This isn’t a very long post because my brain is a bit cross at having been awake at 5:30am.
Yesterday I had a mild allergic reaction to something. I had itchy eyes, blotchy and sore and burning skin, a runny nose and my breathing became wheezy and unnatural. My lips felt tingles and my sinuses felt blocked.
This is another fun side-effect of M.E. I now have an increased sensitivity to…well all sorts. It can change on a daily basis and depends on the fluctuating nature of my illness. I am yet to see a real pattern to it though.
I think I’ve already mentioned sensitivity to light and sound but this post is about what I will call chemical sensitivity.
I can react to perfume and scented candles or the smell of alcohol and cleaning products. Air fresheners often have to be relocated or thrown away in our house because they seem to trigger a worsening of my symptoms. The nausea gets worse and my head feels incredibly tight. I become zapped of what little energy I might have had.
Yesterday’s reaction may have been down to something I had eaten but I didn’t get that acute stomach pain that usually comes when I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me. We can’t put our finger on what it was that triggered a reaction yesterday. Possibly salt, of all things.
It can be scary and is very unpleasant to be sensitive to these everyday things. There are many people who suffer in a much more severe way than me. It can make everyday life very tricky. If you have a visitor who is wearing an unfamiliar perfume or you can smell the washing powder on their clean clothes, it can make being in the real world that little bit more tricky, when things are already not plain sailing because of the M.E. I can remember having a particularly bad reaction to the smell of fake tan that one of my sister’s friends had on a couple of years ago. It triggered a migraine (something I suffered with pre-M.E) and I ended up in bed for a few days to recover. It wasn’t very nice.