Urticaria: WTF?

School holidays really are the gift that keeps on giving, aren’t they?

Usually, they gift me with a two week long migraine and empty pockets.  But this time, before I get any of that joy, I have been given the gift of Urticaria.

Or, for us non-medical folk: hives.

Hives.  Sounds innocuous, right? Maybe even conjures up the image of a group of sweet little honey bees buzzing around in their beehive, hard at work for their queen.

Now imagine those bees are buzzing around under your skin, tattooing you from the inside.

Hold that thought.

Do you remember your teenage years when you lathered yourself with a little too much Coppertone (dark bronze, SPF minus 50), and stayed out in the sun for a little too long?

The memory is literally burned into your brain, right?

Now.  Mash the two images together. Imagine your skin feeling completely fried, burning and stinging, but also itchy as fuck.

You’re cringing now, aren’t you?

I haven’t even mentioned that the hives are also on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet.  Or the fact that your wonderful, diligent, organised brain can’t cope with the mindfuckery of the pain and the burning and the stinging so it sends in reinforcements…which makes the skin swollen.

At this point in my happy little tale, I feel we need a public service announcement for the GP’s, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants who are loyal followers of my writings.  (I know who you are).

The next time you encounter an unfortunate soul who has hives, this is what you should not say:

“Don’t worry, it’s not Measles.  Just hives.  Nothing serious.”.

JUST hives.  Nothing SERIOUS.

Honey, I will JUST seriously stab you in the face with a fork, my nerves are that on edge.  That is, if my stubby little swollen, itchy, burning fingers can hold a fork long enough for me to hobble over to you on the swollen stubs that are currently painful excuses for feet.

What else should you NOT say to a person with JUST hives?

How about: “gee, that looks itchy.”

Thank you Captain fucking obvious for such witty repartee.

Or: “Try this cream.  It SHOULD help”.

Should? SHOULD? No.  I am now on day 3 of wanting to peel my skin from my body, a la John Travolta and Nicholas Cage in Face Off.  You had better give me a tried and tested remedy or I will jump over that counter and rip YOUR face off.

Oh, and do you remember the psycho in Silence Of The Lambs who stitched a full outfit made of human skin? If you even think of using me as a guinea pig for a new lotion you are giving me because you get generous kickbacks from some pharmaceutical company, don’t be surprised when you end up down a deep fucking well, obediently “rubbing the lotion into one’s skin”, while I am upstairs, surrounded by butterflies, spooling the thread into the sewing machine……

While on the topic of psychopathic stalkers, I have never identified with that crazy hives guy in There’s Something About Mary as much as I have the last three days.  You see, when Mary was stringing him along, it triggered him, a traumatic reminder of his doctor informing him she doesn’t know how long the hives will last, but it is possibly up to six weeks.

Six weeks?  Christ on a cracker, if I survive a week I will be organising my own ticker tape parade down the middle of Rundle Mall.

You may need to send wine.  And chocolate.  And a pallet load of Pinetarsol, as well as some kick arse painkillers.

On second thoughts, maybe all I should do is watch reruns of the Barnaby Joyce 60 Minutes interview, or the current season of Love Island and I will be so brain dead I will be oblivious to the pain……..

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