Think Ebola looks scary? Try getting hives.
While everyone is busy focusing on the situation in Texas, you come down with what has to be the WORST CASE OF HIVES.
It starts with a swollen finger, a finger the size of an over-sized Bratwurst. You can’t bend it. You can’t do bupkis with it. Not for all the mustard and hot dog buns in the world.
So you go to your doctor, who gives you medicine to take care of the inflammation. Thankfully, the swelling goes down, but after a week of taking the meds, they start to do a number on your system and go full throttle commando. The result is hives.
Let me reiterate that.
Hives! HIVES! As in run-for-your-lives HIVES!
Turns out you’re allergic with a capital A, to the prescription the doctor gave you for the heretofore mentioned finger.
On a Saturday morning, the hives starts innocently enough, in a barely noticeable place. Just a rash, a discoloration, no more than the size of a quarter. But the next thing you know, the universe is expanding and, as in the horror film, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” this rash has taken over your body. Within hours, it has become a raging, red menace that makes your skin crawl and leaves you begging for merrrrcyy!
Don’t scratch, don’t scratch. You know better, but the demon rash begs you, whispering “sweetly ” in your ear, “Scratch me, please.”
And so you do.
But that’s not enough. Soon, it’s voice has deepened and is barking orders, a la Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”
“SCRATCH ME, BITCH!”
And not only are you scratching—which is wrong and you know it—you’re slapping your body in wild desperation, all for the immediate satisfaction it brings. Immediate is the key word, for relief lasts only a nanosecond, and you find you have to slap yourself again and again to keep the writhing, killer pain at bay.
Only it doesn’t work.
“SCRATCH ME!” hisses the succubus of a rash.
It rants and demands your attention and so you jump in your car and head to Urgent Care.
You need something STAT to stop the searing pain you’re feeling.
By now, that possessed demon rash is a full blown Category 6 Hurricane Hives, and it’s one goal is to obliterate you. Yes, you heard right.
At Urgent Care, they tell you the wait is three hours. Soon they change that to four hours.
Four hours. Any idea how long four hours can take when you’re body is itching like mad?
A. LONG. TIME.
So you wait because there’s nothing in the world that can take your mind off of the raging God forsaken, no holds barred, put a lid on it, itch!
At last, a guy named Russ sees you. Not a doctor, but a guy named Russ, who doesn’t even identify himself by profession (doctor, nurse, practitioner, midwife). So you pray he knows what he’s doing. You pray he’s not the maintenance worker or the parking lot attendant.
He gives you a prescription for cortisone. You were hoping for a shot, but he gives you a prescription for a packet of pills. In essence, he’s kicked you to the curb and you’re on your own to fend for yourself.
Now the race is on to fill the prescription before all the pharmacies close for the night. Salvation from the wretched hives continues to elude you.
“SCRATCH ME NOW!”
Someone tells you CVS is open all night. You race there and soon learn that the pharmacy is open but the CVS’ computer system is down for the next four hours there and at every one of its drugstores in the county.
Then the CVS pharmacist offers a glimmer of hope: He says the grocery store pharmacy is still open and can fill your prescription so you make a beeline for the exit.
“Wait!” cries the CVS pharmacist before you head out the door.
“Never mind,” he sheepishly says, adding, “The grocery store’s pharmacy is backlogged with filling prescriptions and won’t be able to take yours until the morning.”
Defeated, you go home and the itch goes on and on. With no other recourse, your desperation for a cure continues, and your skin, mercilessly on fire.
You don’t get any sleep that night. Not so much as a wink. The unbearable itchiness of being.
Next morning, you run to the pharmacy and learn the pharmacist is late to work. You wait because you have no choice and you’re dying. Yes, this is the end of the line.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope,” you mutter under your breath for no reason.
You’ve popped countless antihistamines and slathered on tubes of anti-itch cream. To no avail. Your skin is covered in welts and sores, blisters too, and you think that the way you look, all covered in hives, could make a damn good costume for Halloween, if only you weren’t so pathetically miserable.
The pharmacist finally arrives and you get your cortisone pills. You spend all Sunday waiting for them to kick in. And they do, sort of, but
Monday finally arrives and you see your doctor again. She gives you an injection in your bottom and at last you begin to feel results.
You are groggy as all heck, but the itching, scratching feeling is beginning to fade away, as are the hives. By Thursday it’s almost all gone.
Ahhh, relief! This is what heaven feels like, you think to yourself. Like nothing. Not an inkling of an itch anywhere!
You sing this from the highest rafters. You never knew how sweet and glorious the feeling of NOT HAVING TO SCRATCH could be!
So, tell me. What’s your hives horror story?