Posted 4/22/2009 9:07 AM (GMT -6)
Hi! I'm new to this site -- just found it this morning --- and I admit to not reading any other posts yet, as I wanted to jump right in and tell my story. Hopefully others can relate and they could share their story with me too.
about 5 years ago I had been suffering from bursitis in my left hip. Actually it had started several years prior to that, but reached an intolerable level about 5 years ago. At that point it was so painful I couldn't find a comfortable way to sleep at night. A visit to my doctor and a shot to the hip did little to correct the situation. Medication also did next to nothing. Then accidentally I'd heard someone suggest I try eating Bing cherries. They supposedly have some sort of chemical in them that worked wonders on bursitis. Skeptical, but since the cherries were in season, I bought a large bag of them. I ate a handful or two daily, and within a week the pain was cut in half. I couldn't believe it! By the time Bing cherry season had passed, the bursitis pain was tamed to a reasonable pain limit.
A year later and during the next Bing cherry season the pain was back to being a little stronger again, so I bought more cherries. Once again I was almost pain free by the end of the cherry season.
However, the next year something else happened when Bing cherry season started and I bought a bag. about an hour after I ate the cherries, I felt a numbing sensation in my lips. Part of my lip started to swell, and since I never had had a food allergy reaction before I had no idea what was happening to me. Since I had eaten other things besides the cherries at lunch time, I didn't associate the reaction with the cherries, nor did I even think I was having an allergic reaction to food, because it had never happened before. I had no idea what was happening.
Long story short, I found out that now, whenever I eat Bing cherries, my lips will swell up. (Naturally I quit eating them.) At the time I first experienced this reaction I had no idea the swelling that was occuring had a name ---- angioedema. As long as I stayed away from eating Bing cherries, I was okay however. I decided they must spray the cherries with a preservative type chemical that my body didn't like. I decided putting up with the bursitis was better than looking so freaky when my lips would swell up.
I continued to be okay until around last years Christmas season. That's when out of a clear blue sky I started to get the lip swelling again. And this time it was happening almost every week, no matter what I ate. And it wasn't just my lips that would swell. It would be in my cheeks sometimes, and other times the swelling would slowly travel across my face. It was very strange. Another long story short, when the swelling moved to my throat I ended up in immediate care as the swelling was cutting off my air supply. Scary stuff! That's where I learned the high danger I was in with the angioedema attacks I was having, and was issued an EpiPen.
Several immediate care visits, as well as visits to my doctor plus to an allergist hasn't answered my questions, but it does have the angioedema in check. I take Zyrtec, Zantac 150 and Singulair daily, (at night), and I haven't had a single attack since I started this regime. I do feel my energy level has diminished however. And I tire much more easily now. I'm scheduled to undergo more in depth food allergy testing soon as the basic test didn't show any allergies to food.
So that's my story. I might add that I have never had a rash of any sort, nor have I had any itching, which is normally present with angioedema, or so I've been told.
One thing I did noticed about 2 years ago, which may or may not be totally unrelated, was that my fingers were swollen. I hadn't gained weight, but I couldn't remove the ring that I've worn for decades. It had always been loose before. I mentioned the swelling to my doctor at the time the swelling started, but he thought nothing of it as I was healthy otherwise. Now on the meds I can occasionally remove the ring for the first time in over 2 years.
I would be interested in knowing if others can relate to my story. And I'd appreciate others sharing their experiences with angioedema. Thanks!