I broke out with a pretty annoying case of hives Monday morning. I woke up itchy thinking the blanket I had been using was actually a cancer magnet so I set about burning it in the backyard. Before the day was over, my skin had erupted into a patchy network of angry welts. Seriously, it was so bad on my back that it looked like I was to grow wings. Imagine life LIKE THIS:
I should stop posting baby pictures.
Anyways, I came home Monday night and all of my roommates told me to go to the hospital, which was the last thing I wanted to do. It was kind of funny because when I took my shirt off they got really uncomfortable and anxious and all of a sudden they started to itch. Psychology is funny. Next time I have the stomach virus I'm going to invite all of them into the living room and throw up everywhere and see if anyone else follows my lead.
It was around 11 PM when I went to the ER. I remember after checking in, I sat there thinking that I have only ever been to the ER for failed suicide attempts or for skin conditions (twice for the former, once for the latter when I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic). The doctor confirmed that it was indeed hives and asked me all the typical questions before giving me a choice between taking steroids or being hooked up to an IV. I still had hospital bills lingering around from my last visit so I said whatever was cheaper. "Steroids it is," he said.
Well, they didn't work. They gave me Prednizone and I went home to sleep, except sleep had other plans for me. I spent half the night peeling off the first 6 layers of skin from my legs in fits of frenzied scratching, resulting in maybe a collective 20 minutes of sleep. I called in sick to work and hoped for the best the next day.
It got worse. The steroids did basically nothing and I picked up some anti-itch cream which basically worked for the first 11 seconds of skin contact. It was infuriating. Every time I doused an area, the hives would KNOW and disappear and relocate elsewhere on my body, twice as pissed. It had started on my back and face, then moved to my abdomen and legs. It was traveling up and down my body, never sitting still. My every thought looked like this:
By last night, my feet and hands were cherry red and I contemplated amputating them before further insanity set in, but instead I took 5 Melatonin, spammed my body in anti-itch cream and tried to sleep. I contorted and imagined punching small mammals for the duration of the night. My fits were only interrupted by 5 minute intervals of trying to breathe calmly followed by me telling myself that I'll only be able to sleep if I chilled out and sat still. THAT DIDN'T WORK.
I shoved myself out of bed in anger, choked down some more steroids, and drove to the ER again. Only this time, it was 2 AM in the morning. The check-in nurse and the doctor both remembered me, saying something to the effect of "Didn't work, huh?" I'LL SHOW YOU WHAT DIDN'T WORK.
This time, I opted for the IV treatment, which is probably what I should have done the previous night, but all things intravenous kind of freak me out. To make matters worse, the nurse was trying to draw blood from my wrist and was having a hard time of it. He said obtuse things like "I'm just pushing your vein around" and "The hives have made your skin extra tough!" Before I could punch him he succeeded and I watched fluids enter and leave my body, which will forever be the most uncomfortable thing for me to look at.
One shot to the stomach (kill me) later and I was finally able to doze off for a bit for the first time in almost 2 days. There wasn't much to hear beyond the beeping of machines and footsteps shuffling up and down the hall beyond the curtain to my room. Eventually, people were occupying the rooms adjacent to me and that's when I had the realization that I have every time I'm in the hospital.
My problems aren't that big.
The woman to the left of me was wheeled in on one of those fancy paramedic stretchers and carried to a bed where she was hooked up to a breathing machine. The man to the right was with his wife, explaining to the doctor that he collapsed when he went to the bathroom because he couldn't feel his legs. I looked at the bumps slowly subsiding on my arms and sort of felt silly. Before long, I started to freak out a little because they had given me a shot of Epinephrine. My heart seemed to be trying to escape its cage and I pressed the call button. They told me it was normal and that my heart had been tricked into thinking I had just run a marathon. That's when I felt really dumb.
Before long the doctor came back. I told him I was ready to go so they could move on to more important cases. Within the next 10 minutes, I was out. It was after 6 AM and I was off to get some Benadryl and McDonald's.
Needless to say, I missed work for the second day in a row, sleeping from 7 AM to almost 4 in the afternoon today. I sort of feel like a zombie but on the other hand, I have no hives to speak of. The steroids, combined with the IV treatment and amazing Benadryl (how can you not LOVE this stuff??), had done the job of making me feel like a human again. So here I am, hive-free, blogging away and more than ready to hang out with 3 kids tomorrow. It will be nice to get back to it:
My workplace uniform.
I'll be brief about the second half of this post's title. Last night, despite the fact that my skin felt like it was loaded with 6 gallons of fire ant poison, I went to see Coheed and Cambria, along with Russian Circles and Between The Buried And Me. It was a fantastic show, one of the best I've ever been to. No one knew what to do during BTBAM's set. It was funny because the place was packed wall-to-wall with Coheed fanboys/girls. I'm talking grown men and bros.
The best one was the dude immediately to the right of me, who looked like someone who spent all of his time smoking weed and riding ATVs. He kept shouting in his friends' face every time a song started, slurring a sentence of worship for the band fraught with F-bombs. It was funny because his friend clearly was not interested. Then the dude would break into the most intense sessions of air guitar I've ever seen. He wasn't so distracting as to keep me from enjoying the show, but either way it was entertaining.
I picked up a couple of cool shirts and got back after midnight. For those of you interested in the setlists, Coheed's can be found here and BTBAM's here. It was a fun time.
That concludes the retelling of the adventures of the past 2 days. Please...let there be 2 days before there are any more.