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Hi - Iím new here... Found this place while doing some internet research and yíall look like a nice group of people, so I thought Iíd join. I am a long-time sufferer of chronic hives. It started when I was 15, and I am still suffering from it at age 38, some 23 years later. Iíve been to endless doctors, who have given up and basically told me to just ďlive with itĒ. I do not have hive breakouts constantly. I experience flare-ups every couple of years that last for weeks at a time. I seem to break out mostly at the joint areas of my body (shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles). I also experience the swelling around my eyes and on my lips.

Whenever I experience a flare-up, I go to the doctor for the usual course of treatment. They do bloodwork and test me for Lupus, RA, MS, Epstein-Barr, schleroderma, etc. (the tests always come back negative.) I do a course of prednisone, I take benadryl and claritin, and then the doctor eventually throws up his hands and says that they canít give me a diagnosis, and that it appears to be some sort of auto-immune type disorder, but they canít figure out which one. Then, eventually the hives go away and Iím o.k. until the next flare-up.

I came down with a nasty case of influenza back in April and was very ill for 8 days. I eventually got rid of it, but havenít felt the same since. I got a pretty bad case of hives again, have extreme lethargy and difficulty concentrating (brain fog), wheezing in my lungs and a weird feeling in my esophagus area (like I swallowed a giant pill and it got stuck...) I am wondering if I have chronic fatigue syndrome or something. I guess I will go back to the doctor and try to get to the bottom of it, but they never seem to know what to do with me.

So, I thought Iíd tell my story here and see if anyone had experienced anything similar to this. It helps a lot to communicate with other people who suffer from these same ailments. The people around me, my family, even my husband are not able to really help. They are supportive but just donít understand what it is like to go through this. I was hoping this place might be good to share my experiences.

So, there is my story. Iím kind of excited to find this place, and am looking forward to communicating with everybody. Thanks for reading!

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