Journey on How I’ve overcome Urticaria
You might be wondering why I’m doing this post. Aren’t you the “Self-Care advocate” mom, others might say?? Well, yes, that’s me! And not that I’m saying it’s normal to have chronic hives but it can happen to anyone.
And like anyone else who has something bad happen to them, I never have wanted to have chronic hives nor wish anyone to have it as well (just to let you know😉).
So, what happened was that one day, I woke up and had hives. Thinking I just ate something or some insect bit me, I ignored it. Only to find out the next day and the next, and the weeks and months would be a morning-hive day for me! Ugh! I’m so glad to have overcome it!
I grew up generally healthy. Aside from my allergic rhinitis, I don’t have any other medical condition and rarely visit doctors except for those routinely dental or medical appointments needed, and of course, how could forget about that 3 pokes I got consecutively as my vaccine for Covid, something we all needed to ride the Pandemic. As far as I can remember, I was only admitted twice, and those were the times I gave birth to my daughters.
So when these “hives” came, I was kinda worried while trying to laugh it off at the same time. What made it not too alarming for me too was that the hives would disappear 4-5 hours after their appearance, hence, why I call them “my morning hives”.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have the utmost respect for doctors and their practice. I’ve got a sister who’s a doctor too. But, as most of us do, we do still have our own opinion on everything and for me, relying on taking meds and following doctor’s orders ONLY isn’t my cup of tea.
Call me stubborn if you want but I can be as open-minded as I can be so I can be healthy again, enjoy eating, and not take any medication. That’s my definition of Self-Care and Uhm…okay, I’m also afraid of needles so I try my best to avoid seeing them.🤭
FIRST LESSON LEARNED: MEDICATION
Anyways, as most of us would do, I still went to see a General Practitioner (GP) after much urge from my hubby and sister who’s a doctor based in the Philippines. The doctor gave me some antihistamine and anti-itch lotion. Of course, it worked! haha…No more hives the next day! And as per my usual self who isn’t too medicine-keen, yes, I didn’t finish the subscribed meds as instructed. When I saw the hives were gone the following day, I simply stopped taking meds.
WRONG! It was only after my 2nd visit to the GP and a bit of research did I learned that when you stop taking the subscribed meds, what was supposed to be a healing process done by the meds given was simply put to waste. There’s a reason why you’re supposed to take the meds for a week or two. It is for your body to get rid of whatever that is before getting back to normality. Ditching meds is like taking the meds subscribed by only half of the dosage needed.
What was supposed to heal me initially made my system messed up because of how I was taking the subscribed meds. 😒 My bad! Well, I didn’t know that and now learned my lesson. haha.
Anyways, I went for the nth time to the GP last May and was surprised how much I’ve been neglecting my hives. What I thought was just months of having it turned out to be almost a year of neglect already.
And because of that, instead of just giving me medication, the doctor diagnosed me with Urticaria and gave me a recommendation letter for my visit to the National Skin Center (NSC) to have more tests to confirm and solve the skin issue I’m having.
I couldn’t hide my distraught on what I thought was something that would simply go away turned out to be something “chronic”. And if you’re a Filipino like me, this skin disease, Urticaria, wouldn’t be too new to you as you’ve probably heard it from Kris Aquino. How could hives be this serious that I needed to be recommended to a specialist? (Remember, I’m not that keen on seeing doctors)
Worst was the procrastination I was dealing with inside me. It’s not that I do not have time to see a doctor and focus much on my medication but simply, I thought it would just vanish one day. I just didn’t do my part. Haist!
SECOND LESSON LEARNED: BE RESPONSIBLE
I’m an optimistic person and sometimes it can be too much that hinders me also in accepting the truth of what is reality. Seeing the good things in life isn’t how problems are solved, it is by facing them, then reaping the success of solving the problem that makes you happy and therefore, think optimistically about life. That’s how it should be done.
What happened to me was that I was being too optimistic that it will simply go away, depending only on my mind to solve the problem without making any action on it. I even saw some comments online that they too had chronic hives after they had their Moderna Booster Shot which added to my self-assurance that this isn’t just me who’s having and it will just pass. Another aha moment at that time for me.
Looking back, all I see was a procrastinating lady who tries to hide her sorrows through her optimism. I knew I wasn’t keen on taking meds and visiting the doctor and though was open-minded about trying other stuff that could heal me…..yet, it still took so long for me to take action. Take note, when I say long, I mean months and months-long (almost a year!).
And why am I not ashamed of saying that? It’s because I want to portray what reality is. We are all human and though I am a Self-Care advocate when things get messed up, I also turn out to be a messed-up person. It always depends on how we choose to react to it. It may take time to realize it but progress is still progress. That’s all that matters.
After months and months of agonizing about these “hives”, I’ve come to my senses and knew I needed to take action and take responsibility for something to change. After days of research, I found out about the first mistake I did about the meds (see FIRST LESSON LEARNED if you skipped that part), I started to understand how important making a food diary is, and learned more about histamines.
Learning about histamine was a big eye-opener for me. As a person who hated anything related to science (hence, my degree in Finance. haha), I was amazed at myself for having that surge of interest in reading about it.
With it, I learned that as our body changes its appearance (yes, as we grow), same as our system does. If outgrowing allergies can happen, so do allergies emerge as you get older. Yes, it is what you think of….you can’t be allergic to coffee in your younger years but develop allergies from it (or so trigger some allergies) in your late 30s!🤯
I’M ALLERGIC TO COFFEE AND TOMATOES!!!
Even while I was writing those words now made me wonder in disbelief. I’m not sure how it emerged or why. Imagine, I was one of those working on nightshift in my early 20s drinking coffee as if it were water to survive the night. This lessened when I shifted jobs and moved here to Singapore where I happily drink my usual morning coffee to wake my spirits every morning.
So you can only imagine this avid coffee drinker, actually drowning herself from something causing her the hives, anxiety, and mood swings that affected her lifestyle and the way she manages her household.
Even my two daughters were telling me, then how will you keep yourself awake?! hahaha.As I’ve told them once that coffee keeps me awake when they got curious about why I love drinking coffee despite its aroma (or as the term they use “funky smell”)
Do your part. Thinking of ways to solve problems or issues not only within yourself but in life, in general, would make no difference. Using those thoughts and putting them into action, will.
And while I may not have medical proof that my Urticaria has been cured, having found the culprit on my diet that triggers my hives is good enough for me.
If you told me that making a food diary instead of relying on my mental ability and checking out the histamine would heal me in less than a month, then I could have done that immediately. Life unfortunately doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, we need to go through shit to learn.
When I say learn, I mean deeply to learn that you even get to embrace and appreciate the journey you’ve been through to be that “wiser” person you are now.
Have you been experiencing chronic hives too? You might want to try