Is This How it is Going to be For The Rest of my Life?

This is my story. I am 17 years old and I am allergic to just about everything you can think of; fruits, vegetables, nuts, peanuts, soy, palm oil, latex, propylene glycol, polyester, and more! Surprisingly not wheat or milk yet. I also have Crohn’s Disease so on top of having to avoid things I have restrictions or can’t digest things and I am always sick.

My allergies have always kind of taken a back seat, along with everything else, to my Crohn’s. I have been to my allergist complaining of all of these allergies many times and he has basically said that there is nothing he can do and I just have to learn to live with it. I have asked my mom to find another allergist somewhere even if we have to travel and that has not happened yet. The problem is that it is basically ruining my life.

Most people when trying to find a college they want to go to look at the college ranking or how far or close it is to their home. For me I have to look at things like the severity and types of allergy seasons or if there is a good hospital nearby. If I want to buy some kind of clothing I have to search for hours or weeks online and in store. I have to wear a big jacket to cover my hands so that I can check materials, if I do find something I usually have to beg my mom to get it because there is almost no money after medical bills and private school. I have to go to private school because I get sick a lot and have to avoid a lot of things.

It has been almost 2 years since I found out about my propylene glycol allergy and it is not getting any better or any easier to deal with it. I have become a master of checking labels and memorized different materials in various languages. I have spent hours in stores sitting and going from one end of an isle to the other checking every single product only to find 1 shampoo and conditioner I am not allergic to, one of which I think is retiring. My wardrobe consists of about 3 pants and like five different types of shirts, one of which is the same shirt in about 20 different colors because it is the only one I can find Im not allergic to and is semi comfortable.

I could probably write a 50 page essay on all of my issues without even trying. I am not writing this for anyone to feel sorry for me or anything. I just wanted to share my story and I kind of wonder how many people out there also have these problems. Thanks for reading. :)
— anonymous

Thank you so much for sending in your story! I want to give you a thousand hugs!!!!!

Having to deal with all of this as an older kid totally adds another level of frustration to your medical issues. It's one thing to have to make your own doctor's appointment, but another to rely on a parent to get it together for you. That would drive me crazy! I do give your mom big props for sending you to private school for the benefit of your health, but you're right - private school is pretty expensive. It's a double edged sword. Most people without these issues don't understand how expensive just AVOIDING certain things can get! It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders, though, which is important in these situations.

It's SO imperative to try and stay positive. Please, please take lots of "you" time. This is what I'd do when I was at my worst: I'd come home and take a cool (better for inflammation) shower and apply body cream accordingly. Then I'd wrap myself up in 100% cotton pajamas and surround myself with 100% cotton sheets and blankets in bed. Add a movie, a nice mug of hot water and an allergy-friendly snack and it was my little sanctuary. Your body is battling so much right now and you could really use some TLC.

I hope you're able to find some relief soon! Sending healing vibes your way!

XOXO,

Jennifer