What’s wrong with Inga – Chapter 39

I have itchies.

They started as a handful of inoffensive red dots on my belly, which I diagnosed as sweat rash from my hectic gym schedule at the time.

A week later the dots had spread up my sides, over my lower back and onto my thighs and itched like a motherbitch. Another week later it had spread down my upper arms and across my chest, and I’d wake up several times during the night to find I’d scratched myself hard enough to leave welts and bruises. Yet another fortnight of vigorous scritching with various household objects (hairbrushes, keys, the cat), and the dots have all merged into itchy red splotches. My torso looks like something you’d find in a swamp on CSI Miami. Horatio would dip his sunglasses and say “Well….I’d say the stupid woman should’ve gone to see a doctor. But damn, she sure is fit and skinny.”

Actually Horatio, I did go and see a doctor. She gave me Prednisolone pills and said “you’re having an allergic reaction to something”. This is utter bull dust because Inga does not have allergies. I grew up with mud, cow shit, pesticides and herbicides. I have been bitten by every bitey thing imaginable; ticks, leeches, wasps, bees, dogs, spiders, cats, chickens, cockatoos and GOF. I can romp through grass clippings, snort a line of pollen and eat a 10kg serving of shellfish satay with extra peanuts. Don’t tell me it’s an allergy, you ignorant, over-educated squaw.  

That said, I took her devil-pills which predictably did nothing. I then went to a different doctor, who stared befuddled at my manky torso for a couple of minutes before giving me a referral for some blood tests. After hemming and hawing and scratching for a few more days, I finally called the pathologist today to make an appointment.

“Oh, we don’t take appointments. You just come in and take a number.”

You’ve got to be f**** kidding me. This is supposed to be a healthcare system, not the fricken Woolworths deli. Go plank yourselves.  

So in short: I’m still itchy and I’d like my friends on the internets to tell me what’s wrong with me. I haven’t changed my soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, bread, cat, or meth dealer. My mum says it’s shingles, and I have a lingering suspicion it’s stress related. I’d post a photo, but every shot I take looks vaguely pornographic. The internet is not for porn.


27 thoughts on “What’s wrong with Inga – Chapter 39

  1. Dunno what it is. I’d suggest whisky. Taken internally, in increasingly large doses. Until you pass out. But then I prescribe that for everything, even as a preventative if you can’t find something wrong with you. Aren’t you sorry you asked…

  2. Shingles? chicken pox? I had chicken pox and it was certainly itchy. Impetigo? That’s bloody itchy too but more scabby than spotty. Scabies? I’d probably get a second opinion if I were you.

    • I’m getting a third opinion later this evening. I’d kind of hope that a trained medical professional would be able to spot shingles, chicken pox or scabies right away…but then again maybe I doth expect too much.

  3. Go and get yer blood work done, sweetie, they probably do it super quick and that’s why they don’t take appointments. After all how long can it take to draw a 10 ml tube of blood?
    I think shingles are supposed to hurt like a bitch… it’s called ‘hell’s fire’ in Danish… and I think you’d be more ill faster than you sound to be. I can think of some friendly fungi that would do that sort of things… they don’t like lower pH… they LOOOVE normal soap (high pH)….
    and then ya know… allergies have to start at some point… we’re not usually born with them… Have you changed anything in yer diet? – a friend of mine got a rash all over from eating anything with artificial colouring… especially red and orange candy….

    • Well I’m going to a different doctor, and if they recommend blood tests again then I’ll bite the bullet and go. I haven’t changed anything in my diet that I can think of, but then again my food choice is usually pretty random anyway. I kind of hope it’s something fungal, that’ll be easier to treat than having to determine what the hell I’ve become allergic to.

  4. I don’t know what’s wrong with you but as someone who grew up in a FOREST and I mean backwoods, 26 miles to school, working 4 hours of manual labor a day PLUS school, etc–I grew up on a real, working farm with all the normal animals you can think of and plenty of insects, pesticides, dumping used motor oil to control the dust that came up from our chat* road, etc.

    I wasn’t allergic to Jack Shit. Now, I’m allergic to almost everything. The last reaction was from a simple COMMON, non-venomous spider and it almost killed me (the swelling was one thing, the difficulty breathing was a BAD thing and the fresh blood oozing out of my pores all over the torso was just fing kewl-looking).

    One *develops* allergies. For those of us who had more bites, stings and “access” to irritants, a long life means gaining allergies. I hope you do not share in this fate (gain allergies, not live a short life).

