Posted by: sternenfeeinflorida | 15 December 2009


I’m having a bad day today; well actually it has been a few bad days already. It started on Saturday, when I got up and I had these welting hives again. They are hot, itchy and especially when they are in my face, they are swelling up and make me look like a victim of violence. Seriously, except for the blues of bruises, my whole face is deformed.
I don’t really know where they are coming from, there are several options but none have provided a solution yet. The allergist left me to my own devices, too, unwilling or unable to help me.
This is not new to me, however. I have battled allergies all my life, without the help from doctors. All they ever told me is to stay away from everything I’m allergic to. This resulted in a largely isolated life for me; I spent a lot of time alone. I grew up in the country, being allergic to everything that surrounded me, everything that everyone thought of as fun. My sister would go play in the hay, go horseback riding or feed cows. I wasn’t allowed to because of my allergies. I often tried to participate in these activities anyway, simply because I didn’t want to feel as left out as I often felt but the price I paid was high. Just a short time with the horses would lead to swollen, itchy eyes, a runny nose and inability to breathe. Plus it got me in trouble with my parents, who were worried but I don’t think they ever quite understood how important it was for me to fit in and do what others were doing, too.
The doctors proved to be less than helpful, too. I got an inhaler for the asthma attacks, which helped for a while, and their advice was to stay away from anything that causes an allergy attack, including carpet, curtains, and bed sheets, bedding, and stuffed animals. Absolutely no pets were allowed either. Well, I resisted those. I had stuffed animals; I did sleep in bed sheets, although the down comforter and pillow were replaced with hypo-allergenic ones. My room did have a carpet and curtains. My parents eventually even gave in and I got a dog and a cat. I spent a lot of time with my dog, we went for long walks and he was always there for me. To this day, I consider my dog my best friend and I was very sad when he died. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive myself for not being there for him when he took his last breath.
For a few years everything was fine, until I started having problems walking. My knee would give out on me and I couldn’t lift my leg. Over time it got worse and worse, until I couldn’t even walk a quarter mile without problems. That’s when my mom really put her foot down and made me go to the doctor. Sure enough, my immune system dealt me another blow. I was diagnosed with an incurable disease, which causes my immune system to attack my nerve cells. Daily injections are supposed to help stop the progression. So far, this seems to be working, but I can no longer afford the injections because my health insurance took them off the list of covered medicines and moved them to the list of medicines that are only covered by co-pays because this medicine is so expensive.
Last year then, the latest blow was dealt to me when I started having the hives. At first I didn’t think much of it because I always had hives in the winter. Granted, these were different than the ones I was used to but still, not a surprise. But these wouldn’t go away. They would only get worse and spread. They can now cover my whole body on a really bad day, making me very miserable with their itchiness and heat. Another trip to the doctor was in order, again everyone pushed the responsibility far away from them and even the allergist is unwilling to help once again. After an allergy test revealed that my allergy to milk protein spread to dairy in general and has become one of my worst allergies, all the allergist said is to stay from dairy. Well, I have been and I still have hives. Once again, I feel left alone, isolated and I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to cope. Is it so wrong for me to want to live a normal life, do the things I enjoy?
It may sound like self-pity when I ask why me, yet considering that my sister has no health problems at all, it does feel unfair. Most of the time, I don’t let all this bother me, on those rare days when I don’t have any hives or the days when the hives aren’t that bad, I cope quite well. I don’t take antihistamines regularly because my allergies don’t bother me that much and they don’t work for the hives anyway. I haven’t used a steroid inhaler for asthma attacks in years because I don’t have them often enough to warrant their use. Overall, I seem to be doing okay, I may even get used to life without dairy, without many of my favorite foods. After all, I’m not the only one with this problem and other people are much worse off. I just need to vent and express my frustration every once in a while.


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