Thoughts on anaphylactic shock

Thoughts on anaphylactic shock


Describing the pain of a severe allergic attack

My name is Alexandra. I think that I live with my allergies and those of my daughter’s in a reasonably calm way. I’m used to talking about ‘my allergies’: I accept them, I contain them and I transform them into positive energy. I want to show Juliette, who also suffers from severe allergies, that our illness won’t take over more of our lives than we let it.

We are constantly vigilant. We adapt and sometimes we have to go without things, but there is no way that I will let our allergies obscure the beauty in our daily lives.

However, there are days when the allergies are much stronger than we’d like them to be. Like on the 12th November. I’d just spent another night in hospital following anaphylactic shock. At home the stomach pains are always there and I can sometimes develop a rash or a huge asthma attack.

Again, this morning in my hospital bed, I’d like to describe the pain, the physical pain of a severe allergic reaction. It starts slowly but surely. Inside me. I recognize the pain and get ready to fight it. The pain intensifies inside me. I can’t tolerate anyone around me, I lose my balance, I become nasty. A wave of pain overwhelms me. I lie on the ground. I cry, I moan, I beg people to help me………At that moment the pain is stronger than me, I am only PAIN, I’ve lost……. It is stronger than me and continues to tear me apart. I’m burning inside. The doctors are busy with me, and seeing my distress, they try to relieve the pain…. partially……
I know my dear pain you will never release me!
Here are a few words to describe the reality! My reality! The pain of a severe
allergic attack makes you lose all your dignity. It’s so important for me to talk
about it as not all carers recognise this. Did you know it was like that?

Many paths have been explored…. The way we look at allergies, the way
allergies are presented, the way we treat people with allergies. There has been a lot of progress. The carers know a lot more about anaphylaxis and how to treat it.
However, other realities exist and deserve to be known. This path needs to be explored. I hope that one day this physical pain will be truly considered.
Then the carers will respond to us more justly. We will no longer hear the words ‘your pain might be psychological’ or ‘you are too sensitive.’
These comments are so awful they make us close in on ourselves. There is more than just ‘pain and its victim’. Listen to what we patients have to say. Your better understanding with allow you to really take charge.

I have a lot of happiness in my life, I like to look at the beautiful side of things, things that make me feel good………. I get afraid too …one of my fears is feeling pain.
I’m also afraid of the future. How will I live with my allergies when I’m much older, tired and maybe dependent on other people? Who will take responsibility for me on these occasions?

If my story can help to improve ideas and knowledge concerning allergies, then I will be delighted. I would like to thank everyone I met at Afpral who has allowed me to transform my illness into positive energy.

*Testimonial from Association Francaise pour la Prevention des Allergies