Okay, maybe it hasn’t been seven years, but time is relative. No, I am not talking about a deep stirring desire to find greener pastures, I love my husband (and we haven’t even been married for seven months yet). I am talking about hives. Hives that I have been breaking out in randomly for 2 1/2 long years.
It started right around the time we got engaged (coincidence I am sure). I would wake up in the middle of the night with my feet and hands swollen, red, and itchy. It was awful. And, having rarely dealt with even a simple pollen allergy prior to this, it took me months to try taking an antihistamine in response (it just never occurred to me).
The antihistamine “solution” was something I stumbled upon accidentally as I was on a cruise a few months after this all started and was absolutely going to distraction with the itching one night. My entire back was inflamed. All I had in my makeup bag was a Claritin so I took it. And there it was, sweet relief. I started taking one a day, and for a month I was itch free, but then the hives came back and I was so dejected I dismissed the Claritin as no longer useful and suffered through the bouts.
Now a sensible person is asking themselves at this time, “for God’s sake, why have you not gone to see a doctor yet!?” And I really don’t have a good answer for that. I guess I didn’t want to hear that I was allergic to anything. After all, I am a chef and I can think of nothing more tragic than to find out that there is a food or wine out there that I simply cannot have. Ignorance is bliss as they say. But, one can also only be uncomfortable for so long. Eventually I gave in. Because they would come and go with no pattern I took pictures (which I will spare you the sight of as they are enough to make someone without a tendency toward hives to break out) and booked an appointment with the dermatologist. They were extremely (read: not) helpful. “Yep, those are hives. Go see an allergist.”