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!
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 :)