A Little About My Allergies

May 18th, 2016

I am one of those people who has many allergies, the sort of person who tells you what things they are allergic to and you wonder “are you REALLY allergic to that much stuff”

The thing with me is that although I can list off some of the things I am allergic to most of the time it is second nature and I won’t always remember until it is right in front of me. Take bananas for example, I now mention I am allergic when we are talking about them but I wouldn’t include it when listing off allergies, bananas make me violently sick, as does peas!!

About a year ago I tried a banana to see if I really was allergic…. well let’s just say I won’t be trying them again!

So I am fairly careful with foods, a lot of the time I don’t know what has triggered a reaction so I just have to deal with it, once we had a roast dinner and I had a reaction, what was that about!?

About 12 years ago I discovered my horrendous stomach pains I had experienced most of my life and thorough my teenage years was due to gluten, I spent many days off school with people thinking I was ‘faking it’ all because of gluten this also contributed to my skin breaking out in a rash, I still get eczema but not the same reaction as after I have eaten a bowl of pasta. I turned to gluten free foods and feel so much better for it, not just stomach and skin but in myself, I have more energy which is important as with my EDS I suffer with fatigue a lot.

Gluten is not a severe allergy, I can still breath and do some things, but I can’t leave the house and it interferes with life.

Sometimes I react badly to random things that I think are ‘safe’ yesterday was one of those days i had a severe reaction to a gluten free food, it was a fibre roll and this was the first time I had one, to start with it was just a mild reaction of itchy mouth, quite uncountable, but something I get a lot so I just got on with sorting though some yarn, within an hour or so I was feeling sick couldn’t breathe well and was very red and swollen, I felt like my ears would bust I had so many symptoms all of which were unpleasant, as  I could just about breath we ended up at the docs he prescribed steroids, anti-sickness tablets (which I took straight away, in the car) and extra antihistamines, all of which did the trick eventually – when I got home I was packed off to bed by my husband, who kept me drugged up and hydrated.

I am feeling much better today, still feeling a bit unwell, and have a massive headache but on the mend.

With the help of a friend (Cynthia) we figured out it could be the ‘veg fibre’ used in the bread, she had told me that sometimes they use pea fibre…. well that is something we know I am allergic to! And the doc agreed that it was probably the veg fibre so has put in my notes that I have a severe allergy to the rolls.

I have a new epipen now as mine was out of date! Although they do advise not to use it if I can avoid it and it would mean going to A&E. Last time I did this with an anaphylactic reaction they told me to take an extra antihistamine (and tried to give me meds that for me induce seizures) I was told to wait in the waiting room, they left me for 4+ hours without checking on me, not going through that again unless I have to!

A few lessons I have learned is, make sure…doubly sure, your epipen is in date! And even if you think a food is safe double check the item, just because it is ‘free from’ doesn’t always mean it is free from for you! I have seen lots of items that are free from but still contain a flour made from nuts without a nut warning, so please check.

I think as I have been managing my allergies fairly well maybe I needed a wakeup call to be careful, and keep checking items (though I did check the rolls and didn’t think that it would be that bad!)

And most importantly seek help when you need – don’t wait! A tingle in the mouth can quickly turn into something much worse so please don’t wait!

 

 

by Juniper Askew

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