We’ve all heard stories, some tongue in cheek, some obvious lies, some entertaining, some hilarious. The one I am about to tell you is true…all too true.
Dawn was a Surgical ICU nurse in her late 30’s, married with two small boys. She was at a good place in her career, often called upon to teach ICU skills to newcomers to the unit. If she had any other problems, besides juggling her long, and often mandatory shifts, it was trying to see enough of her family.
Then strange unexpected things began to happen, first it was the rash on her hands, and then behind her neck, and then one day after eating in the nurses’ cafeteria she went into anaphylactic shock, which is when the body shuts down and you can hardly breathe and it looks like you could very likely die. She was revived twice but it happened for the third time when she tried to return to work. She was reacting to what was later diagnosed as a severe latex allergy, From that terrible reaction moment on she has become a prisoner in her own home.
The biggest concern immediately on was what could she eat?
With the help of her husband’s diligent research they soon discovered there was a very limited amount of foods that were latex free. The search continues to this day….21 years later. She must research every food, every medication, every piece of clothing…in short, everything that comes into her latex free home.
There is no longer eating out, or sending for a pizza, no impromptu visiting with friends, etc. Now her friends must come to her and maybe visit on the porch, or if they enter her home it has to be that they are free of perfume, they leave their shoes at the door, they can’t have been around balloons or other known allergens, the list goes on.
It has also changed her family life. Her boys have grown without her presence at their school functions, their graduations and weddings. Her husband, who lived the last 20 years of his life, fighting the progression of Alzheimer’s, did so in his own home, even at the terrible end, because Dawn became his care giver, realizing she would never see him again if her was institutionalized. At his funeral she could not attend the viewing because of contamination of latex in the funeral home, so she went to the cemetery and stood apart from the mourners, just to be some small part of the ceremony.
Dawn is my daughter. She is an inspiration to us all. Anyone else would have caved to the burdens placed upon her, but she has an indomitable spirit and forges on. We have come to call her CENTRAL CONTROL. She has seen our family through some trying times and has given us sound medical advice when it was and is necessary. I am so proud of her for the battle she wages.
My reason for giving you her story is because she has started a blog to help anyone with any degree of latex allergy. She can help with food, clothing and any products to keep that person safe. Her blog is: