Friday, August 14, 2009

Flying high with hives

I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm writing this from business class on my trans-Atlantic flight! On an economy ticket! And I didn't even ask for an upgrade! I was assigned a seat in business class. My seat fully reclines, I have my own outlet to plug in my laptop and I have more legroom than I could ever ask for. This is amazing. I overheard a conversation across the aisle and I'm not the only on sitting here with an economy ticket. Pretty darn awesome. This is my first time ever flying business class. We were delayed on the ground but I didn't care at all because I was in a great seat.

My first flight was fine, though about 6 hours before my flight I realized I was covered in hives. It was really strange though, because the hives were all concentrated in places on my body where the clothing was tight like around my waistline and across my back and shoulders. Really weird. It's actually similar to what happened to me two months ago. In reflecting upon the commonalities between then and now (unfortunately there are many), I suspect that I am getting hives from eating cashews. Two months ago I was also breaking out from poison tree rash (did I mention that I got it again after being clear for several weeks?). Perhaps when I my body is already reacting to urushiols I then get hives when I consume them? This is my theory.

I've been eating cashews for years with no problem, though it's possible that here I have encountered more cashews that are unroasted or have higher urushiol levels for other reasons. It's hard to pinpoint this though because I suspect that there is a 2-3 day delay between when I eat the cashews and when I get the hives. Rena had a bunch of cashews that she shared with me when we left Nyota on Tuesday morning, and they definitely weren't fully roasted, maybe not at all. I even snacked on a few of the remaining goodies as late as Thursday afternoon. I may have these hives for a few days.

Last time I got hives I started taking the prednisone right away, which also cleared up my rash. This time though, my rash isn't nearly as widespread and I didn't want to suppress my immune system shortly before extensive airline travel. Instead I've been taking Benadryl every 4-6 hours, which does have a noticeable effect on the hives. They move around though and seem to regroup in new places between doses. I've got them on my face and ears now too, though I think it looks like I just have bad skin so I'm hoping they don't try to quarantine me when I go through customs or something. I'll take an extra Benadryl just in case.


Hives said...

Hives is also called nettle rash or Utricaria. It is a skin disease which is very itchy with red patches. It is caused by flea bites, usually from fleas on domesticated animals like cats, dogs or wearing ill fitting clothes or reaction to certain animal forms or excessive sweating. One can get relief from itchiness by applying calamine lotion, aloe Vera based creams, ice packs and frequent showering, swimming in pool will help a lot.

Karina said...

Thanks for the suggestions. Thankfully, my hives are gone. I think they were from eating cashews (maybe raw ones) while I had a poison-ivy like rash from a different but related plant.