Thursday, August 6, 2009


I am not allergic to anything. Really. I have no food allergies, no skin allergies. I am not allergic to poison ivy. Apparently chicken pox and I can live in perfect harmony without anyone getting sick. I am made of steel. Okay, I have the occasional seasonal allergy. But really, only during my pregnancies have they ever been bad enough to medicate. I am made of steel, I tell you! My body, it is not a wonderland, it is a hard and barren landscape, impenetrable by allergens.

I have hives.

I don't know what happened to me, but I have hives. It could be my nerves. It could be my thyroid medication, or it could be my stupid new, fabulously great laundry detergent. (Note that I am nearly sure that's what it is, and even if I had more doubts, I would be sure, because I loved it so that I cannot possibly continue using it.)

The last two days (sorry for the lack of entries, by the way) were utter hell. The hives were worst on my hands (still are) and that made, well, everything painful, itchy and miserable. I also have them on my neck, my forearms, the backs of my thighs, my knees, my ankles and inside the folds of my ear. Hives suck.

I'm not sure I ever gave hives their due respect. I always knew they weren't fun, but I never expected them to be like this. The swelling! If I could ignore the itching, the swelling would still be sending me over the deep end. Stupid, swelling misery.

So, I turned 31 on Monday. Monday. It already seems like a month ago. But whatever. 30 didn't bother me. I didn't mind 30 so much. I mean, 30. Whatever. I'm still young, I'm still tragically unhip, but in a kind of hip way. I still wear torn jeans on the weekends and never wear makeup and I still have a purse in my closet with a dog on it. Okay, I rarely carry it, but I still HAVE it, is my point here.

31. Not so much. Now, I'm not 30. I'm OVER 30, and apparently my body is falling apart. I have these diseases and my memory's shot and now my steel body has a chink. A chink that has allowed hives in. Damn chink.

My jeans no longer have holes. I have that one pair with the cuffs ripped off and fraying, but that's kinda too little too late. My music is on the oldies stations. And yesterday I spent a half hour trying to explain to a college student (our intern) why it wasn't creepy that Pearl Jam had a song about someone committing suicide in school. I had to explain that back in the day, people sang about what was going on in the world, rather than just singing nonstop about sex and fashion and drugs. Okay, we had songs about sex and fashion and drugs, but there was this relevant stuff in there too. Also, explaining that this was pre-Columbine, so everyone had a sort of naivete about guns and school. Anyway, that's sort of a post for another day.

My point is I am freakin' old. Falling apart, listening to oldies, wearing un-torn clothes, thinking about giving that dog purse to Brynna old. Pity me.


Cindy S. said...

Sorry about the hives...ick! I had no trouble turning 30 either, but 31 bothered me. I mean, I was officially "thirty something." A few weeks ago I turned 32 (didn't realize I was older than you). Now I'm REALLY old.

Happy belated birthday and I hope you feel better soon!

Suze said...

Oh ick! I had some serious hives for about 24 hours a week after I found out I was preggo with Anya. it was really weird (and pretty miserable). I hope they clear up soon.

And I'm sending you lots of pity. I'll be 31 in a mere few months and I feel old, too.

Anonymous said...

Warning: the longest comment ever. I promise I tried to copy and paste it onto my own blog, but it wouldn't budge. So, you don't have to read it if you don't want to. Pretend it's a post on my blog and not a comment on yours. (though it is a ocmment on yours)

I don't remember ever dreading a birthday before, especially not the thirty birthday. I was kind of proud to turn thirty. But today I was thinking the same things about turning thirty-one (one more month for me). I mean, without all the realizations about what made me older (jeans, etc). I don't know if I've ever had cool jeans, at least not when they were cool jeans. The jeans I have now might have been cool when we were in high school, or even when I was in college, but they're not cool now. And they're my only pair. I don't have anything else denim, except a jacket. Sorry--totally not the point. Point is, I've never had cool fashion, (maybe one pair of shoes in high school, but somebody else picked them out), but still I felt young. I still feel young, but I am beginning to doubt that I am young. I remember the time in college when I started to feel like the non-traditional student that I was, but my age didn't bother me, per se, just that all my friends were gone, and that i didn't have any interest in making friends with those kids that were still there. But today, sitting at Ben and Jerry's eating ice cream, thinking about my birthday, I felt like I was about to become old. (And, no, I don't think it was ironic that I was eating ice cream as I thought this, because there were at least two gray-haired ladies there while I was there.

