The Best Laid Plans

Nashville, TN: I decided to spend the last days of 2012 and the first day of 2013 with my BFF in Asheville. We spent our days lazily, drinking coffee in the mornings and wine in the afternoon; watching movies and telling stories; basically, just being ourselves with no pressure to make New Year's Eve bigger than what it actually is.

In typical New Year's fashion, I had made a pledge to work out more regularly and get back to a 'clean' eating schedule, to try to tone up for the year. The plan was to walk in the Arboretum in the morning, then head back to Nashville later that afternoon. As luck would have it, it was raining and 30°, so I skipped the walk and headed West, in an attempt to make it there with a few hours of daylight left to walk.

When I woke up that morning, I noticed my legs were itchy. Nothing more than winter's dry skin, I was sure, but post-shower, I noticed my thighs had a few red blotches on them... as well as my mid-section, my calves and even my backside. And it was all starting to itch. Lathered up with Cortizone, I hopped in my car and headed home.

The weather outside was frightful. Windy, rainy and the Smokies were smokin'. I attempted to get a pic of them with my phone as I drove, but decided my safety was more important and I figured the internet would provide a similar photo of my experience.

Similar Photo:
But the thing that added an extra annoyance to the trip was that the initial redness discovered on my legs earlier in the morning had crept up to my arms, my neck, the back of my scalp and even my chin! It's quite a feat to drive in rain, with gloves on and itch at the same time (while trying to find a radio station too). 

I was an hour outside of Nashville and I stopped at a truck stop for a bathroom break. After checking myself out in the mirror and possibly scaring a young girl who was staring at me, I drove directly to a walk-in clinic as soon as I got to town.

(NOTE: the following photos may not be suitable 
for young children or possible future boyfriends.)

Red blotches on the chin
Continual red blotches on the neck

Probably the worst: back of neck & scalp, which was almost impossible NOT to itch.
(NOTE: my neck swelled up from the itching - it's really not that swollen!)

The doctor guessed I had an allergic reaction the two sweet cats that live with my friend, though I find that kind of hard to believe since I have stayed with her and them multiple times in our 15 year friendship. And it only happened on the last day, not my entire three day stay. After doing a little more research, the bestie discovered that some people are allergic to parsnips, which were a part of her vegetable casserole the night before. Maybe it could be the food I ate?

I received a shot of Benadryl and a shot of Steroids. Pre-shot, the doctor warned me that the Steroids would almost definitely cause me to gain weight, though it would clear up the rash. He also told me that the Benadryl would make me sleepy and I wouldn't have much energy. Which means I would not only have no energy to work out, but I would also put on more weight in the first week of the new year. Oy vey.

Or, as I like to describe it poetically:
The best laid plans of cats and food.