Monday, April 20, 2015

Stress Gives Me Hives

Last year, right around when spring finally arrived where I live, I began to have hives! When I went in to see a doctor, they figured it was scabies and gave me a prescription for the cream for that. Since B-girl and I bedshare, I had to treat her too, and the first time I also treated B even though he had no symptoms. This was miserable because you have to coat yourself in this icky lotion, and regular lotion already drives me nuts, but you have to coat your whole body with that stuff, and its slimy and ick... and B-girl was a baby so I was nervous about putting what's basically an insecticide on my infant. 

They seemed to go away but came back. I thought, well, I didn't retreat in a week like it says you may have to do, so I'll retreat. Didn't work. Once more? Still have hives.

Either suffered through or something until I could get in with a dermotologist. He tested me for a list of things like lupus and whatnot, and gave me THREE meds to take to try to shut them off. They did practically nothing. I say practically because a month and 10 pounds later, I find out one increases appetite, and is used to help little kids gain weight sometimes. Sure worked on me, as a breastfeeding mom you're used to having to have a snack, but apparently, it went a little farther than even that, and BOOM 10 pounds. Thanks a lot.

Complained to the derm enough that he finally sent me to an allergist. Tested me for allergies and found out I am allergic to dogs, cats, grass and ragweed. I have 2 indoor cats and the outdoor dog. He kinda stopped the train, determined the cats are the issue, rid the cats, rid the hives, problems solved. 

Except anyone with pets will tell you that contemplating getting rid of your pets is a very hard thing to do, especially if they are cats like mine who keep mice from getting around in my house and on my surfaces. I'll choose hives over mice on my surfaces and in my clothes and house any day.

Christmas was miserable, but its stressful with family and business and we went to some family friends who has a LOT of cats (and other animals) so it is hard to say which is worse.

See, hives can be caused by about a million different things, from allergies like I discovered I have, and stress, monthly cycle, heat, friction/scrapes, sun, cold, food, etc etc etc and it can be extremely difficult to hunt down the exact cause. 

However, recently, I found out (via EWG) that borax has a high risk of skin reactions and asthma, among other things. I skip using my borax/washing soda/oxyclean laundry detergent mix for a while. Then one day I decided to wear a shirt I hadn't worn (and therefore hadn't washed) in a while, and BOOM - hives wherever the shirt touched me. It had been washed in the borax mix, and gave me hives again. 

This past weekend I had a busy busy few days. I had to go to St. Paul for a homeschool convention. First of all, I don't LOVE the cities. (Except the view, from a distance LOL). It is interesting to look at but I hate driving down there, I get lost in new places, and in the cities its always new because of constant non stop road construction. And St. Paul isn't a town I've been in more than once (maybe). So I was nervous. I am grateful for that whole phone has GPS thing, because she just tells me exactly where to go and be on the road, and that is helpful. 

Friday I met my niece at Como so she could watch my kids while I was at the conference. Figuring I had such good parking, and I hate driving down there, I though, "well, lets just take the bus!" 


What I learned after getting on the bus and going all the way to Minneapolis and back to the same bus stop again was that I got on the bus on the wrong side of the road. That's all I did wrong, but it took forever, and a bus switch at "the end" to get there. Then on the way back, I got on 3b instead of 3a, and ended up on Front Ave instead of Como/Horton. So I had to get off at Snelling and walk toward Como from there some 8 blocks. And this entire trip back I was wrestling with my purchased curriculum and other helps, in bags that were heavy and ripping! I had my brother go to the bus stop I got on the bus at there, but then found out I was way down the street so I had him start walking my way while I struggled his way. At some point his gf went and got her car, and picked us up which rocked. Got back to the zoo where the kids and niece were waiting and was completely and totally overwhelmed and exhausted. And starting to get some real nice hives, especially where the bags had been hanging on me. 

That night was exhausting and full of hives. Ice was my friend. 

The next day went a lot smoother, a friend who was watching the kids that day drove us down there and they went right across the street to the Science Museum while I was at the conference. I didn't have to buy anything but found a few more helps so I had a few more things. The day went well, no bumps in the road, even lots of extra time and a great lunch. Lost my water bottle, but found it right away at the first vendor I thought to look at. Since we were parked right across the street it wasn't much of a walk to get to the car, and boom, it was no problem getting out of town either. And believe me, I drove almost directly home only stopping once to eat something and use the restroom, and B-girl slept the entire drive. Hives were bad all the way home. 

I was so bummed because they had been good for the past 3 months, only showing up to tell me it was that time of the month, and going away after that. I had a good 2-3 weeks of no hives there for a while! Now I was going home to my cats, where supposedly I assumed they would only get worse. 

Want to know something funny? They didn't get worse. In fact they got better and they're pretty much gone today. 

So, are the cats really bothering me? Is it because theres grass growing in the cities and not here, and what happens, then, when our grass starts growing? Is it just stress that brings them on? Was it laundry soap used on our sheets in the hotel, or the whole pressure hives from the bags I hauled? Or heat? 

Things I guess there aren't any answers to. 

In the mix of all this, I lost some things, I know for sure of one item and a receipt, so I have some contacting to do yet today on that. So maybe stress really was killing me? Maybe stress is all it is that brings them on in the first place? And how on earth am I going to stop these hives from happening every single time I have to do something or go somewhere?

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