The Drs: Allergic To The World
The Doctors shared Crystal’s story, starting by showing her rushing through her apartment hallway with a mask on, saying she had to move quickly because of all the scents. Signs were posted outside her door that say “occupants have life-threatening chemical sensitivities. No colognes or perfumes allowed. Thank you.”
Crystal shared that she had seasonal allergies and asthma throughout her life, but then she got sick. She went to dinner with her family and was up all night with intestinal bleeding and pain. She went to the emergency room and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. She was in and out of the emergency room with intestinal issues and allergic reactions. It started with foods she loved to eat, and then occurred with scents and perfumes. Her whole body would turn red and hot, and her entire body would be covered in hives.
The Drs: Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
Things progressed to lung swelling and in 2012 she was finally diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, which is a condition where abnormal allergy cells involve nearly every system of the body. It can cause stomach and joint pain, seizures, heart problems, and more. She’s allergic to just about everything and has three air purifiers in her house. She always has two Epi-pens with her and she’s had to use one over 30 times.
Crystal shared that sometimes there’s not even a trigger at all, because it’s just her own body. She has a stock pile of medicines and is currently taking 38. She has osteoporosis from the steroids she’s taking and has to take birth control because her period makes the disease worse.
She has an alarm in her bathroom and bedroom that, if pulled, will ring a bell and unlock her door so that the paramedics can get in. Her mom said she feels like she always has to have her phone on her because she never knows when she’ll get a call that her daughter is in the hospital.
The Drs: Woman Allergic To Everything
Crystal joined the show via Polycom from South Portland, Maine. She would have suffered a severe allergic reaction if she tried to travel to the show. Crystal shared that she had a severe reaction two weeks ago when she was in the grocery store and ended up in the emergency room and the hospital for the weekend, but she doesn’t know what caused it.
Crystal said she can’t really go out and spends a lot of time on social media or on the phone, but the disease is very isolating.
The Doctors were joined by Crystal’s doctor, Marguerite Pennoyer, who explained that Crystal has unexplained anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is rapid in onset and can result in death. But she has spans the spectrum of mast cell activation syndrome. The mast cells are a line of cells that react unpredictably, with devastating consequences.
The Drs: Anaphylaxis + Tiny House Surprise
An estimated 1% of the population has an anaphylactic reaction history. Crystal admitted that the scariest part is not knowing when she’s going to have a reaction. Dr Pennoyer said that Crystal would obviously benefit from being in an environment where she has complete control of her surroundings.
The Doctors shared that Valley View Tiny House Company has decided to donate a custom tiny house to Crystal. They had two models that Crystal could choose from. They will also work with her doctors to ensure that the building materials used are as safe as possible. They also joined with Crowdrise to start a fundraising page to help with her medical expenses. Also, Lucky Buddha Beer heard her story and wanted to help by donating $10,000.