Pink Panther [6-19-08]

1 Jan

But not as cool.

Background:  It is my policy to abstain from using the air conditioning both in my car and apartment.  I figure that I would rather use excess heat in the winter, so I need to make up for it financially in the summer.  Yesterday I had a stressful day at work.  As I was watching TV I had the sliding glass door open and I found later there is a slight crack where the screen gaps.  This didn’t seem like a big deal when I found it.  I fell asleep anxious and dreaming.  I tell you these mundane details because they come into play later..

I wake up severely anxious and itching all over my legs, arms, neck, and torso. Itching horribly!  I stumble to the bathroom and see a billion mosquito bites! Pink 1.  Some mosquito must have come in the gap in the screen and literally must have bit me repeatedly a billion times.  You know how cellulite looks?  That is what my hands, arms, legs, neck, and torso looked—bumpy like that, only red and itchy.  I was bad off.

I slathered calamine lotion (pink 2) over the majority of my body because I didn’t have Benadryl (pink 3) in the house.  I still couldn’t stop scratching, so I put on a long sleeve shirt and socks on my hands.  Then, I was convinced the mosquito-devil was still in my apartment ready to bite some more.  In my frenzy and paranoia, I decided to create a wind tunnel and put the fan on high to ward away any insects.  Then, I turned on a lamp so I would not be the only hot, bright attraction for the monster-bug.

I woke up in the morning and my skin was completely better.  No visible bug-bites at all!  I thought I just had some kind of freak-out anxiety attack and must have imagined the multitude of red (or pink, if you will) bites all over my body. My belly, however, was not fairing so well.  I had to drink my entire bottle of pepto bismal (pink 4) over the morning.  I was starving, but couldn’t eat the entire day!

At night, my belly started feeling better, and I drifted off to sleep. . .  Only to wake up later in the same state as the night before! Red, itchy bumps covered my neck, arms, hands, torso, and legs.  Pink 5, in case you were wondering.  I was also very anxious!  Pink 5 (6 for those keeping track).  Those that know me realize it takes a lot to get me out of the house once I have my PJ’s on.  I went to Wal-Mart to buy Benadryl after sleeping—that’s how bad off I was.

I took the medicine (pink 7) and iced my mosquito bites, but wondered what I should do.  The mosquito was obviously still in my apartment and biting me!  Should I change my bedding?  Look for the bastard bug?  I thought I would search my symptoms online to see what kind of allergic reaction I’d had and what to do.  I found out that “bug bites” that come on suddenly then disappear or move location was actually hives.  These were not mosquito bites, I had hives from my allergy to insect bites.  That’s why the red bumps came, went away, made my belly sick, then came back along with anxiety.

So I’m sitting here (sick of pink) waiting for my antihistamine to kick in and trying not to scratch.

 

UPDATE:

Thursday night I was all about prevention.  I was all empowered by knowledge of what was going on and took cimetidine to calm the belly and 2 benadryl to calm the skin before going to sleep.  I thought this would solve all my problems.  Not so much.

I woke up with hives on the right foot, left elbow, neck and. . .  face.  I had less hives, but had gained a bonus symptom–facial swelling.  Along with the hives, I had the lips of Angelina Jolie.  Not exactly what I wanted.

When I got up in the morning, the hives were gone as usual, but my lips were even larger.  To the extent I couldn’t purse them or even close them all the way–not good.  I was going to call in sick to work, but realized that would leave only 2 people to walk dogs–not awesome.  So I went to work, thinking they could give me steroids to help my obvious systemic reaction.

I asked for pred and was told it was too risky.  They didn’t know how I would react.  The doctors also knew they didn’t want me going home and leaving them short though so they told me if I walked dogs they would call the health center for me.  I finished walking with my big, puffy face and went to see a doctor. . .  Who subsequently told me I had hives.

He said I was too small to be taking 2 Benadryl (especially if it wasn’t helping) and too small for an injection of cortosol.  He perscribed cortosol pills, zymox, and rinitidine for my sick stomach, and I felt much better when I went back to work!

The end–unless I wake up with hives or swelling again tonight–hope not!

 

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