While Odel has been (and continues to) making great progress on his recovery, I am a mess, battling what appears to be an allergic reaction for the past three weeks. I don't remember ever having an allergic reaction before, but this one is a doozy and today is the worst it has ever been. Though I had decided not to mention it on the blog, I’ve changed my mind in hopes that a reader might have a suggestion that could help.
My skin around my eyes, my lips, and the skin around my lips itches like crazy. It is somewhat raw, and very swollen. The only relief from the itching comes from keeping it greased up with Aquaphor, though I have tried many different potential treatments. Sometimes my tongue tingles (itches), too.
I have none of the classic hay fever symptoms. No stuffiness, no congestion. My eyeballs themselves are fine, except that the greasy Aquaphor occasionally blurs my vision.
It is spring there in Sacramento, so there is a LOT of pollen in the air. These symptoms began around three weeks ago, then worsened considerably on Monday when the wind blew quite strongly and I spent about half an hour outside. It has been very dry and windy here since then, so I have stayed indoors as much possible. Yesterday I vacuumed and dusted, and we have been keeping all the windows tightly closed. I changed the pillowcases on the bed, too - yet my eyes were almost completely swollen shut this morning - by far the worst they have been. My lips feel about double their size (though they look pretty normal, just very pink and chapped all around the edges). My stomach feels a little upset, and more parts of my skin seem a little itchy - but maybe that is just my overactive imagination.
As chance would have it, I had appointments set up with both my ophthalmologist and my primary care doctor when this was getting underway. The eye doc gave me anti-allergy eye drops; my primary care physician recommended Allerga. Neither has made any difference - things just keep getting worse. Benedryl doesn’t seem to do much, either (make that “doesn’t do anything”).
Although it seems like pollen might be the culprit, I wonder if it is a food allergy. I've been writing down things I can think of that might have brought it on, and have eliminated a few things from my diet totally, to no obvious effect - almond milk, almonds, soymilk, red wine... right now, I am wondering about wheat, another total shot in the dark (but we had whole wheat pasta for dinner last night).
It is always worst in the morning, whether that is because I have had my eyelids closed for a long time or ??? - I don't know. Due to itching, I get up around 4 am to bathe my eyes in cool water and reapply Aquaphor. At that point, when all the Aquaphor I applied before bed has been absorbed, the skin in the folds of my eyelids is dry and scaly, very sensitive to the touch and itchy. Tonight I am going to sleep on the couch, not using my normal pillow, to see if that makes any difference. I am really getting desperate to find a solution.
If Odel didn't need to be here for his knee, we would fire up the engine and move out of the Sacramento valley, but that isn't in the cards for another couple of weeks. For now, I use cold compresses, Aquaphor, and Allegra, and remember all the folks I know who have far more significant problems than I do… but my inability to figure out what’s going on or how to improve the situation is driving me crazy. :( If anything occurs to you after reading all of this, suggestions are welcome!
Fortunately, Odel continues to do VERY well.