8.26.2013

Allergy Testing Changed my World....again

This post has been dancing around in my head for the past 12 hours or so. It is a post I know I should write since I believe in honestly but yet a post I am kind of embarrassed to write.

Friday I went for the allergy testing my primary care physician advised me to do to identify the cause of the "anaphylactic shock" in Texas. I was nervous about going not for what may happen but for the tests showing nothing and not being able to explain what happened to me in Texas. I even told the allergist such as we both discussed how unlikely it is to develop an allergy to something I have been eating all my life and that my experience didn't truly fit the symptoms of anaphylaxis. I knew all this. I agreed. It made no sense.

I opted for the full panel skin test and after 23 pricks on my back I remained resting comfortably playing Hay Day waiting for the 30 minutes to pass. The nurses left the door cracked in case I needed them. I had no concerns. But then within 10 minutes or so my head started feeling funny. It was that fuzzy feeling. I felt warmth. I went to the nurses to let them know. And then the whole Texas experience happened all again. It sucked. The allegist was baffled by my response and so was I. I didn't expect it. I expected nothing at all. Nada. Zilch. I walked out baffled. I went to bed early that night.

Come Saturday I thought all was good. Don't eat dairy. Don't get skin tests. I am fine. But shortly after driving into town with my daughter those sensations came back. I panicked. I had my daughter in the car. I pulled over to the side of the road. I couldn't get a hold of my husband. Anyone else I could think of was out of town. I called 911. I ended up in the ER. Once again it was confirmed I was fine but this doctor planted a seed in my thoughts. You see, I knew we were missing something. I did not eat dairy. I did not get pricked my dairy. My body was acting as if it had....or so I thought from what I was told in Texas. And that seed the doctor planted....hormones. Hormones could trigger a adrenaline response. He stated I was not having an allergic response (I felt that was true now). Dear hubby asked about anxiety. The doctor said, hormones out of whack could produce what looked like anxiety. He suggested I follow up with my doctor.

I did email her right away but a new way of looking at things was set before me. Forget the cake. Forget the allergy testing. Just think. Every single episode started with heat. I had felt that before. The night my dad died. I bolted upright in bed, described it to my aunt and mom, and they calmly told me I was having a hot flash. A hot flash. Hmmm....could it be? I posted earlier this year that I thought I was on the verge of perimenopause even though the clinical tests weren't proving it.

And this is the embarrassing part - to state that my sensations of a "hot flash" were so intense and scary that perhaps, just perhaps, they triggered a severe panic attack. It is humbling to think that. It is hard to tell the world that. But I feel it is the right thing to do. No, I have had no tests to prove this. I have emailed my doctor and allergist admitting the same embarrassing thought process. If nothing else, I am honest.
My power word for 2013

Am I on the right path? I really think so. I have had multiple sensations throughout the weekend. Each one I embrace now, instead of fear, and they have passed without my heart rate going to crazy and without my full body shaking. I am on to something. I have the power.

Will I start eating dairy again? No. I feel better in so many other ways without it but I believe the original diagnosis in Texas was wrong. I am working on letting go of the fear that that label left me with. I am not allergic. It was a wild coincidence and just imagine how different this story would be if that original experience did not happen after eating a piece of cake full of dairy?

Things are not always what they appear to be.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the loving care from the medical community.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong and through sharing my story I become stronger.

9 comments:

  1. I used to get really bad panic attacks before I had children and I would get dizzy and hot. I hope you get some answers and feel better soon.

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  2. Hormone imbalances can cause anxiety. I was really deficient on testosterone last year and actually ended up at the psychologist because of panic attacks which were due to the imbalance. Once the imbalance was sorted all the anxiety disappeared.

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  3. Oh my goodness! Hopefully this is the right answer. It will be much less scary then unknown allergies!

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  4. I hope you get the answers you are looking for!! Looks like you are making steps in the right direction!

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  5. Oh my gosh...So strange to read this!
    My sister has been having panic attacks. She didn't KNOW they were panic attacks, as she was getting light headed and then though she was going to pass out, or throw up, or do SOMETHING...
    Her doctor was thinking she may have hyperhtyroidism because her symptoms were very much 'panic attack' symptoms once they talked about them.
    Panic attacks are very common with hyperhtyroidism, so she has her on some meds while they wait for the thyroid tests.
    The meds are temporary, so that she can manage them when and if they happen.
    Well...
    Reading your story, it sounds so much like my sister!
    She called a few minutes ago and her thyroid is fine.
    She is 48 and had to have a hysterectomy earlier this year and so wow...
    It could very well be hot flashes and all those other fun 'lady things' we can potentially go through.
    (Child birth, periods, menopause...seriously?!?!)
    You should do some googling of black cohosh and a few other natural supplements that are supposed to ease symptoms.
    Hugs!
    I wish you well, you may have helped my sis out a whole bunch!

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  6. Well, as scary and weird as all this is/was - knowledge is power. Getting to the bottom of it will be key for handling it (whatever "it" is). And don't be too embarrassed or hard on yourself - lots of medical professionals seem to have agreed with your original thoughts, so it's not like you were way off base. And at the end of the day - you have too much to lose to trivialize symptoms that could be serious.

    On the plus side - while this will require a whole different set of coping skills, you might be able to relax your constant food anxiety, just a smidge. Here's to hoping! Good luck as you sort through all this new data. (Information? I'm a scientist, so it's all data to me! :) )

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    1. I am a scientist too and yes, it is all data. And even at the start when I felt I didn't have enough supporting data I was not 100% convinced. And yes, thank goodness I don't have to worry about food anymore! I am still dairy free but now by choice and that has lifted a HUGE weight off of my shoulders.

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  7. Wow, that's scary! I hope you can find answers soon!

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  8. Good thing you are very proactive and track all data to help work with your doctor to help figure out what's going on.

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