It’s good to feel my old self emerging. The severe allergic reaction I have been suffering, on and off for the last few months, will hopefully no longer be troubling me. The offending substance ended up being the cleaning fluid used in root canal work, my body’s reaction becoming increasingly severe with each subsequent treatment. Initially I was unsure of the cause; such things are hard to pin down without skin tests but after a while a pattern emerges. By the time I became more or less certain it was linked to the dental work, the reaction had intensified alarmingly. After each treatment I found myself out of action for three weeks, sometimes more, the swelling spreading around my body, large and sore, itchy lumps covering my skin. At one point, for three days I couldn’t walk properly, my feet were so swollen. As the dental treatment progressed, the reaction started to centre more on my throat, at times troubling my breathing; I felt frighteningly asthmatic. My dentist was a hero, ultimately working within the cramped confines of a contraption that consisted of a metal clamp, a square of latex and a plastic frame that ingeniously isolated the tooth, hopefully preventing me from ingesting any of the offending fluid. Thankfully it worked; the swelling and the reaction being considerably reduced.

The only anti-histamine that would even begin to keep me from swelling until I popped was Piriton. Its effect on me was in some ways more difficult than the allergic reaction itself. It warns upon the packet about possible drowsiness but this really is a major understatement. The collective impact of weeks taking the stuff has left me feeling immersed – utterly cut off from the world – as if my cognitive functions have congealed. I have felt so confused, vague, exhausted and out of sorts, my thoughts horribly disjointed. It’s not that I haven’t been able to communicate but there has been no easy flow in my thinking; conversation has felt tiring and strained. Laurie told me he could tell whenever I had taken my first dose of the day, feeling me withdraw.

My last dental treatment is now over and I have been Piriton free for three whole days. It has felt like watching myself from above, rising up gradually through murky water, the details of me sharpening as I resurface. It’s a brilliant feeling, like sunlight pouring into a room. Drugs can have such a powerfully distorting effect upon our personalities, even something as seemingly innocent as anti-histamine. I am so grateful that those bits of me that I value have only temporarily been held hostage. I feel enormous sympathy for those whose unavoidable reliance on medication leaves them suffering from unwanted side-effects. My continued health and well-being is something that I am truly grateful for.

Writing has been difficult during this period. It’s taken a lot of concentration and focus to get anything down. My posts on this Blog have become fewer. It has been so frustrating wanting to write but struggling to pierce through the fog. It is so good to start feeling connected again, the cogs happily whirring and clicking, my clarity returning and my energy levels rising; time to re-engage.

On a Clear Day...

On a Clear Day...


1 Comment

  1. July 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

    So very pleased to hear you are coming through. Thanks for sharing your lovely walks and discoveries and photos. Feeling housebound myself, so extra special for me! Take care of yourself, much love, Chrisx

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