Sigh. Yet another drama dear reader. The dedicated follower of this blog (anyone?) will know I’ve had accommodation dramas; fingernail dramas; ankle dramas; hair dramas; and moisturiser dramas since arriving in Rome early May. And now we have the creepy lumpy hand drama.

Well, I’ve broken out in hives. Itchy nasty red lumpy hives. All over my fingers, along my thumbs and little fingers. This creepy itchy business has also extended to my chest and neck area. A few times in my life I’ve had hives but never on the chest or neck. A few days ago, I noticed tiny little lumps appearing on my fingers and, by lunch time, everything was in full swing – itchiness that nearly drove me mad and huge red raised lumps. By night-time things had progressed to the chest area and the large lumps on my fingers were swollen red welts that were getting painful.

This is when I need a friggin’ bloody Zyrtec because hives are caused by the release of histamine from white blood cells called mast cells. You pop a Zyrtec (or any other antihistamine tablet) and things calm down. Didn’t bring them with me did I? So I trot off (yet again) to the Farmacia in Testaccio. A different dude was behind the counter and thankfully he could speak a little English.

He examined my hands and wondered if I’d had an allergic reaction to some food. Possible but doubtful since I largely live on the same types of foods here in Rome and I’ve had no reaction this time or last year when I was here for nearly three months. Hives can also be caused by stress (true, I HAVE had a lot of dramas), changes in temperature, medicines and even sunlight. He prescribed a cream containing lavender, which has calming and soothing properties. This has helped but I’m sure popping a Zyrtec would have been faster relief. But I’m a bit reluctant to take any medicines here in Italy as I won’t be able to read the Italian instructions and I don’t want any hospital dramas thanks.

I did say in some recent post that, following all my dramas, I was waiting for the earth to open up and swallow me. Shouldn’t have joked because the earthquake in northern Italy occurred.

I am hoping that things will settle down now. I have less than a month to go in Italy. Getting excited about going home to New Zealand but, at the same time, will be very sad to leave Rome as I love this city and the circus that is the Italian way of life.

Creepy red welts – hives. Although no bees are in sight 🙂

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