Kristy has been dealing with constant anaphylactic reactions since she was 19 years old. The first time it happened was at a restaurant, when she started projectile vomiting for no apparent reason before going into shock. At the emergency room she was accused of drug seeking behavior, even though she was only asking for help figuring out what was happening. After 5 days in the hospital with doctors completely stumped, she checked herself out and began the journey of researching her symptoms on her own. Kristy would continue to experience intense vomiting episodes, becoming incapacitated each time it happened. She also became reactive to airborne allergens, being known to turn pale, become sickly and covered in sweat because someone walked into the room with a bag of shrimp. 10 years into her health journey she was diagnosed with idiopathic cyclic vomiting syndrome, but it would take a total of 13 years to discover that her constant vomiting was allergy related.
In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Kristy discusses her health journey with extreme allergies. She also has POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), suspected mast cell issues, and adenomyosis, a condition in which extra endometrial tissue grows inside the uterus and into the uterine wall. These conditions interact with each other, causing at least one anaphylactic episode per month as her body triggers an allergic response to her own menstrual cycle. Kristy discusses the extreme frustration of fighting for her own diagnosis, being met with constant disbelief and inaction by doctors. She used to mourn every food that needed to be removed from her diet, but after finally discovering that severe allergies were the cause, her relationship to sacrificing certain foods instantly changed into one of acceptance. Kristy hopes to evolve the way allergens are discussed in society, since they are often the butt of a joke and poorly understood by the medical community. She teaches us that allergy can be a severe and disabling condition to live with, and the lack of external understanding can make these challenges even harder.
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