Actress Vicki Lawrence Talks Awareness For Chronic Hives
CHARLESTON, SC (TESSA SPENCER-ADAMS, WTAT-TV) — We have a very special guest with us today, you might know her best as Mama from the show Mama’s Family or you may recognize her from the Carol Burnett Show or even Hannah Montana. Vicki Lawrence joins us now to talk about what she is working on behind the scenes, and that is raising awareness for something that you have been dealing with now for about six years?
Vicki Lawrence: Yeah, I woke up one morning with the palms of my hands inching and I said to my husband ‘go get us a lottery ticket’ because obviously we are coming in to a lot of money! Then and I dunked my hands in ice water and it went away, didn’t think anything about it until the next day when my hands started and then when I was out walking the dogs my whole body and by the time I got home with the dogs I had clawed welts all over myself; which anybody who has broken out in hives can relate to because the minute you touch them it gets a zillion times worse.
Tessa Spencer-Adams: Now was it brought on by something? I’m sure you went to the doctor…
Vicki Lawrence: Well that is of course what you think immediately that you ate a bad shrimp or changed your detergent or something. but I spent six weeks with my allergist trying everything you can think of because he said everybody breaks out at some point in the life of hives, so we’ll get it under control. We couldn’t and he said to me, I am going to diagnose you with Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria, which I had never heard of, it’s a mouthful.
I started trying to find out about it and there wasn’t a lot of information on the web. Come to find out there are million and a half of us in the country that have it. More women than men. I think women get to do everything that is fun more than men do, usually.
Tessa Spencer-Adams: We do tend to have the burden of the world!
Vicki Lawrence: But you know, there are guys out there dealing with this too. And the good news is you are not alone. I’ve thrown my hives in the ring. I’m on this beautiful website called CIUandYou.com put together by AFA which is the Allergy Foundation of America and the whole thing is made possible by Genentech and Novartis.
It is a website that will educate you and give you a lot of great information about CIU. If you are inching and cannot find answers, and there are a lot of people out there who are.
I’ve talked to people who have been looking for years.
Tessa Spencer-Adams: There is no cure for it, right?
Vicki Lawrence: No, but it’s manageable. And the trick is to get to the right allergist or right dermatologist who is familiar with CIU and find a way to manage it for yourself. It is doable.
The good news is, you don’t feel like you are alone. And the really good news is if you google CIU we come up pretty quick. It is now the top information place for people to go to find out about this.
Tessa Spencer-Adams: So if someone is dealing with hives, and you consider something as chronic if you’ve been dealing with it for over six weeks.
Vicki Lawrence: And idiopathic means there is no answer for it. it’s inexplainable, it’s not anything that you are doing.
Tessa Spencer-Adams: Remember that website is ciuandyou.com, get educated, and don’t worry about it, Vicki suffers from it, too.