Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Who Was Defeated By An Allergy Test

I know I have bad allergies and I know I have anaphylaxis. I know I have a strange condition called Idiopathic Angiodema. To some extent I know what I’m allergic to. I didn’t, however, know I was properly allergic to peanuts, walnuts and brazil nuts until that damn skin test yesterday.

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Yesterday I had to go to the hospital for a skin prick test. For those of you who don’t know what a skin prick test entails or have never been through one I’m happy to tell you all about it.

I had my skin test at the allergy clinic. Here the doctor goes through a list of commonIMG_1577 allergens and ticks off what they want you tested for. In my case I was tested for pollen, tree pollen, weed pollen, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts and pistachios. They’ll also put a negative and positive test on you. This is all done on your inner arm. The negative and positive tests are put on your arm as control tests. Everyone will have a reaction to the positive one.

I hear you asking how do they know what they’ve tested you for? They write on you in pen. Then they put a little drop of the solution with the allergen in it next to the correct letter. e.g. the walnut solution went next to the W. After they put the drop on your arm in the correct place they stab you with a lancet. Honestly this part doesn’t hurt. You feel a tiny stab for every allergen you’re being tested for. That’s the easy part.

You then have to hope you’re not actually allergic to anything you’re being tested for. If you’re unfortunate to have a skin reaction then you get told not to itch it. I had a reaction to 5 out of 9 things and it felt like my arm was on fire. Or been eaten by ants. It doesn’t hurt really it’s just DAMN UNCOMFORTABLE. 15 minutes later a nurse comes back to measure the “reaction.” It all gets very technical because they measure the weal and the flare (the red bit) with a ruler… Pressed against your itchy skin. The bigger the weal the more they can tell if you’re allergic.

tumblr_m0os6c7kSE1qzr2ctThey give you a guide about a “nut free diet” where you realise all the foods you usually eat and your favourite foods are in there. You mourn the loss of toffee nut lattes and sob when you realise coconuts are classed as nuts in this case.

You also throw a fit over the fact that a nut allergy ruins all chances of you joining the military or feeling safe enough to be a journalist in a conflict zone. Being allergic to flowers is easy, just stay away from them. Many foods in the Middle East contain nuts. Hell many foods here do. At least our medical services aren’t too bad so I know I won’t die.

It’s like feeling trapped. You can only go certain places. You have to ask 100 questions at every restaurant you go to. You sometimes feel that down over it all you just chance it anyway. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S IN THAT LOVELY LOOKING CAKE, and the people behind the counter usually aren’t that sure either. I was comfortable with my allergies before. They were things I could stay away from and nuts were something that were not a dead certainty to cause me harm. Now it’s a strange new nut free zone. And honestly I hate it.

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Late Night Ramblings of a Very Pissed Off Girl

I’ve been pissed off before but this seriously takes the biscuit.

tumblr_lownc5Pixq1qd0g3po1_500As many of you know I’m ill. I suffer from anaphylaxis with pretty much unknown causes. The paramedics always laugh and joke and say I’m allergic to everything which in someway is pretty much true. It’s a lovely illness to have. NOT. Anaphylaxis on it’s own is terrifying. Not knowing if the next thing you eat, touch or smell could send you into the pits of despair is evil. I think that alone could probably kill someone.

Yesterday I got took from work (again) in an ambulance because I went into anaphylactic shock. I have lovely rashes and scratches up my arms where some flowers brushed past me and I’ve literally peeled some skin off my chest from scratching so much. As the kind doctor pointed out at midnight last night I look like shit. For those of you who don’t know anaphylaxis is like a really bad allergic reaction to something. It gets so severe that our airways swell up and shut off… That’s if our tongues haven’t already swollen up and stopped our breathing. We have to carry epi-pens which is basically a wonderful needle that injects us with adrenaline that gets us breathing again. It works wonders. Sometimes that one shot doesn’t last too long and we have to have a second larger dose and then if we’re really unlucky hours, maybe even days later, we have a relapse. In my case the relapse is usually worse than the initial shock.

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These are epi-pens. You jab it in your leg and it gives you a shot of adrenaline.

Let’s finish with facts and get back to my pissed offness.

tumblr_m8nscxcrwl1rpu8xlo1_400While I am grateful for the wonderful support and love I get from my family and friends (work colleagues included) about my condition something was said today that really riled me up and quite frankly upset me. I won’t say who said it. I got told that all these trips to the hospital are tiring and that they can’t keep doing this. Yes that one sentence annoyed me. I understand that this is hard for people who love me, especially when one of my best friends actually died of anaphylaxis and there’s the possibility it could happen to me. But telling me that MY illness is tiring is ridiculous. How do you think I feel when this happens to me. IT’S SCARY KNOWING I COULD DIE. It’s scary not knowing what causes these reactions and it’s god damn tiring living with this illness. I hate it and if Stitch CryingI could stop the allergies don’t you think I would. Living with any illness is really tough and I totally get that but we all, at times, can’t deal with it has we should and I suppose we all deal with it differently. Having been out of hospital about 12 hours now I can tell you that my fear of needles is still there and I’m bone tired of it all. If there was an easy way out right now I’d take it but I have to be strong for my lovely friends who’ll be there to cheer me up until it all happens again.

I may regret writing this later on but for now it’s just nice to be able to vent my anger somewhere.

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Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Who’s Wisdom Tooth Prefers Pain to Wisdom

StoopidWisdomTooth-24337You read that right. My dreaded (I mean lovely) wisdom tooth as decided to make an arrival. Oh it’s not visible but I know it’s there because I haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night in 10 days, I’m munching pain killers like sweets and I smell of clove oil. Clove Oil is brilliant by the way for toothache. I just seem to use that much I smell of it for days after.

I did go to the dentist today where I had a filling next to said wisdom tooth. The local anaesthetic numbed my mouth, lips and cheek so much I still look likeĀ a hamster and am drooling food all over but wisdom-teeth-suckdid it numb my wisdom tooth? OF COUSRE IT DIDN’T. The dentists suggestion? Use mouth wash regularly for the next two weeks and see if that calms it down. If not it’ll be a trip to the hospital. Maybe if I mix mouthwash with some strong painkillers it might have some affect. Knowing my look it’ll send me into anaphylactic shock.

I’m starting to regain some feeling in my face. I no longer look like I’ve been punched several times… all though it feels like I have.

I am entitled to put this under Late Night Ramblings because here in the UK the sun sets about 4.30 pmish. Which means now it’s basically pitch black out there. Here’s the evidence.

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The view from my bedroom window.

I’ve never heard anything good about wisdom teeth so they’re definitely not full of wisdom else they’d have sorted themselves out by now. Any good/ horror stories please comment!