Do you see that? That is unreal, people. Unfreaking real. That’s my left arm, above the elbow. Yeah, I felt a little twitchy tonight, but I’m pretty good at not scratching my itches. I’m a fairly itchy person, after all, and I’ve had to learn not to scratch over the years.

Yeah. I thought there might be something wrong when my lower back was itchy. And my right kneecap. And then I saw one. My old friends, the hive clusters. That is indeed what you’re seeing in the above photo. Now, that’s about 3 inches by 2 inches of skin you’re seeing. Picture them everywhere. On my neck, my head, my hands, my arms, my torso (oh man, the torso ones are the worst, because they’re the hardest to rub in public), the back of my knees. They’re everywhere.

I call them my old friends, the hive clusters for a reason. I had these hives in university, in November 1993 and February 1994. I went to a specialist who did a barrage of tests and told me they were idiopathic (without known origin or cause). I’m not really allergic to anything but drugs, after all, and I hadn’t changed my detergent, much like today.

They eventually put forth a supposition that my hives that year were caused by my other old friend, stress. Which is what’s pissing me off big time right now. I’m not stressed. I had a not great day at work, but it wasn’t horrendous and I worked a reasonable day. It was hot, but this ain’t no heat rash. I had that incident at the gym, but since when does puking preface hives?

Of course, I have no benadryl in the house. I’m 30 seconds away from throwing on yoga pants and a hoodie (in the 30C heat, but at least I won’t be able to see or touch the hives) and going to the drugstore. Of course, I already took two 24 hour claritins, so I’m unnerved about taking something else.

This had better disappear overnight. The last time this happened, I had to go on a combination of prescription antihistamines and prednisone, and I will not take prednisone anymore. Plus, that would wreck my position in the challenge, as pred tends to make me eat everything that isn’t nailed down, while making me the angriest person alive. (Only two of the very good reasons not to take it, kids!)

I can’t believe I have tomorrow off and I’m probably gonna have to spend 3 hours in a walk in clinic to get a fricking shot of benadryl. Ugh. Grand vacation day! Just grand. Shoot. Me. Now.