Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Be gone, you stinkin' hives!

In 2005 (I think) I got a herniated disk in my neck. My neck never really hurt. My limbs were always numb and tingly. My stomach knotted up and tried to detatch itself from the rest of the pipes when I ate, and when I didn't eat, it hurt then too. I was always faint and I couldn't stay awake for very long at a time. My average day looked like this: Wake up. Fill dog's food and water bowls. Get dressed. Get dogs outside. Leave for work and eat on the way to work. Pull over to take a nap. Get to work. Work for a little bit. Take nap. Work for a little bit. Take nap. Eat lunch. Work. Take nap. Work. Drive home. Pull over to take nap. Get home. Say hi to dogs. Climb stairs to the bedroom. Take nap. Feed dogs and me dinner. Go to bed for the night. I wasn't awake much but when I was, everything hurt so much. It was a LOOOOOOOOOONG 5 months!! They found the herniated disk finally and sent me to physical therapy and also sent me to be put in traction a couple times a week to take the pressure of the disk. A few weeks later, everything returned to normal....except 1 thing.

My allergies changed. I am still allergic to sagebrush and cranberries but not cats. I can pet them to my heart's delight now. :o) But I am allergic to something new now. I have no idea what! But whatever it is, it has given me a case of chronic hives. I refused to take allergy medicine for it for about 6 months. I would be covered in hives over more than half my body most of the time. They were itchy too!!! I finally caved in and started taking claratin. It offers some relief but not completely.

One would think that during and after a shower, my skin would feel great, relieved even, after having all the allergens washed off but it has been the opposite for me. My worst cases of hives have been in the shower or directly after it, and also when changing clothes. Because of this, I have started believing that my skin is allergic to the chemicals, preservatives or fragrances used in things like shampoo/conditioner, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, laundry & dish detergent, face wash and dryer sheets. I could be way off on this but I can't explain that any other way. So, in an attempt to make things better for myself, I have sporadically and temporarily replaced some of those products with more natural products. But since I haven't switched everything at once, I really have no idea.

So my new experiment is to stop using all those items and replace them with fragrance, chemical, preservative free items. Homemade is cheapest so I'll use those when feasible. I have switched to fragrance & chemical free laundry detergent and quit using dryer sheets. I rarely get hives when changing clothes these days. Seems like I'm onto something there. I have unscented lye soap for use in the shower but haven't made the switch to natural shampoo/conditioner or the other things yet but one thing at a time...

This morning, I made up a batch of toothpaste.

I just used some baking soda and added enough water to make a paste. Then I added some peppermint extract. I was supposed to use peppermint oil but didn't have any. I couldn't even taste it even though I added quite a bit by the time I was done. I need to use the oil in the next batch. WOW! You'll be awake by the time you're done brushing your teeth! It's got a severe taste...kind of salty in that it stings like a mouthful of salt. It wasn't my favorite thing to use but I will experiment and get it right and with time will get used to it some. I just put it in a tiny little tupperware container and dipped my brush in get some on the bristles. I've eaten twice since brushing my teeth this morning and my teeth still feel nice and clean.

Hopefully, this experiment gives me the results I am looking for and I'll be free of the allergy medicine once again. I can hope anyway!


Us said...

Wow, you are really inventive (even if you didn't invent it). I would never have tried out my own toothpaste. Good luck banishing your hives!

Stella Andes said...

Glad your hives are going away!

When we were very poor (when I was a kid), we used baking soda to brush our teeth. Sometimes you see toothpastes with real baking soda, but I think it's not a major ingredient. I did not like it, but it's a great natural alternative. By the way, we used to use Crystal dish detergent as shampoo too. I wouldn't recommend that.

Valerie said...

I hope all that work helps your hives disappear! I remember a few times when we ran out of toothpaste and Mom had us use baking soda (no peppermint oil).
Y-U-C-K!!! I have peppermint oil. Sorry you can't come borrow some.

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