It started as a fine day. Too busy, but good as far as Thursday mornings go.
At approximately 10:17, I noticed a stinging, itching area on my left breast. I checked it out in the ladies, since it required mirror work. I mean I couldn't exactly ask the lady in the next office to check for anything weird looking on my breast. She frowns on things like that.
Anyway, there was a good sized red patch with an itchy and burning feeling. Back at my office, within minutes, my arms began itching. Then my neck. Scratch, rub, rub, 25 mg. of an over the counter antihistamine and a quick step back to the ladies.
Wow! Lucy, my left breast, was sort of magenta-colored and angry as a wet hen. And from about my navel (which isn't named because that would just be strange, don't you think?) up, my body was becoming more colorful and very, very itchy.
You might think that scratching would help. It doesn't help at all. It makes things worse and I knew it was going to make things worse because it's a burning, painful itch. It hurts to scratch yet I was compelled by an unseen force more irresistible than gravity, more persistent than a televangelist on crack to scratchscratchscratch.
Resistance was futile. I took another 25 mg. of the antihistamine. I didn't care if I couldn't drive home. I didn't think about the clients I had stacked up for the afternoon. I just had to have that. . . next. . . SCRATCH.
An other urgent trip to the ladies. The door was nearly closed when I lifted my blouse in front of the mirror to discover that Rita, my right breast, was now nearly as bright as her sister. Little dark red dots we popping up all over my torso. My tummy itched, my back ITCHED! Looking at it didn't help, but I couldn't not look. We're talking fluorescent color, here. Shocking pink!
Back to my office. Two hands were not enough to scratch. I rubbed against the walls and door jams like a July cow against a tree. Coworkers were watching from a safe distance with distasteful expressions. No one likes to see scratching and this was no ordinary scratching! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Scratchscratchscratch.
Can I take more Benedryl? Would it help? I caught Dr. Tran in the hall. I itch all over! How much antihistamine can I take? I itch from the inside out! Ohmygod, HELP ME!
He said things. Something about what did I eat. . . will probably go away. . . few side effects. . .cortisone. I wasn't really listening very well because I was rubbing my back against someone else' office door while scratching my arms with my hands and rubbing my arms against my torso, sort of hopping from foot to foot. What I heard was that I could take more antihistamine.
Wait, I'll go to ER and get a shot of . . . . well, I don't know, but surely there is something that will save me. But that would require walking in, waiting, explaining. . . . I don't have that kind of time, here. By the time I make someone understand we might very possibly be dealing with an other-worldly weapon, I could be home and wearing nothing but ice.
So home I came. My clothes were off before I got through the living room. Ice packs, antihistamines, squirming against the sheets and regretting it. Good night, Irene!
I woke several hours later itching, but this time it was a more Earthly itch. Rita and Lucy were pink, but my skin was no longer glowing. There is a circle of dark red around what looks like an insect bite. My head is pounding and my eyes are bloodshot. I ache. But I've begun to think of my skin as a friendly organ again.
And tomorrow I get to go see if anyone at work will speak to me.