Thursday, November 11, 2010

Allergies, Schmallergies

I have allergies.  Lots of allergies.  Always have, probably always will.  But here's the normal allergies are to pets/dust/pollen.  Stuffy nose, itchy eyes type of symptoms.   For instance, if I pet a cat or dog and then touch my face without washing  my hands.  My eyes turn into puffy red, itchy holes in my head.  Hubs even drew a picture of a big green eye with a red circle and a slash through it and hung it above our bed as a reminder not to touch my eyes after I've loved on a critter.   Or if I go to someone's house with pets, sometimes it affects me and my nose starts running...but not always.  And it's never prevented me from doing anything or going anywhere, I've just dealt with it...and tried every allergy medication known to man and nothing works on me...(haven't tried the shots, don't wanna)
All that being said, it was strictly those sorts of allergies I've dealt with....never had any skin reactions or hives or anything like that.  I've never even had poison oak...and I grew up out in the country surrounded by poison oak.
But then I had a baby.  And everything changed.  I've been all screwed up ever since.  Nobody told me that hormone fluxuations from pregnancy could cause all kinds of weird problems...or make my body just FREAK OUT about random stuff.
2 weeks after having a c-section I had the worst rash of my entire started out at the bandage site and I got a rash exactly the same shape as the bandage, which is when it was determined to be an "adhesive allergy" - except that rash went out of control and spread like wildfire - after a week, it covered my thighs, my stomach, my chest, my arms...and creeped up my neck onto my face before 3 stumped doctors finally presribed me prednisone (a pretty gnarly steroid) and it knocked it out within a few days.  That was the most horrible rash I've ever had...the itching was CRAZY and I would much rather have another c-section then go through that again.  It's pretty bad when you'd rather have major abdominal surgery over a rash...but it's the truth.
Ever since then, I've had periodic rash issues - not nearly as bad as that first one...but just random rashes for random reasons.  Sometimes it's red puffy patches on my face....I've had puffy red splotches around my eyes...I've had rashes on my legs....and every now and then I get these tiny little fever blisters along with puffyness and swelling on my lips.  Usually it goes away within a day or two, and I've never been able to pinpoint exactly what I've eaten or done that causes these problems.  Hubs has been bugging me for a long time to go see an allergist, but once the symptoms go away, it's out of my head and I don't think about it until the next time it's a mad cycle.
Last Monday I woke up with the same ole puffy lips/fever blister symptoms, so I wrote down what I ate the previous day (as per usual), put some aquaphor on my lips and went about my day.  Day 2, symptoms were worse, more blistery and red.  Day 3, when things are usually clearing up - I woke up feeling like I had fish lips they were so swollen.  By this time they were starting to HURT.  Usually it's just mildy annoying, but this time it was getting worse and more painful as time went on.  Today was day 4, and when I woke up with giant reddened lips looking like Goldie Hawn on the First Wives Club, I finally called my doctor.  I was miserable this morning - my lips and the skin around my lips felt like they'd been burned.  I couldnt' find anything that made them feel better, and the blisters were awful.  I dragged AJ to the doctor's office with me, and the doc said it's obviously a food allergy of some sort.  He gave me some medication to help reduce the symptoms and a topical thing to slather on and then sent me to the lab to draw some blood so they could do a food panel and find out what exactly I'm allergic to.  He still wants me to see an allergist because he doesn't think the other rash issues are food related...but for now, at least it's a start to find out what the problem is.
He said allergies just show up all of a sudden, and can go away all of a sudden too - so if it turns out I'm allergic to something, at least my symptoms aren't life threatening so I can periodically test myself and see if I still have that allergy.
Even after only a few hours, my symptoms have lessened and I don't feel like someone with bad collagen injections anymore - but still, this sucks!
Hubs thinks maybe if I have another baby, I'll go back to normal...hahahaha!  (can you all tell that the campaigning for baby #2 is in effect over here?)
So crazy that having a baby can cause so many changes, physical and otherwise.  One look at this little munchkin face makes it all worth it though
*Special thanks to my dad who came over to watch AJ so I could go to the lab and get my prescriptions.  My dad is a VietNam Vet and I'm so proud of him - he's got quite a life story, let me tell you!   Happy Veterans Day to all the men and women out there who help keep us safe.

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