Hives / Life / Workouts

The Hives – One Year Later

…and no, I’m not talking music here. 😉

In the past few weeks, opportunities have arisen which have resulted in me discovering a healthy-living blogging community fairly close to home. SO AWESOME!  Due to this discovery, there have been some new readers lurking around, so I thought I would do a ‘where I’m at’ post to fill in those who have no idea what I might be talking about, all while updating those of you who have been reading for some time.

The topic – HIVES.

It was about this time last year when I began suffering from a mysterious form of hives. To make a long story short, one afternoon last June, I noticed what looked like some hives on my arms.  The next day they were gone, but then as days went on, they slowly began creeping up in different places.  Come July, they progressively got worse and worse and I literally went something like 8 weeks of having hives EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Things got so bad, that I even had to make a trip to the ER.  After seeing several doctors and trying so many different forms of medication, steroids and antihistamines, I finally got to see an Allergist at the end of September.  It was at that appointment when I was told that the hives were not the cause of an allergy, but that I had some sort of auto-immune disorder.  They couldn’t tell me why I had the hives, or how they came to be.  The only thing they could do for me was try to find a combination of medications to keep me comfortable in hopes that the hives would eventually burn out and never come back again.  A very high dose of hydroxizine and zantac ended up doing the trick and although I was popping up to 10 pills a day, I was finally starting to feel more comfortable in October.

By December, the hives were being controlled with meds, but emotionally I just was not happy.  Having hives constantly meant that I was unable to do any sort of workout during the summer months as sweating just made everything worse.  Honestly, I felt so self conscious and horrible about my body at that point as I had gained about 10lbs due to not working out and being on prednisone several times.  Finally I decided to do something about it and began my first of 2 Jillian Michaels workout challenges.

Throughout the winter, I worked my little butt off and finally at the end of January, after a visit to the Allergist, I was taken off of my meds.  The hives seemed to have burned out and I can say that as of today, I can’t remember the last time I saw one. *knock on wood!!*

So why the post today?

Well, despite the fact that I haven’t experienced any actual physical hives in a long time, I can tell that during that bout last year, something changed in my body.  My skin now seems to be extra sensitive to pretty much any sort of pressure or touch. Back in February, when I attempted my first run in months, as my body really got going, I began to experience a bright red rash that itched like crazy.  I panicked when it first showed up, but then as soon as I walked and let my heart rate come back down, the rash disappeared.  It really threw me for a loop, but at the time I just decided that maybe running wasn’t in the cards for me anymore.

Then we went to Jamaica.  The gym was nice and cold, so I decided to try running again.  It was in Jamaica where I managed my first 5K run in about 6 months and I did so without getting any sort of rash.  I was fixed!!  Or so I thought…

Upon coming home, I began running again on a more regular schedule and then in April decided that I would attempt to tackle the Sporting Life 10K for the second time.  I trained my heart out and I ran that race.  I felt great!! I was running again and loving every minute of it!

Now let’s rewind about 4 weeks.

It was about 25 degrees outside and the sun was shining.  I decided to go for a run on a Friday evening and about 10 minutes in, my stomach started to itch…. CRAP.  I took a walking break for about 2 minutes and the rash/itch subsided so I continued to run.  It was a back and forth process for the whole run and I managed about 3K before giving up and going home.  Now, ever since that run, I have been experiencing the red itchy rash during every workout – running, strength training…even when riding. 😦  The longest ride that I’ve managed in the past few weeks is 30 minutes before my stomach starts to itch like crazy. 

Looking forward now, I have learned/realized that I’m just going to have to modify my workouts throughout these hot summer months.  As long as it’s super hot outside, I sadly don’t see myself signing up for any more races, but I’m still going to try to get in some shorter runs – perhaps in the early morning before the sun gets too hot?  As for riding, a 30 minute workout is still good for me, so I now go out with a strategy of trying to fill in as much ‘work’ as I can in about 20 minutes and then we just walk/hack around.  Chelsea likes not having to work so hard and I don’t seem to start itching until about the 20 minute mark anyway.. Last summer I think I managed to ride MAYBE 2 times, so if I can still manage at least 3 x 30 min rides a week this summer, I’ll be a happy camper.

