If my life was a book …

… I’d throw it across the room and curse the writer for trying too hard.

A few weeks ago I had a bad case of the flu. A bad case the came down with a secondary chest infection so off to the GP who prescribed me some antibiotics.  Amoxicillin.  That name struck a bell.  Amoxicillin.  Was it “ah my old friend Amoxicillin, I see we meet again?”

You see, working in a public library, I get a flu shot every year, so it has been a few years since I had a flu bad enough to call for antibiotics; I simply couldn’t remember why Amoxicillin rang a bell.

Then Thursday evening … Thursday evening before Good Friday … Thursday evening before one of the only two days a year all the pharmacies and supermarkets are closed …

I came down with hives.

Big clusters of huge white pustules. Hives. All over my body. On the soles of my feet. On the palms of my hands. On my scalp. Between my toes. In the roof of my mouth. Inside my ears.

Hives. Itchy, scratching, hives.

About 2am in desperation (no-one was getting any sleep that night) we found up the back of the cupboard a very old bottle of calamine lotion.  Mum painted that lotion everywhere she could.

Ah blissss …..

For two minutes.  Then the itching started again. Fifteen minutes later and I writhing all over as if the calamine didn’t exist.

It was 1 C outside and I had my bedroom window wide open as the coolness was the only thing keeping the itching below a frenzy.  Of course, as I still had the flu, I was developing a six-pack of abs by constant coughing.  Warm the room enough to stop coughing and I want into a blood frenzy of scratching, cool the room enough to resist the scratching and I coughed myself hoarse and woke the neighbourhood.

That Thursday night wont go down in my Top Ten all time favourite.  I didn’t sleep.  Not one minute.

Friday was even better.  After a cool shower and yet more calamine, I had to actually put clothes on over the hives.

As an aside, mum became so expert in painting that calamine lotion in so many delicate areas I swear she has a future in the adult film industry as a body paint artist!

Around lunchtime Good Friday in another tearing of the house apart, we found some herbal antihistamines.  These seemed to help a little and with the repeated application of the calamine got us through to Saturday.

We both slept Friday night, out of sheer exhaustion I think ….

Saturday morning we were at the pharmacy as soon at it opened and bought full strength antihistamines.  We also started a “Mel is an idiot box” and bought a new bottle of calamine lotion, some Dettol, and some Betadine to start it off.

Wednesday (after all the public holidays) we rang the GP and added “allergic to Penicillin’ to my file.

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4 Responses to If my life was a book …

  1. Julie Dollery says:

    Ah yes, this cold that’s going around. It’s a cracker isn’t it?
    I got it the day before Easter too & hacked & coughed my way through 5 joyous days of public holidays with decongestants during the day & suppressants at night (so I could sleep). 2 weeks later I’m still coughing, but it’s not ripping my chest or throat out any more.

    Hubby on the other hand got antibiotics (not sure which one)…Three weeks later & he’s pretty much the same as me.

    Hives…..ick…but you’re probably lucky that you’re only mildly allergic or you could have ended up in emergency with a tube down your throat. See…..silver lining.

  2. Mel says:

    Oh the cold is well gone now, but I do still have a nagging cough … mum’s had the cold twice and two sets of antibiotics…. it’s a doozy alright 🙂

    I figured the allergy would be a minor one – regardless of how bad the migraines and associated memory lapses were, I’m sure I would have remembered a major issue like anaphylaxis 🙂 Well I hope I’m sure anyway …

    Just thought it was typical, that I would get hives the night before one of the only two days per year I couldn’t get any pharmacological assistance….

    • Mariann says:

      Poor Mel!

      If it weren’t so horribly uncomfortable for you it would be quite the laugh story, but those hives sound awful!

      I have a slight sun allergy, meaning that I just get itchy all over and my skin is hot – and then get the scratch marks, because even though I try I still scratch sometimes 😦

      Remember my pneumonia last year? I still had the cough for weeks afterwards! Wasn’t fun either. This year I didn’t have one single cold and it’s May now, so I’m probably spared.

      Hope your cough takes leave, too, and soon!

  3. Claireej says:

    What a horrendous few days for you, honey…horrible.
    Been in the same situation and nothing works…cold dulls it a little but all you can do is wait it out…ugh.

    Big big hugs…

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