At Least I Have My Health

June 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Life and Living | 1 Comment
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“At least you have your health,” is something we say when it seems like everything else isn’t going our way.  But it’s one of those sayings you don’t put much thought into.  How many of us really appreciate our health until it is compromised?  And beyond that, how many of us are willing to stand up and say, ‘I am not well.” ?

As a society, we often hide illness.  We treat illness like weakness, an embarrassment,  like every illness is infectious, or ugly, or somehow makes us less of a person.  When the reality is everyone gets sick, and not just with colds.  In fact, our bodies are the ultimate sickness fighting machine, kicking in to combat before you even know that there is anything wrong.

When it comes to illness, I am the first to admit I will fight with all my being not to admit I am sick.  I will avoid calling in sick to work, I will continue to go out.  I just can’t let sickness hold me back.  But sometimes your body just says no, you need to slow it down.  In my life, there have been only two times that I can remember where my body said no, and I am currently living through that second time.

For the past few weeks, I have been breaking out in hives all over my body.  It started on my legs, and even my ankles got swollen.  I thought it was weird and uncomfortable at first, but shrugged it off.  It went away after a few days and I had a few days of normalcy.  But they came back with a vengeance soon after and took over my entire body.

I felt like a freak.  I cancelled plans. I couldn’t concentrate at work.  I couldn’t think of anything else.   I had no idea what was going on with my body.  I would watch as bumps would appear and grow and disappear within hours.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen.  I started to self-diagnose and try to figure out why this was happening.  I never had any allergies, hadn’t been bitten by anything.  But with hives, I learned, you may never know the real cause.  Still, human instinct is to try to determine why.  My inkling is stress, followed by my new apartment.  It makes sense to me. This all started happening when I moved.  My friend died, my assistant quit, and the busiest time of the year for work — all at once.  I wasn’t acting stressed at work, but my body was showing it.

The doctor instructed me to take Zyrtec, Benedryl, and add Zantac.  All three are anti-histamines.  Hives are a reaction to the body releasing histamine.  If they didn’t go away, she would add a steroid.  Hives, apparently take about a month to go away, and I’m nearing that month and I think they are on their way out, but I’m still fearful that they can come back in full heat and rob me again of my confidence.

Still, I know that I am lucky, that while it is upsetting to lose control of your body, that this is only temporary.  I will have no scars, no evidence of this hideous condition.  I am lucky that it was only hives and not something life changing.  I am lucky to still have my health.

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