My life changed on November 20th, 2016. After helping my husband with a night shift job that required us to be out in -17 Celsius all night, I woke up from a few hours of sleep covered in hives, swollen shut eyes and a hoarse throat.
At first I thought I was allergic to my husky and her new pups because we had brought her the house 2 days prior to have them. I took some Benadryl but has the day went on it just got worse, so my husband took me to the hospital where the doctor gave me more Benadryl. For weeks I continued to believe that for the first time in my 38 years I was allergic to dogs, which didn’t make sense.
Four days before Christmas Eve, I had to rush myself to the hospital. That morning I had some issues with my dogs outside, and I was outside for about 40 minutes. I came inside and when I did I could feel my lips tingling and my skin felt extremely hot. I took a reactine, got my 4 kids ready for school, 5 minutes after they left my entire body turned from hives to a full red rash.
I was swollen from head to toe. I was having a difficult time breathing and felt as though I was going to pass out. I knew I had to drive myself to the hospital because we live 20 minutes out of town. How I made it there was in God’s hands, by the time I got to the hospital my throat was nearly closed off, my blood pressure dropped, and my heart rate dropped, and I passed out.
It was a few hours, a couple of epi pens, Benadryl and some pills under my tongue for my heart but I was feeling ok. I have only had one other reaction since that one but I basically don’t leave my house unless needed and then I am bundled up. My doctor diagnosed me this past Wednesday with Cold Urticaria and Cholinergic Urticaria, up on til these past 4.5 months I have never been allergic to anything.
I am so tired of medications, from my doctor and over the counter. I am now once again on 3 different meds for 28 days to see if it helps, so far the only thing it has done is give me headaches. Steroids didn’t even help, the hives are there and will never leave. It is so tiring, I am cold all the time, my doctor has run all the proper test everything comes back clear.
He’s doing the very best to help me, but living in northern Canada with not so nice temps in the winter is sucking the life out of me, not to mention the toll it’s taking on my children and husband. They are wonderful but I know it’s hard on them, I can no longer go sledding, skating, or even a simple walk because after a few minutes outside I get a chill then my lips begin to tingle and I know it’s time to go inside.
I can’t even shower without having someone bring me a towel and clothes straight from a warm dryer because if I get a chill I’m doomed, and on the other hand if I get overheated I’m doomed, I am not looking forward to summer. I love summer. I spend every second in my vegetable garden, camping, and hanging out with my kids outside. Now I’m just worried.
It’s hard to talk to family and friends. No one I know has ever experienced this. It seems as though friends and certain family members are keeping their distance, which makes me sadder. I thank God for my husband and mother for helping through this. All I can do at this point is live my life carefully, remember my epi pen when I leave the house and pray that one day this terrible condition will go away as quickly as it came.