Battling against my own body girl whose body developed spontaneous allergic reactions to anything can cause deadly analaphylactic shock
Unlucky Chloe Print-Lambert is locked in a constant battle with her own body, which can suddenly develop an deadly allergy to anything even her own FEELINGS.
Chloe, 20, has a rare condition that causes her body to develop random allergies, often sending her body into potentially deadly anaphylactic shock or triggering seizures.
And she has no way of knowing what her body will develop an allergy to next – after suffering seizures caused by jewellery, medication, temperature change – and even feeling EXCITED.
Chloe, from Bidford-on-Avon, Warks, said: “My reactions can cause skin rashes, swelling, heart rate increase, breathing difficulties – at worse they could be fatal – and because they can come at any time, with no warning, I always have to be on alert.
“I’ve reacted to everything from a necklace I’d been wearing for years, to the medication I take to control my illness.
“A change in temperature can cause me to have a reaction – I have to sleep with a fan in my room so I can cool down straight away if I need to.
“I’ve even developed allergies to my emotions. On Mother’s day, I’d been in hospital for weeks, and my whole family were coming to see me.
“I was so excited, I went out into the corridor to see them, and had a seizure straight away.”
Chloe first began to suffer with allergies as part of her condition after jumping off a cruise boat while on holiday in Tenerife last year.
She said: “I just jumped off the boat and into the water, the same as any other teenager would, and at first just thought it was a normal reaction to the temperature.
“It was really cold so I gasped loads, and must have swallowed some water and I was a bit dizzy on the boat but it wasn’t until we got back to England that I was really poorly, ending up spending seven months in hospital.”
Chloe’s bizarre allergies stem from a rare heart condition, Postural Orthostatic Tachycarsida Disorder (POTS) that can cause her to collapse at any time.
But last summer, the condition took an unexpected turn, and Chloe started suffering seizures and anaphylactic reactions. Her condition of Autonomic Dysfunction means she cannot control her body’s temperature and emotions, meaning if something reacts to it, her Mast Cell Disorder will take prominence, causing sever reactions.
She now has to check in at the hospital up to 20 times a month.
Her PoTS means she can pass out at any time, and even then, because Chloe also suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), her joints can dislocate whilst having a seizure.
Every day her joints dislocate, causing serious issues if she stops breathing, but luckily her mum who is her permanent carer relocates any joints she has dislocated during a seizure.
She added: “My hip can come out of place, which of course is extremely painful; my parents have to be prepared for anything.
“My body also lacks collagen too, creating elasticity in my soft tissues, and has caused my internal organs to stretch and become dysfunctional.”
Chloe’s failing organs means her muscles become very weak and aren’t functioning as they should. Ultimately, this means she has to be fed through a line in her chest.
Sadly, she wishes she didn’t remember what life was like before she started suffering with her complex illnesses.
She said: “I’ve always been so fiercely independent. I spent all my time horse-riding and working at the stables, going to the gym and doing Zumba, but then it all came crashing down.
“I hate having to rely on others for most of my basic needs. If the house was adapted, it would literally give me a new lease of life, and I could get some sort of independence back.”
Dr Blair Grubb, Professor of medicine and university at University of Toledo in Ohio, USA, is also the Director of synocopy and autonomic disorders clinic for the university.
He said: “These conditions really have to be highlighted. Their complexity can be highly difficult for both the patient and their families.
“The way to look at it is; the autonomic nervous system controls body temperature and your heart rate, and they have to be co-coordinating to function.
“But if these aren’t coordinated, they lose their functions, meaning then gravity will attempt to displace 1/3 of body of blood volume, heading to the lower half of the body, To which a functioning system will help pump the blood back up to the top half of the body to stabilise the person.
“In Chloe’s case however, because the system isn’t coordinated, it is unable to perform and therefore cannot pump the blood back around to keep her up, linking her case to PoTS, in which she then falls unconscious, having seizures at the same time.
“It is all about the body being able to do so much to help it regain the strong flow of blood to the brain, but an Autonomic Dysfunction patient doesn’t have the power to control some of its organs.”
More information on Chloe’s illnesses and how it affects her and her family can be found at www.chloesdream.co.uk.