My Left Foot

CW: I have no idea if I can blur images but you’re going to see some allergic reactions in the following entry. Proceed at your own risk.

A black button with white text that states, “allergic to you.”

One would think Sunday would be a day off from medical issues. But the chronically ill never get a day off, it seems.

I had to visit urgent care a few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, for multiple, inflamed bug bites, the worst of which were on my left foot. I was already trying oral diphenhydramine, spray of the same name, and prescription cortisone cream, in addition to NSAIDS. My left foot was burning with a 6/10 pain intensity.

More bites seemed to appear between Saturday morning and Sunday morning. We attended a performance at the outdoor Shakespeare festival the preceding Thursday and I had noticed a few random bug bites on my arm prior to that night.

The next day, I forgot what day it was when I was trying to ask the CT technician how his week was. I started thinking, and then in a horrified tone, said, “Is it Monday???” He replied, “As far as I’m aware.” In my defense, the day prior had turned into a work day between the urgent care visit and paperwork that had a strict deadline. So it wasn’t a day of rest but holy cats.

I also blame what is known as “brain fog” for my lack of awareness of what day it was. If I didn’t have alarms set I would forget all my appointments. And when to take my vitamins. And when to put my important eye drops in. I’m still getting it done. But there are a lot more lists involved. And I email myself quite a lot so that I don’t forget things.

Brain fog can be related to two of the three things I believe I will (eventually) have diagnoses for. One of them is known as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). It’s too complex for me to fully understand, but the types of symptoms I have experienced are definitely a match.

My more haywire types of allergic reactions have been going on since I unsuccessfully tried immunotherapy in 2013. Now, it appears the unpredictable reactions are back with a vengeance. I am trying to figure out how to blur photos in case you don’t want to see the types of allergic reactions I was having to things I was not allergic to when I tried allergy shots. Here goes nothing:

A picture of very red, flushed hands sitting on a pair of bright blue pants.
I did an experiment with one shot of vodka. Which I am not allergic to. Good times.

Yeah, sorry. I couldn’t figure it out. I can only do research on my phone and YouTube videos are not my friend right now. Apologies.

I woke up at 4am this morning, did the dishes, fed the cats. Now I’m trying to finish this entry for the umpteenth time before I try for more sleep.

From my readings on a Discord channel regarding certain conditions, I heard of something called a “3am histamine dump.” It seems our levels of histamine rise sometime before dawn. If you’re like me and you have severe allergies (or a potential mast cell issue), the rise in histamine can wake you up and cause all kinds of symptoms.

So the mystery of why I wake up consistently between 3 and 4:30am might finally be solved! I always thought it was insomnia due to a mood disorder.

Speaking of said mood disorder, I am working on actually being tested to confirm what mental conditions I have. I watched someone very close to me struggle with a misdiagnosis for almost three years. Then all of my health issues can glaringly into focus, and folks on the internet started asking me if I had a certain diagnosis because of our similar health histories.

It’s almost like all of these things are connected. Anyhow, I’m establishing with a behavioral health center via zoom next month to get to the bottom of some of this. Childhood developmental issues clearly indicate a diagnosis that wasn’t talked about much in the early 80s. Pair that with my present symptoms and a revised diagnosis makes a lot more sense.

My allergist also explained that just because I’m not technically allergic to some things doesn’t mean I can’t have a sensitivity to them. I explained my history of delayed, severe allergic reactions dating back to my short-lived immunotherapy days. It is expected that some patients will experience anaphylaxis after receiving an allergy shot. It is not as normal for that reaction to be delayed by 8 or 9 hours.

Which brings me back to the big bites. The only time I was outside and my feet were prone to bites was that fateful Thursday evening. The bites presented over 24 hours later. But the opportunity to see “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival? WORTH IT. And I would do it again.

A very pale foot with many inflamed bug bites, most prominently on the ankle.
Not the type of foot pic you were looking for. They got worse after this.

But next time I’ll cover my feet.

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