ALLERGY STORIES: Radiation Does Not Make Super Heroes

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Several years ago, I started noticing that I had chronic problems.  I was always sensitive, but I started to break really easily, was always gasping for breath even though I had no asthma, etc.  But I am monetarily challenged and often moving because of work so I never went to see a doctor about chronic symptoms that I could live with.  Then a few months after getting a permanent position at work, I started to internally bleed--I really had no choice by that point.  After doing all sorts of tests my doctor, truly stumped, decided to test for heavy metal poisoning.  The results back were crazy:  I had heavy metal poisoning from radiation fallout.  The doctor even asked me if I had ever worked in a nuclear power plant, which I never had.  She told me that some of these radioactive elements in my body could only have been ingested.  Somewhere down the road I ate, drank, and came in contact with some wicked nasty stuff--stuff that I never willingly chose to come in contact with (and I have never been to Fukushima or Chernobyl).

 

For almost a year I had to go to a clinic every week and have chelating treatments--a painful almost nauseating process as it leached the heavy metals out of my bones.  And of course, insurance would not cover it.  On top of that, who would believe that this was happening to me?  Most people actually refused to believe me until I showed them the results of the test--done by an independent science lab.  Even then they were skeptical.  I got little to no support from friends or family (work was the exception--they were awesome).

Now I am heavy-metal free, but the amount of permanent damage is still to be determined.  I have a list of doctors/specialists that I am slowly being sent to in order to assess the damage.  I say 'slowly' as I have no money to go to all of them at once.  Most of them are completely at a loss--doctors are never really equipped with knowledge about dirty radiation damage and they simply come to the conclusion that I have major damage, but they are not the specialist to find it out.  It is a sort of 'something is really wrong with you, but I can't help you except to give you steroids and send you to someone else' conversations that I have gotten used to.  And the steroids were just making me really, really sick.

About two months ago, I headed for an allergy specialist, who gave me the same chat--she couldn't find any allergy-damage in her prick test.  Except she was an exceptional doctor.  Instead of shrugging her shoulders and sending me away, she actually sent me to a dermatologist who was the top allergy tester in the state.  I was skeptical.  I have been to dermatologists in the past and gotten absolutely no help from them whatsoever and my skin was not what I was worried about (who would be worried about their skin when they were still bleeding from the inside out???).  But I went, and had one of the nastiest prick test experiences in my life.

The results were worth it.  I have now been diagnosed with allergies to abitol, gallates, disperse blue dye, latex and most other plastics, all fragrances, balsalm of peru, anesthetics, nickel, wood lignin, and (surprise surprise) STEROIDS.  What were once mild sensitivities have turned into full blown allergies by radiation contact.  There is something really freeing about knowing such information, but it is also really hard--my lovely dermatologist gave me the bad news:  my allergies are only going to get worse.

I am in the process of slowly throwing away EVERYTHING that I own and replacing it.  My dermatologist wanted me to get rid of everything all at once--but how is that possible?  Who could afford that especially when your doctor is telling you that you should probably now build an allergy free house on top of everything you need to replace???  I am allergic to my soap, shampoo, make-up, toothbrush, toothpaste, clothes, shoes, bed, couch, countertop, paint on the walls--you name it. I literally have to replace everything.

So, I am doing this slowly--working from the inside, to the skinside, to the outside.  I have slowly replaced all my food, soap, hair products, feminine hygiene products (why are we so attached to our period products???), make-up, etc.  I am now onto replacing all my clothes with 100% natural fibers.  It is liberating, difficult, and slow.  Most people don't know exactly how to deal with it or support me--who could blame them?  I barely know how to deal with it myself and still learning as I go (like yesterday I found out that gallates were in all my herbs and spices--really heartbroken about that one, I actually love to cook).

The upside?--I am no longer on steroids or anesthetics.  And I am no longer internally bleeding (everyone should spontaneously break out into cheering with that news)!  I will never find out the source of my radiation poisoning, nor close to having anyone admit to the blame of causing it.  I am far away from even barely affording to build an allergy-free house let alone replacing my bed or affording the other specialists who need to test for other damage done.  BUT I am finally on a pathway to breathing easier.  I am finally on a pathway to not breaking so easily and ending up in an ER that just brings their interns in to show them a 'hard case'.  And I have met some fantastic businesses and private workers along this road who are slowly helping me heal (the internet with a mix of local businesses have been and continue to be literal knowledge-absorbing life-savers).

Happily, I can still perform my dream job and my dream hobby:  I am a book conservator and professional bookbinder so I fix rare documents for a living.  I still come in contact with allergens at work, but my boss and managers have been positively wonderful in keeping them at bay as much as possible.  Also, as a craftsperson always eager to figure out how things are made I have a huge supply of fellow craftspeople who are willing to take on myself as a creative problem-solving project.  I have already come in contact with metalworkers, glass blowers, jewelers, weavers, tailors, etc. who are willing to help me learn about their craft as a way of becoming allergy free--and emotionally dealing with all this damage.  Super hero jokes aside--making things with my hands has been a way of coping positively with my allergies and I couldn't ask for a better life than learning good craftsmanship in all forms.

Whew, I think that is it--my allergy story-so-far-as-I-can-relate-it-up-to-this-point.  Thanks for having this website!  Collecting all my how-to knowledge on Pinterest and my internet bookmarks has only gotten me so far!  And finding some sort of support has been nigh-to-impossible (I should say impassable).  Thanks!

Consider my mind blown. That is SUCH a story! WOW. I wonder where the radiation came from?! It's so scary to know that a person could have no clue where it came from. Ugh. Your story is a bit different than mine, but I totally understand about having to get rid of so many things and replacing them. It's incredibly expensive! Between having to buy new furniture, rugs, clothing, body & hair products and more... it can be really overwhelming and depressing. I'm so glad you found me!

I wish you loads of luck in your journey. I'm glad you're on the mend, although it's a slow process. Cheers to finding out what the problem was!

 

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