But then tonight in my water aerobics class, I heard a lady saying that she was "trying a new color, stainless steel" and that she wasn't going to go natural, because she was in her fifties, and that she wasn't going to go natural until she was at least 70. Well, I'm graying, adn I love it, so that made me feel a little younger, or maybe at least a little more jubilant about becoming older.


Anonymous said...

Oh. I'm so sorry you have hives, by the way. I'm super healthy, myself, except for a few detergent allergies, and the occasional sensitivity to hot water. I really like Kirkland's brand free and clear detergent. It's at Costco. I don't get to buy it much because we don't have a card. But if you get an in, you should try it. It works awesomely well for general purposes of laundering and also super well at removing stains. (Just rub a little in before you wash.) It's the best laundry stain remover I've ever tried. Anyway, point is, it doesn't irritate my skin at all and it works super well and I hope you find something equally wonderful. (In my experience, All free and clear doesn't irritate, but doesn't remove stains, either.)


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

So, does the fact that I'm getting ready to turn 33 make me the ultimate queen of oldiness here? I think it does. I too am going gray, and while on some levels it freaks me, on others I'm stoked about it. But that's fodder for a blog post sometime.

I hesitate to think it is the laundry detergent giving you hives, because you have hives in places where your clothes do not touch you (you don't wear clothes inside your ears, and - unless you wear gloves 24/7 - you don't currently wear clothes on your hands). Jamie has had hives all over his body before - I literally watched them climb up his arms on the way to the hospital. His doctor told me he seriously doubted it was from the laundry detergent or clothing because his hives were spreading in areas where his clothes were not touching him. Then again, each person is different. Who knows? My point is, you should probably go see a doctor if your hives have lasted all this time. Usually, they come and go quickly with repeated dosings of Benadryl.

Jessi said...

Jenn - I was running vacation Bible school when I broke out and I kept sticking my hands in and out of my pockets to check the time on my cell phone. I probably did it about 12-15 a night. I think that's why they are on my hands. I'm not so sure about my ear, but that one was also the first one to go away, so I don't know.

My mom thinks it might be the thyroid medicine, but I've been on it for a month and that just seems unlikely. My nerves have certainly been in overdrive for a couple of weeks, so it could be that. The only other option I have is that my mother-in-law (nurse) said that since I now have auto-immune diseases, I could essentially be having an allergic reaction to my own blood. Seeing as how it's getting better, I don't buy it.

Also, Jenn, you shouldn't feel old just because I do. I've been getting old since I was 13. It's just who I am.

Jamie Roberts said...

I'll ignore all the comments about gray hair=old considering i was gray in high school. unless you count the whole "old soul" thing in there....jessi-didn't you used to get some sort of hives when we were growing up? when i first started reading i thought you were going to talk about when you would break out in those red splotches on your neck.

as far a laundry soap, erin is allergic to the entire world pretty much, but she is able to tolerate all free and clear.

hope the hives clear up, i know that can be miserable. i wouldn't think that medicine could cause such a reaction a month after taking it. if you just got the med refilled and the pill is a different color, that could be a problem. I broke out once from prilosec because of the purple dye used in the capsule.

good luck :)

Jessi said...

Jamie - That's what I was thinking too about the meds. They reduced my dosage, so I'm still using the first bottle and I just don't see why that would have caused it. It's all gone now. I have one still on the palm of my hand, but it's clearing up. When I was little, I had Urticaria Pigmentosa, which caused the splotches on my neck and trunk. It also made me get weals when I was scratched, but I don't remember ever having hives. Although, I was trying to find it online and found out that it causes random hives, so maybe I did and just blocked them.

Hives said...

Hives is also called nettle rash or Utricaria. It is a skin disease which is very itchy with red patches. It is caused by flea bites, usually from fleas on domesticated animals like cats, dogs or wearing ill fitting clothes or reaction to certain animal forms or excessive sweating. One can get relief from itchiness by applying calamine lotion, aloe Vera based creams, ice packs and frequent showering, swimming in pool will help a lot.