Friday, July 17, 2009

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

I apologize humbly, deeply and profusely for not being here more often. It has been a very uneventful time. Well, actually kind of a depressing time. The Spouse’s job situation has not improved, only changed by having his hours cut back. Suck. And my job gets more and more questionable all the time. We haven’t just slowed down. We’ve nearly stopped. Really. Hours... days go by with nothing for us to do. Just when I think it’s going to pick back up we grind to a halt again. And my hours are about to be cut as well. Double suck.

And when I’m down I really don’t feel like writing. Plus there’s enough bad news out there that I don’t need to contribute to the growing pile. Furthermore, I don’t think ye olde faithful readers (all 15 of ya) would be interested in hearing about my personal little contribution to the pile o’ despair.

But I will tell yall about my most recent adventure. It was kinda depressing but it is improving, with some unusual side effects. And side effects can sometimes be funny, so here goes...

Oh, wait... hold on... *runs to rest room to pee*

Ok, so 2 days ago I wake up at a bright and early 5:15am to a violent itching around my neck. I scratch and scratch as I shuffle off to the bathroom for early morning duty. In the mirror I see a bright red neck (no pun intended) but I’m not concerned since I just finished laying into it with my well-manicured and decorative claws of death.

But throughout the rest of the day the itching continues. All over. In the weirdest places. Intimate places. Well, not THAT intimate, but definitely places that are covered by underwear.

Sorry, excuse me... *runs to get cup of coffee*

Ok, when I get home that afternoon I’m scraping my entire torso. All over. I disrobe to discover that from my neck down to my thighs I am COVERED with red, splotchy welts. Now I’m starting to freak. I show the Spouse who is also freaked.

All thru the night my body is just tingling. I woke up the next morning with my ears and thighs on fire. The bathroom mirror shows me a space monster. My face is red, bumpy and puffy. My ears are nearly fuchsia. My torso had cleared up by my thighs, front and back, look like they caught fire and were put out with golf shoes.

I can NOT go to work like this.

I call in sick to work, then I call my doctor. She’s not in, there’s only one other doctor in the office, and he’s only there a half day and is already booked.

Triple suck. Things are not going well for the space monster.

My next plan of action to high-tail it to Walgreens for some Benedryl and Cortizone. I check in with the bathroom mirror again to find the space monster has been replaced with my own face. Since I feel fine physically (despite the itching) I decide to go to work anyway. Hopefully, there’ll be work for me to do.

Hold on... *runs to rest room to pee*

Throughout the day I notice several things: the Benedryl and Cortizone take the edge off the itch, but just barely, and the red splotches are on the move. They’ve left my ears alone and have moved to my hands, feet and lower down on my thighs. Every once in a while I’ll feel something stinging like an insect bite and look down to see a new welt literally pop up.

By 1pm I’m going insane. The urge to dive into a good, hearty, satisfying scratch is becoming unbearable. Scratching feels great but doesn’t solve the problem. And it only makes the area more red and puffy. Speaking of puffy, my hands and fingers have swollen to the point they look like a package of hot dogs.

Urgent Care Center, here I come.

Dammit. Hold on... *goes to get cup of water*

I go thru a full onslaught of questions at Urgent Care. Have you eaten or digested anything out of the ordinary? Have you come in contact with something? Have been outside in a wooded area? Have you recently acquired a new pet? Does your current pet go outside? Have you recently switched to a new detergent, soap, skin care product, or bedding?

And my answer is no to all of the above. So we’re stumped. The doctor did suggest that sometimes excessive heat might bring this on, and the night before it all started I was working at the Mansion’s Haunted House, which is the un-air-conditioned carriage house, and it was hot, and I was sweaty. But hell, it’s always hot there. And I’ve been doing this stuff for 9 years. So who knows.

But the doctor gave me a prescription for magic pills: Hydroxyzine and Methylprednisolone. 12 hours later I’m nearly back to normal. Very little itching, red splotches nearly gone. Every once in a while I get a splotch show up somewhere, but it disappears within an hour.

But apparently these magic pills have some unpleasant side effects. I’ll let you guess what they are.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you're going thru. My symptoms started last Oct. Yes, I'v been battling this since then. It started with an itchy rash on my forearms and the back of my neck. Went to the doc and tested positive for strep-throat. Did they do a strep test on you by any chance? I didn't even know I had strep (had no symptoms other than the itchy rash. Seems the rash was a side effect from the strep. They gave me an antibiotic shot and some pills and anti-itch creme. The itchy rash seemed to clear up while taking the meds and creme, but a month later, the itchy red blotches came back with a vengeance. I now had it under my breasts, just above the underwear line on both sides, the back of my neck my lower back and the back of my knees. I never got it on my face. It drove me absolutely nuts! I've been back to the doctor four times. I've been prescribed so many different cremes, lotions pills plus several antibiotic shots. The symptoms keep coming back. The thing is, now my husband has some of the same symptoms. Not as severe as mine though. The doctor told him it could be heat and or stress related. We've all been under a lot of stress with the bad economy and job losses. I've learned to live with it. I have good and bad days. It does seem to flair up when I'm stressed and I do live in a hot climate. We've seen triple digits for the past month. I no longer take hot showers, use fabric softeners or perfumes of any kind. So, hang in there, you might be in for a long itchy, bumpy ride.

from one of your lesser known Spymac friends.

Max the drunken severed head said...

I'm glad you're better now, and am sorry to hear that your job situation sucks.

Keep us posted, though, 'kay?

judygraham said...

This sounds a lot like my experience when I was about your age. Lots of red itchy spots (hives) that were helped by antihistamines and prednisone. Finally, a doctor tested for food allergies. My back lit up like crazy. The techie said he'd never seen anything like it, lol. I had to stop eating practically anything for a couple of weeks and add foods in one at a time to see what was setting me off. Back then, it was almonds and cod (fish).

Since then I've had to add onions to the don't eat list. (*sad* I loved onions)

This summer, the hives have returned and I've had to do some detective work to figure out what other food is starting to set me off. I think milk and cheese (lactose) have joined the don't eat list.

The doctor explained to me that food allergies are a digestive intolerance that we have our whole life, but may not manifest until we've aged a bit. Our over 30 bodies can't handle what our under 30 bodies could.

Good luck with this. I sympathize totally with your agony. Try not to let it get you down. This, too, shall pass. I also wish you both the best on the employment side. Hopefully, that problem also will pass.

Hollygoyle said...

Thanx everyone for your comments and well wishes. I'm done with the magic pills and they seem to have worked for the most part. I still occasionally have an itch here and there, along with the oddball red splotch, but NOTHING like it was.

I'm still trying to figure out what I have suddenly become allergic to, unless just plain ol' stress and heat brought this on to begin with.

I'll update if anything else happens...

Gadget said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melinda said...

Isn't it about time for your monthly entry? *lol* :)