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I finally made an account because I'm a little desperate from advice from you guys.
I've had chronic urticaria for over 7 years now. It's completely destroyed my life with it's severity. To the point that I sometimes question if it's urticaria at all out of pure paranoia, but it's what the doctors tell me it is. It took awhile to get to the diagnosis, as I spent the first 3 years going through doctors who somehow had no idea what to do with me. (They tried antibiotics, creams, just telling me to take Claritin??? My very first doctor wouldn't even touch me, he stood on the other side of the room like I was infected.)
If I wear my jeans too tight, a bracelet too long. If I nudge something wrong, or eat the wrong thing. Sometimes for no reason at all, I get large patches of swelling, red areas. Sometimes they are just small dots. The dots get larger and larger, they make little cliffs in my skin in large patches . I call myself the albino dalmatian, as that's what it looks like sometimes.
The swelling, the itching I could handle. But the pain is intense. It swells so much and is so hot to the touch that if I get one on my neck, I can't turn it. If I get one on a leg, an arm, or a finger? I cannot bend that joint. At all. The ones on my feet at times keep me from walking and swells so much it feels like I'm stepping on a foreign object, like stepping on a ball on the carpet. I can't move in spots it's swollen like this.
Someone here mentioned that they were prescribed (Ranitidine) and (Montelukast). This is the most recent attempt by my newest doctor. (He has a habit of explaining NOTHING to me.) He suggested a shot called "Xolair" that I have zero knowledge about. I keep reading about hair loss and all this other stuff, and I'm just so intensely frightened by all of it.
I'm giving the medicine a try. I don't see a huge difference and it's so confusing to be taking medicine for heart burn, antihistamines, and stuff for asthma as I stare at my skin swelling up like this.
Every doctor I've seen says that I have "one of the most intense cases of it they've seen". But could it be something else? I've been checked for everything under the sun and at this point trying to predict what causes it is like shaking a rainstick for me. There's no real telling if it's my diet or whatever else. I've tried to fast, I still would get the pressure hives no matter what. They swell, they are intensely hot to the touch, and recede by the next day like clock work as if nothing ever happened. I'm always amazed that my skin can stretch so much and not be causing permanent damage.
The weirder thing is that I have zero food allergies before this all started when I was 22 or 23. I've just turned 30 now. I'm in good health, good weight, no bad habits. I'm completely confused to how I went from being a perfectly functioning human being unable to wear a pair of high heels without knowing I won't be able to walk that night when my feet swell up. If it gets on my lips or my chin I'm pretty much not going out, as I look like a monster. It swells up and my boyfriend lovingly calls it "duck lips", as I look like I got punched in the lip on one spot. (No, they don't entirely swell up like an allergic reaction. Just in one spot!)
Does anyone have any advice for me? Has anyone experienced anything this bad? What medications worked for you? Maybe, has anyone had any experience or understand what Xolair is? Because I'm scared that it's going to cost a fortune and perhaps do more harm than good.
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