I am sitting here attempting not to claw at my skin. Writing is helping as it’s distracting my mind, and keeping my fingers occupied. If I was of lesser mental awareness, I’d likely be writing this swearing that there were in fact millions of little bugs crawling over, under, and within my skin. Alas, I am aware that there aren’t any such bugs no matter how much my senses try to tell me there is.
Those documentaries of mentally ill people who scream about bugs crawling on their skin… I feel for them, and want to pass them buckets of benadryl to bathe in. I know what misery that feels like.
I also know well what it feels like to not only have that sensation… but to not have any of it show up for other people. If I am lucky, I may have one welt the exact size and shape of a mosquito bite which is very quickly dismissed by others as simply a bug bite. On very rare occasions, I’ll actually have slight dermographism, or my skin will turn a shade of noticeable pink. Other than that, during these episodes I look completely normal.
But I itch. I itch like I just bathed in poison ivy. All it takes is a small breeze to move a couple hairs on my arms, or a draft to blow over my leg, or my clothes to lightly brush against my skin.. and I’ll need to itch. Sometimes it doesn’t even take that much.
If I let myself itch, I will itch myself raw. Digging with what little nails I have until the pain outweighs the itch. Pain I can endure. Itch will slowly drive me insane.
Today’s episode I did to myself. You see, I know I’m allergic to egg. Generally I can eat a little bit of it, such as a slice of cake or a cookie, and not have problems. Sometimes with small doses, I simply get a little non-itchy welt and some digestive issues. Not always enough for me to avoid egg like I probably should. (Sometimes when you want cake, you want cake.)
Today wasn’t so much about wanting cake, as much as it was about wanting to clean out my fridge. I had the equivalent of two slices of cake in the fridge which had been sitting in there a while. I hadn’t really wanted to finish the cake lately, so the leftover cake just sat there. I was tired of seeing it and decided it was time to eat it or throw it out. It was special expensive cake free of my every allergen (and I have a ton) except eggs, so I decided to “treat” myself and eat the remaining cake in one sitting.
It took roughly an hour when I noticed that I was actually itching. As with any normal person, I have itches now and then as stray hairs sometimes glide in unusual spots or something rubs me wrong. It’s normal. However, I noticed I was itching one spot more than normal, and I just knew I’d over done the egg.
Sure enough, I reached with hands to feel around the spot and at the center of the itching was a small hard weal. It feels exactly like a mosquito bite. It could be a mosquito bite if it wasn’t still winter, if I’d actually been outside today, if I really ever managed to be bitten by a mosquito. (I am one of those annoying people who can walk through a cloud of mosquitos and never be bitten.)
Most of my egg weals are simply annoying for a little bit but then fade as my body handles the allergic reaction on it’s own. Today was not one of those times. After discovering the weal, I went back to reading. The itching didn’t stop with the one weal. Soon my arm itched (found another “bite” weal). My neck. My face (which also has another “bite” weal). My entire skin itched and felt like tons of little bugs were crawling and biting. I felt light headed with the overwhelming sensation.
If you ever are unlucky enough to feel this… you’ll understand what I mean by overwhelming sensation. Every nerve of my skin seemed to set off all at once, over and over again. I wondered if I was going to pass out from it. I wanted to cry and scream like a baby.
Instead, I got up and took some compounded benadryl. It is just now taking affect and the itching subsiding. For a few minutes, the itching devolved into hot sweaty skin as if I’d had a full-body fever break. Now I’m just cooling off and relaxing.. my weals still itch but the rest of the body has stopped with the bug-crawling sensation.
I am actually lucky that this basically all the skin reactions I have. There are many who have these reactions to harder to avoid foods, and even just drops of those foods. Some even have worse skin reactions.