Well, Chronic Urticaria gives me another sleepless night with itching like crazy. I think it's called chronic pruritus(itching). Whatever, I'm ready to jump out a window --- wouldn't do much good because we have only one story ... but it might surprise the coyotes!
Do you have Chronic Urticaria (hives)? I've been dealing with this since Feb 1999, 7 years. The Yahoo group I'm on has many members from the UK. So we're always comparing healthcare systems. It seems neither one is really great. And for Chronic Urticaria sufferers doctors on both sides of the pond prescribe drugs to mask symptoms; but not finding a cure. Some people have had this for over 20 years. What causes it? No one seems to know, yet. Without a known cause it's called Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria. I keep hoping that some new research will break this up forever. So far the treatment that works for me has been steroid therapy (prednisone), but the Dr's won't give me anymore because of liver and kidney damage (which I don't have but they say can develop.) I hated the side effects but man was it great not to be itchy. The next step is methltraxate (an immune suppresent that is usually given to transplant patients). This has worked for CU sufferers in England and Australia. So, now it's catching on in the US. But once again there is danger of liver trouble. And consider what the rest of the body would do with a suppressed immune system.
The hives are accompanied by angiodema (swelling of soft tissue ie., mouth, eyes, ears, throat; and also hands and feet). The hives migrate and cover various parts of the body at different times. The hives and angiodema last for about 4 days individually, BUT they are never really gone because new hives appear before the old ones are gone.
I never used to get sick at all. Maybe a cold once a year... this can happen to anyone .. I really wish it wasn't me though.