Being Atopic- I’m Highly Sensitive

Not that kind of sensitive…

A kind of serious topic today. Not serious serious but not jokey either.

Today, for once, I looked up something other than personality disorders on health websites.Today I looked up atopic eczema and asthma. Quite some time ago, I had to do this first aid course in school during my P.E. lessons, since being in year 10 (or 11- can’t remember) and not being a P.E. GCSE student, there wasn’t much to do during that time. I felt kind of ashamed that, being the only one in that lesson with asthma, I hardly knew much about it. Same with eczema, though it’s more severe than my asthma so naturally I know more about it.

So, after doing two pieces of homework (yawn) I opened Google and started doing some research. A word I can across often was the word ‘atopic’. I knew what it meant but I didn’t have a solid definition. I found out it meant sensitive to allergens and indeed sensitive I was… and am… currently… I find it ironic that I’m both physically sensitive and emotionally sensitive…

Reading through the page on eczema (and by ‘reading through’ I mean watching a video and quickly skim reading) I didn’t learn much. Most of the stuff I had read or heard before. Still, I learnt a bit about how corticosteroids work and why they can increase blood pressure.

With asthma, I found out that the airway walls swell up due to some trigger which, surprisingly, can be stress or anxiety as well as allergens like dust. When I was learning about renal failure, transplants and dialysis in biology, I had some difficulty breathing which could have actually been caused by the fact that renal failure terrifies me. Not to mention I’m only a couple of months away from my final exams and have a whole truckload of knowledge that I must cram into my head before that time. Yikes…

But going back to eczema, I read about a list of complications that arise with people who are atopic- mainly behavioural problems. The first thing talked about was bullying and I can’t imagine someone bullying someone because they have eczema. Personally, I had never been bullied for that reason. Probably because my eczema affected discrete areas like the back of my knees or the inside of my elbow which were covered by my tights and jump etc. Though, in primary school, sometimes random children asked why I scratched so much and that did annoy me.

Though I kind of agree that eczema can affect you psychologically. Having severe eczema means you can’t do certain things that others can. I couldn’t swim in the ocean because my skin would start to burn, I couldn’t use any cream that isn’t prescribed, there are a lot of make up I can’t wear, I can’t have pets (I had rabbits and a hamster though. But, with my allergies, it was hard and I had to take extreme measures or else. I currently have no pets.), I can’t use bath soap or those cute little bath bombs or gels or whatever (I can’t even use Simple Soap!), I can’t eat certain foods and I can develop allergies randomly to things I’ve never been allergic to. Fish have always been against me. When I was younger, there were a couple of fish I couldn’t eat, but I could still eat stuff like sardines and tuna which I love, but I as I found fish that I didn’t react to, days later I would react to them and it’s horrible. Now I avoid all fish. Just being around cooked fish triggers my eczema. I will never be able to eat sushi with actual fish. It saddens me so… *sob*

The website also said something about sleep disturbance. I can certainly vouch for that. Earlier on this week, I had one of those nights where I think endlessly about something and whether I’m awake or asleep I’m not entirely sure. And then when I ‘wake up’ at about 3am in the morning, I realise I’m covered in rashes and that I had been scratching the entire night. It’s horrible really. That night I was thinking about Peripetie and how Schoenberg removed clarinets from the piece because they somehow caused controversy. That’s not true, of course, but for some reason that was all I could think about. Then for about half an hour or even up to an hour, I had to sit upright because it actually hurt to lie down. Eventually I gave into the pain and fell asleep, but I was grumpy in the morning. Like, really grumpy.

The next morning, I decide to take a slightly stronger antihistamine called chlorophenamine which I had taken regularly once and made me even more irritable than usual. I was already irritable after not getting any sleep that day and the medicine only made it worse.

Self-confidence was the last thing the website talked about and even though generally I have little confidence, if any at all, I’m not entirely sure how that could be cause by having eczema. Still, being atopic means that I’ve had to depend on my parents a lot and I am a very dependent person, though I don’t like to admit it. I can’t even imagine going to uni. I don’t want to go to a uni too far from London- too far from my parents. Even having eczema for 15 years, I’m not confident enough to manage it on my own. And it’s not like I can just have a lie-in every time I have a bad flare up. Eczema complicates my life, though not so much. I can’t even image how many new complications will arise by the time I’m living away from home. I don’t even want to think about it.

Well, I’ve kind of rambled here, but I wanted to talked about eczema and asthma and being atopic and stuff. It’s not something I talk about with other people. I’ve always thought it would just bother those who aren’t suffering from the same thing, or something just as serious.

~EpicCupcake signing out.

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