Being Allergic To Human Touch Is An Actual Allergy. No, Really. Read Why.
You should be extremely grateful for the life you have. While you might not be particularly allergic to anything besides failure, depression, negativity and poverty, of which are all a state of mind, there are those allergic to air, water, rain, salt, even human touch is an actual allergy. You might find that hard to believe and accept as I used to, until now.
I remember the few occasions I tried to avoid shaking or hugging someone with the excuse of being ‘allergic to human touch’ little did I know that someone somewhere is REALLY allergic to human touch and air humidity.
The amazing thing about being a writer is you are also an avid reader and every new knowledge is worth sharing so I’ll share this story with you.
There are those who are allergic to peanut and there are those who hate peanut, you understand the difference right? Good. Thirty-seven-year old Jen Ferguson doesn’t hate life, she’s allergic to it. What would make one allergic to life you might ask? Well, temperature. Temperature has made Jen allergic to life.
The mother of two has her skin looking like bees from all the colonies of the world just went through it when she gets too cold, which could be anytime. Therefore she dare not get cold. Not even a shiver.
Jen who is from Kent, England experiences thousands of hives across her skin, face and throat whenever she gets too cold for comfort. And that’s not even half of the story. You want to know the other half? Read her words. “I describe myself as allergic to life because all of the aspects of life can affect me — heat, cold, wind, exercise, emotion, human touch. The list is endless, My body is just continually attacking itself without reason.” – Ferguson told Cosmopolitan.com
Last December while you were probably celebrating the season (I doubt you can remember what exactly you were doing because I can’t) Jen developed her mysterious case of hives for the first time. Imagine all the festivities and suddenly your skin decides to go freaky on you, mood killer big time. She was rushed to hospital immediately and was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known as Spontaneous Chronic Urticaria, a fancy way of saying “hives that persist for at least six weeks” or “hey I’m allergic to human touch”. You probably had no idea being allergic to life actually had a medical name.
She explains her predicament and one can’t help but wince at the thought of scratching oneself until you bleed but that’s what Jen goes through as the hives comes with itches all over her body that can be so intense sometimes she doesn’t have a choice but to itch it away.
She wrote on a blog – “The itching is so incredibly intense that I will scratch myself until I bleed. And I only stop then because there is no skin left to scratch. On a good day, I have a few hundred welts … on a bad day I have thousands. They cover my scalp and every inch of my body down to the soles of my feet … each day my skin will flare, then return to normal, only to flare again the following day. In 10 months, I have had no day without welts appearing and affecting my body and my life.”
Lots of things everyday people do is a big prohibition for her. She can’t touch frozen foods, she can’t touch anything cold, she can’t take anything cold, she can’t be a cold environment (how does she survive winter), she can’t play with her kids in the snow. She can’t even have human contact on her skin as this can stimulate the outburst. Because human contact can stimulate her skin, she can’t cuddle with her kids or husband at times when she craves comfort the most. Her skin can’t be touched not even for affection.
Basically all through this year she has had to scratch intensely. Every day. Could you do that? Imagine having to scratch your skin everyday of your life because you have this crazy itch all over you. Terrible, terrible allergy. You feel for her, don’t you?!.
How does she work? Well, the former school teacher had to quit her job because her condition has made it impossible for her to perform her duties effectively as a schoolteacher. She says ‘It’s not easy to stand up in front of 30 children when hives are covering your body’.
She also reveals to the blog that she has lost self-confidence and suffers from low self-esteem as she’s uncomfortable in most social situations and have become awkward around other people. She also says she feels “extremely unattractive”.
She wrote on the blog that what she fears the most about her condition is that one day the swelling to her face and throat might go beyond painful and become life threatening.
What’s the cause and what’s the symptom(s)? Absolutely nothing. The condition has no cause or even a relative cure.
Jen says that “having no cause or cure has made the condition largely misconstrued and treated inefficiently. Her condition can go away naturally or last for life — a seriously scary prognosis considering how much it affects her. It has completely changed me as a person. I suffer from increased anxiety as a result of never knowing when the disease will strike each day and when it will finally leave my body or at least be controlled.”
Because there is no known cause or cure yet, she has had to manage her symptoms by taking about 16 pills a day. Among the pills include antihistamines which are used to treat allergic reactions and cold and also takes medications for anxiety and asthma. Does it help? Not really.
The drug combination doesn’t really reduce sudden outbursts of the warts on her skin, and the dosage has added to her misery by precluding her from breastfeeding and ever getting pregnant again. Two things she desperately wishes she could do again. Side effects of her medication includes drowsiness.
She tries to make the best of her condition by always having on hand extra pieces of clothing so she could always dress and undress when required. She finds it hard to dress from formal occasions.
Her only glimmer of hope is the good news that help is on the way as she is to begin new medication to disrate the flinty reactions.
So when next you are holding anything cold or getting hugged by the one you love, remember there is a woman out there whose husband and kids can’t hug her cos she’s allergic to human touch. News like this can’t help but compel you to appreciate the little things in life.
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Photo Credit, Cosmopolitan