Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Bit of a Scare

This is what I looked like yesterday during the worst of an allergic reaction which started very slowly on Friday morning with a swollen eyelid and a line of itchy spots which I though were bites. During the day the itching and spots spread gradually and by lunch time the itching was quite bad. By afternoon things were progressing fast. My back, neck and back of my head were covered with hives and I couldn't stop scratching. A phone call for an appointment to the doctors for an emergency appointment ended in being told to go straight to A&E.

The suspicion was that I was having an allergic reaction to the Amoxicillin that I was taking for my loss of smell and taste (still not returned) following a bad virus a few weeks ago. Untreated this can develop into Anaphylaxis.

After waiting for an hour and a half to be seen at the hospital, the hives had spread and were all over my chest, stomach, top of my head, round my face and even onto my legs. I was checked for wheezing and heart beat to establish that there was no onset of Anaphylaxis, and thankfully there wasn't. The allergy was treated aggressively because it was spreading fast and I was given an immediate dose of steroids and a prescription for more, along with strong antihistamines which I needed to take as soon as possible. I took one of these as soon as I got home. After falling asleep for and hour or so I wok up feeling a lot less itchy and with signs of the hives going down. they certainly weren't spreading any more.

Today I still have slightly swolen eyelids and there are still a few faint hive marks, but I am more or less back to normal - tired but otherwise fine. I have another 4 days of steroids and antihisamines to take and hopefully that will be the last of the allergic reaction.

The only mystery which remains is, what did I react to? The doctor felt that a reaction to the Amoxicillin was unlikely since I had been taking it for 8/9 days. However, I can think of nothing else which I have recently changed. I haven't eaten anything new, my washing powder and conditioner are the same I always use. I have been using my current toiletries and cosmetics for a while now. This only leaves the Amoxicillin. On reading up about it there are a few sources that say that allergy can start at any time, even a week after treatment has stopped. This seems to be the only explanation. I am certainly not going to finish the course I was on.

This was a scary experience and difficult to cope with on my own, particularly that hour and a half in the waiting room as the itching spread. Thank goodness for the support of friends and family via texts and Facebook, not to mention the support of my friends at school who looked after me and covered my class at the end of the day so I could get to the hospital. To all of them, I send a huge thank you.

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