Even living in isolation at home 99% of the time I still have allergic reactions most days. Thankfully, they’re rarely more than hives and itchy eyes. However, one day last week I had a full anaphylactic reaction at home. Even now I don’t know what triggered it but as my reactions tend to be pretty fast I’ll be avoiding everything I ate and drank in the hour before the reaction.
After a few days at home I start to feel as so things must be improving. I’m not really sure why I feel that way as I’m still getting hives and I’m still struggling with being out of breath. Yet somehow I think that this time will be different. Perhap’s it’s just unrealistic optimism.
This morning I had some errands that had to be done. The first was to drop my dogs off to be groomed. My groomer is fantastic. She makes sure that neither of my dogs are treated with, or exposed to, any scents. As usual I had the first appointment of the day to make sure that I’m exposed to as few risks as possible. Dropping them off went well, and other than a few sneezes and coughing (which could just as easily be asthma from the cold) I was fine.
Well, that went so well that I decided to risk the second errand I had to do. My car warning lights were on for low tyre (tire) pressure on one wheel. This is pretty common when the weather drops below 0C but I also know that there was no way that I could add air myself. It’s not something I manage easily even when I’m well due to the osteoarthritis in my hands; let alone when I’m struggling to breathe and it’s -14C outside. So I headed to my dealership. As always they dealt with the issue quickly and efficiently. However, just waiting in the service area for 5-10 minutes and I came out starting to look like that comedic scene in Hitch!
I don’t know if it was any scent in general or something specific. Garage mechanics tend to use citric based cleanser to get the oils etc. of their hands; so it could have been an airborne citrus reaction. There are also tires everywhere, which are usually considered reasonably safe for people with latex allergies but not always.
Regardless, several medications later and I drove home with an Epi pen ready to go on my knee. Thankfully once I was away from the garage my reactions started to calm down.
Now I’m home and feeling very strange. Not physically, but just because neither of my dogs are here. I’m so used to Kai being at my side, and Molly not usually being far away from me that it feels very odd without a dog at my side.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking into ways of accommodating my allergies so that I can actually leave my home safely more often, without the experiences of this morning.
Caucasian woman wearing a gas mask
Unfortunately, even the full face masks like the one in this picture aren’t effective enough for me as citrus particles are incredibly small and don’t get filtered out by such masks. They might help reduce the reactions generally but speaking through one of these is hard, and I hate having my mouth and nose covered at the same time. I just about cope with an oxygen mask in ER when I need it to survive. Somehow it being clear helps but otherwise I’m not sure that I could wear one anyway. I’ve never been able to snorkel because of this issue let alone scuba.
I also looked into alternative medicine and nearly died laughing.
Apparently the best remedy for allergies is a combination of several essential oils: lavendar, peppermint and lemon. Ironic that the lemon alone would kill me; and I’m pretty sure that the other two wouldn’t do me much good either.
So it sounds as so I’m just stuck right now. Time being the only possible thing that might reduce my hypersensitivity.
So as I have no other choice, I’ll continue to wait this out. One day at a time…