Sunday, March 09, 2008

My Body is Turning on Me

My head is so itchy, beginning just above my eyebrows, that I would like to temporarily remove all my hair and actually SEE the horror that must be my scalp beneath it. I can feel what I imagine to be raw red bumps, like something out of the Star Wars films when we see Darth Vader without his helmet. I can feel and see five cruel bumps on my forehead and though they itch they are nothing compared to my scalp. I have had hives for thirteen days. If they aren't better by next Friday I am to go back in to the doctor. If I get a fever over 100, I am to go back in. If I get a symmetrical pattern mirrored on both sides of my body, I am supposed to go back in. So far I've just had the hives doing their elusive dance all over my body.

What prompted me to see the doctor was the persistent red and itchy palms that gave off an alarming amount of heat, but it turns out that wasn't as bad as it could get and they faded in about 48 hours. Then I was horrified when something appeared in a place that shall not be named, but the worst has to be this itchy head. The sources I read said that some hives can appear and disappear in anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.. but mine have been tending to appear and disappear about 2 days later or even a bit longer. Their intensity may diminsh but they don't disappear. Afflicted areas include my ears, my lower back, the palms of my hands, my index finger, now the top of my left thumb, three places on the top of my right foot, my right shoulder, my forehead, my entire scalp for days now. It's exhausting.

I started reading about hives online and that was a mistake. I learned that there is almost nothing I can do other than take Benadryl. I can try to learn the source of the hives, but I discovered that 80% of people who have hives never know their cause. It could be caused by an allergy, stress, response to medication, a cold, insect bites, or physical exposure to cold weather, sunlight, or pressure. So far I've narrowed my potential triggers as possibly Advil which I've taken for years, but I also had a respiratory cold when this all started, also I've been a tad stressed.

The hives bother me most right when I wake up in the morning and in the evening right before I go to bed. In fact, the past two nights I've had trouble sleeping because of the head itchiness. It's unbearable. I tried something I read online and that was to use a cold ice pack on the area of hives because it reduces swelling and that seemed to help. The benadryl does not. I lay in bed last night mentally inventing a new kind of cold pack that would cover my whole head at once, something like a shower cap. Well, a girl can dream. My experience in the past few days has been that by noon each day I feel right as rain with only minor itching somewhere on my hand or arm. Today it's nearly 1 pm and I am still wondering if I've died and gone to Dante's version of Hell. is there a level where one itches forever without relief? Damn. There should be.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think your hives are caused by a lack of me in your life...just a though...
T

Carm said...

Ha! Tara, you are right... I HAVE been missing you. Margs and queso soon!

E. Louise said...

Ooh, sorry. Did you switch shampoo or something?

banjo bandida said...

Hey Carm,

Been there. It is so miserable. Hope you are better now!

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