Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sorry - Another Hives Update

This is 3 1/2 weeks into my hives. I went to a doctor and really did confirm that they are hives, but she said it sounds like it doesn't have a cause. She prescribed some medication that should "supress and reset" my system. Unfortunately, my insurance (while great) won't cover antihistimines becuase there are so many similar over-the-counter ones and the prescription was going to be $180 for one month. SO here is the low-down, in case anyone else ever gets hives:

1st: I took something with Loratadine in it (the ingredient in Claritin). That worked for a week, and then they came back.

2nd: After talking to the dermatologist and Russ's brother we got something with Cetirizine in it (the ingredient in Zyrtec and in Xyzal - what the dermatologist was going to give me). I've taken double the dose of that for 2 days now and there has been little to no change in the hives, but they itch now and they didn't with the loratadine.

What I do know is that even though I'm taking it and nothing is happening, it's better than if I took nothing at all. I didn't take ANYTHING for about 24 hours on the day I went to the dermatologist (in case she gave me something then and there) and THIS is what I looked like:

My lower thigh and calf. I drew circles around them to see how they changed during the day. By the way, on that one side of my thigh, there were 40 hives of various sizes (as you can see)

I believe that on that day, at least 20% of my overall skin was covered. I wore long sleeves and pants to school, but it was really uncomfortable. I took another picture that night, but these pictures aren't exactly glamor shots so I don't think I'll add anymore. But you could tell that some stayed there, some went away, and new ones appeared. However, the good news is that I did take a pill that day and at least they got lighter.

SO I think now I am going to finish out those new pills I got over-the-counter to get my money's worth out of them and if things don't clear up, march back to the dermatologist and ask for something stronger. All I have to say is that if this over-the-counter knock off of the $180 drug isn't doing a thing, I'm glad I didn't pay $180 because what if THAT didn't work either?

Hives are so annoying, so gross, sometimes itchy, getting expensive, and starting to affect my self esteem, actually. It's not that attractive to wake up in the morning and wonder where your new spots will be. Lately they like to be on my face and fingers (in addition to LITERALLY everywhere else), which makes my fingers swell up and my face have big red splotches.

Please pray for me! :(


Jason and Lissa said...

That is so strange. How can the doc not know what's causing it? Isn't there a test they can do? That way you know what to avoid!

Elaine said...

Outlining the spots really emphasizes them, that's for sure!
What a drag to have a health problem that makes you miserable and uncomfortable, but not enough to stay at home in bed and take the day off.

Brit and Steve said...

Adri I'm so sorry!! March back in and demand a steroid. Preferrably prednisone. What finally made mine better is zyrtec twice a day and prednisone...but it still takes a few days. Oatmeal baths and blasting cold water at the end of my showers helped the itching. Heat will make them more itchy. Hives happen for all kinds of reasons so doctors just write it off most of the time as an unknown cause. Occasionally it can be something different, but they'd have to biopsy it (take a sample of it) to know for sure. What was your 180 dollar prescription for?!

Jamie Ward said...

I think it's funny you went through and carefully stenciled around each hive, but I feel for you.