After a blessed 35-year absence, I woke up about 5 am with uncontrollable itching, only to discover I had broken out with the hives:Huge, raised, reddish welts which even as I type are popping up on other, non-contiguous, parts of the body.
My one and only experience with this phenomena was some 35 years ago, when I broke out on my entire body, down to the knees and elbows. The cause was never determined, and from my early-morning reading (who can sleep with the itching?) no one knows what causes them. The best part is, there’s really nothing to be done for them – antihistamines help sometimes, but I don’t keep them around and from what I read, they often don’t help at all. I also read some horror stories from people who have been afflicted for months at a time. Keep your fingers crossed for me that this occurence is like the last and resolves itself within a couple of hours, to remain dormant for (at least) the next 35 years – in which case, I may get out of this life without ever experiencing them again.
I’ve gotta go scratch some more now.
Update 3/2: Well, still not done with this, but much better. The original hives from day before yesterday resolved themselves by moving to other locales. So I had a fresh new crop yesterday morning, including swelling of both upper and lower lips, even after starting on the Benadryl. So I doubled the dose yesterday and slept most of the day. Worst of it has been the swelling in my hands and feet which started yesterday; it’s now getting better. But I’ve been afraid to eat anything since I don’t know what caused this in the first place – yesterday I had some popcorn (no butter) and a little chicken…I decided to push my luck this morning and ingested a piece of wheat bread. If I don’t get any further eruptions from that, wheat can be ruled out and I can move on to seeing if I have a problem with dairy, etc. – one thing at a time. I’m starting to think this was an over-the-top immune response to some kind of virus or something, since I ran a fever both Monday and Tuesday nights, so it may not be a food or medicine issue at all. In any case, I’m going to drop the Benadryl for the rest of the day (or unless/until I have more eruptions) and see what happens. Hopefully by tomorrow the swelling in my feet will have gone down enough for me to wear shoes and I can go back to work. Again, keep your fingers crossed for me – I can’t cross my own; they’re still too swollen.