There are people who have suffered from stress-related hives for most of their lives, and I now realise that it can be debilitating and stressful in itself. I have never considered myself to be of a nervous disposition, but last year I discovered that I get hives in specific stressful situations. While I have been through moving countries, persistent unemployment (the financial crash in 2008/9 decimated the government funded training sector), planning a wedding, and exam stress. My stress indicator has always been particularly nasty migraines. This time, the stressful situation is the arrival of my mother
I love my mother. In fact, I love both of my parents, but when they came to visit last year, I stressed, much. Days before they arrived I was convinced that mosquitoes were unilaterally targeting me. Huge, itchy bumps formed all over my body, and I could not stop scratching (I have the scars to prove it). My parents stayed for a week, which was lovely (two would have been too long for all of us) and we enjoyed the time together. However, the scratching persisted, and the bumps continued to appear throughout the visit.
The day of their departure was emotional. While there were tears on the day I left the UK, they had never left me in a foreign country before (from recollections of my behaviour on a trip to Spain when I was three they might have wanted to), and it was very watery goodbye. The day after their departure every single itchy lump had gone, only the scabs, where I had scratched too hard, remained. It was too immediate a change to be pure coincidence.
Repeat performance, Stress = More Hives.
Next week my parents are returning, and I’m looking forward to seeing them but… Yep, you guessed it; the hives are also returning. The weirdest part is that I don’t feel all that stressed about it this time. Learned response maybe?
This time I have prepared. I have chamomile ointment, antihistamine cream (just in case something else is causing it) I also have some Kalms and Bach Rescue Remedy from Boots. If I get any more chilled-out for this visit, I might as well be on Valium.