What My (Out Of Control) Allergic Reaction Taught Me
By Krystle K
Now that I feel like I’m somewhat on the mend, I can open up and talk about what I have dubbed #theallergicreactionof2014 (as if it was some sort of national disaster). Shortly after landing in the US after our vacation to England, I noticed I had a rash all over my belly. This pregnancy I have had one issue after another. Not all were pregnancy-related and all were minor, but still it had worn on me and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We joke around that it’s “male poisoning” because I had relatively peaceful pregnancies with both girls. I walked through baggage claim unashamed of the big old tears running down my face. I deserved these tears.
To make matters worse, when I text Whitney for encouragement, her response was “it looks like stretch marks”.
CAN YOU IMAGINE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
I’m glad it was over the phone and not in person (that may have gotten ugly). That may have been the last thing in the world I wanted to hear… bless her. Good thing we are constantly working on our friendship… and I have learned to not respond to her immediately when I’m hurt.
Here is where it started
I immediately went to work on my belly and used 2 jars of coconut oil in 24 hours and it mostly disappeared. Whew, I thought.
Little did I know the worst was yet to come.
Shortly after, I broke out in the nastiest rash I have EVER seen. It seriously was the kind you see when you Google “rash” and the worst-case scenario pops up. From my calves to my lower back I was covered in raised, red, itchy bumps. It was misery. I couldn’t sleep at night and spent so much time and energy during the day trying to heal it; I felt like a terrible mom. It was all-consuming and I felt helpless. I went to my homeopathic doctor for acupuncture and got some ideas for food and herbs that would help promote healing. When it got worse, I went to a walk-in doctor who prescribed a steroid cream for allergic contact dermatitis. I did not feel comfortable using a steroid (category C drug: not recommended for pregnant women), so I soldiered on until it got worse yet again, and then I went to a dermatologist. He did a biopsy and recommended an antihistamine. After 2 weeks of sheer horror, I ended up filling the prescription for the steroid cream. Within 3 days it began to dry up and stop spreading. I felt like a prisoner who had been set free or a person stranded on an island who spotted the rescue boat. Many times I thought it was PUPPP, a pregnancy rash that doesn’t go away until you deliver. I cannot do 20 more weeks of this! I remember thinking incessantly.
Here are some gruesome pictures of #theallergcreaction2014
What did my allergic reaction teach me?
1. A little sympathy goes a long way
If anyone has a “suck it up buttercup” type of spouse, they know what I’m talking about. My husband doesn’t want to freak me out, so he always down-plays things to try and balance me out. But good lord! A simple “I’m so sorry, what can I do for you?” goes a looooong way when you are in misery. Half way through the rash saga he caught on and this was extremely helpful in lifting my mood.
2. Your mind is half the battle
There were many moments of downright childlike self-pitty. I can’t begin to compare myself to Job in the Bible, but I thought of him often. What helped me tremendously was focusing on what was going right in my life besides what was going horribly wrong. Perspective is everything. At least this isn’t my kids who have the rash, at least my baby is healthy, at least its not on my face (YET….”OMG please not the face!” I would pray), etc.
3. Our bodies are amazing!
I so often take for granted the fact that my body comes in contact with things constantly that (unbeknownst to me) it’s protecting me from. This has reminded me that we were perfectly created with so many organs (like the epidermis) that detox and fight off the many visible and invisible bad guys.
4. All western medicine isn’t the devil
Most prescriptions come with a long list of side-effects, some are addictive and many only care for symptoms and don’t treat root issues but this little “walk in the park” has reminded me that there is a place and time for medications. My body was going out of control creating histamines in response to whatever I was allergic to and the steroid cream reduced the inflammation and gave my body enough itch-free time to begin healing.
Side-note: I still haven’t ruled out where this came from and I did have to take an antibiotic 2 weeks prior to the rash, so it very well could have come from medication, but I digress…..
Here is a list of things I tried before reaching for the RX:
Juicing green apples and beets
If you struggle with reoccurring rashes and or eczema PLEASE check out this article on healing from within!