Allergic Reaction to Wool Carpets!

Last Thursday; the day that my two eldest daughters and their friends had been looking forward to since Christmas finally arrived.  They had all been excitedly counting down the days since receiving tickets for Christmas to see their favourite Girl Band “The Saturdays” in concert in Manchester.

We picked the girls up from school, took them home for a quick change of clothing and then set off to get the coach.  Whilst we were waiting at the bus stop I asked my daughter if she definitely had her inhaler and anti-histamine with her, she replied that she only had her inhaler and thought that I had brought her anti-histamine.   I remember commenting to my friend that “it would be alright, we shouldn’t need it”Famous last words….

We entered the venue at 7pm,  it was at the O2 Apollo which seemed an ideal environment to take the girls into as it was a  lot smaller than any other venue we had previously been to.  This was great as it meant there weren’t masses of people therefore,  no pushing or crushing to contend with.   There were 2 support acts before The Saturdays came on stage at around 8.30pm, the girls absolutely loved it and they were on their chairs singing along and dancing for the whole time.

“Mum, I can’t breathe!”

We came out of the concert at around 10.15pm and within minutes of leaving the theatre my daughter said to me, “Mum, I can’t breathe!” .  We got straight onto the coach and she immediately took her inhaler before we set off on  our  2.5 hour journey home but 15 minutes later and without any warning whatsoever she suddenly vomited.  I thought this a bit strange as I can’t remember her ever being travel sick before,  when she vomited again I had to ask the coach driver to pull over so that I could attempt to clean her up.

It had still not entered my head at this point that this could be something allergy related, she then proceeded to vomit several more times.  When I got her off the coach for the second time at the next service station she could barely walk and she looked so terrible that I was frightened that she was going to collapse.  Her colour had totally drained from her, she had sweat poring off her but she couldn’t tell whether she was hot or cold as she was alternating so quickly between both.  She vomited until the point that she had nothing further to bring up and her stomach was hurting from all of the retching.

As soon as we got into the house, I noticed a change in her breathing and she started to make the coughing noise that sounds like she is trying to clear her throat (she makes this noise when she has been into contact with something she is allergic to).  I gave her a double dose of her anti-histamine and put her to bed,  she was still making the coughing noise and within an hour we could hear  the sounds of a mucus build up in her chest.   At this point I was sure that she had experienced an allergic reaction to something.  But what?

In the morning she was still feeling really unwell and she said that she could tell from the way she felt that it had been an allergic reaction.  She was coughing a lot and sounded very chesty and mucusy.  I was now concerned with trying to pinpoint what had caused her reaction.

Wool Carpets?

I contacted the O2 Apollo and asked them if they knew if the carpets were wool and if they weren’t  could they also check  what chemicals had been put onto the furniture for fire retardancy and stain protection (as I am still trying to work out what it is on our new sofa bed that she is allergic to).  The lady I spoke to was lovely and extremely helpful, she told me that she would look into it and phone me back .  When she rang back she confirmed that the carpets were wool.

That explains it – it must have been the carpets.  The strange thing is that normally as soon as she enters a room with wool carpets she can tell as she starts to feel unwell almost immediately.  I can only assume that as she was so excited and enjoying herself so much that her mind was focused elsewhere and she didn’t notice.  I have been in a friends house in the past and she felt unwell within 5 minutes of being in the room and I had to take her home and she was ill for 1 week.  My mum and my nanna also have wool carpets so she can’t go in certain rooms when we go and visit them.  Apparantly it is unusual to be allergic to wool, she has had her allergy confirmed so we know that this is the case.  I do not tolerate wool well and I can’t wear wool clothing as it irritates my eyes and skin and makes my breathing feel short.  Thankfully, because of this we have never bought wool carpets and I dread to think of what my daughter would have gone through and suffered before we discovered she was actually allergic to wool.

Bad Mother

I feel terrible and completely responsible for putting my daughter through this.  When I booked the concert tickets I never even gave it a thought, I assumed that it would just be the MEN in Manchester where we have previously been.  I am also kicking myself that I didn’t personally bring the anti-histamine as two lots of it would have been better than none.  I shouldn’t have left the responsibility for this with an 11 year old no matter how mature she is.

Wake-up Call

This has been another real wake-up call for our family.  Just when you think that you are finally managing to cope  with the allergies it shows that you can still get caught off guard.  She was too unwell to go to school on Friday and she could only stand up for short periods of time without feeling dizzy.  She has been coughing constantly and her chest is really mucousy but she has returned to school today.

I took her to the G.Ps on Friday to ask if they could contact the local hospital to try and bring her next appointment at the allergy clinic forward as she is not due to go back until April.  I also asked about an EpiPen as my husband and I are wondering if we have now reached the point of it being necessary to carry one.  The G.P said that this is not something she would prescribe and that it needed to be done via the allergy clinic, however she did think that it would be a good idea especially when travelling.  I’m not sure if an EpiPen wouldn’t have  actually helped in the previous night’s situation.

Tyro Fashionista

My daughter is going to write her own account of what her allergic reaction actually felt like.  She is writing her blog posts under the identity of Tyro Fashionista.

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