Allergy Mums / Support for families with allergies

publication date: Apr 11, 2014

Oh Joy..A Holiday

To be honest; like most people I really look forward to going away on holiday. But, for us, it’s more convoluted than for other folk, due to our allergies and other health issues. When you think of going away I bet your first thought isn’t ‘oh...must phone the GP and get our next batch of prescriptions a bit early so we don’t run out of anything while we’re away’.  But that’s exactly what I think. Our monthly ‘bag’ of meds from the pharmacy is a bit of an embarrassment really. Most of our stuff is on repeat, so I just log into the online system and tick box my way through our lists. For some of Molly’s items we need to request each time, as they like to keep track of how much she’s taking. So for a ten day holiday we took the following:

1 tube Betnovate (strong steroid cream for my skin); 1 tube hydrocortisone for Molly’s skin; 1 tube weak cortisone for my face, in case anything flares up; 1 tub axle grease instead of soap; 2 bottles of Aveeno (one cream, one lotion) for moisturising; Omeprazole tablets for Molly; Omeprazole capsules for me; Ranitadine for Molly; Piriton for Molly; Colofac MR for me; Mintec capsules for me; Flexofenadine for me.

Now we’ve got the meds packed; we move onto the fun issue of laundry detergent. I’m allergic to most detergents. Rather startlingly allergic. I come out in a nasty rash; that develops into blisters; and then I start to swell. I’ve ended up in A&E many times, or going to hotel doctors in foreign lands, before we discovered it was detergent. Last week my GP told me that I needed a bone density scan because of the oral steroids I’ve had over the years, so it’s pretty important not to let this flare up. So now we pack linens too. A duvet cover comes with us and I sleep inside it like a cocoon; along with a couple of pillow cases. I know this is going to sound odd, but it’s so stressful not to be able to sit down on the bed! I have to constantly hover around and sit on one of the towels we bring with us. Oh yes, note to self, pack two towels – one for bath and one for beach otherwise I’m always using one damp towel.

Now I turn my attention to food for the journey. I find that I get irrationally irritated with fellow travellers as I hear them chat about menu items ‘oh...the ham and cheese pannini looks nice’, answered by ‘oh look brie and bacon’. It’s not their fault they can eat everything., but when we’re travelling our limitations are starker for us. So to avoid going hungry or listening to the quite justified, plaintive cry of,  ‘Isn’t there anything I can eat?’ I pack food. Lots of it. So for our trip to Egypt I packed:

2 pate and cucumber sandwiches on brown; 2 ham sandwiches on brown; 3 pate sandwiches (no butter) on a baguette; 1 ham baguette; 2 salami on Genius gluten free; gluten free pretzels -3 bags; normal pretzels - 2 large bags; 3 types of nuts for Molly; 2 packs gluten free oat cakes; 3 bananas; 2 apples; ½ a melon sliced up; mini sausages and a partridge in a pear tree...or so it felt. At least we weren’t hungry on the trip...

But it grates sometimes. The efforts we go to just so we’re not sick, or covered in a rash. How carefree other peoples’ lives seem to us. Able to choose what they’d like to eat from a buffet, not just what they can eat. Imagine that...eating what we want for a change.  Some people dream of winning the lottery. I dream of a cure for allergies so my daughter can eat ice cream from the hotel buffet.

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