Sometimes it worries me how quickly things become commonplace when you’re sick.
Last night, I was spitting blood into the sink again. A few years ago, I would have been terrified to find my mouth was bleeding profusely for no apparent reason. Now it’s just an annoyance.
As I rinsed the blood away, I started retching, then threw up in the sink. Again, I feel this should have bothered me more than it did. Admittedly, I did have a small moment of panic because the vomit was bright red (I know, great mental pictures in this post!) but once I remembered I’d been eating berries earlier I just cleaned the sink and went to bed.
I’m the girl who didn’t throw up once between the ages of 14 and 25, even when I had food poisoning in that time. Now I sleep with a bucket beside the bed every night, just in case.
Lately I seem to have developed yet another fun new symptom. On Thursday, I woke in the night to find the side of my face was swelling up. My lips and tongue soon followed suit and it was getting a little hard to swallow. When the antihistamines I use for my latex allergy didn’t do anything, I phoned my dad and got him to take me to A&E. After a couple of hours and some more antihistamines, the swelling had gone down enough for me to go home, but I was no wiser as to the cause.
Night before last, the same thing happened again – face, lips and tongue swelling. I didn’t go into A&E this time, but just took the antihistamines and kept in text contact with my dad until the swelling went down. Last night I was sitting in a meeting at work, when I noticed the inside of my lip was covered in lumpy blistery things. A few minutes later, my tongue had swollen up again. I got up and left the meeting, and one of my colleagues followed me out. I tried to tell her I was fine, but what came out was “thigh sthmine” (she laughed a lot!) Less than two minutes later though, the swelling had gone down enough for me to talk clearly, though I was still adding a few ‘s’s to words.
I don’t know what’s causing this. Initially, I thought it was an allergic reaction, but the last one swoll up and then went down again so quickly I don’t know if that’s possible. The only common factor seems to be heat – first one I was running a slight fever, second I’d just had a hot bath, third, the office was really hot – and it does seem to get better when I move somewhere cooler or drink water, so maybe it’s that. I don’t know.
Though I do spend a lot of time analysing these situations afterwards, they worry me less and less. My colleague was confused as to why I’d left the meeting. As she said “when there’s a chance you might choke on your own tongue, you stay with people!” I was really more concerned that I might accidentally spit my water out, if I tried to drink and didn’t want to do that in front of people. So I left.
I wasn’t really worried about choking, or my throat closing up. After the first time, I didn’t feel the need to go back to A&E either. As I said – commonplace. I think if I panicked about everything, I’d be an emotional wreck – as would my doctor, as I’d probably never leave her office.
Though I don’t really want to be “used to” any of this stuff, it’s not really disrupting me as much anymore. In a way, it’s comforting to know I can spend my morning throwing up, swollen up, or stuck on the floor because my foot’s gone numb, then just go on with my day as if nothing’s happened. Of course, it would be more comforting if I wasn’t throwing up, swelling up, or getting stuck on the floor at all... but if I have to do those things, I’m glad to know I can do them without panicking.
- Little Miss Autoimmune