I am so grateful to be home, and to have several more days off before returning to work. All four of us are happy to be back. What a joy and a privilege to have a home that I love!
Seeing the dermatologist in Campbell River on the day we were driving through town was an even bigger stroke of luck than we knew: it was the last day before the doctor's vacation! I would have had to wait another two weeks, in addition to another six hours of driving.
1. Ordered a whole whack of blood tests to make sure there's no underlying issue causing the urticaria. It's likely the hives are idiopathic -- "CIU" -- but I'm glad he's checking.
2. Prescribed a new-generation antihistamine in three or four times the normal dosage to try to bring the reaction under control. I had it filled immediately.
3. Said if the antihistamines don't work, we'll do a course of oral steroids. I have no problem with that, but I'm also glad he's not starting there.
4. Was unimpressed that I had stopped all my medication, and strongly suggested I reverse course. My joints, especially my knees, have been painful, and my blood pressure is up, so yeah, time to do that. The doctor felt that if I haven't changed medications, they are unlikely to the cause. Also, he said that I'm not taking any of the classic hives-causing meds.
I'm going to continue dairy-free, because I've now had two ridiculous flare-ups coincide with eating dairy products. Whether or not I've actually developed an allergy to dairy, or if this is a secondary reaction, I need to eliminate it from my diet for now.