    *chat: local mining jargon from the mid-1800s TOXIC waste rocks. The mining companies didn’t know what to do with it, so they left it in piles … which meant nice, free rocks to turn your tracks into proper roads, albeit toxic…why not add some used motor oil which is full of dioxin–more toxic–to hold down that dust that makes everybody hack?

    • Damn…I’m sorry you’ve developed all those allergies! I’m trying to ignore the ‘allergy’ theory because I don’t want to be allergic to anything. If I ignore it, it will go away – right? Just like the dioxin in those roads.

    • I looked up psoriasis, but the rash doesn’t quite seem to be crusty enough. I bought some ‘natural’ eczema and psoriasis cream to try out, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much apart from making me smell like a hippie’s bedroom.

      • Yeah, I’ve struggled with psoriasis off and on all my life, and lemme tell you, none of that natural crap works. What did work? Losing my high-stress job, and cutting out coffee, BION.

  5. Everybody else is missing the really important part … SINCE WHEN IS THE INTERNET NOT FOR PORN???

    Okay, I’m not a doctor, but I’m thinking along the lines of the other folks here – not shingles, probably … maybe psoriasis, maybe hives (stress related). Go to the meat market and take a number.

    Or ask GOF … if he doesn’t bite you.

    • Oh GOM, porn is soooo 90’s. Social networking is the new porn! I like the thought of stress related hives, because then it becomes a Workcover issue and I can get compensation. Yay!

      I try not to ask GOF anything if it can be helped.

  6. A pinetarsol bath. They’re nice. not. I don’t think you have chicken pox or shingles. Don’t you need to have had chicken pox to develop shingles. I had a friend who had shingles and he was in more pain than itch. And chicken pox start with one dot. The mother pox I call it. I ended up going to the hospital one day because of a sudden insanely itchy rash that developed for no apparent reason and they gave me something that knocked me out for the day and when I woke up it was gone. Was it phenergan? I think they give it to kids when they have chicken pox to stop them scratching. They gave me a mega dose.

    • I had mild chicken pox when I was little, then again when I was 22. My mum made me take that pine thingy bath the second time round, and it wasn’t too bad really. Didn’t look or smell nice though. I still have the scar from the mother pox.

      I wouldn’t mind something to knock me out when things are shitty in general. “Oh I’m having a crap day, I’ll take some phenergan and when I wake up it’ll be over”. Maybe that’s what vodka’s for.

  7. I’d be very inclined to take Drude’s advice if symptoms are not naturally diminishing.

    It could be inherited…..from your Mother’s side of the family.

    • I’m going to another doctor tonight…if they also have no clue then I’ll go to the stupid blood people.

      I’m sending you the doctor’s bills. 😉

  8. Did you have chicken pox later in life? I had shingles as a result. Also people can develop allergies later in life. Happens all the time. Not to mention, spider bites. I wake up with them all the time, even here where poisonous animals are almost unheard of.

    That really sucks about the deli-style health care. What a racket – is there anywhere else you can go (with sane people in charge)?

    The only time I’ve seen a body-wide rash on anyone was when the animal shelter had an outbreak of ringworm (as I’m sure you already know, it’s a fungus. Horribly itchy, hard to get rid of). It’s easily spread through all kinds of animals, the furry ones may not show the skin symptoms.

    That’s all my guesses for now, I totally get you don’t want to show photos but a pic is worth a thousand words. Otherwise, maybe ruling stuff out is a good way to go.

    • I had chicken pox at 22, it stopped me going to a wedding. The pathologist I called was one branch of a very prominent chain – I just assumed they’d all have the same service. Plus I can’t be arsed traipsing down there, then having to make another appointment with the doctor to get my results, only to be told I have ebola or something. The whole process annoys the crap out of me, and frankly I’d rather sit here and scratch.

      You did actually give me an idea though – a few days before it started, I visited the cat shelter and was handling the manky stray kitties. Maybe it is ringworm, or something animal related. I’ll mention it to doc number three – thanks!

  9. Some good advice here. I don’t know what to add. I know stress can cause itchy rash attacks.
    But my son and his wife were out pulling up groundcover at their house and got into something….never did find out what it was…but they were covered with horrible itchy bumps, some fluid filled. Docs tried prednisone. Nothing.

    The thing that helped the most was a lotion of topical hydrocortisone and calamine.

    (I only “liked” the post because it made me laugh. I am not laughing at your suffering!)

      • I’ll bet that is what it was, kim! The medical folks they sought treatment with didn’t really know anything. 😛
        But, it finally did go away, and the calamine really helped.

    • Wow, poison oak sure sounds like fun. A few people at work have recommended the hydrocortisone and calamine

      You can laugh at my suffering Lauri, I usually laugh at other people’s! 🙂

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