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Struggling With Cholinergic Urticaria

July 29, 2015
runner

Yes, I know. You haven’t the slightest clue what “cholinergic urticaria” even is. Well…they may not know the name off the top of their heads, but it’s something my family has become pretty familiar with over the years as I’ve suffered with it since middle school.

Cholinergic Urticaria is said to be a common disorder; so in other words, if you don’t have it—consider yourself [extra] blessed! In short, it’s an immune system disorder that is caused by hyper-sensitive skin that results in flare ups — often hives and/or welts all over the body — simply from doing what any person should be able to do: SWEAT, take a shower, walk, exercise (that’s the worst!), exposure to heat, or stress.

Now yes, I know that we shouldn’t stress, but in reality it’s a part of our human make-up, it’s just a matter of whether you let it linger. (I really hope you get that so we don’t have to have some sort of political debate). For those, like myself, who have suffered from this disorder (some have called it a “disease”), if we happen to be under a lot of pressure at work or in a stressful situation of some sort —even just taking a timed exam—our bodies can have a totally abnormal response to this “stress” and immediately have a skin reaction that causes us to turn red and break out into hives whether you scratch or not. Of course if you scratch, it makes it worse; you’ll likely bruise or cause lingering marks on your body, but let me tell you—it takes some serious will-power not to!
There’s so much to be said about this topic, but I’ll leave you to Google it at your leisure, or follow these links below to learn more!

I just wanted to share my experience with it, because as “common” as doctors try to say it is, I don’t know too many people with it or who have dealt with it—which makes it really awkward to explain. Like that one time, senior year of high school, when I was included on a college tour to North Carolina A&T. I was with a group of at least five to six other people…and it happened. We had been doing a lot of walking, and I guess it was pretty hot out; but I felt fine! Out of nowhere, the infamous burning sensation started in my thighs; I wanted to ignore it…I TRIED to ignore it…with no such fortune. It stretched upward to my torso and was a full-fledge attak from there. I had to stop and scratch! Now, this makes for an interesting scene when you have a flare-up in public. I was so embarrassed and apologized to the rest of the group for having to stop and let me sit until it passed. I’m not sure whether they thought I was faking, being dramatic, or whether it was just truly funny to them—but needless to say, I was a weirdo once again. (I say that loosely, because I am and have always been pretty awkward LOL it’s just a part of my life and I actually embrace it now. I am the epitome of the word “corny” and I know it. It’s not something I try to do, it’s just me LOL I didn’t always love it, but I’m “cool” with it now 😉 hehe)

Anyway! When these episodes occur, the best way I know how to describe it is this: it literally feels like you have a million fire ants crawling under your skin! It burns and itches like CRAZY! I can only speak for myself, but I get really, REALLY hot—to the point of running a fever when this happens (even if the outside of your body is cold)—and it stresses you out even more, so it really becomes mind over matter. If you let it get the best of you (which again, is hard not to do), you can literally go into a panic attack (and if you have asthma—which I’ve had, but not severely—it’s even WORSE). There are times, if it’s really bad and even a cold show doesn’t help—that you, literally, feel like you might die. I know…I know…it’s sounds weird at the least. But let me tell you: there are some people with this condition who have ended up in the hospital after going into anaphylactic shock because of this condition. If you have a weak enough immune system or disorder, asthma and/or breathing problems, anxiety issues, AND cholinergic urticarial—it is not impossible to have a flare-up that results in death.

I hope I’m painting an ugly picture for you, because this “thing” that’s been a part of my life for over ten years now has not been pretty. I had to quit running track because of it; I’ve been on and off medications that didn’t work; I’ve taken multiple antihistamines in a day to try to combat it but only make you feel exhausted; I’m already allergic to scented things/fragrances/etc so I switched to all “free and clear” detergents; I’ve done everything you can possibly think of to try to make this condition a thing of the past!

Well…I am happy to say that I’m proclaiming that this condition IS NOW a thing of the past (in Jesus’ name!)

For years now, I have not been able to get through a real work-out for more than ten minutes without having an attack that prevented me from—well, working out! After having two kids (back to back!) this is taxing on the body; I gained weight and couldn’t lose it; I couldn’t always run around outside as much as I wanted to without flaring up; I’d do it anyway, and no one knew how much of a sacrifice it was for me to spend time outside without kids when I knew I would end up having an allergic reaction. This isn’t a sob story, but it’s to explain that what many people take for granted—and maybe those who COULD be outside playing with their kids, but for selfish reasons choose not to (keyword: selfish…not medical)—maybe it’ll make you think of things differently.

A few months ago, my aunt and I were having a conversation and all of a sudden the anointing fell on her (and for time’s sake, I won’t get into what that means LOL please feel free to ask me if you don’t know and need clarity), but the Holy Spirit used her to start praying over me and my son. You see, the enemy knows how to inhibit us—but we must realize he doesn’t have all power and we can counter back! You may be asking had I prayed about my condition; to answer that: YES! From the very beginning when it first started when I was 12 years old, I’ve been praying for this to leave me. I would say there came a point in time where I thought maybe this would be something that I was just going to suffer with.

… but when two or three come together!!!!

