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alasia
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/30/2006 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hiya, after googling 'chronic urticaria' for hours and not coming up with any support groups, message forums or anything like that I finally found this site.
 
Here's a bit about me;
 
I'm Karen (but you guys can call me cass :) ), I'm 22 years old and was diagnosed with Chronic Urticaria/Angio Oedema at the age of 10. Been on various medications including Piriton, Zirtek and now Telfast (none of which have really worked that well) over the years, and have tried lots of home-remedies including drinking nettle tea to ease my symptoms.
  I used to swell really badly as a child through to the age of about 13; my eyes would swell so much they'd almost be closed, my lips swelled to twice their usual size and my tongue and throat swelled regularly too - almost every day and it was enough to make me scared to go to sleep (it usually happened in the eveings), and cause 'noisy breathing', but not so bad that I felt I needed to get medical attention (although my parents always kept an eye on me just in case).
 
I did see a dermatologist and various doctors when I was younger, but they never seemed that bothered - one doctor told me "there's not really a lot we can do for you, you just have to live with it I'm afraid. It might go away in a year, 5 years or even 15 years but it should go away eventually".  Not very helpful to a 10 year old! eyes
 
Anyway when I was 16 the swellings seemed to get less and less, and although I'd still get the rash, it was becoming less frequent. At 18 I moved from Devon to Stafford (in the UK; not sure where the majority of members are living but I'm assuming the US) and didn't really have any symptoms for years - in fact for at least the poast 2 years I've been completely clear of my condition, I even stopped taking my medication as I thought it had cleared up.
 
Unfortunately over the past 2-3 weeks it's come back with a vengeance - I'm having to take my medication again and have a rash and/or swelling almost every day.
  I work in a supermarket - have been for the past 7 months - and didn't tell them at the interview that I had this condition. Didn't see any point as it had 'cleared up' (or so I thought).
 But I've now had 3 occasions in work where my rash has flared up, mostly just on my arms and underneath my clothes so it's not too noticeable, but last week my rash suddenly appeared over the course of 10 minutes, on my face. It wasn't weals, more just a blotchyness with a few raised areas. It just looked like I'd been crying or something, but my supervisor asked what was wrong, so it was noticeable.
 
As I'm typing this I have my rash - all over but I'm more concerned about the rash on my face. It's pretty bad, don't see any signs of it disappearing and I've got to be in work in 3 hours.
 I work in the chilled food department which isnt good for me, as when I have a rash flitting from being in the cold to warmer areas of the store aggravates it. I'm also 'on call' for the deli, so if anyone wants anything from there I have to serve them, and I get paranoid that being covered in a rash - or even worse, swelling (which thankfully I havent had at work yet) - might put customers off buying from the deli when I'm on it.
 I do get looks at work when I have my rash, and the itching is unbearable - not sure if anyone else gets this but I also get rash and swelling on the bottom of my feet at work from standing up all night, which is painful.
 
So I was just wondering how everyone else copes at work - do you have symptoms at work, have you told your managers about the condition and has your urticaria affected the types of job you can do?
 
Any advice or info would be great :)
 
Cass

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23353
   Posted 1/30/2006 2:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cass, welcome to Healingwell! I'm sorry to hear that you've been suffering from this for a long time. I can't be much help since I don't have CU but I just wanted to extend a warm welcome to ya and someone soon will come along that can maybe answer your question.

Take care :)

~Sherry~
Ulcerative Colitis since 1992
Meds: Colazal & VSL#3
Secondary Raynauld's Syndrome since 2004
Meds: Niacin when needed
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alasia
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/31/2006 6:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you! :)

hunybun
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 1/31/2006 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Cass...welcome....on break at work so just wanted to say i understand you all too well and will tell my story at a later time....but basically i have 5 forms of hives....the foot issue i had that for a while. My feet would swell and feel like when i picked a foot up that the bottom of my foot was falling off and when i put it back down and put pressure on it like all the blood was being forced out the sides of my feet and when really bad it felt like my legs were on fire almost to the knees and felt like i needed to pound on them to stop the weird feeling in them. Does that sound like your problem? I walked on industrial tile and concrete and marble in my old job and got that.....i can only wear tennis shoes and pretty girl shoes that are not tight no straps or in the toes and are only wedge shoes for full arch support. I went to a poditrist and had my feet wrapped and shots there is a name for the condition...can't remember the name...but see a foot doc well more later...oh if you can read any post by hunybun...me and might let you see what i have been dealing with....well back to work..woo hoo
 COURAGE 
Doesn't always roar. 
Sometimes courage is
the quiet voice at
the end of the day
saying, 
"I will try again
tomorrow."
Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.


