Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Multiple Personalities and Allergies

     Allergies in a multiple can be complicated.  My therapist told me I didn't need to worry about it right away, but I've found it's good to at least get a handle on or to at least have a general idea of what's going on in allergies with a multiple system.  In a person with multiple personalities, different alters can have different physical conditions.  They may have different ranges of vision, different chronic conditions, or different susceptibilities.  One alter may be allergic to something that the rest are not.  I'm finding this to be true in my system and it is a circus to try and figure out.  Fortunately no one seems to have any immediate life threatening allergies and for that I am gratefully holding my breath at this point.

     The big things that are just in the body and seem to hold true for everyone are lactose intolerance (possibly an actual allergy), wheat intolerance, intolerance to preservatives and other various conditions that require a very strict diet i.e. no sugar, corn, or pork.  Not to mention a lifelong allergy to every pollen that exists.  So I know all about muddling through allergy testing and restricted meal plans. 

     When my therapist first told me she suspected I had DID, otherwise known as multiple personalities, it didn't really sink in right away.  It did make sense though and I was immediately able to name off six- now that we were actually recognizing and discussing the other people inside my head that did apparently, come out to live their own lives from time to time.   During the next week, the dizziness, short blackouts, spinning, and voices clamoring in my head hit the roof.  I constantly had the sensation of being yanked and pushed out of my own body- out of my own brain, out of my own heart and lungs.  The chattering I usually had in my head was constant, and I now realized different voices with different 'tones', like a radio changing stations.  I started to realize how little control I had over my own body.  But where it might have been a slight nuisance before, it was raging out of control now.  Pandora's box had been opened, and there was no going back.

     The day I went back for therapy, the very day, I didn't make it to the appointment because of a sudden allergy reaction to rice and chocolate, after I had just grabbed some chocolate rice protein shake for breakfast on my way out. Well that, and anxiety which just made everything worse.  And switching.  And who knows what all else.  I ended up in the ER that night and a clinic the next morning, getting and EKG and blood draws.  They said it must be a panic attack and sent me home.  Then later I had an appointment with my regular practitioner and it turned out I was indeed suffering from food allergies that caused the shortness of breathe, wheezing, and headaches.  I felt at least mollified that it wasn't all 'in my head' as everyone else I had seen claimed.

     That was two years ago, and the strange symptoms haven't stopped.  After passing everything off as 'just panic attacks' or 'just DID' I realized that there were -at times- a more serious problem.  I now try to record everything and take into account switching and panic attacks.  It seems food allergies can be a trigger for the switching and anxiety just compounds everything.  But there are at times a definite physical reaction immediately after eating a certain food, say cucumber.  I record it and say "Aha!  Gotcha!"  And then for weeks after . . . nothing.  I can eat all the cucumber I want and no reaction, or at times a vague notion of an allergy reaction that I'm not present enough in the body to feel.  It's like trying to catch a grasshopper.  Once I think I've got it, I don't.  The only explanation I can think of is that different alters have allergies that others don't.  All I can say to someone with DID trying to figure out their allergies is, good luck.