A trainee's paramedic suffers from a mysterious condition that causes her lips to double in size, causes her to struggle to breathe and lets her break out in an outbreak of the whole body.
Lydia O & # 39; Connor, 23, from Chelmsford, Essex, has idiopathic urticaria, causing her to develop hives randomly without obvious triggers.
Doctors earlier dismissed her symptoms as a nut allergy until she spent four days in intensive care last year.
During the next six months, Connor battled against hives, ranging from the size of a pin prick to a large red blob & # 39; who covered her entire belly – and who even let her go to the hospital once a week.
Although her symptoms mysteriously disappeared last August, Connor knows they can appear at any time, especially during cold periods.
Lydia O & # 39; Connor suffers from a mysterious condition that causes her lips to double (left side) without a clear trigger. The paramedic for the trainee is depicted at the age of 16 – around the time she first developed the symptoms, which doctors rejected as a nut allergy
During a flare O & # 39; Connor suffers from a rash (picture) that spreads all over her body and can vary from strokes the size of a pin prick to a big red blob & # 39; covering her entire belly
O & # 39; Connor was unwell for the first time when she got an allergy-like reaction for six days at the age of 16 living in Cork, Ireland.
She slept with a friend at home after a school disco when she noticed a rash about her body.
I panicked and tried to water it up to prevent itching, I was so worried that my father came to get me and brought me to a doctor who was out of office hours, & # 39; she said.
"I was in hospital for a few days, they thought it was glandular fever, but it was not, and it just stopped suddenly. & # 39;
It was not until last year, when she was tested in a hospital, that she was finally diagnosed.
Speaking of the ordeal, O & # 39; Connor said: & # 39; I came up with a rash from head to toe, it happened almost immediately in an evening.
"My lips have certainly doubled in size, it was terrifying because I did not know what was happening.
& # 39; When I was admitted to the ICU, I thought I had a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis, because I had difficulty breathing and my tongue and lips were so swollen. & # 39;
Although medication initially reduced swelling, O & # 39; Connor continued to suffer from flare-ups in intensive care.
• After five days in the hospital and during tests, the allergen markers in my blood were not induced, indicating that it was not an allergic reaction, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; I have been told that I have idiopathic urticaria, which means that it can start without a cause. & # 39;
Urticaria, also known as hives, is estimated to affect about one in five people at some point in their lives, according to the NHS.
O & # 39; Connor is shown with an anaphylaxis-like reaction, which means she has to go to the hospital. During her worst flare-ups she is covered with a large rim & # 39; (seen right)
WHAT IS CHRONIC IDIOPATHIC URTI white?
Chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) – or hives – is a skin reaction that causes red or white itchy stretch marks.
The bars vary in size, and appear and fade repeatedly if the reaction is on its course.
Chronic hives develop when the stretch marks last for more than six weeks, or reappear for months or years.
Chronic hives is usually not life-threatening.
But the situation can be very uncomfortable and disrupt sleep and daily life.
For many patients, antihistamines and anti-itch medications offer relief, but others find it difficult to control their symptoms.
Often the cause of chronic hives is not clear.
In some cases, chronic hives are a sign of an underlying health problem, such as thyroid disease or lupus.
Source: Mayo Clinic
At home, O & # 39; Connor continued to fight her condition every day.
& # 39; The daily rash affected my entire body, I woke up every day with them, they were really itchy and big, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; Some beehives had the size of pinpricks, other times they were five centimeters.
& # 39; In the worst of times, it would be one big edge that covered my entire stomach as one big red blob.
They even covered the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, which made me feel unwell, because I was so exhausted from not being able to sleep because I was so itchy.
I could not see any identifiable causes – I changed my bedsheets, my diet, changed my body wash, shampoo, make-up and everything else. & # 39;
But on 17 August, O & # 39; Connor noticed that her skin got better, with the rash only on her arms and legs, before she completely disappeared.
I remember that I thought it could not have stopped altogether, and it should just be for the better day, but since then I have gone free, & # 39; she said.
Although it is now relieved, Mrs O & # 39; Connor is realistic, her hives can reappear at any time.
I'm afraid it will come back next year because it started during the cold period in the UK, so I wonder if it has to do with snow and cold, & # 39; she said.
The skin of O & # 39; Connor is shown left and right during a flare, so it itches and she struggles to sleep, leaving her exhausted. But changing her diet, sheets and make-up had no effect. She is also forced to undergo harsh glances and comments from people who think it is contagious
Depicted is the reaction O & # 39; Connor suffered at the age of 16, while he followed a school disco in Cork with a friend at home. She spent days in the hospital where doctors suspected glandular fever
In addition to making her uncomfortable and unable to sleep, O & # 39; Connor's ugly hives also caused people to stare and make cruel comments.
& # 39; Nobody said anything until I was on ambulance placement, where you wear short sleeves, so my arms and chest could see, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; When I started taking someone's blood pressure, she told me: "Do not touch me, I do not want to take it".
It was embarrassing, especially when I got very bad reactions because my lips were really swollen. & # 39;
And even her loved ones are struggling to understand how difficult her condition is for her.
& # 39; Talk to friends they do not understand, believe there must be a cause, but I've tried and changed everything, but nothing worked, & # 39; said O & # 39; Connor.
& # 39; Online there is a policeman and another lady from the ambulance service in London who also has it, it shows you how many people are involved. & # 39;
O & # 39; Connor speaks out to make people aware of idiopathic urticaria, which are often misdiagnosed as an allergy.
& # 39; There is not much you can do before they perform testing, you will think it is an allergic reaction, & # 39; she said.
O & # 39; Connor is pictured to the left during her worst, when she was forced to go to the hospital once a week for six months. The correct image shows the nettle rose that covered her back and arms