I started getting a mild rash three months ago. When the itching became so bad, I went to the doctor. I had a flu shot the week earlier so he said it could've been a reaction to that. He gave me a shot of cortizone in the butt, told me to take some loratadine over-the-counter and sent me on my way.
But the rash never went away; it got worse. I called the doctor right before Thanksgiving, who then prescribed me some Prednisone and Hydroxyzine. But those didn't help either. And on December 2nd, I woke up covered head-to-toe in hives.
My mom took me to the doctor because my eyes were near swollen shut and I couldn't stop scratching. The doctor diagnosed me as being allergic to dog dander and put me on more meds (Singulair and more Prednisone). At this point, my brother and his wife (and dog) had been living with me for almost six months.
Ebby, their Boston Terrier is a short-hair dog, so it made sense that I didn't have symptoms right away as it takes awhile for dog dander to build up. Maybe I never liked dogs because I'm allergic to them?! My brother and sister-in-law found a new place to live temporarily while they are building a house on our dad's lot, and we've been cleaning the house like mad, vacuuming and dusting everyday.
But my hives still continue. I can take my prescription antihistamine four times a day, and I pop one as soon as feel my skin starting to raise and itch. During the night though, the antihistamine wears off, and I wake up covered in hives nearly every morning (and I've tried sleeping in different areas of the house).
I took this photo Christmas morning after my friend text me, “Merry Christmas from my family” to which I replied, “Merry Christmas from my hives.” She may have found it more funny than I.
So I only have hives while at home. When I venture out for more than 12 or so hours, I'm perfectly fine (skin-wise anyway). Then the moment I'm back home, my welts return. I have tried nearly everything possible in my house to rid it of the allergens causing my hives:
- Bought two air purifiers
- Installed the highest quality (aka most expensive) furnace filter
- Washed all curtains and bedding
- Vacuumed floors and furniture repeatedly
- Vacuumed bed and put all pillows in dryer
I saw my primary doctor once again who decided to draw blood and recommended I see an allergist. My Immunglobin E was high (that means I'm allergic to something) and my thyroid activity was low (probably from the urticaria), so the doctor now put me on Levothroxine. Yes, I'm now “that lady” that carries a pill box in her purse.
I can't get into see the allergist for my chronic hives until next week. Let's hope he has some insight for me!