Allergy Awareness

The information in this blog is the result of my own research into allergies.Some information is anecdotal but may be of use to other people trying to understand why it is that their body over-reacts to everyday substances.There will also be recipes added on a regular basis as I come up with alternatives to our favourite foods that we can't do without - Chocolate cake, pizza, nothing healthy! ;-)

Uh Oh - They Lost The Blood Sample.


 

For just over six weeks I was religiously eating wheat in my diet (and all the other stuff I know I react to). The reason for this is because I was going to have a blood test for autoantibodies - the things your body produces when you have Coeliac Disease and you eat gluten. For the test to be accurate you need to be eating gluten in your diet for at least 6 weeks before the test. For two weeks after the sample was taken I was phoning up the surgery trying to get my results - the test for ferritin and the full blood count came back fine, but not the autoantibodies. The receptionist put a chase on the hospital, only for them to come back with the message - sample not received, retest.

I was so upset I actually put my head in my hands and cried. For the two weeks that I had been waiting for the result I had stopped eating wheat and gluten and was just starting to feel well again. Now I was going to have to sick all over again for another 6 weeks so I could have another blood sample taken.

I realize that it may sound melodramatic when I say that I have to get sick again, but unless you have suffered the effects of Coeliac Disease I don't think people understand quite how severely it can affect you. There are the obvious symptoms like bloating and digestive problems, but although I find those uncomfortable I can live with them reasonably well. I know well enough by now what not to eat on an evening so that I don't spend the night in bed unable to sleep because of stomach cramps. The things I find effect me most is muscle fatigue and depression.

If you've ever had really bad flu, where your entire body just hurts, all your muscles and joints from head to toe - well that's how it is for me. Pain from morning until night. Exercise doesn't do anything to ease it, it just tires me out quicker. If I move it aches, if I don't move it aches a little less. It's a bit how I imagine a walking bruise would feel, if such a thing existed!

After a few days the fatigue and the aches seem to wear off a bit, I'm not sure whether they do actually lessen or whether it is body getting used to the them and I sort of 'tune out' the discomfort.

The next thing that starts is the dermatitis, my skin starts to dry out, flake & crack, it gets unbearably itchy and then I break out in tiny little blisters. My feet and my hands start to feel as though they are burning, similar to how hot aches feel when you've come in from the freezing cold in the winter and your extremities warm up too quickly. It is incredibly irritating and makes me incredibly irritable, however of all the symptoms I have to live with this is actually one of the easiest. I find that ibuprofen reduces the inflammation and pain, plus there are a number of things I can do which relieve the skin condition itself, various lotions and potions I can use in the shower or bath.

It is the stage after this which I despise the most. The depression. Once that kicks in I find that I almost lose the will to live. I struggle to get out of bed in the morning, I struggle to be involved with my children, I even struggle to take care of my own basic needs. I cannot feel bothered to bathe, to eat or to take care of things such as laundry or housework. Of course, I know these things need doing and so I push myself to do them, but it is a really big struggle and the most stupid thing is I want to care, I want to be bothered and I want to do it, but I don't feel as though I have the energy left in my body. Every cell in my being cries out that it wants to be left alone to curl up and die somewhere in a corner and every cell is sure that it will not be missed. I hate feeling like that, and it is worse this time around knowing that these feelings are just around the corner, and worse yet knowing that they should not be because my blood sample should not have been mislaid.

There are the other symptoms too; stomach aches, wind, nausea, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, headaches, toothache (coealiac disease causes problems with gums and tooth enamel): but on the whole, the depression is the worst. Maybe this time, because I am forewarned I can be forearmed. Hopefully I will spot the warning signs and be able to adjust my mental state so that I can keep it at bay. After all it's only for a few weeks, maybe I can keep it at bay for a few weeks.

Posted by at Thursday, June 24, 2010 4:40 PM

http://www.oneproudmomma.co.uk/allergy/archives/2010/06/entry_113.html