Mum ‘allergic to cold’ horrified as heating bills set to be same as her entire mortgage
A mum that has been diagnosed with an allergy to the cold says the energy price hikes mean her heating bills will set her back the same as her entire mortgage.
Five years ago, Robyn Harrison, 35, was told that she has a condition which means she breaks out in hives whenever she gets a cold.
This means the mum-of-one from South Shore, Blackpool struggles to partake in basic activities – ranging from going swimming and running, to holding a can of pop.
And whenever the temperature drops below 23 degrees, the 35-year-old needs to turn the heating on immediately.
But she and her partner Andrew Temple, 37, have been left worried as they are on a fixed-rate energy tariff of £250 per month – which expires in March.
And they have been informed their new tariff will double in cost, which has come as a shock to the system for the pair.
As a result of Robyn’s condition, the couple’s monthly bills will horrifyingly match their £500 mortgage payments.
Robyn, who works full-time as a housekeeper on a hospital ward, said: “We have the heating on for at least eight months in the year.
“After March that’ll cost us the same as our mortgage!
“We’re definitely worrying about what we’ll do after March. There will be more outgoing costs in petrol when winter comes as well, because I can’t walk anywhere in the cold without having an allergic reaction.”
With the cost of living crisis, petrol and energy prices going up, Robyn’s condition has become a huge concern for the entire family.
Robyn said: “It’s a massive concern, not just with gas and electric, but with everything.
“It’s getting to the point where we’re just about managing.
“We do both have jobs so we’re in a better position than some, but we are worrying what we will do after March.
“Everyone else must be feeling the same – but what do we do?”
She continued to speak about how her condition affects her, saying: “When I’m cold, my whole body becomes insanely itchy and my eyes get so swollen that I can barely open them, so reducing the heating isn’t an option.
“We’re getting to the point where we’re just about managing.
“We have no idea what to do.”
Robyn, who says she first began experiencing allergic reactions after having her son, Zachary, six, reveals she would come out in hives after experiencing anything cold.
Initially putting her symptoms down to hormones, things got concerning when she would get the hives after a shower or grabbing frozen food from the supermarket.
But, after going to an air show on a windy day, the mum’s eyes and cheeks swelled up – so much she could barely see.
Robyn was then diagnosed with a allergy to cold water – cold urticaria and aqua urticaria.
Revealing how this has affected her daily life, she said: “Even spraying deodorant on my underarms would make my skin crawl.
“It’s itchy. It doesn’t hurt but it makes your whole body really itchy and you can’t get rid of it. It makes me so stressed.
“It can last a couple of days if it’s a particularly bad reaction.
“I wrap up, but it’s not possible to completely cover yourself. Even if just my eyes are showing, or the tiny gap at your wrist between your coat and gloves, I’ll react.”
Now required to take three antihistamine tablets every day, the 35-year-old says she still suffers frequent reactions.
This lead to her family taking extreme precautions, including buying an extra car to avoid her having to walk everywhere, and turning the heating up whenever temperatures drop below 23 degrees.