My hives are finally getting better. It’s about time. I’ve had them for just over a week and I have complained about them, vociferously, every single day. I don’t know if it was the Benadryl, the Aveeno, or the constant threats of suicide that finally did them in, but I’m not sorry to see them go.

I don’t like that I get hives, but in a way it’s almost gratifying to have such a palatable physical reaction to something. There’s no arguing with hives. It’s not psychosomatic or exaggerated for attention. As the child of a hypochondriac, I think about these things. Maybe my migraines aren’t really migraines, I think. Maybe when I say my back hurts it’s just the normal aches and pains everyone has and I’m just blowing it out of proportion. But when my body erupts in bright pink welts and tiny fluid-filled blisters, well - that’s just that. It might not be bad enough to cause my throat to swell and require a shot of epinephrine - which, to be honest, I would not like at all - but they’re still quite obviously unpleasant, and not a figment of my imagination.

(Yes, thank you, I am aware that I should be telling this to a therapist.)

I’m glad the kid doesn’t seem to have inherited this particular droplet from mama’s gene pool. His skin marks really easily, just like mine, but thus far he doesn’t seem to have allergies. I know, two and a half months is a little too early to say for sure, but hopefully he’ll be the kind of kid who can frolic through clouds of pollen and not get so much as a sniffle. When I was a kid I was allergic to all sorts of things. Cats, dust, Strawberry Shortcake dolls - all made me sneeze and wheeze, but since my dad wasn’t the sort of person who liked doctors I never had any of it diagnosed or treated. When I was in high school (and living with my mom) I had a pretty serious breathing problem and was diagnosed with asthma, but since the emergency room doctor phrased it oddly (”allergy-induced asthma symptoms”) I didn’t think I had actual asthma until a few years later. And it wasn’t until several years later that I realized I was horribly allergic to the mold on the trees where we lived when I was in high school - which explained why I’d get so dizzy and out of breath when we had to go running in the woods for P.E. class. They’d make me run anyway, of course - they thought I was faking. Oh how I wish I could make my high school P.E. teacher feel bad about this now.

Matt was a really allergic kid, too - tubes in his ears and everything. Part of me is sort of jealous that he actually got treated for his allergies. No one was telling him he was faking it. Then again, I feel that way about a lot of things.

So, so glad the hives are going away. I would be very happy if I never had to deal with this again.

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