6 Jan, 2016

I am writing this completely frustrated. It’s the kind of frustration that itches on your insides and makes it hard to be sweet or kind or patient, the way I want to be. It makes me want to rail and scream and SCRATCH.

I think sometimes it’s hard to be honest about yourself to everyone but sometimes it’s hard to be honest to yourself too. I follow this blog pretty closely and when she came out to her rather large readership about her health issues I was really sad for her but also glad that she opened up about the process and all of the ways it was impacting her. It was interesting to read and made me think about my health in a new way and, I don’t know, made me feel connected? Empathy is a big thing.

And now i have a weird situation, nowhere near as serious as hers, but I am experiencing some similar emotional stuff. During our wedding week I started to get hives. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evening, sometimes in the middle of the day. Sometimes big hives on my upper thighs and back, sometimes small itchy bumps on my scalp and neck and behind my knees. I chalked it up to stress, felt otherwise healthy, and dealt with it. They would go away after short periods of time with no medication. If I woke up with a swollen lip and didn’t want to risk showing up at work with it I would take a generic allergy pill and it would be gone.

Well, the hives have persisted. Not just persisted, they’ve gotten worse. For the past three and a half months I have been getting hives almost daily. I tried an elimination diet for one month where I ate solely fruits and vegetables and drank only water while I paid close attention to my reactions to see if diet could be to blame. We cleaned our house because we noticed small mold spots to see if that helped. I went on vacations far away from our home and our climate and still got them. Last week was relatively hive free and, while I could not determine why, I let myself hope that maybe it had passed.

Just now, while in an advising session with a student, I had to excuse myself while I took an allergy pill. The inside of my mouth is swollen up to my teeth, my braline and inner thighs itch like hell, and my scalp is on fire. Plus I have other symptoms. Shitty ones. Seriously body, what’s up? You want to fight?

One of the hardest parts about this whole thing is the 50 questions I endure every day. They are the exact same questions you want to ask me right now. “Why does that happen?”  “Have you seen a doctor” Have you gotten an allergy test?” “Have you tried not eating gluten, my friend has a gluten allergy and gets hives” “Have you tried eating a whole garlic clove on an empty stomach? It destroys the bacteria in your body” ad nauseum. I know you are being concerned and it’s actually really nice that you want to help but I have these conversations several times a week, or anytime that someone asks me “How are you?” at the wrong time of day. And then people want updates. “Feeling any better?” “Oh I read this, have you tried this?” You are kind but I am exhausted and really really itchy and scared that they’ll never go away.

The other hardest part is that I have to go work with swollen lips and eyes sometimes because I can’t miss that many days of work. It’s kind of embarrassing.

I want my blog to be an honest reflection of me and what I’m going through and this is a big part of it right now. Allergy pills and pills to deal with what I hope are related symptoms and stressing about doctors and stuff.

<3 Jessa

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