Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Plagues, Hurray!

I've been eagerly awaiting Christmas break for a good while now. I have an entire month off of my graduate program, and I have 17 days off of student teaching. Here's how I planned it out- I would leave school on Friday, December 16th, attend two Christmas parties, and then do some things for my teaching certification (I have to submit scads of paperwork and evidence, it's obnoxious). I figured I'd be disgustingly lazy on Saturday, sleeping in, screwing around on the internet, eating crappy food, reading books, squandering time like a champ. Sunday I would clean the house from top to bottom, do all my laundry, finish up my evidence submitting for school to the CDE, and then Mon/Tues/Wed I would do the semester planning, syllabus writing, lesson planning (a huge project). This would, theoretically, leave me with 10 straight days during which I had no worries, cares, responsibilities, or deadlines/projects looming over my head.

So, everything went according to plan until Sunday night. I went to bed, happy and tired from a productive day, ready to wake up early and hit the library. Instead, I woke up at 4 a.m. itchy and fuzzy headed. There was a huge welt on my elbow, and on my knee. I thought I had been bitten by something. Bobby told me it looked liked hives (which I've never had). I went back to sleep, only to be awoken at 6 a.m. to lumpy, swollen hives all over both of my arms, my side, and my leg. Here's an idea, just picture this, you know, all over-

I took this picture and sent it to my mom so she could tell me if I was going to die. I'm only kind of kidding.
 We decided to head to Urgent Care, which opened at 7 a.m. By the time we got there, most of them had faded. I chalked it up to the cleaner I had used the day before during Winter Clean-a-thon 2011, the doctor gave me some steroid cream, and I went along my way. Later that night, they came back with a vengeance, this time all over my upper body, with huge dinner plate sized welts covering my stomach. I chugged Benadryl and conked out, sleeping from 6 to midnight and then from midnight until ten a.m. Vacation was off to a GREAT start, lemmetellya. Tuesday I spent the day at the library in order to stay out of the house. I came home, and promptly broke out in the worst hives yet covering my entire body and making me feel like my skin was going to burst it was so swollen, prompting Bobby to say "I didn't know it was possible for hives to look like that". It was gross. At this point we decided that I needed to leave the house and go to a friends' place. In the time it took us to drive 10 minutes, half the hives were gone, and by the time I had been at their house for half an hour, I was hive free. Clearly, our apartment was trying to kill me.

Bobby spent about 7 hours re-cleaning the house from top to bottom to get rid of the cleaner, as well as buying new pillows/comforter/towels just in case it was some funky dust allergy. I came home to find our tree on the back porch, visible only through the safety of the sliding glass door.

Banished, for crimes against my skin and immune system
I was hive free, but I had wasted 4 nights and 3 days high on Benadryl, getting little to nothing done because my brain was on a puffy cloud of medicine, sleeping up to 15 hours out of 24, and being woken up two or three times a night by the return of the hives when the medicine wore off. To say it sucked would be a bit of an understatement. I was after the first day, once the "this is ridiculous but what can you do other than laugh?" roll with it optimism wore off. Since Wednesday afternoon of last week I've been hive free, but, just to make up for it, I've had one day of a crushing sinus headache that lasted all day, and today I've been in bed after puking my guts up randomly this morning and then having chills and nausea all day. I am falling apart here, people! I read some David Sedaris to make me feel better about not having to work as a Christmas elf, and yeah, it helped a tiny little bit, but not much.

Good news is that the holiday weekend, including all day Friday, was great. Christmas Eve was spent with a good friend and Christmas Day proper was absolutely wonderful. So, I'm still grateful, if a bit bitter. It's like an 80/20 mix. I fully realize that having hives from a cleaning product and/or a totally unnecessary Christmas decoration in the form of a dead tree are pretty much standard first world problems, but hey, they're mine, and they tried to Grinch-snatch my Christmas vacation, so there it is.

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