Back in the UK Rog used to have a few allergies, resulting in both asthma and eczema, but it was always controlled and rarely caused him a problem.
When we moved to Spain, one of the things we were hoping was that it would improve both his asthma and eczema, as in previous visits he found that the extra sunshine cleared up his eczema, and the drier air meant he rarely needed to take his inhaler.
And indeed, our first year here that’s exactly what happened! He bought a six month supply of inhalers, which lasted a whole year! Great news!
Then about 18 months ago he started to struggle, and visited the doctor several times in an effort to resolve the problems. They changed his inhaler, as the one he had in the UK isn’t available here. He continued to struggle – everything became difficult, breathing, or doing anything at all.
Just shy of a year ago he was rushed into hospital with total respiratory failure … and was then diagnosed with pneumonia – he had been trying to carry on regardless for months… but he’s always been like that!
Even after the pneumonia cleared up, he continued to struggle. So over the last year we’ve been backwards and forwards to the hospital, and yesterday we got the results of probably the most important tests so far. They did pin tests to test for allergies, and the news was about as bad as it gets.
Now we know he’s always had a bit of hay fever in the past, and that he wasn’t great around animals, but our dogs live predominantly outside, so he’s not been too bad with them.
Cats, dogs, dust, powder, plants and trees – basically he’s allergic to where we live. And it’s not just a little bit allergic, he’s a lot allergic. If it was a stuffy nose and red eyes he probably would just get on with it, but his reactions have been quite severe.
The way they explained it is that if you imagine a bucket and you put some allergies into it, you can take the odd antihistamine and be ok. But then something else gets added and the bucket overflows … that’s when it gets serious. The one that has made Rogers bucket overflow is olives – obviously back in the uk we never came into contact with olive trees!
During the meeting with the consultant I quipped that we needed to move and have a house by the sea … I wasn’t expecting her to agree …
But that’s out of the question … there’s certainly no money for another house, we love living here, and even if we did put it on the market it could take years to sell, and wouldn’t raise enough money for anything other than a one bedroom flat near the sea … it’s a quandary, but we’ve always loved a challenge!
BUT I’m now a woman on a mission … researching natural ways that will help him to cope – thank god we didn’t buy a finca with 3 or 4 acres 😱. We know that things like pineapple can help with inflammation because it contains an enzyme called Bromelain, and stinging nettles are a natural antihistamine, green tea helps too, but I know there’s lots of other things to investigate …
As I find remedies that work for Rog I’ll do regular updates and hope they help with anyone else out there living with severe allergies … and of course, if anyone out there has any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them!