Sunday, September 21, 2014

UPDATE- You will never believe the results of my allergy testing.

 I had the skin test done today.

Let me just tell you... Anyone that tells you that it's no big deal is lying to you or they like to have pain inflicted on them. I cried. Yes, I did.

Here's what it looked like right after she got done with the pricking.

( and my Mom is going to call me and say, "Sissy, you need to get that mole on your back checked." lol. I have already and the doctor thinks it's ok and we are watching it.

Here's when I started getting some reactions.
The #2 is a control. You can see that I already have some gnarly positive reactions. Surprisingly, though... I thought I would be allergic to EVERYTHING, but there are lots of places that aren't reacting.

You can see on this side there were many that had very little reaction or no reaction at all!

Here's the side that reacted positively to the allergen. That means I was allergic ( just in case you didn't know). This was just a few minutes in. I was already tempted to just tell them to put a benedryl iv in... or just knock me out.)

I am not going to list everything I was and wasn't allergic to (because who has that kind of time.. and who cares..), I will get right to the good stuff.

I am allergic to all the usual offenders. Ragweed, grasses, trees... you know, the whole outside. I am just allergic to the whole outside.

I am also allergic to Dust and mold. I was pretty sure I would be allergic to those.

Things that surprised me-
I eat a PB&J at least 2 times a week.
His suggestion was to keep eating it. If I was having no reaction then there's no need to stop eating it. I just need to pay attention to any potential reactions. He thinks it's actually good to eat it because it is desensitizing me to the allergen.

I don't think I have ever eaten it. I am not allergic to other fish or seafood... but flounder. Random.

Here I am drinking Almond milk every day because I am intolerant to milk.
He repeats what he said about the peanuts.... so, I will keep drinking it.

Oh my gosh. I mean, I knew it... but I was hoping it wasn't that bad. I am not one bit allergic to dogs though.

I was shocked to find out----
I am allergic to Beef and pork
(this includes lamb and deer meet)

 I am allergic because I was bitten by a tick.

I have a rare food allergy called alpha-galactose or "alpha-gal" for short.

Doctors say only bites from Lone Star ticks can cause this reaction, and those ticks are common in Middle Tennessee.
A Blood test confirmed an alpha-gal allergy.

Here's a link to a story and a video that explains things pretty well-


Here are some other links. I am still learning and researching.

 Never in my life had I heard such a thing.

This is life changing. I have to completely change my eating habits.

I am also taking an allergy medicine every day to help with all the allergies I have, but this will not help with the  alpha-gal allergy.

I still plan to use as many organic/chemical free as I can, but I am no longer worried about a product causing this severe reaction. I know I still have a sensitivity to some beauty products, but the reaction is nothing compared to what happens when the hives and swelling happens. My reactions to the beauty products are mild and generally contained to where it's applied or places it came in contact with.

I will still have a patch test done to see what I have sensitivities to.

We plan to eliminate as much allergens as we can. I know it's not possible to live in a bubble, but Danny is going to make sure to get rid of all the mold in the house. The bathroom has mold in it and he is going to completely tear out anything that has mold on it. This is going to be a big hassle, but it would have needed to be done anyway. It's not healthy for anyone.
I will also be putting an allergen bed cover on the bed, and a cover on the pillows too. I will wash the bedding more often.
We have very little carpeting, but one area of carpeting is in our bed room. Vacuuming the floor as much as possible (once a day at least) with a vacuum that has a allergen filter will help.

Of course the rest of the house needs to be kept as dust free as possible. We will have to dust and vacuum the floors and everything else every day (or every other day because I am not

I realize none of this will help with the Food allergy, but at least my regular allergies will improve significantly.

We have also decided to re-home the cat. I hate to even think about it, but I am so allergic to Libby. I have always been allergic to cats, but it got better as I got older. Now, it seems to have come back full force. I would like to keep her, but with her hair on everything I just can't escape it.

I was given the option to take allergy shots which will do a better job of keeping my allergies in check, but to be honest... I would rather take the pill every day and just try and keep my environment as allergy free as possible.

I just want to feel healthy.

I am already feeling so much better now that I am on day 2 of allergy medicine and I am not eating any meat. I can't wait to see how much I will improve one we get rid of the mold and get control of the dust. I have already gained a lb since Saturday! I was so excited that I made it to 100 lbs, now I am over 100 lbs and holding steady. I would like to get up to about 110 - 115.

I know it's crazy, but I am so relieved. I lived in fear every day that something around me would cause this reaction. I was afraid of waking up in the middle of the night with a completely swollen face and hives. I had no idea what to even stay away from. Now I know. I have the knowledge and I can move on and protect myself.

I will continue to Update on how I am living with this rare food allergy.

Side note-- I have had so many people praying for me, sending me messages, texting me... It is so overwhelming. Thank you all so much. I truly believe the prayers helped in so many ways. You have no idea what it meant to know that I have people that care about how I am doing. Thank you again.


Patsy Mabe said...

I also have Alpha gal allergy. There is a group on FB called Alpha-gal that has offered tremendous support. I believe we are close to 1,000 members now. They have helped me with hidden mammal ingredients so many times. Almost everything processed contains mammal by products. Also, don't give up on steak just yet. One of our members owns an Emu farm in Tennessee, called Amaroo Farms. Emu is very good for you, and it looks and tastes just like real steak. Hang in there, you can manage this and learn to live with it, while still enjoying most of your favorite foods by improvising a bit. Also, my allergist says this allergy is becoming more common due to increasing deer/tick population. Many allergists now have 20+ patients.

Bernadette Howell said...

It’s great that you took the skin test. At the very least, you were able to narrow down the things you were allergic to, besides those you already know. And it’s nice to know that though you are allergic to some types of food, the allergic reactions don’t kick in or have no adverse effects whatsoever. Thanks for sharing this with us, Michelle. All the best!

Bernadette Howell @ Allergy Relief Store

Bernadette Howell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
piper meredith said...

OMG that is horrible! I have been dealing with issues that MAY be allergy related, but so far I haven't had much improvement. First I had chronic daily migraines, but those are better now. I have to avoid certain foods that I used to always be able to eat, or I'll get a migraine, and light...that thing that helps us see...that bother's me a lot, and the weather.

Then other things crept up....chronic fatigue, weakness, brain fog, forgetfulness, no motivation, anxiety, insomnia, blah blah blah. I feel like a hypocondriac and people are like "just suck it up, we're all tired" but this is not just being tired, this is flipping ruining-my-life-can't-even-get-up-to-pee-tired.

I can't even count how many times I've had blood drawn. I finally went to an allergist although the PCP said that wasn't going to help...but my deductible was met and it was december, so I figured what do i have to lose? So, apparently I'm severely allergic to dust mites and birch trees, and a little allergic to some other trees and...cats....although i've had a cat all my life. I do always have sniffles, but my neuro doc said it was the migraines...but i'm thinking maybe not...

so i have cleaned all the curtains, put dust mite bedding on the bed, bought a hepa filter vacuum, have been sweeping constantly, dusting, bought an air purifier, and keep the bedroom door closed all the time to prevent the dogs and cat from entering...

i'm on an antihistimine and nasal spray....not feeling better yet, but i've been dealing with this for like 3 years now-5 if you start with the migraines.

i wouldn't wish that rash problem on anyway, but i would love to have a physical sign cause so many dr. just blow me off. they don't seem to want to check for lyme or other more common causes of fatigue and it's frustrating.

But, reading your story and hearing the allergy problem and what actions you were taking did make me feel better that you started feeling better. When I return to the allergist, maybe i'll see if other testing should be done.