I’ve definitely been through a lot in the past year, but am definitely thankful that I can still workout at this point.  As of now, there are no set workout schedules on my fridge like there were during the winter.  I take each day as it comes, but I’m still moving.  I am happy and I am moving, so for that I am thankful.

If you want to read more from my hives ordeal, I blogged about it Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here (to the ER), Here,  HereHereHereHere, Here. It was very odd reading back on those posts just now.  I was so sad and depressed back then… so glad things are better now!! 🙂


11 thoughts on “The Hives – One Year Later

  1. Laura,
    I’m so happy you’ve found some peace. Even though the situation isn’t 100% cured… and I’m in the same boat with my issues since the honeymoon. You adapt and keep moving right?
    Good for you for keeping your chin up

    • thank you for the kind words. i’ve definitely learned to take each day as it comes and just deal with what’s been handed to me. i know it could be a lot worse, so might as well make the best of the situation. 🙂

  2. Oh wow! That must have been so difficult to stop running and riding! I’m so glad that you are happy and moving again. Nothing is worse than not being able to do what you love. Here’s to hoping that everything is up from here! 🙂

    • It was definitely a rough few months. The day I finally got to ride after so much time off, and then the day I ran a 5K with no itchiness were some of my happiest!! Although things aren’t 100% right now, at least I can still do those things in moderation, so I’m a happy camper. 🙂

  3. Wow I totally remember reading those posts last year as you were going through it. At the time I remember thinking it sounded like an autoimmune disease (my mom has lupus)…I’m so glad things are looking up for you and that you have such a positive outlook!

  4. Hi Laura! I totally forgot to respond to your comment on my About page… I actually grew up outside of Blackstock and have a ton of friends in Bowmanville, so not far at all! I did just move to Toronto from Whitby though, so sadly we are no longer almost neighbours. But yes, you definitely need to come to the next blogger meetup. I didn’t know anyone, so it was awesome to meet other bloggers from the area!

    Now about this post…that is terrible about your hives! I can’t believe you had them for an entire summer! I would cry. At least an itchy rash while working out is better than hives 24/7.
    Something has changed in my skin over the last few years as well. I don’t get hives…but sometimes when I am working out I’ll get a bit of a rash on my limbs from all the blood rushing to them (I assume that’s what it’s from, my limbs get all tingly), and anything remotely rough that touches my skin will leave a rash: seaweed, sand, potato wedges, facial hair…beards are not my friend. I also swell up HUGE if I am bitten by anything.

    It’s definitely good you are keeping a positive attitude and are not in the same place you were last year!

    • Hi Lindsey!
      So close, but so far!! Just read your post about the move – glad to hear you’re happy so far in the big city!!! 🙂
      That’s crazy to hear that your skin has changed over the last few years as well. Funny enough, when I finally made it to the allergist in Oshawa, she told me i was person #31 that she had seen in that month with the same issue!! Even thought I was told it’s auto-immune, part of me tends to think that there has to be some sort of weed or something out there now affecting me and everyone else. The pesticide ban has only been on for a few years now and I really think there’s something growing out there that was never there before.

  5. Pingback: 12 Years Of Chelsea: Part 3 | My Pink Thumb

  6. Hello Laura!I’ve just read your story and I am truly moved because I’m going through the same situation.I have hives only in my calves for six months now and although they are lean and not itchy,the red marks just don’t seem to go away.I wore a pair of very tight boots the same period I noticed the hives appearing for the first time,I don’t know if this is what caused the problem.Do you think the fact that they are not swollen or itchy anymore can be considered a progress?I am overweight and I have problems with my theroid so I would try to avoid taking pills.I’m pretty hopeless seeing these red marks being on my calves for six months now,I’m sure you understand me.I would appreciate very much any advice,thank you and keep up that gorgeous smile of yours! 🙂

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