In my Lovely Deseret

November 19, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 10:57 pm   Category: Life

In my last post I talked about how I didn’t feel like writing so much lately because I was so busy, and how I felt weird about acquaintances reading my blog, and ya da ya da ya da.

Well, I wasn’t totally honest with you, since August I’ve been dealing with another issue, one of a chronic nature. It seems that toward the end of the summer I developed chronic idiopathic hives. I learned that after going to a few doctors and having some expensive tests done. It means, “You have hives, we don’t know why, and we don’t know how long you will have them for.” Lucky me!

Did you know that 90% of chronic hive sufferers never know what causes them? Did you know that they really suck? Well they do!

Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely bitter, there have been some funny moments. Like the time my allergist, who hails from India said (read this in your best Indian accent), “What ever you do you must not scratch! There is nothing worse for hives than scratching!”

Right then and there I wanted to say to him, “Dude, why don’t you tell me not to breathe? I think that would be easier!” Unfortunately I went home and told my husband this and he has taken the doctor’s advice to heart. Anytime I’ve said, “Honey, please scratch right there, I can’t reach.”

He replies, “No, the doctor said not to.”

Stupid, stupid me! If only I’d kept this information to myself he would have been my personal scratching boy. Live and learn I guess.

It also gets a bit weird when I meet perfect strangers and soon into the conversation I ask them if they know of any good remedies for hives. They always give me kind of an odd look and usually reply no.

It has been a learning experience for sure. I can relate a little bit better to people who suffer day in and day out with chronic medical issues that are way worse than my own. It’s really hard not to let this condition consume your every waking thought, “How do I get rid of this? What can I do to get better? Please let this next “remedy” work. I’m just grateful that I don’t suffer from something more debilitating.

I think my hives are calming down now and I hope I’m heading toward the light at the end of the tunnel. If you come up to me to chat and in the middle of the conversation and my eyes glaze over and I start to scratch, you might want to come back later, I may be a while.

I’m still on the hunt for hives remedies so let me know your best one!


  1. I had hives once, just once, and I thought I was gonna die!! That’s the last time I try to support my kids on field trips! Dang hayride! I’m so sorry this is chronic for you. I feel lucky that the steroids they gave me made mine go away. I’m sorry yours won’t.

    I did take a bath with some oatmeal in an old pair of nylons. I used that to scratch and scratch and scratch and scratch and scratch…and amazingly the itching went away for a bit and I could get to sleep. However, the itching came back and woke me up a couple of hours later. So I guess telling you this is not much help and you probably already tried the oatmeal…sorry, nevermind!

    Comment by Pam Jorg — November 19, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

  2. Just tell your hubby you got a second opinion and that the doctor said that you must have a 4 hour massage every night if there is ever any hope of getting rid of the hives…

    Comment by Matt W. — November 20, 2006 @ 6:10 am

  3. Yes, I’ve done the oatmeal baths at 4 am in the morn. Sometimes it has helped enough to get to sleep. Personally I like baking soda baths better.

    Matt W- I like that idea. Maybe I’ll throw in a daily dose of Godiva Chocolate too!

    Comment by Kristen J — November 20, 2006 @ 9:15 am

  4. Sorry about the hives. Benedryl doesn’t help?

    Comment by Eric Nielson — November 20, 2006 @ 10:13 am

  5. Thanks Eric. I’ve been using every known anti-histimine to man. It’s just a weird thing. I’m currently on steroids again for a short run. Which has basically gotten rid of them for now. I’m just hoping they don’t come back when i’m done!

    Comment by Kristen J — November 20, 2006 @ 11:31 am

  6. Your use of yada yada yada at the beginning brought back good Seinfeld memories. Maybe you got the hives from a tractor.

    Seriously, though, that is terrible Kristen. The greatness of the resurrection is really hard to teach to the youth, but the older we get, the greater it seems. I hope your hives stay away when you go off the steroids.

    Comment by Jacob — November 20, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

  7. Thanks Jacob,always nice to bring up the Seinfeld memories.

    i definitely appreciate the resurrection much more the older I get. That is a great point.

    Hives really do stink, but I know it is so minor compared to other maladies people suffer from. I just don’t know how they do it. Lot’s of prayer i guess.

    If I I go long time with out posting just assume I’m off in a corner scratching.

    Comment by Kristen J — November 20, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

  8. I get hivse when I havea stressor in my life. Right now I have a terrible outbreak of hives on my right ear!! It’s not my whole body, but I can sympathize/empathize with you a little. An earful, at least. I can’t stop touching my earlobe. I look like Carol Burnett at the end of her TV shows.

    What helps me is megadoses of hydrocortisone (short term). But what really helps is removing the stress factor from my life. Sometimes, I don’t even know what it is that is stressing me out – I have to really think about it and any a=changes that occured. Then, when stress is eliminated, the hives are too.

