On 18th Feb 2015 which is today, the last day of the Year of the Horse, I woke up at 2am in the morning knowing something was very wrong. My body was hot and felt weird in several places. Also, I could stop scratching the area below my left arm. I turned on the light, removed my t-shirt and started examining my body more closely. I seemed to have red patches all over. I asked hubs to take a look and he said I have hives.
The first thing I did was to take a cold shower. The cold water worked as long as it was on me. The minute I got out of the shower, the itch was incredible. I decided to do an inventory of my hives. I noticed that the left side of my face was reddish and slightly swollen. Both my hands were burning, swollen and red hot; the left hand far worse than the right. I had large streaks of red patches running across my stomach and both sides of my body. Even my right eye lid itched and the base of my head as well. My right thigh was a mess and both my feet were starting to look angry. Amazingly, my back was completely spared. My skin felt raw so I applied QV cream all over the problem areas. I noticed I had two bites - one on my thigh and one below my left arm. They looked like mosquito bites.
I remember announcing to hubs at some point that I may possibly have to skip Chinese New Year.
I took an antihistamine and the box said only one tablet a day. This meant if the medication didn't work, I was screwed. This is the first time I have an attack of hives and it is truly a terrifying experience. Hubs has a history with hives and he had told me before a cold pack works best for itching. I spent the next hour pressing the cold pack on my itchy skin. It prevented me from scratching myself.
Around 4am, I noticed the redness was subsiding. My skin still itched but the redness was less scary. My hands previously swollen, puffy and red looked a lot more normal. I guess the antihistamine worked. By 6am, most of the redness had disappeared. I still felt some remnant itch and my body still tingled but I was more sleepy than anything else.
Anyway, I started thinking about what could have triggered my hives and since I've never suffered from hives before, I don't really know what could be the cause. Only two things stood out. Before I went to bed, I had cleaned the balcony, washed the kitchen floor, washed the laundry area and the kitchen bathroom. Yes, it's quite out of character. The other thing that could have caused the reaction are the mosquito (or insect) bites. I've been bitten by mosquitos and insects countless times so I doubt it. You know what this means?
I'M ALLERGIC TO HOUSEWORK!
I knew all these years I had a very good reason to shun housework. My body was protecting itself.
It is 11pm as I write this. My skin still has memories of itchiness. But I no longer look like a burn victim and I don't have to scratch anymore.
reunion dinner at my MIL. This is an important meal to start off the Chinese New Year celebrations. One of the items on the menu is the salad which we toss in the air for good fortunes. After all that messiness, we eat the salad.
Tomorrow we will do our visiting if I don't wake up with hives again. Just in case, tonight I'm taking another antihistamine. I am sharing some pics and stuff at Instagram. Over there, I'm also known as projectsbyjane.
For some goat puns, check out hubs' blog post here.
May The Goat Be With You