I Have Been Very Sick With Acute Urticaria (Hives) And This Is What I Have Learnt

15 August, 2011

Hello blog… Sorry I haven’t updated you in a while, I have just been so sick for the last 2 weeks! I’m sick, stressed, tired and frustrated, and I just want things to go back to normal again.

This is what has happened:

– High fever
– Easy bruising

– Rash develops over parts of body. I see a GP twice in the week, both give me anti-histamines and steroid cream.
– High fever again.
– Woke up the next day and could not walk/bend my left leg. Immense pain in left knee joint.
– Am rushed to Raffles Hospital A&E, they don’t know what’s wrong with me.
– Referred to Raffles skin specialist. Had 4 blood tests done, anti-bacterial injections and more or less the same medicine given.
– Rash gets worse and spreads across body

– Booked an appointment and am examined by the National Skin Center
– They give me lots of medicine (anti-histamines, steroids and steroid cream) and it gets better

Diagnosis: Acute urticaria, aka hives. Severe/serious stage.

Why it has happened: There is no hard and fast explanation yet, but the specialist I saw says that it is *likely* from a viral infection, commonly from patients who have just come off bouts of high fever like I did, traumatic life events and immense stress. (After my many sleepless itch-filled nights, I stumbled into the doctor’s office, plonked down on the patient chair and eagerly asked if I could take my clothes off so he could tell me what was wrong with me and how I could get better. I think I looked like I was going to cry.)

What to do: Anti-itch medicines like antihistamines and anti-itch creams are best to combat this craziness. Doctors keep giving me steroid creams, they tell me it is bad for me, and it does not seem to help my itch, but I’m an obedient patient so I’m continuing my usage of it.

TIPS FROM OTHERS AND TRICKS FROM ME: There are all sorts of myths and theories about allergies, hives and rashes, and here are my two cents about them.

You can only get an allergic reaction to something new: Not true! You can be allergic to anything, from anyone, anytime. You can have an allergy to something new, or develop an allergy to something you think you are used to. Like, strawberries for example.

(Doesn’t this look so harmless? Evil strawberries.)

This allergy may also be one-off – meaning that you have ONE reaction to it but no further reactions if you eat the same thing again.

If you really want to know what you are allergic to, this can be quite difficult to find out – but a doctor can run some tests on you and for you.

Scratching will make your rash worse: True! Scratching can also cause scarring, or infections if there is an open wound. Don’t scratch. Also easier said than done. (Read more tips below..)

Showering in hot water will help you lessen the itch: This could not be more wrong! I learnt this the itchy way. Hot water stimulates the blood in your blood vessels, and can aggravate your itch.

Don’t shower: Someone told me not to shower, because your body has natural oils to protect itself and everytime you use man-made products, soap, or even water, you are washing your body’s natural oils and protection away. Yeah, maybe, I don’t know about that.

Cool or cold water: Is good. Touch your rashes – it probably feels a bit warm or hot to the touch. You need to cool your skin down… Cold applications are great because cold and itch travel along the same nerve fibers, and so the use of cold applications can “jam the circuits” and deaden itch.

I try not to scratch my itches. I even sit on my hands sometimes. I stay out of the sun, stay indoors in aircon rooms, have had cold compresses/clean cold towels placed all over my body, calamine lotion, cool showers, and ice packs placed on the itchy spots of my body.

If you are in as much discomfort as me, I suggest you can do the same. Take an ice bath if you dare!
Thank you to everyone who has shown concern for me and helped offer advice and suggestions on my condition. In desperate itchy times like this, I couldn’t really ask for much else and I really appreciate the love.

I miss gymming, I miss swimming, I miss blading, I miss drinking… I even miss working.

I miss the sun

I miss the sand

I miss my perfect tan

…I just want to be well again.

Dear Jesus, you are in charge of my health and happiness. You are the Lord of healing and I believe that I am healed in your name.

Psalm 103:3-4
“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion”

Luke 4:40
“When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.”

Matthew 8:14-17
“Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.””