Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm afraid to go to church...

Last August was the start of a very frightening chapter in my life.

I developed a severe allergy to fragrances.

Air Fresheners, perfumes, colognes, and many fragranced products began causing me to have severe throat swelling.

At first, I wanted to believe it was “a fluke”…I was not that fortunate.

I found myself in ambulances and emergency rooms, not as a nurse, but as a patient.

"How could this be happening to me?"

I started carrying these:

(Can you say OUCH!? )

High doses of steroids left me feeling strange and eating like a high school football player. The weight gain was unpleasant, but it seemed that I had been cured.

Mid-September through mid-October went well, until I was in Florida for a bereavement convention (OK, no comments) when suddenly the allergy was back with a vengeance.

Soon I was on Zyrtec, Claritin, AND Singulaire daily. If I started to get a reaction, I took Tagamet, Benadryl, Albuterol and if things got out of hand (which they did often) I would give myself an Epipen (or 2) and call 911.

I was desperate to keep my life, my lifestyle, and my livelihood.

Many people prayed.

I went on a 6 week diet of no sugar, no flour, no yeast, and for a long time, no fruit.

I did this:

(Let’s say it together- “OUCH!” )

But by the grace of God, something fairly simple has minimized my reactions:

I am so thankful to have my life back.

When things were going bad for me, one of the most “dangerous” places for me was church. When women get dressed up for church, they have this special little thing they like to do:

Heavy perfume still gets a bit of a reaction going, even today.

So if you see me wandering the halls of church, slipping into the crying room without a baby, sitting in chairs in hallways listening to the service via speaker, you will now know why…I am afraid to go to church.


Elaine said...

I know that fear so well, just on the food level. I find we avoid a lot of things, because of my fear for Zach and his food situations. I will continue to pray... Have a blessed day.

TheEpicBeat said...

Seriously...what is the perfume thing all about? Try being next to a whole choir of them sometime ;)

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Heavy perfume gives me a migraine headache. I once got sick in a theatre bathroom b/c the woman in front of me was wearing too much! My group & I had to miss half a play b/c of her.

Wearing too much perfume is just RUDE.

Mighty M said...

Wow - that would be tough to have to be so careful everywhere you go. I knew someone where I used to work who was allergic to perfume and asked us not to wear any. And another gal kept wearing it and this poor lady was miserable. Not I need an epi pen miserable, but still.

Kelley said...

ok so I was interested in what was causing your anaphylaxis, so I started reading more into your blog. My husband's sister has some pretty severe allergies. Not to anaphylaxis level, but she has landed in the ICU several times because of some severe pneumonia. Now I may be wrong, but they said the Advair, while it helps tremendously with airway management, can also cause parodoxical bronchospasms and (not to completely freak you out) asthma related deaths, among many others. I think Advair is great, but I just wonder if that's possible cause you to anaphylax more easily? I are one smart cookie, but just a thought. I am praying that they can fix you, so you don't have to invest in a neat looking mask or walk around in a bubble! I bet your kids would have fun rolling you thought ;) (jk).

Anyways, I hope you can feel 100% ASAP! I'm praying