It’s been a year now since I first noticing weirder allergy symptoms, and since I started pushing harder to get a new doctor. It’s been one year since I found a doctor who would listen to me and take me seriously, and actually help me look for answers. My old doctor is still putting on lectures in town and doing magic tricks. My new doctor is giving me the medication I ask for, that doesn’t trigger allergies, and knows that me coming in for refills isn’t always a good thing.
While I’ve managed to make my life a lot more comfortable and easier, I still have symptoms, an they’re not all the easy ones to solve. My chemical allergies aren’t limited to one product – which makes avoiding them near-impossible. Since discovering there was a bigger problem, I’ve learned a lot about allergy symptoms I’d never known before. Overactive immune systems cause inflammation, and inflammation causes a host of symptoms. For the record, and for the reference of others just starting out, I hereby share my allergy symptom list, both current and past, awkward and uncomfortable:
- Vaginal itching and mucous membrane tears, from spermicidal condoms, toilet paper, and feminine products
- Dihydritic eczema from band aids and medical tapes
- Sinus congestion and post-nasal drip from airborne allergens and sinus spray allergy medication
- Red, lumpy rashes on arms, face, chest, upper back, lower back, and legs from airborne and contact with allergens
- Raw, flaking lips
- Swollen eyelids and itchy, watery eyes
- Sharply painful joints, mostly wrists
- Swollen lymph nodes, especially at the back of the head and in armpits
- Intensely itchy scalp, with extreme flaking and dryness
- Seeping sores in more tender areas of skin like behind ears, on lips, and on nipples
- Sore-to-the-touch skin in areas where I normally get rashes
- Possible minor heart flutters and jumps (unsure if this would have happened anyway or if it’s a symptom)
- Strong desire to cut off my hair so that it wouldn’t irritate the skin on my neck and collarbones
Okay, so that last one isn’t exactly a symptom. Either way, it’s an impressive list. How do I manage it all? Well, aside from avoiding as many chemicals as I can, I have eye drops, body cream medication, and face cream medication. I also use epsom salts on my scalp to curb itching and put oils all over my body after every bath or shower. I avoid doing things that put strain on my wrists when wrist pain flares up, and ignore other symptoms whenever I can, since there’s not much else to do about them. I try to get regular exercise and sleep (the sleep one’s hard). And as I mentioned recently, I keep searching for more answers.
Have you had other chemical allergy symptoms? What were they? How do you keep yourself comfortable? Comment below.