Friday night I went to bed bundled up, freezing and achey, and woke up feeling terrible with some sort of rash on my elbow and seriously sore eyeballs. It didn’t take long for the itchiness to spread: My feet, then arms, then calves. Before I knew what was happening, I realized there were splotchy red welts all over me. I took two Benadryl, napped it out, woke up with clear skin, and headed to work at 3.
Not long after I sat down at my desk, groggy and grumpy at the prospect of Halloween night in the office, I noticed a bump on my hand. It itched. Over the next few hours, it spread. I took another Benadryl. It didn’t do much of anything. I itched with a fierceness. And it hurt to move around. I threw pages together with reckless abandon and sheepishly left a list of what was left to do with my already overworked co-workers. I had to get out of there. I was going nuts. I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life.
I went home and took still more antihistamines and tried to nap it out on the couch. I was hot then cold, hot then cold. The welts — which I’d decided were definitely hives — just kept coming back. I tried to go to bed but when 2 a.m. or so rolled around, I was covered in them again. Covered. Mom had urged me earlier when I left work to go to the ER, but I didn’t want to. But I knew there was no way I was going to make it through the night without relief. I got in the car and hauled ass out to Baptist East. On the way there, my arms turned into bubble wrap and my left hand swelled to the point where I could hardly make a fist. My legs and back were covered. The bottoms of my feet too.
A couple of hours in the ER and $100 later, I’d learned that I was having an allergic reaction to something. O RLY?! But they didn’t know what. I know; that’s hard to determine. I went home with some prescriptions and passed out as soon as I hit the bed.
Today (Sunday) I woke up itchy and sore AGAIN. Had a hard time getting out of bed, despite knowing that I had so much to do. Finally decided to venture into the world in my pajamas. Got my prescriptions filled, picked up lunch, and went out to the house.
It was my first time there alone. It was surreal. That place is mine and no one else’s. It’s kind of overwhelming. But in a good way. I sat there quietly, eating my sandwich and scratching the bumps on my skin (gross, I know), and just kind of observed the space at rest. I tried to imagine my stuff in there and where I’d put it. What additional things I’d need (a ton). I got excited. And then I got sick to my stomach and had to bolt out of there. Picked up my meds, took them, laid down and felt miserable.
Then the steroids kicked in. I could move without pain, the itching and swelling chilled out, and I got off my ass and resumed packing. Prednisone, I love you.
I still am not a hundred percent sure what’s wrong with me (mom and dad think stress, doc thinks food allergy, I suspect All laundry detergent), but I am a hundred percent sure that I can do ANYTHING as long as I am on steroids.