Chronic Illness and Mast Cells

Today Has Been a Benadryl Day

Today I woke up with a huge eye swell.  I knew something was wrong the minute I woke up because it felt like I’d been punched in the eye.  One look in the mirror confirmed what I already knew.  A big, swollen, red, painful eye, and angioedema in my face 3-4 times bigger than normal have got me sporting the “chipmunk look.”   I immediately started taking one of my “emergency meds” which consist of some form of Benadryl, EpiPen, Phenergan, Ativan, and extra dose of daily antihistamine depending on my symptoms.  Today it has been liquid Benadryl around the clock, an extra Allegra, an extra Doxepin, and a healthy dose of trial and error. This is in addition to my daily doses of H1 and H2 Histamine Blockers.  I’ve had some swelling in my throat, but not enough to need my EpiPen and a ride to the ER.  For this I am thankful, but I really hate days like this because it’s extremely frustrating for plans to be derailed despite my best efforts.

My husband and I are on day 2 of his 4 day vacation for the 4th of July.  We had big plans for the weekend to work on some projects around the house.  I was supposed to be better by now.  Better than I was from several days ago when I had an impromtu appointment with my primary care physician, but things have not went as planned.

Tuesday last week I started having new pain.  A throbbing pain in one side of my groin.  By that night, the pain was near unbearable and I started wondering if I might have a hernia.  I considered going to the ER, but it takes A LOT to make me go.  I’d sooner take any number of beatings than to go to an ER, and there’s not much that I dislike more than going.  I was up all night unable to sleep. No position I tried would ease the pain.  A dose of arthritis strength acetaminophen and aspirin did nothing to take the edge off, so my husband made me a doctor’s appointment with our PCP that morning.

By the time I got to my appointment it was clear that in addition to the groin pain, my sacroiliitis had decided to make a rude showing as well. At my appointment my PCP diagnosed the groin pain as tendonitis. From what I have no idea because prior to this I had had the period from hell and had spent days in bed taking OTC pain relievers in vain and using heating pads. I had not pulled or twisted anything to my knowledge, and I have not had any recent falls.  My doctor and I decided the best course of action was to try a dose pack of steroids. Typically, my PCP prescribes a depomedrol shot, but the rheumatologist had advised that oral dose packs of steroids would be better than injections. I usually tolerate depo-medrol and decadron injections well. For whatever reason, I am reacting to this particulair oral dose pack and I’ve been on the fence about calling my doctor.  I am 99% sure I am reacting to it. The 1% I am reserving for the possibility that I have developed an allergy to my eye drops for ocular hypertension. The only eye drops that I’ve been able to tolerate thus far, and I’ve tried many.

So here I am with my bottle of liquid benadryl and extra pills sporting my best chipmunk face, thankful I have the knowledge and tools to manage this at home.  Grateful this reaction is not worse, and that I have not had to go to the ER because it can always be worse.


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