Most people underestimate the broad effects of allergic reactions. Hives are the least of my worries. My most common symptom is pain – intestinal, uterine, and bone. But every now and then, I am left dumbstruck by a new symptom. Never underestimate a mast cell.
Here are my top four strangest allergic reactions of 2016:
#4 – A shiner
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered if you forgot that you hit yourself in the eye?
If you have MCAS, mast cells are most likely to blame. The perk to this symptom is feeling like a badass without the pain. An allergic shiner is proof to any skeptic; yes, I am in abusive relationship with my mast cells.
#3 – Deafness
Mast cells can cause swelling in any part of the body. However, my most memorable swelling incident occurred on Easter, when I cautiously selected a lemon mini cupcake for dessert to no avail. Apparently, I am highly reactive to lemon and within minutes my inner ears swelled to the point of deafness. Benadryl restored my hearing in 10 minutes. If only I could mute my life when I wanted!
#2 – Dystonia
I don’t understand the science behind it, but last winter, when I was exposed to the cold, my body would slowly lose strength to the point of paralysis. (In Minnesota, cold is defined by at least a -30F wind chill.) No amount of arguing or bargaining could lift my limbs, except my right hand, which seemed to be levitating on its own. So between the anxiety and boredom of being immobile, I found it best to fall asleep and call it meditation. Luckily, I have not experienced dystonia since increasing my medications and avoiding the cold. But it’s only January.
#1- Electric shock
I’m not sure that’s the best name for it, but that’s what it felt like. Mast cells wreak havoc on the autonomic nervous system. This one-time experience was result of a medication reaction. As a I bent puke to in the toilet, an “electric shock” burst from my chest, shot through my limbs, jolted me backward onto the tile. A wave of terror followed when I realized I couldn’t lift my arms to pull myself off the floor. I regained strength in a few minutes, but it was certainly a traumatic experience.
So, as I said before, never underestimate a mast cell. What was your strangest allergic reaction?
P.S. Thank you to my first blog financial contributor, Allie! I appreciate it so much!