So I think I’m allergic to mould

The worst welts, subdued somewhat by double-dose antihistamines and steroid cream

We’ve moved, more or less. That is, we’re done very little unpacking, and we still have some odds and ends at our old house, but all the toys are in the new house. 

I’ve had “eczema” to varying degrees since I went back to work full-time in May. I’ve had occasional patches of dry skin on my hands that can’t be tamed by moisturiser my whole life, but didn’t really start referring to it as “eczema” until right after Tommy was born, because it briefly got really bad then (I also briefly had a sun allergy at the same time, which was bizarre, but very real, but hasn’t come back… Postpartum hormones are crazy, man). 

Anyway, it got bad again when I went back to work. I’ve read that stress and diet can cause flare ups, and those were definitely relevant, so I assumed this was just my new normal. But then once we started packing (frequent contact with musty-smelling clothes from the back of the closet, constantly stirring up dust, and going through old papers) my hands started looking like they were having an actual allergic reaction: insanely itchy, with big, angry welts [1], despite regular use of steroid cream and daily antihistamines (I’ve since gone up to twice-daily antihistamines, which are supposed to last 24 hours, but I just can’t go that long between doses). 

Which I ignored, of course. It’s just the added stress of the move. Not an allergic reaction, which it clearly was, almost certainly brought on by our mouldy house, even though we keep talking about how glad we are to be getting away from the mould. Even though the flare ups consistently came after serious packing evenings (I suspect now that my “eczema” might have just been a lower-grade allergic reaction, given that it became an issue last autumn, when our house really started getting significantly mouldy). 

I should have seen a doctor when it first got really bad about 3 weeks ago (when we started packing, surprise, surprise). But I avoid doctors generally, and being Canadian, I find New Zealand’s two-tier health care system confusing to navigate[2]. I actually made an appointment at one point, but missed the ferry I needed to catch to get to it in time, and then that was that.

So here I am, just now realising all by myself that it’s not normal to be this uncomfortable (and therefore needlessly cranky with everyone and everything) and that I need to just DEAL WITH THIS, which of course I won’t do, because I’m too busy  unpacking, and cleaning, and dealing with the usual tight schedule of work and kids, to actually deal with anything else. 

But I’ll try to be less cranky, at least. 
 


  1. I’ve had a true acute allergic reaction to something once before. I went swimming in a lake and the next day everything that had been covered by my bathing suit was covered in a rash like I currently have on my hands. I was given prednisone, which did the trick after a couple days of agony.  
  2. The most ridiculous part: I actually have excellent private insurance through work, but that just adds to the confusion, so I’ve just been paying for doctors’ visits that I’m pretty sure are actually covered.
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