Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Allergy Attack While Grappling

I have a severe allergy to dogs. If I am around dogs for too long, I break out in hives, my eyes swell and my throat swells shut. It is most of the time accompanied by fits of sneezing. I HATE being allergic to dogs because I love animals.

Did I mention I have a pack of puppies living in my back yard right now?

I think it is a crime against my person that I am not able to cuddle these adorable creatures. If I pick them up and at all I have to immediately go take a shower, or else the hives and the sneezing start. It sucks.

But usually, my allergy to dogs doesn't get in the way of me grappling. Lots of people at my school have dogs that live in the house with them and I have never gotten ichy eyes or sneezing from touching them. It usually takes more than that for me to have a reaction. For the first time ever, last night, I had a problem.

I noticed it after my last grapple. My eyes started itching pretty bad. We were doing cool downs, so I didn't go to the bathroom to wash my hands and face. It didn't even occur to me that it was some kind of allergic reaction. I was honestly worried that I was getting some kind of gross mat funk, fast acting pink eye. LOL

Then my throat started itching. I started thinking, "Oh crap. Who in here has a dog?" Only one girl that I grappled had a dog and it was the girl I had grappled last. I got through cool downs and went to the bathroom. My eyes were already swelling shut.

(The fact that I am putting this horrible picture on the internet proves my love for you guys! lol)

There is a point of no return for me with dog allergies. If my eyes are a little itchy, I can usually just wash them out and wash my hands and I'm ok. But one my throat starts closing up, I have reached the point of no return and HAVE to take medicine because it will continue to get worse from there on. The only thing that really works for me once I start having an allergy problem is Benedryl. I always keep some with me. So I ran out to the car and took one. As we shut down the school and got ready to leave, though, my throat got worse. Me and a few of the other girls had planned to grab a bite to eat so we went on our way.

I had to take another Benedryl almost as soon as we got to the restaurant. It took about 30 minutes for my throat to open up and for some of the swelling in my eyes to go down. I am thankful I had the Benedryl or else I might have had to go to the hospital.

It surprised me that I had this problem at all. I have never had issues with allergies from grappling someone before. And the person who had dogs was even wearing one of MY extra gis over their clothes, so I know it wasn't the gi.

Other than the strange allergic episode, class went really well. We had 8 girls and we worked on taking the back from half guard as well as a sweep from guard. I LOVE seeing the girls starting to put the pieces together during grappling. It is so fun!

This week in my training I have had a blast. I learned and re-learned some things that I absolutely LOVE

1. A heel hook to knee bar transition.

2. A bait and sweep move from open guard (Ben and Fabio have shown me this at least a thousand times but I am just now being able to use it)

3. A half guard sweep tailored for small people where you basically use your whole body against one of the person's legs...and it works really well on people both big and small. (Thanks PP!)

Good week, minus the dog/face explosion.


Georgette said...

If she was wearing her street clothing under the gi, I am not surprised you had the allergic reaction-- she could have been cuddling her puppy on her chest before class and the gi doesn't block that too much :(

I never thought of this! Hope it doesn't happen again!

Laura said...

Oh no! I hope you feel better soon.

I have an allergy problem at the gym too. I am asthmatic with only a few allergic triggers but recently I found out that I will react to a tiger balm type ointment. My face doesn't swell but my throat does.

I hope it doesn't happen to you again it's really scary when you start not being able to breathe.

Megan said...

Oh gosh...I totally gasped when I saw your pic. I NEVER thought about bringing that kind of stuff on the mats...even more reason to keep street gear completely separate from mat.

slideyfoot said...

Heel hook to knee bar transition? I presume that means Fabio doesn't follow the trend of just teaching comp legal techniques (clearly effective stuff in a fight, of course, though I'd be scared of trying something like that in sparring).

A.D. McClish said...

@Slidey -- Yes, Fabio teaches all leg submissions. Of course, he makes sure everyone knows not to crank. And more often than teaching how to do the submissions themselves, he teaches how to escape them. In order to learn the escapes, you need to know how to do the submissions. There was a period of months where I was constantly defending heel hooks because I kept exposing my legs all the time. I think my teammates finally got bored with heel hooking me and moved onto other things. lol

slideyfoot said...

Hah - I would be getting heel hooked a lot if I ever rolled at your club, in that case. I can only think of a couple of times people have attacked my legs in sparring: hardly ever happens where I've trained. Which is good for my knees, not so good for my ability to defend leg subs. ;)