I am a wife and mother foremost. I’ve lived a long career as a nurse, but with the onslaught of my numerous life threatening allergies, I had to give up my career. People always tease I should live in a bubble. I know at the heart of it, I am extremely blessed. I have an incredible family and a husband I consider my soul mate and savior.
I am allergic to most processed foods, a lot of natural foods, artificial flavorings, preservatives, dogs. I just have to smell food cooking and my throat will close. I can walk by a cute little dog, and my throat will close. Food shopping is not an option for me, so I have become completely dependent, even though I look completely healthy. Getting gas is like playing a game of Russian roulette. It depends if food smells flow out of the convenient store. There could be residue on the handle of the gas pump. I can’t go inside the convenient store at all. This makes being out and about difficult if I have to find a bathroom too, lol. I can only go into McDonald’s and usually Burger King. Other fast food stores tend to cook foods I can’t tolerate. I obviously have to make all our food from scratch. I have created my own yummy bbq sauce and steak sauce for my family, because store bought can’t come into the home. Even though I cook a lot, I can’t eat the food I make. I live with a permanently swollen throat, so I can’t swallow a lot of food. I live off a mostly liquid diet and supplements.
I recently had major surgery done. Even this was a challenge for someone like me. I sat through pre-op with a RN. We went over all my allergies at length. She then handed me my prep, and I looked at her and said I couldn’t take it. She was clueless. I had to repeat my allergies. I had even given her a pre printed out list. It took 2 days of pharmacist and my doctor talking to figure out what I could take. The day of the surgery, I had a long talk with the anesthesiologist. He had to make sure he gave me anesthesia that I wouldn’t be allergic to. He also had to administer Benadryl and steroids with the anesthesia during my surgery. I had to wear a mask in all open areas of the hospital due to food smells. I have a hard time breathing through the masks, so I can’t stay that way for long. Once in my room, even though everyone knew no food was allowed in my room, they kept trying to bring it in Thank goodness my husband stayed the whole time with me. He stopped them each time and posted a sign on my closed door.
Everyday life is so much harder. My throat closes at least once every two weeks, but has up to 3-4 times in a week. If I have to run out and try to do a basic errand, it normally closes. I go everywhere with epi-pens, bronkaid which is ephedrine in tablet form, albuterol unhaler and liquid and chewable Benadryl. I also carry wet wipes to clean surfaces off with.
My husband is my pillar of strength. He works out of town during the week a lot but is always available when I need him. Even if I can’t talk, I get incredible strength from his support. I never run to the hospital. It happens to often, and it’s too hard in the hospital for me unfortunately.It really is mental strength that gets me through a reaction. I know what position to get my body in and what to do when my airways completely shut off. I’m always prepared for a flare up. It’s not uncommon to be walking and, bam, your throat starts to re-swell. I have set ups of meds in my bedroom and living room. I can easily run and access my meds.You should always have necessary meds out and accessible in case of emergency in multiple areas of the home depending on the size of your home, and floors of your home. It’s very common for your throat to re-swell while you’re sleeping. I’ve woken up frequently feeling like I was choking to death.
This blog is gong to be about my reactions. Health tips with dealing with anaphylaxis, supplements that have transformed my life and more. I have had allergists just look at me and say it’s not possible but then offer no other answer. I have had the smart ones, that keep up with the times, look at me and smile and apologize that nothing can be done. I know more and more people are developing allergies like me, that’s why this blog.