Friday, November 13, 2009

Double yeah

12 days and no bad reaction! I think I may have found an antibiotic I can actually take. At least for this time. Maybe I can get this bacteria out of my system finally. Then I can focus on this stupid Psoriasis.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Downdate

O.K. now this totally sucks! I have Psoriasis. Recurring. chronic. Immune system disorder. Question is did the two different reactions to those two anti-biotics have anything to do with it? After all, each one fouled up my immune system for weeks and there was no time at all between them. Now I get to look forward to my skin going haywire here and there as it chooses, coming and going as it pleases for the rest of my life. Nice. Red patches with peeling silver scale. Fun. Itching and peeling and oozing. Just ducky!

Bad things: Possible disfiguring lesions on my hands or face where the public at large can see them. Possible discrimination during those times due to fear of contagion. People with psoriasis are turned away from restaurants, beauty parlors and pools. They lose jobs. The old Biblical "unclean, unclean!" Leprosy is actually easier to treat in this modern world than Psoriasis. Psoriasis has a lot of variables. Every person is different. Symptoms, triggers and treatments vary widely. What works for one patient will make another worse. Psoriac Arthritis. A rarer form of the condition. Hopefully really and truly rare because I sure as hell don't want it. It is a chronic degenerative joint problem. They compared it to rheumatiod arthritis, which I have seen and it is awful.

Just the idea of itching more and more often. Having to toss all my pretty toiletries because I can't use them. The thought that I may have thin dull hair for the rest of my life when my hair has always been thick and nice. The discomfort, occasional burning or stinging. Ointment and lots of it.

Good things: Just because it can happen doesn't mean it will. I also don't have to lie down and take it without fighting. Dead Sea Salt can help, which is cool. I kind of like having short hair. I get all new toiletries. They aren't quite as fun, being fragrance free and not in pretty packages but I can deal. There are online support groups where you can post questions and get opinions. Cats and dogs don't care if you are red and scaly so my animal friends won't mind a bit. Maybe I'll tell people I have sand trout. "My skin is not my own". hee hee.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh, crap!

Forget it, I can't take anti-biotics. I guess I can't ever get any infections unless they are major enough that the reaction is worth it. On Day 7 of taking the sulfa I had a massive migraine style headache. Day 8 I had fever, chills, nausea, headache and general achy-ness. That afternoon I broke out in a rash. Not hives, like last month, a totally different kind of animal on my arms and legs. By dinner time I was in bad shape, everything was pulling towards the right. Walking to the bathroom was like walking on a ferry in a storm and even after several hours of sleep and warm blankets I was still freezing so I had my Mom take me to the Emergency room. My heart rate was 120 and my temperature was 103.2. The doctor thought I had swine flu, but the blood they took out of my arm said otherwise. So what was it?

Serum Sickness! Not an allergic reaction, but an immunilogical reaction. In an allergic reaction you release histamine and a bunch of other chemicals from your mast cells to combat something your body has decided is an evil invader. That's what causes the hives and the itching and the stuffy sinuses etc. etc. This new reaction, however, is caused by your white blood cells making anti-bodies against whatever your body has decided is bad and they catch the molecules of whatever it it and then hook onto cell walls. I'm simplifying here, but you get the idea. It's kind of annoying to realize just how much of "being sick" has nothing to do with the virus or bacteria and is, in fact, your own body reacting to them that causes you to feel so lousy.

Serum sickness is when your body decides that proteins in your bloodstream are really viruses and attacks them with antibodies. It is mostly experienced by people who get anti-venom for snake or spider bites and people who need rabies shots but it can, on rare occasions, be caused by anti-biotics. Mostly Penicillin but Sulfa drugs can cause it too. It feels like you have the flu until your system manages to flush out the offending proteins and stops the reaction. Eight days I had a high fever and was taking delightful cocktails of Advil, Tylenol, Antihistamine/anti-nausea medicine and Orange Gatorade. For days I couldn't stomache anything but popsicles, saltine crackers and poached eggs. Even chicken soup made me sick. Hot turkey dinner sandwiches ended the fast and they tasted so good!

Now I'm just waiting. The first anti-biotic I took knocked the infection down, but it came back five weeks later. It's been three weeks since I stopped the Sulfa and hopefully this time it's gone. I'm hoping whatever the Sulfa didn't kill the fever did.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More I forgot

So I'm a little out of it. I've been feeling like overcooked sludge. My labs results are in. I have a bacterial skin infection and the bacteria in question is resistant to Clindamycin. That's right. The anti-biotic that put me through weeks of hell doesn't kill it. Congratulations!