    So all I can say is: relax. It certainly can’t hurt!

    Comment by meems — November 20, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

  9. My husband has this problem too–I feel for ya! We went through the elimination process (is it detergent, deodorant, shower products, water softener, foods, animals, dust, fabrics, editorial cartoons, etc) and ended up in the great unknown category.

    Those 10% don’t know how lucky they are…

    Comment by Téa — November 20, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

  10. I stumbled on this while looking for something else, but I do have a comment. Two years ago my son did his Eagle project. It involved some work in wild areas where there is a lot of poison oak. I know that I’m pretty sensitive to poison oak, and avoided those parts of the project, but somehow, I must have gotten a glob on my wrist, probably from touching something that had been involved in the project, although I was trying to avoid anything that had been to the wild areas. My wrist broke out badly, in grape sized blisters. Then, well, I had probably taken a hot bath the same day, I got the glob on the arm, because I started to get red itchy oozy rash on my trunk and arms. It did not blister as badly, but itched and hurt. My doctor was the one who pointed out that it was on all parts of the body that would be covered in a bath, and he said it was a rather classic way that some people spread the oil all over themselves. (You can also spread it in the shower with your washcloth. It’s a fine sticky oil which isn’t noticeable, but spreads beautifully. I did the shower route years ago. It was more pronounced streaks, but not nearly so well-spread.) I found that when the itch desire became almost overwhelming, if I got in a shower as hot as I could stand, that it seemed to have the same effect on the skin as itching would, without the skin damage. Someone told me that I was releasing the histamines in the rash, thus providing temporary relief, but I don’t know. I’d probably ask the doctor first, because it might do something different to hives, I suppose. I had about two weeks when I couldn’t sit down comfortably or lie down comfortably.

    Comment by anon — November 20, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

  11. Thanks for all of the info it truly helps.

    It’s funny, because I have had such an incredibly stressful year that I feel it MUST come to play in here somewhere. As soon as everyone says, “Don’t stress!” It makes me feel kind of stressed out. I’m thinking about taking up meditation or something.

    As far as the bath/ shower thing goes my allergist told me that I should never take anything more than a tepid bath since he would make them worse. I shouldn’t wear tight clothes, or ever get hot and sweaty. I guess I need to move from AZ!

    Comment by Kristen J — November 20, 2006 @ 10:11 pm

  12. I know. This reminds meof something the actress Ruth Gordon once said. It was something like: Everyone says not to worry. Do ya think I want to worry? No one wants to worry. If I could stop it, I wouldn’t worry in the first place!

    I think stress is kind of like that. Now, if only someone would hand mea big fat check for hundred thou and a personal trainer, my ear-hives would certainly go away!!

    Comment by meems — November 20, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  13. Ha! Ha! I know exactly what your talking about. It’s not like I’m wishin’ this stress upon myself.

    That’s why I’m seriously thinking meditation my really be worth my while.

    Comment by Kristen J — November 21, 2006 @ 12:23 am

  14. My running partner had to quit running with me because she gets hives during vigorous exercise. Running and scratching wasn’t fun. Plus, they didn’t go away immediately. She went to the doctor about it. It has a name–and they don’t know why some people get them when they exercise. Sometimes it only lasts a few years. Crazy! I’m just glad I don’t get them.

    Comment by Mami — November 21, 2006 @ 10:47 am

  15. Well great! I don’t know if you knew i was training for a half marathon during all of this? I actually had to quit due to a groin injury.

    It got to the point where I was quite covered in hives all day long, and actually I thought running helped calm them down a bit.

    Hhhhmmm…no more exercise, do you think Geoff will still love me as a 700 lb woman?

    Comment by Kristen J — November 21, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

  16. I came across your blog looking for some information about idiopathic hive breakouts. You said that you did a steroid treatment… what was the end result? Did the hives return once the treatment was done, and were there any horrible side-effects? Thanks for sharing this information… as you know, doctors charge a lot and offer very little answers.

    Comment by sameboat — March 9, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

  17. Ok, I know I wrote this post a long time ago, but I want you to let people know that I did figure out what was causing my hives.

    About a month before my dad died I went on an antidepressant called Effexor. It is an ssri and a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. I think my body needed help with the seratonin but not the norepinephrine so I was reacting to that.

    Anyway, I went of the Effexor and my hives went away. I’m not a doctor, this is just my own theory. I hope it helps someone and sorry if this was TMI.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 23, 2008 @ 12:24 am

  18. My wife had a bad experience with Effexor too. Not hives, but she shudders now if she hears the word.

    Comment by Jacob J — July 23, 2008 @ 5:39 pm