Have you ever been barking at the wrong tree? It seems that I, and my doctors, have been doing that since I was a child.
Early years of my life I was diagnosed as being allergic and atopic. It started with egg allergy and very dry skin. White flakes of skin was present in my bed in the mornings. Itching all day and night. Since then I have had around 40 different food and other substance allergies. Here is a list of some of them: Wheat, rye, barley, oats, potatoes, carrots, nuts, apple, celery, gum, birch, alder, most spices, horse, dog, cat, dust mite, most cosmetic products etc. The list is much longer and has made my life a challenge. At one point I also had astma. I have learned to cope, but many times I have felt tired. Tired of bad tasting food in restaurants (gluten and spice free), creams, cortisone, antihistamine and life that is so limited. Life is bearable with strict diet. Twice a year visit to a warm place cures the skin in one to two weeks.
There has been very peculiar things that I have not understood!
Why does my skin get better when staying and living outside of Finland? In Washington D.C., where I lived for more than six years, and in London, where I lived for a year, I could eat everything. And my skin looked great! During the 90ties I have been in a panel discussion with 20 doctors in Helsinki, where I tried to explain this. I heard then that there are some other persons who have said the same. No answer was found and my diagnosis continued to be atopic exceema with allergic astma. So my life in Finland has continued with itching, peeling and red skin.
Why do others sweat in the sauna and I don’t? I have had no glue. Also I feel sooner cold and hot on the surface of my skin. Having a cold shower or swimming in a cold lake is a nightmare to me.
Last week we got news from a doctor of our grand child!
We have a 5 year old grand daughter, who started to have really bad skin condition at the age of 1-2. It is getting worse all the time, except when she has been in Caribbean Islands, Canary Islands, and last summer in Croatia where her skin got better in a week. After being back home it got worse in a week. Her skin is really, really dry and it itches badly. She has been two years going to different doctors and we have seen specialists. She is allergic only to dogs, cats and hey. Even when she avoids what she is allergic to her skin does not get better. She needs to use heavy creams, cortison and protopic. Still the skin is really dry and breaks easily. Just like mine, when I was a child.
After several visits to the hospital I was really determined. We need to find out what is causing this child’s skin condition. I do not want her to suffer like I have been. I asked the doctor again if they could take a skin biopsy. Reason was that since I have a wheat allergy, I thought that maybe she has skin celiac. Finally they agreed to take it of her skin. The letter came from the hospital last week. She does not have skin celiac, but it showed that she has an indication of Ichthyosis. It is a genetic condition, and I’m pretty sure that she inherits it from my side of the family. Since last weekend I have been searching the internet all I can to find more about what this skin condition means.
Now things are starting to make sense! Ichthyosis is many times not noticed when the same person has allergies or atopic exceema. It is very rare skin condition and I found out a list of 28 different degrees. Some are present at birth and some start in between 1 to 5 years of age.
Could this ichtyosis be the reason I have had this what I call ”allergy of Finland”? If I have it, everyting starts to make sense. Ichtyosis condition gets worse in cold and dry climate, as we have in Finland. Only summers are easier times, but still our weather is very dry.
I started this blog with a life situation where I needed to find out what is my next place and job. To get ”out of stillness”.
Now it is evident. Our next place is out of Finland, but where?