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.