MB's Story

I contracted my latex allergy from living with my ex-husband who is a surgeon.

For years I had been exposed to the dust from his theatre gloves and I ingested it and it manifested as anaphylaxis when I ate fruit which has the latex proteins.  Unfortunately I did not make the connection as I had always enjoyed bananas since I was a child.  Kiwi started to give me a reaction and gradually I avoided some fruit.  Others took a while to build up- avocado, for example.

I noticed that I had difficulty in blowing up balloons for my kids’ parties.

It took nearly a decade for me to get the diagnosis when I went to Southampton Uny Hospital and they asked me if I had been a health care worker.

I am terrified about going on a plane now as I was on a short flight- Virgin- from Tasmania to Melbourne.  We had hardly got into the air when my throat began to feel ‘hairy’.  I wondered if someone was wearing a potent perfume, so I moved down to the front of the plane and asked for some water. My Epipens were in the hold as it can be difficult to explain what they are sometimes.  I was talking to the steward to keep me calm when I noticed the hostess pushing the trolley and she was wearing rubber gloves.  I asked if they could be latex and was told they usually have vinyl.  The chief steward found the box and he was amazed that they were latex.

He explained that there had been a swift turnaround and the cleaners were not the usual ones.  It was only an hour flight, but I was worried that if I had been on a long haul flight, the situation might have been really difficult.

I wrote to Virgin but only had a feeble apology.

I am worried about people like Nigella Lawson promoting latex gloves in food preparation.   Eating out is difficult enough.  These should be banned.

Usually I am well as I now know my triggers and take avoidance, but one can be surprised and taken unawares.

Thought I would share this with you.