The Red Itchy Journey
Last updated: January 2023
When you look back at your journey, how do you feel about the outcome? Does it look better or worse? I'm going to talk about the development of my hives in a number of articles. What methods have I used to live a reasonably normal life? To be less like a tomato, as my daughter puts it.
When I look back to about 2 years ago when my hives started, I cannot be dissatisfied. Because I had not yet found a method that could calm the hives, it was a great challenge to walk around with a normal body. I always looked very red, striped and sometimes even burned.
I have included some pictures of my back and my face with this article.
Hives on my face
In the beginning it was very uncomfortable to have those red stripes on my face.
I was very embarrassed because I looked so sick. Sometimes it looked like someone had hit me hard in the face. What it looked like was completely different from how it felt. When my daughter or my husband looked at me, they thought I looked like I was in a lot of pain. Pain? The only thing that hurt was my heart. But my face felt burning and it itched terribly!!!
It always started with a kind of burning sensation, then at some point it switched to a horrible itchy feeling. It was more like an attack that came unannounced at any moment.
If it's in a place where no one sees it, it's better than if it's in a place where literally everyone can immediately see that something is wrong. When I go to the store with such a red streaky face, 9 out of 10 people look at me with a questioning disturbed face. I see them thinking “what happened to her?”
Your face is a sensitive and vulnerable part of your body.
And hives on my back?
I also had very strange red eruptions on my back. And no, luckily my back couldn't be seen by anyone, because otherwise I wouldn't leave home. On my back it always looked like some cats had been fighting. It's those red eruptions, with thick stripes as if a cat has been scratching my back with her sharp nails.
How does that feel? When I think back to that time when my back was on fire, it's hard to put into words how it feels. It was very difficult to do anything about the itching on my back. I had to ask my daughter or my husband to apply ointment or ice cubes for me. We tried everything to calm my back. Because it is such a large area, it is also much more difficult to control it.
The hives behaved differently on my face than my back. On my face it was a burning itchy feeling. And on my back, it was a constant itchy feeling that I couldn't help at all. I searched for months for a remedy to help me against the itch, but to no avail. Even the Xolair injections didn't help. I have often sat with tears in my eyes at the specialist because I did not know how to proceed.
Distractions always help
Now after a little over 2 years I can say with confidence that my back is doing much better. Those big red spots on my back are gone, and I haven't had a back attack in several months. It's the same with my face. Although I feel like it doesn't erupt as frequently anymore, now I can respond better to the attack when I feel it coming.
I know exactly when a big or small attack is on its way. With a small attack I drink a pill and continue. In case of a major attack, I take a bath, drink 2 pills and then lie down and watch a nice movie. I really try to find a pleasant distraction that makes the itching less bad.
When I have an attack like this, I still feel very tired. I can be really tired all day long, with bags under my eyes, and sometimes also grumpy. Then it feels like my body is fighting something. I try not to control the hives anymore, because that only makes the whole process more frustrating. But I do try to deal with the situation more consciously.
How well do you feel you manage your chronic hives?