I Have A Chronic Illness And Here's What Life Is Like With It

I Have A Chronic Illness And Here's What Life Is Like With It

I started living my life day by day.

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Since I was born, I have had what is called Chronic Urticaria living in my body. Chronic Urticaria is a terrible version of hives that less than 1% of the population has. Around 20% of people get hives...you know, those itchy lumps on your skin that come up when you come into contact with allergens. Mine can be that way, itchy bumps that emerge when I come into contact with things I'm allergic to, but mine also can get into my joints and get into/under my skin. When y hives emerge, I am an essentially a vegetable. My fingers can't move and are red and irritated, my breathing slows to a near stop unless I get help, and sometimes it can lead to anaphylactic shock.

Web MD says, "About 20% of people get hives -- itchy red or skin-colored welts also known as urticaria. They're often caused by an allergic reaction to a food or drug. Usually, they go away quickly.

For a small number of people, though, hives come back again and again, with no known cause. When new outbreaks happen almost every day for 6 weeks or more, it's called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU).

One percent or less of people have it. It's most common in people between the ages of 20 and 40. With CIU, a single outbreak usually lasts no more than 24 hours. After that, new hives form.

What Causes It?

Experts don't know. The immune system seems to play a role. Some people get chronic hives at the same time that they get other problems like thyroid disease, hormonal problems, or cancer.

What Are Some Common Triggers?

Even though doctors can't say for sure what causes CIU, they do know things that can lead to flare-ups. They include:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tight clothing
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Exercise
  • Cold
  • Heat"

My illness is incredibly dangerous and effects my everyday life. I have to be careful whenever I go outside because one bug bite can send me into the emergency room. On vacations, I can't put any part of my body into the ocean without coming out of the water as a giant hive. I have lived with this illness my entire life and I have had many scares to the point where I inform every person I begin to date about how serious my illness is just in case they aren't ready for the responsibility.

I think most people look at me and see this happy, carefree girl, but they don't know that I live my life day by day anymore. I live y life to the fullest every single day because I can't promise that I'll be okay tomorrow. I try and love my life every day and make people realize their true potentials because sometimes I worry about my own. I have had to drop activities and people I care about because of my illness and it has made things incredibly difficult. I think what the world needs to learn from my story is that you never truly know what is happening in a person's life until you try and look for it. Love everyone while you can because who knows, they could be uncertain about tomorrow just like me.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.

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Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.


Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.


Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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