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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Rash, Hives & Allergies, Oh My!

It has been a week. Hit with horrific allergies that defy all over the counter medication available. I was literally one buy away from being put on a meth makers watch list with the amount of cold and allergy medicine I have purchased in the past week.

I also have used my body weight in tissues and Tylenol. I have used at least one full tube of hydrocortisone cream. All to no avail. And because I stubbornly refused to go to the doctor for more than a week, I suffered perhaps more than I needed to.

Yesterday I finally gave in and called the Teladoc. Teladoc’s diagnosis? Scarlet Fever. Are you kidding me? Really? Fuck my life!

I didn’t agree with this diagnosis from the outset, mostly due to the fact I didn’t have a fever, like at all. And while not being completely up on the whole origins of long term illnesses and their characteristics, I am pretty sure that a fever would have to be a component of a diagnosis that has fever as part of its name...just saying.

I made an appointment with my primary care and they did the tests required to secure a diagnosis other than Scarlett Fever. Thank God! I do not have Scarlett Fever. I have a rash, hives and really fucking bad allergies. So after a quick shot in the ass, and a few prescriptions I was on my way home. And within hours, feeling much better, less itchy and blotchy and bitchy.

They do not know what caused the rash or the hives. Clearly I am very allergic to something. But we do not know what, so now I get to add things back in and see what produces the reaction...good times. Yes, after a week of almost losing my mind, I want to attempt to add back in that which caused me such misery and discomfort. Honestly, I am afraid to do anything or eat anything. I have no idea what caused this meltdown of allergic proportions and as much as I want to find out, I mostly want to just avoid ever feeling that way again.

Lessons learned? Call the doctor sooner. Take the Benadryl sooner. Rest when a cold comes on. Sleep if you can. Because ignoring it will not make it better, as I found out this past week. The whole I am going to stick my head in the sand and trust this will just sail right over me, apparently only works for Ostriches. And an Ostrich I am not.

I am apparently a person who, as she ages, becomes more and more allergic to her surroundings and the things I ingest or place on my body. And that sucks. But it is my new reality and I am just going to have to live with it, or suffer the consequences. And after the last week, I can tell you that I would rather deal with it than go through what I did yesterday. I really did think that I was going to lose my mind to the itching.

I am not sure why my default belief is that if you just ignore it, whatever it is will go away. But it must have worked some time in my life...because here I am at 53 still doing it. I learned yesterday that perhaps self care might look a little more proactive. And rest not the death-knell of progress. Perhaps taking care of oneself might look a little different than I would like. Perhaps, stubborn refusal to deal with matters of health is not the best way to move through life. Perhaps, I could instead look at my body’s reaction to things as a friendly signpost outlining that there may be danger ahead if I don’t more readily heed the warnings.

And I can tell you now, that hives, a rash and severe allergic reaction do not need to get to where they did yesterday for me to pay attention going forward. I will do a better job of checking in with myself, my body and taking the information I receive back as information I can use to my benefit. Instead of my stubborn refusal to deal with my current reality and then suffer greatly because of my own stupid denial.

Today I am thankful for medicine and shots and allergy meds. Today I am grateful that I am not scratching like a dog with a bad case of fleas. Today I am grateful that I might be able to attend a zoom meeting without scaring the other participants. And I am grateful, once again, for the lessons, in whatever shape and manner they arrive. I learn, slowly and withotut great ceremony, but I do learn eventually. Wisdom for me seems to always require that I touch the hot stove first, but at least after that first touch, I learn to not do it again. Progress, not perfection...that is the goal.

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