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Have you ever heard someone say 'Oh I love the smell of cut grass'?
That person is NOT me! I hate it - I associate it with pain, sneezing, itching, sneezing some more. I would sit on the grass at school and come away with a rash. I hated it and don't talk to me about privot. OMG that is worse.
After allergy tests it turned out that I was as allergic to grass as a human could be and dust was up there too.
Anti-histamines were my best friend for years and years and years and they were expensive.
In around 2003 (ish - can't remember) whilst working at my corporate job in Auckland City, living the dream, saving for a building a house with my soon to be husband and working hard, I had an allergic reaction to NSAIDs. That is Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs. We know this as nurofen, aspirin and ibuprofen. I used to suffer from migraines (still do but not as often) and the only thing that worked was cataflam if I caught it in time.
I had taken the pills and kept working and then my voice stared to sound really weird and it was hard to talk and I came up with a bright red rash. Thankfully we had a medical centre across the road and a friend took me there. A shot of adrenalin and a huge dose of anti-histamines later and I came right. It was scary though, because this has never happened to me before.
When I had recovered I was referred to an allergy specialist who confirmed that I was allergic to NSAIDs and should never take them again. While I was there I had another allergy test and he spoke to me about the grass and dust allergy and how often I took anti-histamines. I was still taking them for most of the year. He advised that if I ever wanted to have babies I shouldn't take anti-histamines regularly.
It was suggested that I start doing allergen immunotherapy to teach my body how to react when the allergen is inhaled by the body. The treatment is delivered by injection starting with a very small amount of the allergen. For me this was grass and dust. The goal is to increase tolerance to the allergen being injected.
I remember going every day for a week, then every second day and then once a week and then once a month for a while. Every time, the amount increased ever so slightly and I had to sit in the office for 20 minutes to ensure that I. was in no harm. A bit like when you have a flu injection or when the kids had their immunisations.
Gradually my body learnt to accept grass and dust as the harmless substance it is.
Now I only take anti-histamines once or twice a year when a specific plant is flowering. I don't even know what plant it is but I sneeze and my eyes water but an anti-histamine sorts that out.
However, like NSAIDs I have had other reactions to a few anti-biotics so I try really hard not to take them if I can help them but I will never take a NSAID again. That means no Nurofen, no Aspirin, no Ibuprofen. It's Paracetamol only and if I ever need anything stronger it would have to be codeine based but that doesn't happen often.
Therefore I wear a Medical ID bracelet. I need to make sure that if I ever had an accident and couldn't speak for myself that nobody gives me NSAIDs for inflammation or pain.