No Easy Answers

Over the last few months, I’ve been breaking out in hives, and occasionally my lips and other parts of my face would swell up. The worst happened a few weeks ago when I woke up at 2am with a swelled face and tongue. I took some antihistamine and made sure my breathing stayed normal. The medication worked, and the swelling had gone down to almost normal by morning.

I finally saw an allergist and got an allergy test done. If anyone’s ever had one, you know how awful they are. For those who don’t know, you lie on your stomach as they place liquid allergens in a grid on the back and then scratch the skin. You lie there for fifteen minutes while the body reacts (or not) to each one. And you can’t move or scratch the itchy areas.

But if the test showed what I was reacting to, I would happily submit. I had one once almost 20 years ago, so I knew what to expect.

They tested me for trees, grasses, molds and foods such as shrimp, wheat, rye, soy and a variety of nuts.

Turns out I’m allergic to fewer things than when I had the first test done. I used to be allergic to a bunch of molds, now I’m allergic to none. I also have zero food allergies. Just trees and grasses.

You’d think I’d be happy, right. No! They were unable to find what’s causing the hives and face swelling. They did recommend taking Zyrtec and gave me a prescription for EpiPens. I didn’t like it, because they only treat the symptoms. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping a diary of everything I’m exposed to, including food when I get hives/swelling. So much for easy and quick solutions.

On the other hand, it could be more a physical response to certain stresses in my life including my mom’s death two months ago and not having the motivation to submit my novel to agents/publishers.

Time will tell.

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