I'm feeling much better than before. My low-grade fever reached its peak at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday. By Tuesday evening my temperature was down to 98.8, and today it was 98.4 at last check (for reference, 98.6 is considered perfect).
The thing about low-grade fevers is that they are high enough that I feel really awful (with headache, achy body, generally feverish, etc.), but they are low enough that I am still pretty functional. My fevers usually hang around 99.0 to 99.2, so the 99.5 on Monday was a bit of a surprise.
Anyway, fevers are not what this post is supposed to be about....
Just so you know, right now I am insanely itchy.
So itchy, in fact, that I've scratched so hard in a few places that I've unintentionally drawn blood. It is taking a lot of self control to not scratch long enough for me to type.
Why am I itchy, you ask?
Here's the background. I've had severe allergies since childhood. A few years ago I had allergy testing and started immunotherapy (allergy shots) for grasses, trees, and dust mites. I've still been experiencing allergy symptoms even though I've been on allergy shots, so I wondered if I had developed a new allergy to my cat whom I've had for just two years (see Healing Power of Pets for a photo of my cat, Callie).
I went to see my allergy and asthma doctor last week, and she scheduled me for a cat allergy test (to be done today).
I was instructed to stop my antihistamines (generic Zyrtec and allergy eyedrops) for one week before my test; however, I could take Benedryl up to 24 hours before my test if necessary. Within a few days of my stopping my antihistamines, I started feeling itchy in my hands and feet. Benedryl was the only thing that helped the itching and allowed me to sleep.
After a long, itchy week (which included my weekend of low-grade fevers) I finally had my cat allergy test this afternoon. On the bright side, I'm not allergic to cats. Hooray!
On the downside, now that I've been a week off Zyrtec my entire body is itchy. Really itchy.
All day I thought that the first thing I wanted to do when I got home was take my antihistamine to stop the itching. However, I also wondered why I was itching so terribly because I did not remember ever itching this much in this way before (except when I was experiencing anaphylaxis after an allergy shot gone awry). It is important to note that I have eczema, but what I am experiencing is not an eczema itch.
Rather than popping a Zyrtec when I got home, I got online. I wondered if stopping an antihistamine after taking it for a long time would cause itchiness, so I searched for "itchy after stopping antihistamine."
Amazingly, I stumbled upon a woman's blog called "Quit Zyrtec, Get Itchy!"
Wow. It described what I seem to be experiencing.
I'm going to test this possibility (i.e., that I am itchy because I stopped taking Zyrtec) by not going back on the Zyrtec for a while (or never again...haven't decided yet). So that I do not go completely insane (and so that I stop scratching until I bleed), I have to take Benedryl to help stop the itching at night so that I can sleep. I may eventually try switching to a low dose Claritin.
I'll be sure to post updates.
I need an ice pack right now.
Today's Activities: work. Today's Most Annoying Symptoms: exhaustion, muscle fatigue, mild headache, eczema flare up on right ankle, ITCHING!
Mood (10 is best): 6
Energy (10 is best): 4
Physical Discomfort (10 is worst): 8 (because of the horrible full-body itching)