alasia
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/31/2006 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, thanks for taking time out of work to post a reply :)
 
What you describe does kind of sound like what I get, but mine's more when I stand up normally, my feet are really sore - theres a pressure thats really painful to stand up on for too long. It's hard to describe...it's not usually too bad though as I'm on medication for my CU - it's just when I occassionally get a flare-up while I'm at work I get problems. I haven't told my boss about my condition and I'm not sure whether to as it might jeapordise my job - don't want that to happen.
 
I was just wondering how anyone esle copes with the CU whilst working  - I know changes in temperatures will bring me out in a rash - so for example if I'm working in the chilled foods section at work filling the yoghurts (in the fridges, obviously) - the cold against my skin will bring my arms out in a rash. Then if I go to a warmer area of the store, I'll get a rash develop on my face which looks awful.
 Last week at work I had a huge cage of chilled foods that I had to put out on the shelves, and noticed that after about 10 minutes of my arms brushing against the sides of the cage as I was taking boxes off, my arms were covered in a red, itchy rash and had swollen slightly.
 It's little things like that that are getting me down at the moment; not normally bothered at home but I don't want my condition to start coming up at work more frequently and  affecting what I can do.
 At the moment I'm literally covered in a rash with swollen lips and I feel really ill with it - headache, stomach pains, general feeling of heat and tiredness and heartburn - even when I have only a slight swelling or rash I'll feel ill and I'm worried if I tell my boss that, she'll want to find a completely 'healthy' person to do the job instead of me.

hunybun
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 2/1/2006 8:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Cass, Before you start worrying about your thoughts about telling your work or not, take time and see a foot doctor to see if it is all related to hives or something else. I had chronic hives night and day for 2 years to almost 3. And my feet were fine when i got up in the morning and didn't start hurting until mid afternoon and it was from standing a lot on hard surface. Since at that point i knew i had pressure hives and went to foot doc and found that i had planter something i think...gotta look that up before i loose my mind here...hee hee. But i had to wrap my feet so the pounding my feet took were less of an impact. With work and the hives, i have cold and heat hives too......i started bringing 2 types of clothes with me warm and cold weather and if you have to wear certain shoes for work bring a super pair to wear home....and if you drive home get some slippers...they are great, silly but great. I think what people need to understand hives can't infect others.......the only way hives will effect your job is if you miss work....if they give you trouble because you are scaring the customers then you really need to think about legal means if that is the only thing they can complain about...but before any of that happens gotta get the stress down i know it's hard but it will help some.....if your meds help figure out if you should take it later in the day to keep the hives less while you work. Before i became allergic to medications i learned that if i take the meds when i woke up the would last until mid afternoon and the spots would start and by the time i got home i'd be covered in them.......i took such a high dose that i could only take it once a day because i learned for myself that breaking it up as normal would not work.....that was decided best by myself and doctor,but ifigured that out not the doc......You need to start writing down things that cause the hives and change habits......Also have the feet looked at and mark down the times that hives break out......and why........it might not seem like a pattern at first but you might get a time frame of when you are more hived up......and maybe med taking hours might be needed to change also being also keep track of the foods you eat and like i said wash clothes and other things in laundry stuff that has no color or smelly stuff. In that journal you can help yourself and if anything control of your mind......plus if female that time of the month can also make chronic urticaria worse at least for me. You might have to do a low steriod in stead of a allergy med.....for me the allergy meds made me worse.......Sadly i can't take many meds anymore but over the last 4 years my system and hives have improved......i just have hives when heat, cold, high humidity even if hot or cold, pressure hives mostly hands and feet or if my skin is brushed to much like wind flapping clothes against it , meds cause hives.....and stress or my favorite....when my adrenalin goes up like watching a action movie or laughing really good or crying anything that cause that to rise just a little bit my neck face ears and top of my head blow up one big cherry tomatoe head i am......hate it cause i get burning hot and my face can't move because of being so swollen.....it takes about 30 mins for it to go away but that is after i have left the movie place in front of tons of people......I have been told that from taking prednisone it has a side effect of causing the blood capilaries open causing the flushing (for me a little past flushing) but it should of left when taking off prednisone......but still here 6 years later but i find that light tanning at a salon seems to help and also help me with the hives and make me better at handling heat and humidity so much better.....i don't tan during the winter though i should but i give myself a break from it......now before anyone tells me tanning is bad.....i know the risks from it and weighed my options and since i can't take any meds this is what works for me......so please no lecture on tanning :) Any way keep plugging along there just make a journal put eveything in there and what you were feeling too hives i found are effected by more that what the doctors say.....if your hives have no base of why they happen such as food or other touchable things then untouchable things and controling that or putting your feelings down on paper is very very helpful...gain control of other stuff around you and try and change it. If something upsets you just a little write it down and mark when the next hives happen no matter how small i bet a pattern of things might pop out at you. Hive i find come on much later than say a hive from people who have food or that kind of allergy. Chronic hiveers are being attacked by ourselves or environment(hot cold...blah blah blah) When you write down things you might not cure yourself but you find what to expect....like me i know if i watch a movie filled with action tomatoe face........i know that certain shoes i can't wear.....some types of fabrics i can't wear...some lotions make my legs not breathe very well and cause hives....wierd but thats hives.....Well i guess i gotta work...hee hee, please think about the journal...if you can't carry a big one with you get a small little pad that can be with you and a little pen or pencil and then later at home write it in the big journal......it will help..plus get little stickers to put in it and say happy sad whatever.....cause when you go back and read it later you think to yourself gosh why did i let that up set me and maybe you will learn to better react inside next time that situation happens......ok i go now....i hope i helped if you ever need to chat please e-mail me wutt309395@adelphia.net. I understand we all do even if they don't have hives they understand not being able to control there lives.......but we still can help others because when a person who is sick helps another sick person some how we feel less sick even without getting one less better ourselves.....well take care.......hugs without hives :)
 COURAGE 
Doesn't always roar. 
Sometimes courage is
the quiet voice at
the end of the day
saying, 
"I will try again
tomorrow."
Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.


