Home > Uncategorized > HIVES!


After a blessed 35-year absence, I woke up about 5 am with uncontrollable itching, only to discover I had broken out with the hives:

This is what they look like

Huge, raised, reddish welts which even as I type are popping up on other, non-contiguous, parts of the body.

My one and only experience with this phenomena was some 35 years ago, when I broke out on my entire body, down to the knees and elbows.  The cause was never determined, and from my early-morning reading (who can sleep with the itching?) no one knows what causes them.  The best part is, there’s really nothing to be done for them – antihistamines help sometimes, but I don’t keep them around and from what I read, they often don’t help at all.  I also read some horror stories from people who have been afflicted for months at a time.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that this occurence is like the last and resolves itself within a couple of hours, to remain dormant for (at least) the next 35 years – in which case, I may get out of this life without ever experiencing them again.

I’ve gotta go scratch some more now.

Update 3/2:  Well, still not done with this, but much better.  The original hives from day before yesterday resolved themselves by moving to other locales.  So I had a fresh new crop yesterday morning, including swelling of both upper and lower lips, even after starting on the Benadryl.  So I doubled the dose yesterday and slept most of the day.  Worst of it has been the swelling in my hands and feet which started yesterday; it’s now getting better.  But I’ve been afraid to eat anything since I don’t know what caused this in the first place – yesterday I had some popcorn (no butter) and a little chicken…I decided to push my luck this morning and ingested a piece of wheat bread.  If I don’t get any further eruptions from that, wheat can be ruled out and I can move on to seeing if I have a problem with dairy, etc. – one thing at a time.  I’m starting to think this was an over-the-top immune response to some kind of virus or something, since I ran a fever both Monday and Tuesday nights, so it may not be a food or medicine issue at all.  In any case, I’m going to drop the Benadryl for the rest of the day (or unless/until I have more eruptions) and see what happens.  Hopefully by tomorrow the swelling in my feet will have gone down enough for me to wear shoes and I can go back to work.  Again, keep your fingers crossed for me – I can’t cross my own; they’re still too swollen.

  1. truculentandunreliable
    February 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Oh man. My sympathies. I used to get hives chronically until I figured out that I was allergic to wheat. Usually they were spotty and not that bad, (okay, I lie–sometimes my hands looked like I had some sort of insane disease, and my neck was constantly broken out) although when I found out that I was allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen (by taking them), I was COVERED with hives like that.

    Try H2 blockers–ranitidine, cimetidine, etc. (Tagemet, Zantac, Pepcid, and Axid are the brand names). They always worked for me and regular antihistimines never did.

    Still, those bitches look like they’re going to stick around for a while. If I were you, I’d OD on Benedryl and take a nice, long nap.

    Do you feel okay otherwise? When I was hit with hives like that, I felt exhausted and shitty like you wouldn’t believe.

  2. truculentandunreliable
    February 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Oooh, also, don’t scratch! An ice pack and cortisone ointment can help.

  3. jennofark
    February 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Well, those actually aren’t a picture of mine – mine look worse than that but due to the body location, I’m not about to photograph them and post them! Actually they started in the “crotchal” region of the upper thighs and on TEH BUTTOCKS but later broke out under my arms, on the backs of both forearms, on one wrist & both hands, back of one of my legs just above and below the knee, and worst of all is the one on my upper lip because it’s so noticiable. They seem to be calming down some now (2 pm) and I haven’t had any new ones appear since around 10 am, so I think I may be on the downslope here.

    This is so weird though. The first time I had them at age 12/13, we never did figure out what caused them; this time, I just took my last dose of a course of amoxicillan last night (I had the joy of having a root canal on the second tooth my dentist killed by overbuilding the crown last week) and had a bit of a headache, so I took an Advil too. Nothing out of the ordinary about that – I’ve taken both together at least 3 or 4 times in the past week with no problem. And I didn’t have anything out of the ordinary for dinner, either. I’m wondering if it was just some perfect storm of things I might have a slight sensitivity to all thrown in together that caused it – maybe some food additive + amoxicillan + Advil + sensitivity to the latex in my underwear elastic. Unless it happens again, I’ll probably never know.

    As for feeling crappy, aside from the itching, no. Though I’ve spent much of the day in bed so I wouldn’t have to wear any kind of pants – under or otherwise – which seem to make the itching worse. But thanks for asking.

    Bottom line, I look a mess and itch like a sonofabitch, and can’t really go anywhere because scratching your crotch & ass in public aren’t considered “couth.” Ah, those fascistic societal norms!

    • truculentandunreliable
      March 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Yeah, sometimes your body just reaches allergic overlaod and you don’t know why.

      Upper thighs and TEH BUTTOCKS and crotchal region is always fun.

      Hopefully it’s just a one-time thing!

  4. March 1, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I wish I had non-contiguous parts of my body. I could have a hand in the kitchen while my head was watching TV.

    In other news, that looks like it truly is horrible. You have my sympathy.

  5. B^4
    March 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Sounds like somebody needs a 55 gallon drum of Calamine lotion, and another 55 gallon drum of vodka.

    Get better!

  6. BDay
    March 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Jaffner’s not wearing any pants!

  7. Flex
    October 20, 2011 at 8:43 am

    phewww! I thought I was the only one…. My bottom lip is swelling as I type… Hives everywhere, even parts I cannot reach! Sometimes I dont dont know if I should cry or cry…Its frustrating!! Get better,,,let us know how though….would definately try whatever! If only I could take my skin off and put in on when they’re gone…no medication works!!! #whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa#

  8. Noe Trilling
    August 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Hives are really nasty, it can cause severe itchiness and redness. Antihistamines are heaven sent for me. .’*,,

    Yours truly http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/acidophilus-milk/

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