Sometimes, things take time. And I believe that because I believe in the healing power of God and always kept hope alive that I COULD be healed…it happened for me. I know I said I thought I’d have to deal with it; I did think that. But I always knew it COULD go away. It just had to be the right power to fight it, and there are some things that God specifically uses people who are anointed in the power of healing to help us overcome. (Disclaimer: this doesn’t mean I could not have done it myself; the Holy Spirit is big and bad enough to handle it all even if I prayed alone. But because praying alone made me weary after years and years of praying…I believe using someone else’s faith along with my own cultivated the power needed. I hope that makes sense).

So anyway, my aunt started praying for my healing and then my SON’S healing—because even though he’s only 2—he had started showing signs of this very same condition. (P.S. My aunt didn’t know that. She just felt led to pray for him).

The purpose of this post is actually: A PRAISE REPORT!

For the past two weeks, I have been able to get through 30min-1hr workouts without STOPPING! Without having what I always called an “itch attack”!!! This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but this is MAJOR for this girl right here who has struggled with this for so long. It’s literally been 12-13 years of this happening, and I am finally itch-free! No wonder I feel so connected with the “woman with the issue of blood.” Guys, did you hear me? I have been able to RUN for 30 minutes or more without an attack! I haven’t been able to really run in probably 5 years because my condition just got worse and worse over the years, and I gave up trying to run—fearing what would happen.

Here’s something even crazier that I noticed this week: I claim that I am healed, and obviously that doesn’t make the enemy happy. He wants me sick. He wants me ill. Just like he wants us all this way. So when I started running the other day, I FELT an attack trying to come on. And I just kept going and proclaiming aloud, “I AM HEALED! Jesus, when you died on the cross you took cholinergic urticaria with You, so I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore! And I WON’T! Now, Lord, don’t let my prayers go in vain!” and after than I just kept repeating, “The healing power of God is working through me. The healing power of God is working through me,” on and on and on. And I never stopped. I just kept on going.

A few days after that, I got through a workout with no problem, but afterwards when I went to take a shower, I noticed hives all over me–but I hadn’t felt a single one! So the enemy was TRYING to attack me, but not only did God’s Word prevail as I spoke it–but I was covered!

Now, let me say this: I had prayed about my condition before. I had even called myself “speaking” to it before; but not with the same power. When I said it THIS time, I MEANT it, and I meant that I was HEALED! In the past, I can honestly say I said it, but I was HOPING I was healed. There’s a difference in KNOWING and HOPING! I also would pray, but many times I was so distraught that I would be praying inside my head in a non-audible voice. I would close my eyes, and more like in a meditation manner—pray silently, “Lord, help me! Lord, please, help me!” but baby, when you SPEAK that thing out loud!!! It’s a whole other ball game!

For some of you, this may not have been your “problem area” or weak spot. For me, healing was always a difficult subject to process. When you’ve had people in your life who you’ve witnessed be gravely ill or just have these “weird conditions” like some that I’ve had—you just start wondering, “Well, God, if I believe You, why isn’t it going away!?” But when you get to a place where you can receive all He has with the openness it requires, I promise you can grab hold of it.

Like I said, for me, I called myself praying about this for years, but in the back of my mind—I struggled with fear and doubt and simply believing this would leave me. I’ve also gotten cold sores all my life and wondered how I could ever believe for healing in other areas if God didn’t make something as simple as a cold sore go away. But do you see how the enemy will make us hold on to these things to keep our faith from being maximized? He sows a seed of doubt that only festers into other things and prevents you from thinking it’ll happen for you.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a sickness/disease/disorder/condition –whatever it could be! I encourage you with a sincere heart to pray this prayer as a starting point:

Father God, in the Name of Jesus, I just want to thank You for perfect health. Lord, I believe that all ailments and forms of sickness come from satan—the father of lies—and I ask that You deal with any fear in me that comes when symptoms arise in my body. God, I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to the cross to die in order that I may walk in divine health on this earth. Jesus, I thank You that You took away all infirmities and disease so that I won’t have to deal with it. I don’t just believe You will heal me, I believe that I am ALREADY healed by Your blood! Father God, I come against the plan of the enemy to attack my body and I return to him double-fold everything that he has tried to throw my way! I believe, Lord, that it IS Your WILL and NATURE to heal! Therefore, You would never keep this opportunity from me! I believe, Lord, but help me in any area where I may be struggling to believe! Help me to cling to Your Word and walk in divine health regardless of what it looks like!
~Amen

This doesn’t mean the devil won’t try to attack you. But you don’t have to accept it or own whatever ailments come upon you! And if nothing else, just watch what you are saying with your mouth. I thought I was praying before, but I was way too passive. Just as angry as it made me to deal with this condition because it prevented me from being the best version of myself—I had to get indignant in my prayers to fight against what the enemy tries to do. I am HEALED in the name of Jesus!

(One last thing: let’s not get bent out of shape about using the name “JESUS.” I, personally, speak English as a primary language, and that’s the name we use. I understand He has different names, and I honor and respect that; God is not offended by me saying “Jesus” because He knows who I am talking to AND about, and most importantly, He honors my heart. Too often, people get off into wrong doctrine and start calling other people “wrong” either because they use the name “Jesus” or because they would rather use another name for Jesus. More power to you, my brother/sister, but please know that it doesn’t make you anymore holy than the next person. It’s a heart thing :-) Okay, I’m done!) ~Toodlesssssss

Links to learn more about cholinergic urticaria:
https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/urticaria-cholinergic/

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