For advice on severe allergies, visit the Anaphylaxis Campaign website or drop us a line / 01252 542029 /@ACOutthere/@Anaphylaxiscoms

Friday, 1 April 2016

Harriet Giffard-Tiney: My journey to anaphylaxis

It has only been three years or so since I discovered my allergy to nuts was, in fact, far more severe than I first thought. When I was younger, I avoided nuts (especially peanuts) on the basis that they made my throat itchy and uncomfortable.

After eventually reaching a point of confusion, curiosity and concern, I decided to take a trip to my GP to discover more about my issue. I was told (soon after describing my symptoms) that I had a severe nut allergy, and was instructed to go straight to the pharmacy to pick up my first Epi-Pen. Suddenly, what was once a minor annoyance in my life, seemed much bigger and much scarier than it ever did. Not only that, but my allergy appeared to have grown more severe since being a child. I felt scared and isolated.

Following trips to my local hospital to find out more about my specific allergy, it was concluded that I had anaphylaxis to peanuts. To say my life hasn’t changed since that point would be untrue. I have since grown much wiser and more alert with my surroundings when it comes to eating in public places, as well as checking the ingredients of everything I eat and drink at home.

Now it has been a few years since my initial diagnosis of anaphylaxis, I’ve learned to live life as freely and happily as anyone else. I’ve taken on the same challenges as all my other friends, and have adapted to my new university life. Knowing you’re not alone in (what feels like) the most isolating period of time, is very important. My doctors were keen to introduce me to the Anaphylaxis Campaign and all the great work they do, to help me feel happier and more comfortable in daily life.

For anyone who has been recently diagnosed with anaphylaxis, don’t feel as though you’re alone or support isn’t available for you. There are so many others in a similar position that just want to discuss their concerns with others who understand how they feel.

I’m always happy to talk to others who have experienced a similar journey to me, and if you’d like to share your story with me, please drop me an email for a chat, at

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