1 step forward, 10 steps back

Have you ever felt like you just can’t catch a break? Like the whole world is conspiring against you? Like no matter what you do, things just can’t go right?

This is my life right now. This is the all-encompassing theme of my hive struggle. Every time I think we have made some sort of progress, no matter how big or small, something comes along to remind me that the hives are in control and winning. Every time I take one step in the right direction, those itchy, red son of a guns smack me right in the face and put me 10 steps backwards. I’ve got to be honest with you here, I’m so tired of it all. I’m so beat down mentally and physically. My poor body is fighting so hard and it’s just not winning. My positive attitude is diminishing. The negative side is creeping through. And although I know I need to change my perspective and be grateful for what is going well, I can’t seem to see through the pile of crap holding me down.

I’ve always promised to be honest with you guys. And excuse the language here, but shit’s about to get real. This isn’t a post about how to change your negative feelings and be positive. It’s not a post about how to persevere through your troubles and angst. This is a post about where I’m at right now. And it’s not pretty. With social media being so prevalent in our lives we tend to only see the good and positive sides of things. But that’s not real and it certainly isn’t honest. So here’s a dose of honesty for you. I’m about to vent, so if you’re not interested, as I always tell Chris, now is the time to leave.

This past week was a rollercoaster. We had a blast in Chicago, but we partied hard, didn’t get enough sleep, and flew on two different circulated air, germ factories (as Chris likes to call airplanes) within 48 hours. Kenzie and my mom were both sick when we were gone and I caught what they had when we got back. Both of them kicked their virus within a couple of days, but not Carly! As Chris likes to say, I never do anything half-assed. So leave it to me to turn a small cold into a much bigger problem.

As far as the hives went this past week, I was ok. They were still there (aren’t they always 🙄) but nothing nearly as bad as they have been. Even though I had a bit of a cold, they seemed to be at bay. Here’s the worst part about the hives being calm. I spend the entire time that I’m not covered in hives paranoid about when I will be again. It’s so ridiculous. Trust me, if I could change this I would, but patterns are patterns and for me the hives ALWAYS come back.

Friday comes along and I wake up covered head to toe and my cold seemed to be worse. My lips were blown up and my spirits were knocked down. I was eating pink Benadryl tablets like candy and praying I didn’t have to take any roids. Chris and I had a fun night out planned with our friends to see Trevor Noah, and I was freaking out trying to pick an outfit that would cover the majority of my red spots. After my 5th outfit change, my mom kept telling me you could barely notice the ones on my face and Chris repeated to me countless times that we would be in a dark theatre and no one would see. But here’s the problem, I KNOW THEY ARE THERE. These stupid things take so much away from me. They destroy my confidence, they amp up my anxiety,they depress me, they make me feel sad, angry and defeated all at the same time. I want to not feel any of these things, but anytime I make progress in that department, they find a way to cut me down again.

Fast forward to yesterday: I woke up unable to talk or swallow without being in massive amounts of pain, because that’s good right? Let’s set the record straight here. I had my fair share of tequila on Cinco de Mayo but these weren’t hangover symptoms. I’m sure the drinking didn’t help, but I was covered in hives on Saturday and refused to let those itchy, red devils take away another fun day with friends. So I drank some margaritas, stayed up too late and had a grand old-time sitting by the fire in my backyard. And now I’m paying for it. See that’s the other thing about the hives, if I do something to spite them, they retaliate worse than a toddler. I say “screw you hives, I want to have fun regardless of you!” And they say, “hold my beer.” (If you don’t get that reference, look up “hold my beer memes.” You won’t be disappointed!)

I spent all day yesterday in bed and on the couch with a fever. I went to bed at 7pm filled with every cold and cough medicine you can imagine and slept until 10pm. Then the coughing started. Not only did I cough so loud and frequently that Chris tried to sleep in the other room, but I also woke up the baby. I told Chris to go back to bed and moved myself to the recliner in the bonus room where I managed to get about an hour or two of sleep. Chris had to call into work because taking care of Kenzie is my job and I’m so sick I couldn’t do it. Plus I needed a ride to the doctor’s office where they diagnosed me with a severe ear infection and upper respiratory infection. Again, I can’t do anything half-assed.

I think my favorite part (this is sarcasm) about being sick is that my hives flare even worse than normal. They get mean and nasty because they want to be he only things messing with my immune system. They are big, red, puffy, hot, and they hurt to touch. So on top of being miserably sick, I also get to deal with a terrible breakout.

I saw a different doctor today than normal because my PCP is out of the office on Monday’s. I had to explain the whole stupid hive saga to her. While she was doing my checkup, she was saying that she could see the hives on my hands and feet (had to wear flip-flops because my feet are so swollen from the hives) but wondered if I had any elsewhere. I sarcastically laughed and showed her my legs and torso. The look on her face was priceless and confirmed what I already know, that I’m some sort of hive monster. My incredible allergist told me a few weeks ago that I am the worst case of hives she has ever dealt with. She didn’t say it in a mean way and I certainly didn’t get offended. She just solidified what I already know. Getting a cure for these things is damned near impossible.

You may be feeling bad for me right about now, and that seriously isn’t my intention. But it’s important for me to be honest about how I’m feeling. I’m not sure venting here will make me feel better, but at least I can get some of it off my chest.

I’m feeling incredibly guilty that Chris had to take another day off of work. I’m feeling terrible about not being able to take care of Kenzie, because that’s my only job right now. She’s been reaching for me and saying “mama” and I can’t pick her up and make her feel better. I’m so mad that I finally had a couple of good days but now I’m back to where I was before. I’m so tired of feeling sick. I’m only 30. Aren’t these supposed to be the best years of my life? Why do I have to take at minimum 8 pills a day? The medicine I take makes me gain weight and no matter how healthy I eat or how many miles I run, I can’t change that. None of my clothes fit, I hate how I look, I hate so much right now. I know I should be thinking about all the wonderful things I do have (family, my kiddos, friends, my home, etc) but that’s almost impossible to do when I’m so bogged down with negativity.

Yesterday I cried on my dad’s shoulder and told him that I was tired of being sick, tired of feeling this way. He told me that this is just a bump in the road, a really big bump, but just a bump. But here’s my question: when will I hit the pavement? When will it be smooth sailing? And if I ever get there, how long will it last? Because right now, as far as my eyes can see, there is nothing but bumpy dirt road. And man, that’s just so depressing.

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