Oh I forgot to add . .

I forgot to mention in the previous installment, when my infection came back, my hair started falling out in great globs. No bald spots yet, but it hasn't stopped shedding. Good thing I can make knit hats in a hurry. I may need some indoor weight ones and soon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Please please please

I have very high hopes for these anti-biotics. I'm on day two and I'm already seeing a decrease in the oozing. Very very nice. Now please, immune system, don't see this one as an invader and flood my system with mast chemicals.

I'm off the bleach baths too and my skin is starting to return to normal instead of feeling like sandpaper. I won't be happy if it turns out that the bleach prolonged the infection instead of helping it. Oh well. Modern science.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Now I'm a little nervous

O.k. went to the doctor. She is going to try me on another anti-biotic and I'm rather scared. It's an old school Sulfa drug, I've never taken one before, but then I had never taken anything in the Clindamycin family either. I just don't want to land in the hospital.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Cool be long gone.

My scalp infection is back. Over the weekend it started oozing and itching and prickling and the smell is back. Ick. My mother put her foot down and called her cousin, who is a dermatologist, to ask her advice and when she found out no one has done any labs on me at all she announced that she didn't like it and wanted to see me as soon as possible. So I'm going tommorrow. She is going to biopsy my head. Maybe she will send the whole head in to the lab and give me a loaner. What do you think?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Losing my Cool

I am soooo sick of this skin stuff! It's healing bit by bit but it is taking so very looooooonnnnngg. and it's one of those two steps forward one step back things where I am improving but it keeps popping up with new surprises. I broke out in a huge case of pimples, for example. My stomache is some kind of strange dot-to-dot book of little pimply things. The oozing is going down, but I go through whole hours where it feels like all my hair is standing up. Wierd, to say the least. oh, and my neck keeps splitting. The skin is so damaged it doesn't really stretch, it splits. I just manage to get it healed up enought and think "o.k. it's going to heal now" and it splits again. aaarrrgh. and double aaarrrgh. and a third aaaaarrrrggghhh!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Update

It's now thursday, the reunion is over. I had a lot of fun, visited with a lot of people and did a lot of shopping which was all good and I was sorry it was over.

However, the warm weather and riding in the car set me back a good week as far as healing goes which really annoys me and now, we have no water! That's right. we have a leak in our water main and there is no water at our house. It has been turned off. They did turn it on for me to take my bath last night, but the hot water heater was switched off that morning and it was cold and more cold. I was able to heat enough water on the stove to make it tolerable but it was still an unpleasant experience. Hopefully the plumber came today like he said he would.

Besides that it is ooze and more ooze. I'll be glad when it stops. It is in some very uncomfortable places. My belly button, for example and it seems like I'm changing clothes all the time. Work is fun. The first 4 hours are o.k. but the second 4 hours are some type of endurance test, especially when I only have poly/cotton blend chinos to wear.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More updates

Aaaargh! this crazy yeast will not go away. I skip even one day of using the bleach bath and it comes back with a great gooey itchy vengeance! The trouble is, the bleach is ruining the rest of my skin. My hands and feet are starting to crack they are so dry. All the Vitamin D ointment seems to be good for is making the skin on my neck feel warm and get thin. T-shirt neckbands cut into my neck, literally. We're talking wounds. I want to scream, and I'm sick of doing laundry!

There are a few good things. I love Anti-monkey Butt Powder. It only has three ingredients and works really well. I've also found out that if I slap a layer of body oil on my not yeasty skin it keeps the bleach from drying it so much. My head is almost healed, only a few little spots that are still crusty.

I am healing. Every day is a little bit better (except for yesterday which was just annoying). I'd be happier if I were further along. I'm going to Portland this weekend for my High School reunion and it would be nice if my skin wasn't crawling, or crazy itching, or oozing and if the skin on my neck would stretch. It would also be nice if I could wear makeup, use hairstyling products, deodorant, wear collars, earrings. I guess I'm just picky.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


It is now August 12, a Wednesday. I switch to the other topical medication tommorrow. It's a Vitamin D ointment, usually used to treat Psoriasis. I have to avoid sunlight as long as I use it. Should be interesting. My skin and hair is old desert bones dry, I imagine from bathing in bleach, but until the yeast rash is long gone I am not stopping. Most of it is healing up rather nicely I just have one spot that is hanging on.

