What I have read is that the powder acts like a transport medium to make the latex, especially if it has contact with open areas, more readily accessible to the body.
Unfortunately, I would have to say I do react to the elastic in the underwear, but all these years I used to think that it was from the pressure of the elastic against my skin. My skin is so sensitive that anything putting pressure on my skin leaves a red mark in that shape which then becomes a welt. However, putting 2 and 2 together.....I used to burn like fire for a few hours after my ex used to use rubbers when we made love.....and then there is the tingling of my lips from blowing up balloons, which I thought was the result of pursed lips for a long time (which I have been told no one else feels).
So, in addition to the story I placed here about one of the very last births I did, I am now facing this reality: that I have been and am allergic to latex. Wearing the old powdered high protein latex gloves in the 80's, my hands would burn like FIRE, turn red for hours and my skin would split wide open along the creases in my palm. The unit changed to low protein, no powder gloves and I was spared any more grief until 2 years ago. One day I noticed, after a C/S, that I was constantly rubbing my hands together, scratching them. I looked down and my hands were beet red again. So the next couple of days, I tested my hands with the gloves....and the same thing repeated. I was starting to get heartbroken because I knew this recurrence was going to spell the end of my career. So...I asked for a substitute and got Nitrile gloves which were good, but I still had to put sterile latex gloves over the nitrile ones when we ran out of the sterile non-latex ones. Plus all the other latex around me....sigh.
I didn't know how sick I was getting until this incident mentioned elsewhere happened and I was away from the work environment for a long time. Long enough to clear up my breathing. I have asthma but it was getting worse....slowly...over a long period of time. There were days that I couldn't hardly do deliveries because I was trying so hard to breathe. Like I said, I never put 2 and 2 together here. I have been home for over a year now and I RARELY have to take my asthma medication...maybe 3 times since last Jan. Before that, I couldn't even get it really totally under control (I never got to the respiratory distress stage, thank God, where I needed to go to the ER..it was always a more quiet, chronic kind of asthma).
I so desperately want to get back to the profession I love so much, but, as you can see, I now have a double whammy to deal with. I want to do the easy thing. I want to deny that I have this problem. My expressing it here is making it more real for me. I want to do the thing we nurses are so good at....I want to go into denial and one day, when I am ready, go back to work. In reality, I know that will never happen...and it hurts even more.
You guys are great. For over a year now I have looked for a forum to express myself without repercussions or qualms--and I finally found it. Thanks for listening to me. I do appreciate it so much.
Before I go, if you knew of anyone with this problem, what aspects of nursing did they turn to? or what kind of profession did they change to?