Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Allergic Saga

I am covered in hives.

I'm allergic to something. It started last week, with me feeling an itchy feeling, very slightly, on the small of my back and my arm. I felt back there and it felt weird in texture, a little bumpy. The next morning before Ryan left for work I asked him if he saw anything on my back and he gave a half hearted glance and said no...

Later I saw it on my arm, totally there, not making it up.

It went away for a while. Then it came back with a vengeance after a shower a couple days later. Okay, I thought, it has to be the new shower gel. No big deal, that, I've been allergic to soaps before. So I stop using it and ask Ryan to buy our old shower gel again.

He instead buys a new new one. Oh, it's a brand we've used before, but not a scent. And I take a shower with it... and the hives are worse.

So I don't shower for two days until he finally buys our actual old shower gel... but the hives don't go away, despite avoiding the shower.

So I think, what else could it be? Ryan had also bought a new handwash. Now, I'm not getting hives on my hands, but still. I ask Ryan to buy our old one again.

I also speculate it could just be from the residue on the shower tiles. Our whole bathroom is like one big shower stall, that's how most bathrooms are in India. So the toilet, the sink, it all gets splashed when you shower, there is no seperate showering area. And we only have one bathroom. So maybe when I am using the bathroom I'm re-exposing myself to the shower gel, even though I'm not using it?

So Ryan buys a new shower gel, and I use it... and I"m still getting hives.

I notice that I'm getting them in my hair. Maybe it's the shampoo or conditioner? We've been using the same brand for months, but Ryan did just pick up a different variety of conditioner. That is, we use Tresemme, and we've been using the pink shampoo for months, but we were using the purple conditioner until we recently ran out and now are using the pink one. Could that be it?

The last time I showered, I just kept my hair out of the water to see if not washing it would make a difference.

It doesn't.

Starting yesterday, the hives spread to my face. Well, actually, they had been on my face, but faded away, they didn't last. But now they are staying on my face, the way they have been staying on my arm, so they might fade but they never go. The area between my lip and my nose is the first. Then my chin. My lower right cheek.

I have hives now on my lip itself.

What am I allergic to??

Maybe it's the laundry detergent? I haven't changed it recently, but it's something I've been exposed to almost all the time.

Maybe it's a spice? I notice my hives are bad after spending the day cooking. Oh, please, please don't let it be a spice. How in the world could I avoid a specific spice in India??? You can't just order something without the tumeric or coriander or whatever. They cook with masalas, that is, spice mixes, so it'd basically be impossible to eat out ever again.

I've never had an allergy to a food or a drug.. and I don't want to start now!

Maybe it's my thyroid medicine?? Ugh, if it is, then what will I do? My mom had thyroid cancer, so I'm not going to take my chances with leaving my thyroid untreated, it could easily escalate into something worse, I have a family history.

Then of course, it could be the kittens. I find it doubtful, because I am allergic to cats... but it's never caused hives before, just sneezing at the worse. Plus some of the few times that the hives have lessened, I was still around the cats.

Ryan's joked it was him... yeah, I don't even want to think about that!

All this might make you think: why aren't you taking medicine for your allergies? Well I am! I am on claritan normally. Then I asked Ryan to get me Benadryl... and he went to the pharmacy and said the only one he saw was for cold relief so he got me a medicine they gave him for hives in the past... which turns out to be Zyrtec. Zyrtec works on hives? That doesn't sound right. But I look it up and apparently they do use it for that, so I try it...

Yeah, no affect.

So this time I send Ryan to get the Benadryl, with a list of generic names. Nada. So he ends up buying the cold relief one. I take it last night, and it knocks me out and I sleep... but other than that, I'm not sure if it helped. It may have....

I haven't taken it today yet, becuase I want to be semi-productive.

Becuase I forgot to mention the severe fatigue.

I've never felt anything like it. I just cannot function the past two days. I slept probably thirteen or more hours each day. I would try to get up... and just couldn't and would fall back asleep.

Today I am actually up... which makes me think the Benadryl helped somewhat, despite the hives on my face.

Anyway, so that's the saga of my mysterious allergy so far...

I *did* think of something I'm hoping it is this morning. We use a plug in mosquito repellant for the room, and it's plugged in right next to where I sleep. Now it's not something new, we've been using it nearly the whole time I've been in India, but it is a chemical being released into the air, which I"d be continuously exposed to... and it'd be so easy to stop using! So I turned it off and fingers crossed that will do the trick!

Please pray that I figure this out soon, and that it's not a food or drug. Please.


  1. Have you considered heat rash? I've never had a problem, but then one random time in Brazil (it wasn't even that hot) I started getting awful itchy bumps all over. It kept getting worse, especially after a warm shower.

  2. I did consider it, but I've had it before in America and it HURT and this doesn't hurt, it's just slightly itchy. But looking into it at your suggestion, it seems there are different kinds. So maybe I'm getting a different kind... but it is supposed to happen where you sweat, and I don't really sweat on my cheek. So I'm not sure.


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