I had no immune system the year I turned eleven. Minus the many visits to doctors and specialists, I spent the year at home. I couldn’t be around other people because my body couldn’t handle even simple viruses. My arms looked like those of a junkie from all of the blood tests. I wasn’t told what was going on. I tried to sneak snippets of what was discussed – things like leukemia were batted around. I couldn’t ask for further information because I wasn’t supposed to know anything. It was a scary time.
Eventually it was decided that I had so many allergies and they were so bad, that my immune system had just been beaten down. A simple two day cold for someone else resulted in a month of pneumonia for me. Time away from others allowed my system to rebuild itself some. While I was still susceptible to things, I managed to live my life somewhat normally.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and I found myself on this road again. I can’t recall ever feeling good. I’m tired and always feel bad. It’s not the life I want, and I knew I needed to revisit allergies again. However, I was frightened. The unknown can be a very scary thing. I wasn’t certain what the results of testing would mean. What if there was nothing left for me to eat? I would probably have to give up things that I enjoyed.
I dragged my feet for a long time. It seemed as if I was at the edge of a cliff. I knew I needed to jump, but I didn’t know how far it was or what would happen when I did. I finally set up an appointment. I want to be healthy – for my kids, for my husband, and for myself.
Skin prick testing for 96 allergens revealed that I am not allergic to ash trees. That’s the positive side. Apparently ash trees are my friends. The other 95 allergens are not. I expected it to be bad. I knew the results from when I was a child weren’t good. However, as I sat there listening to the results, I felt a little shell shocked. I had jumped from the cliff and found myself spiraling.
Right now I’m waiting to make any decisions. My bloodwork won’t be back for a few weeks. At that point I’ll find out what other allergens, intolerances, and deficiencies I have. Until then I’ll be reading whatever I can find on the subject. When I have the results, I can start formulating a plan. Life as I know it is about to change drastically. I admit I’m scared. I can only hope it results in feeling better.
Hold tight! The unknown is scary. What is known can be managed, even if it is difficult. You’ll get through it, and we’ll all be here to help.
Hang in there! The good news is that there are some recent developments in treating allergies that are gentler and less pharmaceuticals-centered than when you were 11, so you may not have to eliminate everything that you’re sensitive to. Some members of my extended family who have pretty extreme allergies have had good results with sublingual immunotherapy, and my dad gets really good relief by taking quercetin, which functions as a natural histamine-blocker without some of the side effects. In my experience, something different works for each person, and it can be discouraging to work through the remedies until you find one that works for you, but when you do find it the payoff is great. Good luck!