Long Sufferer
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/7/2006 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cass

I have had Chronic Urticaria for the past 8-9 years, (am now 33),but it was only diagnosed about 2 years ago! I have pressue urti also, which like you, my feet will swell in hot weather, and in cold weather if I have been walking for long periods of time, but mainly in the hot weather. My hands used to swell up double the size also, and I used to be off work nearly every week!!! At one point my Dad thought I had gout! I can even get urti after I have a bath if the water has been too hot and I have felt cold!

Anyway, as I said, my CU was diagnosed and after producing some pretty awful photos to my skin specialist, did in my opinion, he start to take my condition seriously. I have had blood tests and they have been fine, then they put me on a food allergy test. I was taking a different tablet every day for 2 weeks, and I didnt know what this pill contained. I also had to keep a record of when I flared up etc and after what pill. In the end it turnd out that I am allergic to colourings. E104, E127 and E211. Now that I am alliminating these colourings from my diet, my urti seems to be okay. I still flare up at the "time of the month", and when i am stressed or upset, as I suppose its my body temperature changing etc, as at the end of the day, its a histamine release making the blood come to the surface of the skin..as my blood cells arent fighting like they should.....I do get it on my face sometimes at work, which is embarrasing, no matter what anyone says.....I just have to keep a make up cover up stick in my drawer and apply it when I can feel it........people must think I am vain always looking in my mirror! With the feet flare up, I also get it on my legs, and I put Aloe Vera gel on it to sooth the itching as its nice and cool. I see my skin specialist every three months now.....I am allergic to nearly all the anti histamines which have been prescribed to me, and I am now on Singulair which is for asthma sufferers, as I think there is a link between Urti and asthma. Anyway, they seem to be doing the trick, well at least Im not allergic to them! I still had a little flare up last week though, so I dont think it will ever go away, but at least its not as bad as it was. Keep a record of when you flare up but if you have pressure urti, you may want to monitor it and then see your doctor, and asked to be referred to a skin specialist. I hope I have helped a little......keep me posted.oh yeah, and if you can get someone to take photos when you flare up, so the skin specialist can see how it is.
Cheers
Toni
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