Friday, June 13, 2014

I'm having some kind of food reaction.  It's been getting so freaking bad.  I mean sometimes, I get dots that look like bug bites, but aren't.  I mean they're itchy, but they fade away.  I had a friend joke that I should play connect-the-dots.  I found a pink pen at the time, connected them, and then sent her a picture.  We both snickered.

Other times, I get giant continents of hives reaching toward each other like watching the continental plates in reverse, where it's all slowly going back to Pangaea.   Mind you these aren't just for show hives. These are excruciatingly itchy and painful and extended at one point from my ankles to my scalp.  I found my back scratcher and was going to town because by far, the worst spot is the center of my back where the bra hooks are. Mike would come by and scratch my back for me and I'd moan like a porno track.  I have had moments where I have been quite pitiful, feeling like I'd happily take the chance of being accused of doing something sexual with a fence post, just to get my back scratched.  Around home, I've taken to free-boobing in camisoles because the bra on that spot just makes me holy crap itchy and then having to pull the damned things off and remove the tags.

My skin, over the course of the past month, has taken on bizarre and ever-changing textures and degrees of pink and fire engine red.  I joked with the emergency room doctor that my body is a canvas for hive art.  He was taken aback and then, started shaking his head and laughing.  As miserable as it is, laughing helps me not want to flay myself.  Buffalo Bill would be so happy in a Wendy-coat.

I'm going into day five of steroids, after just losing the last seven pounds put on from steroids a few weeks ago.

Then I had a thought, when despite steroids, a holy crap-ton of antihistamines later, my lips began to swell. The only time my lips have swollen in my whole life due to an allergic reaction is from citric acid or oranges.  I remember distinctly being about seven years' old and after lunch on the kickball field feeling my lips swelling and having to go off the field, fuck up the teams to the dismay of my classmates and go see the nurse.  After a few rounds of that, my mother talked to the neighbor, who was a lunch lady at my school.  They went round and round on the menu and discovered that the school added citric acid to fruit cocktail to keep it from browning. (Can you imagine food so freshly canned that it needed that?)  I got fruit cocktail without citric acid from then on.

My mom would load me up on benadryl until the reaction ended.  In those days, my pediatrician, Dr. Purington was at least a half hour drive away, and the hospital was about an hour away, so my throat would have been closed and I'd have been dead by the time she ran me to either location so she treated at home.

I've been mostly treating at home.  First I was using three zyrtec, per the allergist, who informed me that I don't show "true" food allergies.  Translated that means that the leaky gut from my fibro is letting food sensitivities re-erupt.  I went off that and was taking benadryl.  I had a doctor tell me that the only reason I shouldn't take more benadryl is if it was knocking me out.  No such luck.  I've been generally taking it every two hours when it's bad. I suspect I'm waking up after 4-5 hours because I need another round.

After the first lip swelling incident, I started reviewing the food I'd eaten that day.  Nothing with citric acid.  Nothing with oranges.  Then, I checked my splenda coke.  I've been so proud of the fact that I've gone off aspartame and just to splenda to help my fibro.  Not far into the ingredient list was the evil citric acid. Dammit!

Mike made me splenda sweet tea with cardamon. I have a big vat of it in the fridge.

Yesterday, the hives were more like dots again.  Today, I'm hoping they'll fade entirely.


Meanwhile, in the realm of everything else that could go wrong with my health, I found this big hole in my cpap hose.  The past month, I've been sleeping all the damned time. As soon as my head hit that bed, I was out and I seemed to be no good to anyone unless I had 12 hours of sleep, plus naps.  This has been going on for a month or more.  I'm used to sleeping seven to nine hours and feeling pretty good.

I got up after five and a half hours and did chores like a crazy person.  I cleaned places I haven't cleaned in months.   I weeded the garden.  I did laundry.  I did floor boards.  I picked up all sorts of stuff.  Lately, I had hardly been able to move around the house just from the bed to the chair and back.  To do all that stuff, means that true sleep has returned.  Two nights running now, I am waking up after four or five hours and doing all this stuff, including this blog post, and then crashing for a few more hours, waking refreshed, rested and ready to roll.

My entire household would like to have me duck-taped to the ceiling or wall. Ha! Sucks to be them!

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