I read a blog post by a lady who is insulin-dependent diabetic. Apparently they have a lot of trouble with yeast rashes on their skin, or "yeastie-beasties" as she calls them. It's got a lot of information on it from her experience, her friends and doctors. I should have written down her name. Anyway she has had good results with Probiotic supplements. There is also research going on using Probiotics to treat childhood eczema. Add to that the fact that Anti-biotics depopulate your intestines and, well, I'm making a point to eat yogurt every day. Can't hurt and could help. I'll take it!

I'm very tired of itching, and of putting goo on the back of my head and doing so much laundry! I really would like it to heal now.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Following Friday

O.K. last thing I wrote I was in my "Purple People Eater" phase. All my hives spread out and turned purple. So, over the last week. . . .

My hands and feet finally broke out in hives. I swelled up like a balloon for three days. No breathing problems though. With all the bacteria gone from my skin all the other microbes had a party and I broke out in a secondary rash from all the toxins they are releasing. I have done enough laundry for 5 people, become totally indebted to the Lubriderm fairy, and rediscovered how much healing hives can hurt.

I actually feel pretty good. The only problem is when I forget and think I am good and do something stupid like try to walk too much too fast ( I was walking up and down the driveway at our house to keep my circulation going so I wouldn't swell up so badly) or trying to do all the vacumming at once. Then I realize how ill I really was.

I went to the Dermatologist on Wednesday. He gave me prescriptions for two ointments, another corticosteroid to use for a week followed by a topical medication (I haven't picked this one up at the pharmacy yet, so I don't know exactly what it is). He also told me to bathe in 1/2 cup of bleach in a tub of lukewarm water to get rid of the microbial rave I have going on my skin.

I thought that sounded strange until I actually tried it. I was sure it would have me yelling bloody murder because tap water stings like hell on that rash, but it didn't. It hardly stung at all and twelve hours later the rashy parts are dry and aren't itching. I think I'm liking this! The only problem is I smell like a public pool.

So, from this point, I have two more weeks before my high school reunion. That should be enough time to get my skin back in line so I don't look scary or contagious. I will have all my peeling done with and I'm mostly done with the swelling already. Barring any more crazy reactions to anything else. I should be good.

Friday, July 31, 2009


It's now Friday. My hives are all spreading out like cookies in the oven and turning purple, and they hurt and feel boiling hot. I'm cold all the time. I'm really hating elastic too. Just hanging in there, waiting for the Histamine to get flushed out of my system.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not again, please!

In 2002 I had an ear infection. To clear it up my doctor gave me Amoxicillin tables, take them every blah blah hours for two weeks blah blah blah. Seven days later I wake up and the back of my knees start itching. I have to do laundrymat so getting residue of someone else's soap on my clothes wasn't that unusual and since most laundry soaps make me itch I wasn't too concerned. Hah! by noon that day I looked like I had measles. 100% hives. on the palms of my hands, the soles of my feet, on my gums. It was the worst I ever remembered feeling in my life; like falling asleep at a nude beach and having major sunburn all over. It took a month for the anti-biotic to get out of my system and the hives to heal and it was 6 months before my system could take mint toothpaste or a toothbrush that didn't have a Disney Princess on it, or soap with a smell of any kind. O.K. so no anti-biotics ending in -cillin. Ever again.

In late May I had a skin infection on the back of my scalp. To clear it up the Dermatologist gave my Clindamycin capsules: take one every twelve hours blah blah, full glass of water, blah blah, watch out for Ulcerative Colities, lovely! I took them for 10 days. Monday morning I woke up with my legs and back broken out in hives. My arms and face followed in just a few hours. This is better than last time. I got on the phone and hounded the dermatologist and my pharmacy until I found out if I could take Benadryl, which I started immediately. I'm miserable, but I can still use my fingers (last time my hands swelled up) I can brush my teeth without the strawberry toothpaste, and I can sleep for more than five minutes at a stretch. The worst part is the second thing my primary care physician gave me to clear up the mess on my head had already made my neck break out in hives, so now I have hives on top of hives. My neck is awful. Oh, and get this! when I heard back from the Dermatologist (via one of the nurses) his instructions were to go ahead and take Benadryl but keep taking the Clindamycin. Uh, dude? it feels like someone is standing on my throat and I look like a puff adder with the measles. No way i'm taking more of this stuff! 10 days just better do the trick!

Now I have four weeks to heal before my 20th High school reunion. Where's Doctor Crusher with a dermal regenerator when you need one?