Friday, April 20, 2007

The Forbidden Itch OR Look, but Don't Scratch!

The spring is here, everyone’s out in the park or jogging, playing with their dogs, throwing Frisbees, finishing exams, no reason not to suck up the sun, sit back, relax and smile…Unless, of course, if you’re like me and are miserably itchy with hives. I LOVE spring! It’s usually a time when I am feeling like a million bucks, however, this year, completely spontaneously, I’ve become terribly allergic to it. My body is covered in raised red welts which I want to scratch and scratch and scratch…yet that scratching will only make it worse. It is the forbidden itch.

I had no idea what it was at first. It started as a clump on my neck. I speculated that it might have been a spider that crept up on me, vampire-like in the night, that bit me several times. That would have been tolerable but instead my anatomy started being increasingly populated by these little pocks, not just on my neck but everywhere! So I sought some professional medical help.

When I went to the doctor, as is typical, I waited in the room after having already waited lots in the waiting room (you always find out every room is a waiting room). The nurse called my name took me in and I was all excited for her to diagnose me right then and there but no, she was only to be as a hostess, someone who merely ushers you in, not who serves your meal. I’d have to wait to see Her Doktor. He took one look at me and all he said is “you’re having an allergic reaction.” I wanted to be sure he had it right. How could he be so sure so fast? I was expecting him to do some blood tests or maybe pour chemicals and put litmus paper on my skin to see what colour it turned. But the doctor merely looked at me and said “you’re having an allergic reaction”. No further details. "Are you sure it's not scabies?" "No" he confirmed. "Well, that's good," I thought. I've had scabies before and those are no fun either. At least with hives you don't have to cake your entire body for an entire day and wash all your sheets and sit around feeling violated by a parasite.

Sidenote: I once went to a camp where there was a scabies outbreak and almost everyone got it. I now laugh about it but I didn't then.

So I took the piece of paper that he scribbled something illegible on. It had percentage symbols and fractions on it and I just hoped that the pharmacist was going to be able to read it because I simply wanted a cure.

At the Pharmacy I passed the sheet to a Pharmacist named Sultan and had him try to decipher the goobledegook which surprisingly he had no problem with. “This will take me about an hour to prepare. I have to mix several things.” He said it so matter-of-fact, I couldn’t think of a question to ask. “Ok” I said. “I will come back in an hour.”

When I got back the woman rang up my bill. (Wow, prescriptions are quite expensive aren’t they!? especially if you don’t have a medical plan!!)…She said “How are you today?” I said “Oh, itchy but otherwise great.” “Yes. My dear! It looks like you’re breaking out in hives! My grand daughter has gotten them before. She gets them pretty nasty.” I then quickly summarized …well I thought it was this and then I thought it was that my whole mystery adventure into the world of irritating allergic rash reactions and we both speculated where it came from. “You know, if you just started taking care of a cat…I know my grand daughter is allergic to cats and that’s what she figures it is for her. Maybe it’s that.” Hmmm, I thought. I DID just start taking care of that cat one day prior to the first flair up. Concidence? I think not.

I then when home and Googled “Hives”. Of course I began to get all these links to the rock band “The Hives”. I skipped past those and went to the ones that had things like “get relief from your hives” kind of ones. This is where I found out that some kinds of hives, specifically Angioedema, can be pretty serious, causing the internal organs, such as the throat, to swell to the point of asphyxiating its victim. It's called "anaphylactic shock". Luckily, I don’t have that kind of hives and will not require being rushed to Emergency anytime soon. I was reading the common symptoms: new medications, diet, pollen, dust, etc. when I noticed amongst them “cat dander”. I had to look up dander but I instantly identified the word “cat.”

Maybe it’s the cat. Maybe it’s the spring pollen in the air. Maybe it’s all those hormones from teenagers making out after school, because now it’s warm enough outside to do it in the woods. But unless it gets worse I won’t bother going to an allergist to find out. I’ll just take my meds and hope for the best, sporting my loose clothing and prescription skin paste.

I Googled “hives” for “Images” and got this picture which is a good resemblance to the texture and colour of my own hands, arms and neck right now. It’s not quite as bad but still wickedly beastly nonetheless. I don’t like them.

Now I’m going to take a cold shower and apply ECTOSONE 0/1%CR+1/4% MENTHOL ¼CAMPHOR.

Anyway, hope all of YOU had an excellent day!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

l could call mine a very long day... Very funny I have been having not the same but itchiness also and happy to be free of it finally this week

I was avoiding the doctor for a lng time


1:12 p.m.  
Blogger {illyria} said...

how are you doing? better, i hope. last year, i had the worst hives ever, almost collapsed in the train, barely breathing. i went straight to the emergency room and they gave me the best antihistamines ever. sadly, they made me sleepy and i was talking twaddle for days!

11:07 p.m.  

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