Monday, 8 October 2012

Something is going on. Avoid stuff and eat antihistamines

Spend your taxes.

Take my allotted hour in the NHS, locked up in the Hospital Dermatology Department with Doctor Skin. She explains tortoise balloons and I think, I knew that by Googling.

In short, her diagnosis is, Something is going on. Avoid stuff and eat antihistamines.

I knew that by Googling, too. Honestly, the medical profession might be snooty about the untrained patient using Doctor Internet, but to me her medical knowledge has been essential. Through her, I have learned there are literally hundreds of women - hundreds! hundreds! - who are exploding all over Britain every night!

If you do not know about the tortoise balloons, I can tell you. Essentially it is not a search for a fashionable allergic condition that you hope makes you more desirable at middle-aged swinging parties, it is a bizarre experience where your face goes to bed at midnight and wakes up in the morning twice the size. Two days later all your skin drops off.

Angioedema and urticaria (swelling and hives) are not fun, and do not make me interesting. In fact, they make me sodding boring. I mean, invite me to dinner. I'll bring my own rice cakes.

Well, thanks to my late-night burrowing in bloglands, I have learned from the experiences of many far worse afflicted than me. Now at least I am convinced it will pass. As is Doctor Skin. I narrate, on request, the cocktail of blessings and curses that life has shaken (no cherries, no ice), beginning with the spontaneous triplets, the deaths, the hole in the chest where the heart should be, the international relocation (twice), the hypersensitive explosive daughter, the chill wind blowing through my miserable soul, and the funny knee that goes clicketyclickclick.

Doctor Skin says a person's body can react when it enters a period of relative content. I tell her that would make sense, since I mark this period of stability from the funeral of the brother in law who locked himself in the attic.

Now for all other people doing that late-night search on angioedema and urticaria, the most effective approach I have found is to stick to a boring bastard of a low histamine diet with no alcohol so you can take the antihistamines.

PS. The NHS was okay. Thank you very much.


Deb said...

So you are allergic to a non-chaotic environment? That is just bizarre. I prescribe a move to Brazil posthaste.

Alison Sauer said...

You have my sympathies. I had that face thing happen on my fingers when I was 10. And my husband describes me as "difficult to feed" thank you very much.

I have a very good friend who is anaphylactic to garlic, allergic to all onion family foods, peppers, most meat, wheat and dairy (and other stuff I can't remember). Having spent an entire evening trying to find something she can eat in deepest darkest Lincolnshire, I count my blessings...

Iota said...

I googled 'tortoise balloons', and found nothing medical. It was either helium-filled party balloons in the shape of cute tortoises, or the sad story of a turtle, taped to a helium balloon, rescued in California.

I was struck by your phrase about the hole in your chest where your heart should be, and the chill wind in your soul. I hope life is on the up now, and that I'm just hitting a bad phase, flicking backwards through your blog, as I am.