I feel really fortunate to have an allergy P-Phenylenediamine.
That might just be the giddy euphoria of finally having an indication as to what has been ailing me talking, but I feel genuinely lucky to have this particular diagnosis. Why? For starters, it could have been a great deal worse. I could be dealing with an autoimmune disease, or organ failure, or even a dangrous food allergy. An allergy to a clothing dye seems downright rosy in comparison.
I'm particularly glad that this popped up in 2014 instead of 1984 or 1994. PPD allergies are rare enough that clothes are seldom marked to indicate the risk. Doing research on different materials,
manufacturers, and environmental standards organizations is difficult now, but imagine trying to do it without an internet. My choices are expensive, but at least I have choices. I can't imagine what I'd do without the ability to do this kind of research. I'd probably be restricted to ordering by mail from a single manufacturer.
The cure for my particular ailment is, as you have probably guessed, "buy new clothes." That's essentially it. I mean, I'll have to buy new sheets and towels and stuff, but even then, wow, to cure my problem, I have to go shopping. I can live with that.
My doctor has asked me to adhere to an "elimination diet" for the next few weeks. That boils down to "eating really healthy foods." Again, there's not a lot of downside there. I can't eat most desserts, or drink sodas, or eat fast food. On the plus side, I feel about a zillion times better and my belly seems to be shrinking. I've even taken this as an opportunity to start exercising a little.
The net of all of this is that I feel almost euphorically good. I'll be honest with you: Nine months of itchy skins that easily becomes infected and no clue why had me in a serious funk. My energy level was so low it wasn't measurable and I was in a dark mood. I could go to work and that was about it. The steroids they gave me to control the symptoms helped, but the side effect was that I gained a lot of weight.
So, I really don't think I'm rationalizing when I say that my diagnosis was a fortunate one. I'm thrilled at where I am now and I wish that everyone else with long-term illnesses were as lucky.