Family Magazine

Mystery Hives

By Sherwoods
It's been a very slow week here in Dushanbe.  Most weeks are slow, but this week has been even slower.
So I'll tell you about Edwin and the hives.  It's a very boring story.
First of all, none of our children are allergic to anything.  I'm not allergic to anything (not even poison ivy or mosquito saliva), but Brandon is allergic to cats and I think something else plant related.  I don't remember.  So obviously the children got their good genes from me.
Edwin was allergic to high protein food (walnuts, eggs, lentils) when he was a baby, but only mildly so.  We fed him small amounts of the difficult foods and the allergies cleared up before his second birthday.  Which is good.  Because I'm not a very adaptive mother and get grouchy about special circumstances.  I'm not sure what would happen if someone showed up with a milk intolerance.  It would be very inconvenient.
So now nobody has any problems with anything.  It's very convenient for me and also makes filling out the twenty-five forms that come clipped to those clipboards any time you show up at a medical office (seriously.  It's time for doctors to hit the digital age.  Can't they store all of that information in your fingerprint or something?  Then I don't have to feel like a very bad mother every time I lose someone's *&%$*&# yellow shot card ["Oh.  You don't have his shot card?  Well we can't do a single thing until you give us that extremely important piece of paper.  It's like their permanent record but permanenter."]) much easier to fill out.
Monday was a very normal day.  We had school, went to the park, ate chickpea soup - a recipe I've been using since before Edwin was born - and had chocolate chip cookies (recipe from my freshman year in college) for dessert.  Then everyone went to bed.
Tuesday morning Edwin woke up covered in hives.  His hands, his face, his neck, his torso, his legs, and even his ears had bright red blotches covering them.  I checked his breathing and, thankfully, it was normal.  So I gave him Benadryl.  I usually keep a stash of Benadryl for long airplane rides, and this was one of the few times I actually used it for allergic reactions.  Edwin had complained of itching, and within half an hour or so it cleared right up.
The hives, however, didn't and he spent the day looking like a plague victim.  Being the responsible, concerned parent I am, I did call the medical officer to consult.  She said to call her in the morning if the hives were worse, but otherwise keep pushing the Benadryl.  That night Edwin went to bed without a peep.
By the next morning, however, he was worse.  The blotches on his arms and neck had turned to patches, and it was hard to find much white in between the red.  He still didn't seem to mind it, but Brandon left me the car so I could take him in to the health unit.
And so I did.  They, after asking about anything new or unusual in diet or exposure, were just as mystified as I was.  But, despite the mystification, they sent me home with a different type of anti-histamine, Zyrtec, and prednisone, just in case.  I started Edwin that afternoon, and in the morning the hives looked much better.
Tonight while we were eating dessert, Sophia commented that Edwin didn't have any more spots.  "Yes I do," Edwin replied cheerfully, "but they're called freckles!"
So that's the story of the mystery hives.  I have no idea where they came from and no idea what will bring them back.  So I guess that means I'll just live my life as normal and break out the Zyrtec if or when the hives show back up.  And if not?  Then I'll have Zyrtec for someone else's mystery hives.  It's always good to be prepared.

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