Sunday, March 21, 2010


This week has been one of my most stressful weeks at work yet.  We're short a person, I'm drowning in appeals, and have been asked to do some new, exciting, but stressful things.  By Thursday afternoon, I was riding a nervous adrenaline wave down and should have gingerly walked ashore from freak-out mode; however, my board apparently crashed on hidden rocks.
Instead of an afternoon sigh, I was left with curious red spots on my stomach and redness on my arm.
Eh? And ZOMG, they itch.

I was scheduled to volunteer at a zoo program that Thursday evening so I changed into my uber-sexy tan pants and red zoo fleece before leaving work.  The redness on my arm had gathered, grown, swelled, and expanded to include most of my forearm and had weird red edges.

My thought process at this discovery:
Are you freakin' kidding me???!!!!
Well, hell.
I continued on to the zoo.  As I was waiting for the zoo instructor, I noticed the hives were moving onto my other arm ... and my right knee.  After unsuccessfully trying to call for a replacement, I decided I'd be worse sitting at home with only the red evil itchiness on which to dwell so I continued on with the program.

Distraction helped. A little.

I arrived home to find my arms clear of hives *YAY!!*
Oh ... they've moved to my back.
And ass. *insert look of horror*
My ass was officially two large red-rimmed (shut-up) hives.

This was officially a new experience for me.  I've had a bad, body-covering rash before (thank you little sister for failing to completely rinse your freshly cleaned bathtub), but never one that seemed alive, moving from bit to bit like an alien just searching for the right spot. 

[Yeah, I've probably watched too many sci-fi flicks.]

Enter Google's Health site to the ... really not so much a rescue as an annoying "you'll likely never now for sure the cause" mantra so commonly heard in doctors' offices.  Hives result from your body releasing histamine into your blood stream.  I'm told this could be from an allergic reaction (hmmm, I've done nothing new, eaten nothing new, tried no new soap or detergent, etc.) or, hey, the golden rule - "Hives can also result from emotional stress."  The go-to cause for doctors when they can't find another reason. That's greeeeeat.

Well, what the heck was I supposed to do???
  • Avoid hot baths or showers. Stay smelly, check.
  • Avoid irritating the area with tight-fitting clothing. Sleep naked, check.
  • Take antihistamines. Diphenhydramine is considered the most effective. Whadahoodahuh? It's late at night, man, and I itch and my ass is deformed ... I'm not leaving now, dammit!
Thursday night was largely a sleepless night.  I seemed to drift off for a while only to come abruptly back to reality and find the need to remove my watch since the hives had traveled to my hands/wrists and feet/ankles.  Each trip to the bathroom revealed old battlefields cleared as the enemy found fresh lands to conquer.  Hives were riding my body like a well-paid wh .... well, you get the idea.
I woke the next morning to find most of my body clear other than my shoulder and chest ... and ... is that red on my left cheek .... FACIAL CHEEK????!!!! Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic ....
I called my doctor's office and spoke to a phone nurse.  Presumably a phone nurse.  I explained my symptoms and concern.  She put me on hold.  When she returned from asking the Wizard of Oz her suggestions, she told me to take Benadryl and if they continue on through 24 hours of Benadryl bombardment, then I would need to come into the office.  Again, this was Friday.
Are you guys open on the weekends?
Um .... noooo, you'd need to go into a clinic.
I'm afraid of these going onto my face ... do hives ever go into eyes or anything like that?
Um .... I don't know.
[I wanted to hurt this woman at this point.]

I got ready for work, purchased my "Wal-dryl" (seriously, when it's the same ingredients, I am not opposed to Walgreen's equivalent for $1 less), gulped the adult dose down in the car, and crossed my fingers.  By the end of the day, I cautiously proclaimed myself "hive-free" and -dryl mellow.


I'll likely never know for sure the cause.  Yeah, yeah ... stress.  Well, then I should just keep a supply of -dryl in the home at all times.

My lingering unease --> I could swear my skin seems slightly darker now where the hives traveled.
Lesson learned: Histamine is one wicked bitch that you don't want to cross.  Unfortunately, she often doesn't tell you what you did that pissed her off thereby keeping you constantly wondering when and if she'll strike again. 

Ah, see ... I can kinda respect that.


  1. Awe... Honey! Glad is OVER!!! To tell you the truth I've been giggling and giggling!!! LOL... Not because of the hives, of course, but the way you wrote it all is hilarious!!!

    P.S.: deactivated Facebook for the time being. All my love!!!


  2. worst is when you get skin fungus due to the heat and it was baddd!!!! the doc made me put on chicken pox lotion well i kno what you went through at least you survived =D

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  4. When I read about your travails I cringe and wonder at your perseverance. When I imagine them as fiction I enjoy reading about them and find myself wondering "what's next?"

    (I'm NOT insensitive, but I do enjoy a good story.)