During this last admission to hospital I had an extra thing to contend with and this was allergic reactions. I have a severe aspirin allergy which tips over and causes me to be very allergic to salicylic acid which is in everything, from food, to toothpaste, to moisturiser. I follow a fairly strict diet excluding a lot of fruit and vegetables due to allergic reactions developing which in turn set my asthma off.
During the last admission for some reason I was more hyper sensitive to salicylic acid than I normally am. I started developing reaction to peoples perfumes, cleaning products, and certain foods which I considered safe due to their very low salicylic acid content.
It was really scary but weirdly I was kind of glad that I was having reactions because I had probably my worst reaction ever but it was in front of the respiratory team. The Dr’s were staring at my cardiac monitor because my heart rate went flying up to 180, but it was the asthma nurse who was standing at the end of the bed who saw the redness spreading over me. I looked like I had cremated myself in the sun and I felt that way to. The heat, burning, and itching was awful. The Drs acted so quickly and we got the reaction under control but it did mean I had to go to high dependancy which I desperately was trying to avoid!!! But I probably needed to as needed to have more treatment for the reactions.
Once on the respiratory ward it was a nightmare as perfume was setting me off and I would look like I had red man syndrome crossed with an oompa loompa! It wasn’t good! To make it worse the room on the respiratory ward was a 4 bedded bay so the patients kept spraying deodorants and perfume which would make my chest worse but to compound everything where the room was situated meant I couldn’t have the windows open because of all the patients smoking below in the courtyard bit where there is a huge number of signs saying no smoking but clearly no one wants to enforce this and those patients who are smoking are prepared to cause harm to other patients. The room was stifling hot but the amount of smoke was a nightmare. I feel so passionately about people smoking on hospital grounds and particularly at the doors that you have to use to get into the hospital. It is like running the gauntlet every time I have to go into work because you have to dodge the smokers who give you disgusting looks when you cover your nose and mouth with your jacket to try and avoid inhaling their second hand smoke.
But I digress. I continued having a variety of reactions to a variety of things. My consultant thought it was because my body was fighting so hard to breathe with the bad asthma that it couldn’t cope when exposed to allergens. I could have dealt with one or the other but not both at that time.
I now have a new medication regime and rely on a combination of anti histamines which includes taking chlorphenamine 4 times a day as well as using it if I have an reaction, along with 2 other anti histamines. This I hope will be temporary and only until I see the immunologist when they start in Edinburgh. Currently you have to go to dermatology when dealing with allergies so having a dedicated immunologist will be a huge benefit to Edinburgh and hopefully they will be able to do something for me so I don’t need to keep taking anti histamines all day everyday.
I have had to become super strict with my diet and make sure I am not eating anything with salicylic acid in it or using any products which has it in it to. The allergy side of things is kind of new territory for me as I have never really had to deal with reactions to this extent to such trivial things and things which contain hardly any salicylic acid in them. For me I know all the ins and out of asthma but this is new and something I really don’t want to get to know to well.
For the time being I just need to sit tight and see what happens.