your okay and welcome to your new followers

caterpillar said...

Gosh...it sounds so bad....I hope you are feeling better now...

vintch said...

oh goodness! so happy you're on the bend and taking all the necessary precautions:) as with any medical condition, i know the fear is always in the back of your mind, but hopefully happy, healing thoughts being sent your way from all your friends and followers will help ease that just a little. you have such a beautiful spirit, and a special woman like you deserves nothing but the best!

Thisisme said...

vintch - thank you for those lovely comments!

Thisisme said...

Becky - yes, it was pretty scary, but all back to normal now!! Thank you for those hugs.

Thisisme said...

Becca, let's hope that you never have to use your pen. Take care.

Thisisme said...

Cat - thank you. Yes, all better again now!

DW said...

That type of allergic reaction sounds terrifying! Since the major stuff has been ruled out, it sure makes you wonder what it could be that you're allergic to. A spice/seasoning? Dust? Mold? Grass/blooming plants? Hopefully you will find out what it is SOON!

Thisisme said...

DW - thanks so much for popping by. I will endeavour to see the Dr again in the new year and perhaps have some more tests, but thank you for your suggestions! Merry Christmas.