‘ Living Life ‘Highly Reactive’ ’ Posts

A Little Allergy History…

I am currently recovering from an ‘allergic’ reaction and all that entails… I’ve decided to write down my experiences in the hopes it might help others all posts are filled under “Living Life ‘Highly Reactive'”

As a child I had typical ‘hayfever.’ I was not asthmatic and allergies were mostly seasonal annoyances. My sister suffered much more with excema and a corn allergy, my father had been asthmatic as a child. Allergy does run in families but it is not the same in each member! In my early teens we learned I was allergic to aspirin and kiwi. I have many friends with children who have peanut, nut, soy, and other allergies and I have been blessed in not having such severe allergies as a child and having a child who does not have such severe allergies.

It wasn’t until moving to Connecticut and living here for 2 years that I started having more severe problems. By introducing new allergens to my system, my typical ‘hayfever’ evolved into asthma, food cross reactions, and daily migraines. Food cross reactions, also known as oral allergy syndrome, occur when the immune system finds proteins in our foods similar to the proteins in pollens we are allergic to and reacts to them. A good resource for learning about related pollens and foods is Calgary Allergy. Keep in mind your body will NOT react to ALL similar proteins and EVERYONE is different! Do not look at this and fear you will end up cross-reacting to everything! If you are a hypercondriac you probably should not dive into this, if you are a scientist like myself, it is very interesting to see the protein families.

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Relationship with Doctors

I am currently recovering from an ‘allergic’ reaction and all that entails… This reaction was the first really bad reaction I have had since 2003 – so it had been a while. It is also the first reaction where I’ve shared info with a larger group of friends due to the advent of Facebook. Being reflective on all of this, I’ve decided to write down my experiences in the hopes it might help others – this post focuses on the importance of doctor/patient relationship and what to take with you when seeing a doctor.

It is very important to know your doctors and for your doctors to know you! I have fought to try to keep consistency in my doctors which can be difficult in the military community. I have found success in actively working with my doctors. WRITE THINGS DOWN before going in. BE CONCISE. Understand that medicine is NOT an “exact science”. Doctors have to make educated guesses as to what is going on based on their education, what they have seen in the past, AND what they know of your past history.

Continue reading “Relationship with Doctors”

Living Life “Highly Reactive”

I am currently recovering from an ‘allergic’ reaction and all that entails… This reaction was the first really bad reaction I have had since 2003 – so it had been a while. It is also the first reaction where I’ve shared info with a larger group of friends due to the advent of Facebook. Being reflective on all of this, I’ve decided to write down my experiences in the hopes it might help others: either someone with severe allergies themselves or perhaps those around them, to understand what it means to be “Highly Reactive” to allergens. I will post all posts under “Living Life ‘Highly Reactive’.”

Many people are very familiar with the environment side of allergies which come seasonally with pollens or the molds and dust in our homes… while these environmental allergies can be very serious, unless you yourself or someone you have been around has a SERIOUS allergy it can be hard to understand and many do not take people who do have serious life threatening allergies seriously.

I find it very frustrating to hear someone who ‘doesn’t like a certain food’ profess to others that they are allergic to it when they have no idea what it really means to be allergic to a food. What it feels like to inadvertently eat or drink something and have their complete body go into anaphylactic shock.. what it feels like to literally try to fight to maintain consciousness, to breath, to live… and know you are losing that fight quickly… luckily my recent reaction did not involve anaphylaxis… it is a horrible experience… Continue reading “Living Life “Highly Reactive””