Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Reacting badly

Following a busy weekend I promised myself that yesterday was going to be a gentle rest day, until I remembered that I needed to get my car sorted out before the tax runs out at the end of the month. The car hasn't started for the last 3 months and really needed to go to a garage to be fixed, sold or something. So Mr J and I headed off to South Gloucestershire where my lovely old car with its massive boot-space has been hibernating for the autumn and winter.

It was great to see our former neighbours again having not seen them since we moved. We had a coffee with them while we waited for the mobile mechanic to arrive. It was so nice to have a freshly made coffee as I haven't had one for about six months. Then, half way through the mug of steamy black coffee I suddenly remembered why I hadn't had one for so long, my careful eating plan excludes caffeine. It was an interesting experience, I felt my eyes hit the back of my head, my heart started to race and I got hot, uncomfortably hot.

The emergency car break down service folks arrived earlier than they had anticipated and  gave me the perfect reason to excuse myself and go and stand in the cooling air. He got my much loved vehicle going enough to put it on the back of a lorry and take it to the main dealer that I have been using for servicing and repairs. The staff there have promised to arrange for the car to be sold on my behalf and then, when I feel safe to be driving again I can buy a new (new to me!) car.

I was really quite upset yesterday morning, not because of the car but because of the implications of getting rid of my car. It felt like I had finally lost my independence. Logically I know that I haven't, I can drive Mr J's car at any time I want to (once I feel safe again), but somehow that wasn't the point. This is the first time that I haven't had my own car for over 30 years.

We got home in the early afternoon, I spent the remainder of the day taking it easy but the combination of stress and caffeine had done their worst and my body was twitching and jerking quite badly during the evening and I didn't manage to get off to sleep until after 11.30pm. I woke a couple of times in the night with shooting pains in my legs and back, so it wasn't a refreshing sleep. I was obviously disturbing Mr J as I fidgeted and the uncontrollable jerking in my legs meant that I had kicked him rather hard more than a few times. I finally gave up trying to sleep and this morning started at 3.15am.

Downstairs I made a cup of decaf tea and an omelette and lit the wood burner in the lounge as I listened to the wind getting stronger and the rain beating against the windows. There is something very comforting in the sound of winter weather outside when I'm curled up warm and cosy inside.

Shortly before 7am I was hungry again and had a bowl of black cherries (that I'd taken out of the freezer last night) with a crushed meringue. Now I realise that this isn't a great breakfast, but it was actually mid morning according to my body clock. I ate a couple of spoonfuls and then I had a reaction.

It started with a tingle in the throat and a pinging feeling in my nose, like I was about to have a nose bleed. Then I got lightheaded and it became increasingly hard to swallow. My chest got very tight and my mouth and lungs felt 'dry' and hot. All of that had taken about 90 seconds. Not to waste any time, I took an antihistamine and went upstairs as fast as I could to wake Mr J.  I curled up in bed next to Mr J while he monitored how I was doing, he has got very good at gauging whether a reaction needs more than an antihistamine and time, and was poised and ready to take me to A and E if the reaction got any worse.

It must be horrid for him to be woken up by me crashing around in the bedroom saying 'I'm having a reaction and I'm not doing very well'. Anyway, lying down didn't help me at all, my breathing got harder and my head was throbbing. Moving downstairs, we sat quietly together while we waited for the antihistamine to do its thing and half an hour later I was feeling very much improved.

So today the gentle rest that I was going to have yesterday has been enforced upon me. I am snuggled under a duvet on the sofa, with the log burner chucking out heat at me and a frequently refilled glass of blackcurrant cordial next to me. I'm hoping that I will fall asleep shortly and catch up on some of last night's missed sleep

I have no idea what caused the reaction this morning, it could have been something sprayed onto the cherries or a nut residue cross contamination, something in the meringues or on one of the logs I had recently put on the fire.

Incidents like this remind me of how careful I need to be about not only what I eat (and avoid consuming) but also careful about what I do. It is still only two and a half months since I was pretty much bed-bound and I am now well enough to do all sorts of things, and I enjoy every moment of them, but over-doing it makes me very tired and susceptible to reacting more to foods and chemicals.

This afternoon, between snoozes, I plan to read some of my favourite blogs and watch some how-to videos on the internet.  Also, no doubt, I will reflect more than a little about fortunate I am to have such a caring partner, lovely home and how in the grand scheme of things life is now relatively stress free. And in my book, those are things to be celebrated!


  1. I sympathise about the car. I don't use mine much and I'm now thinking towards giving it up. I hope that you're now feeling better.
    Take care. Flighty xx

  2. Hugs to you Liz. We've all done it...think we're feeling a better and overdone things. Take care. Sheila xx


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