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1. Johanna Watkins of Minnesota was an extremely outgoing woman. She loved hiking, taking walks and the beach…. Well, what woman doesn’t love that? She also loved her new husband, Scott. But last year Johanna was diagnosed with a very rare disorder that makes her allergic to practically everything, including…her husband.
She suffers from the rare Mast Cell Disease, which causes her body to develop life-threatening anaphylactic reactions to just about anything. She has a list of more than 100 allergies, including many foods, scents, and various environmental triggers. She has experienced anaphylaxis and been hospitalized many times. And her husband cannot get near her without triggering a reaction, so there has to be extreme care in Scott being near his wife. At home, they sleep in separate bedrooms and most of their communication is done through Skype. Very careful meals have to be prepared for her and slipped through an opening at the bottom of her door. The couple has created a GoFundMe page to help create a “safe zone” for Johanna. There is a link to it in our Show More area, where we post transcriptions and source links of our reports.
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2. How would you feel if you could not hold your newborn child? 28-year-old Joanne Mackie, of Erdington in the West Midlands, gave birth to her son, James, in 2008. Soon after, she broke out in blisters and developed an extremely painful rash. Welts came up across her back, legs, arms and chest and caused her so much pain that she could not even hold her newborn. And the pain, she said, was absolutely excruciating. Doctors could not understand why this was happening until they performed a skin biopsy. They discovered she had Pemphigoid Gestationis, which is a very rare skin disease actually caused by contact with her baby. It’s a condition that may affect one woman to some degree in every 50,000 pregnancies. Doctors began treating Joanne with some very strong steroids and the rash and blisters finally subsided and she was able to hold her child without any pain.
3. Marie Cuthbertson was extremely insulted when her doctor told her that the extreme pain she experienced during sex was caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Her partner also was insulted and could not understand why Marie was going through this since neither he nor Marie had been unfaithful and messing around with others. During and after sex, Marie suffered terrible vaginal pain and inflammation, and she was almost convinced it was the act itself causing her the pain. Finally, Marie went to a new doctor who told her that her partner’s semen could actually be causing the extreme pain, and he suggested condoms to prevent it. Marie and her partner tried sex with the condoms and afterwards she could immediately tell a difference. There was no pain or inflammation. The problem was solved. Although it may sound like a rare condition, doctors report that as many as one in 10 women could suffer from it. It may be as mild as a little irritation and itching to being so severe it becomes life-threatening with anaphylactic shock.
4. Marine Richard suffers from EHS, which is extreme sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation found in almost every modern electronic device. These devices include cellphones, wi-fi routers, televisions, remote controls and any number of gadgets we all use in our everyday lives. When Marine is around any of them she suffers heart palpitations, nausea and headaches. The 39-year-old must live in a remote mountain area in a converted barn with no electricity. She gets her water from a well and has to wear a special silver gauze jacket whenever she goes any distance from the barn.
She says, “The pain I’ve suffered is very real. At its worst, it has felt like I’m being tasered inside my mouth.” In August of 2015, she was awarded just over $800 a month for the disability by a French court.
5. Of all the strange allergies we’ve discussed so far, this last one is quite possibly the most bizarre of all. Julie Reid of Clearwater, Florida, is allergic… to herself. She suffers from Cholinergic Urticaria, an extremely rare hypersensitive skin condition that causes her to break out in painful hives all over her body. She’s allergic to her own sweat and tears. She says, It’s torture living like this, torture, I just stay in bed and cry and cry.” Julie made her living as a gymnastics and dance instructor before the condition hit her in March of 2013 without warning. She’s now unable to work and lost her health insurance. Disability for her has been denied. Julie said it has completely destroyed her life. She says, I have nothing… no friends, no furniture, no help, and no family here.” A doctor told her the condition may put her into anaphylactic shock and she needs an Epipen in case of an emergency. But she can’t afford one. She has sold nearly all her possessions to pay for doctor visits. A link to a page for Julie’s story and donations to help her can be found in our Show More area.
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That’s all for today. Let us know what you think about today’s stories. Don’t forget to like us and be sure to subscribe. And please let a friend know about us. Have a great day and see you next time.