For those that are on my Twitter or Facebook, you would have seen my frustrating updates on my recent allergy outbreak which started on Saturday at 5am and went full-blown on Sunday morning.
I have been battling allergies for more than a decade now and it's been awhile since I suffered one this bad.
Here's a background.
My sister had asthma since she was really young. Now, her version of asthma is one of the worst that I've known. My parents had to carry a portable oxygen tank wherever they went with her. I'm not kidding. The inhalers wouldn't work on her and when she had an attack, the only thing that could save her life was to hook her up to an oxygen tank supply immediately. Fortunately, she weaned out of her asthma and now she's fine.
As for me, I escaped that but since young, I have had hay fever, non-stop sneezing every morning and allergies. I was allergic to grass as a kid (outgrew that), I had sensitive skin on my feet so I couldn't wear the standard 'swan brand' nylon socks or those canvas shoes. I was the only kid in Secondary school that was wearing sports shoes as the skin on my feet would start shedding whenever I wore canvas shoes. I eventually grew out of that.
I am now stuck with a truckload of allergies for the last decade. Food and dust mainly.
I get into a non-stop sneezing fit when dust gets into my system. It would be so bad, it would sound as though I had a bad flu but it's really just a dust allergy. I'll land up having peeled skin at my nose and a red nose.
I am sensitive to strong smells as well. So strong perfumes and smoky places will put me into a sneezing fit. And believe it or not, I am allergic to industrial paint fumes. Yes. I would break out into hives whenever the office is having a paint job so those are the times where I am allowed to work from home. I always say, that it is really easy to try and kill me.. I am also allergic to certain medications.
Now my food allergies is the tricky part. It is so random, I have no idea what I am really allergic to. Red chilli. I used to be able to eat a lot of it then I noticed that I started getting diarrhea each time I ate it. Sometimes, my lips would swell and once, my colleagues watched in amusement as my arm started to swell up. So I steer clear of red chilli. There was a period of time where I couldn't digest oily food. Once at school, I noticed an orange oily stains on my panties and started to panic. I drove myself to the doctor and was told that my system was not digesting the oils in my food and it was coming out by the back door -_-
Every now and then, I would eat something that doesn't agree with my fussy system and I will notice an itchy red patch usually behind my calves or near the elbow. Sometimes, I'll get a couple of mozzie like bites but that goes away after awhile.
The worst case is when I get hives all over my body and it takes 2-3 weeks to completely clear out of my system. Twice, I got hit really bad and it was ironically due to.. chocolate. The first time, it was a bar of Carrefour brand chocolate. The second time, Carrefour brand chocolate spread. What happened?
Hives all over
I was on 5-6 different antihistamines that didn't work
Every time I ate something, the hives flared up
It took a month to clear out of my system totally
My entire back was breaking out in hives and I was heating up
An antihistamine jab at the National Skin Centre did not help
I have requested to get the skin prick test done but a few doctors have told me that it was pointless because I have so many random allergy outbreaks and there are so many combinations that there is not guarantee that I wouldn't get another allergy outbreak even with a list of food that I shouldn't take.
So the chocolate allergy? Strange because I eat chocolate practically every day. I checked the contents before I ate the chocolate on both occasions but I still landed up with the hives. The doctor said that it could be due to the addictive or processing. I've avoided Carrefour brand chocolates since then. This time around? The food suspects for this outbreak were from the cooking class - agruva caviar (however it's fake caviar made from fish), laksa leaves (tested and negative), scallops (I've eaten scallops many times and don't have outbreaks but since I was having a dust allergy prior to eating it, my resistance might have been low and I had a spontaneous allergy to seafood). Finally, the chocolate in the mousse? It's likely possible since I have never eaten that brand before.
I am hoping this outbreak clears up real soon. Meanwhile, I'm off chocolate, seafood and alcohol for now :\ No chocolates?!! Sigh. And I am going to stick to the brands of chocolates that I am familiar with from now on. Twice bitten, possibly thrice. I think I need to be cautious when I eat chocolate now.( Collapse )