When I was 14 years old, I had the most bizarre medical issue arise. Every single night at 6:00 PM my feet would break out in hives and would itch SO bad. Itchy feet has to be one of the most annoying things because it is NEVER satisfying to scratch them. It’s like when your tongue or the back of your throat itches, there is nothing you can do about it!
Me breaking out in spontaneous hives isn’t all that weird considering all of my allergies/eczema, but the timing thing was what made it so strange. It was like clockwork; 6pm would hit and BAM my feet suddenly felt like they were covered in poison ivy and chicken pox. My mom and I started to wonder if it was mental. It had to be, right?
A few weeks after my foot episodes had started, my mom and I went on a mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico. We were wondering if maybe the change of location/air would help my foot problem. We got off the plane at LAX, 3,000 miles from home, and sure enough my feet started swelling and itching. I said to my mom “but it’s not even 6pm! I guess it is just happening randomly now!” She looked at her watch and said “Court, it’s 3pm West Coast time meaning it’s 6pm at home!” What the heck.
We never did figure out what was causing my foot breakouts every 24 hours on the dot, but this is my favorite part of the story. The only way I could calm myself down and try to not scratch my feet during one of my “episodes” was to wrap wet toilet paper or paper towels around them, and then cover those with dry ones. Essentially it looked like I had feet bindings or something crazy going on down there.
One night I wrapped my feet and fell asleep with them like that. A few hours into my sleep I started having an allergic reaction to something I had eaten earlier in the day and my throat/lungs started swelling. I woke up not being able to breathe and my mom called 911. The paramedics arrived within 5 minutes and ran up the stairs to my bedroom. They threw my blankets off, opened my shirt, and started giving me medicines to open up my airways. Then it happened. I heard a paramedic say to my mom “what’s with her feet? Is that related to the allergic reaction?” My mom said “no, that’s not related to this. That is uhh, something else” stumbling over her words. As unfunny as the situation was (me barely breathing/conscious), it was REALLY funny to hear the paramedic’s awkwardness level increase as he tried to understand why this 14 year old girl had her feet tightly wrapped in half wet/half dry toilet paper. I wish I had a good answer for him.