I grew up with major allergies. Spring meant sneezing, runny noses, and lots and lots of tissues. And at the age of 22 I had my first asthma attack. The family doctor I’d had since I was 14 said “I would have thought you’d grow out of it by now.” Hm, never had it! I did grow out of it, but still.
My experience with an allergist was interesting. He was great, and naturally the tests showed I was allergic to many trees, plants, bushes, you name it. And raw tomatoes – yet cooked was okay and the funniest thing yet – marijuana. No wonder I had allergy attacks at college parties. :}
I have friends with serious food allergies and I can only imagine what they go through. It came even closer to home about eight or nine years ago when my mom went through a frightening time.
We’d been out and had Chinese food for lunch. A couple hours later, Mom complained of itching and I could see a rash on her skin. I knew it was an allergic reaction and wanted her to take an antihistamine, but she was afraid it wouldn’t work. Since the doctor’s office was closed, I had to take her to the medical group’s Urgent Care when they opened. By then, she was miserable.
We’re maybe fourth or fifth on the sign in sheet and I kept telling the receptionist that this was serious. And I noticed the waiting patients ahead of Mom refused to look at her even as you could see the rash moving up her chest.
Let’s just say I was more than rude to the receptionist, threats of the police, and so on. Luckily, a nurse came out, took one look at Mom and ran back for the doctor who came out, grabbed a wheelchair and took Mom to the back. Receptionist and I traded glares and it got nastier after the doctor later came out and tore the receptionist a new one. He told her if that rash had gone further up my mom’s throat and face it could have killed her. I sat on my hands so they wouldn’t end up around the receptionist’s throat.
By the time they released Mom, she was one very happy woman. Not itching and just floating while she’s telling me she’s hungry. I laughed, so relieved she was okay and we had a prescription for something to help any itching. The guys at the fast food restaurant we stopped at thought a loopy woman was cute.
It turned out she was allergic to soy. You’d be amazed how many products have soy. Foods, skin care products, you name it.
We look at the packages. She tried a new face cream that had soy in it and luckily, she did a patch test and only got a tingle from it. No Chinese food except for sweet and sour chicken at our favorite restaurant since there’s no soy in it.
It’s so sad because my mom’s food choices have become more and more limited. Some cereals she’d like to try have soy. Many frozen entrees have it. I don’t know what she’d do if peanut butter had soy in it.
Yes, she’d be even more restricted if she had a wheat or dairy allergy, but soy is showing up more and more.
I have a third cousin allergic to chocolate. Now that would be just downright criminal!
What about you? Any allergies you don’t like to think about?