Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Skin Issues......

So, about 5 1/2 years ago, I developed a problem with my skin that caused my whole body to itch all the time. There was never a rhyme or reason as to when I would breakout in rashes. I tried to see if it would happen during certain times of the year or when I ate certain foods, but I could never find a pattern. I went to a dermatologist who said I had eczema. I was prescribed a cream to put on the effected areas; mainly my arms and legs. This worked, but only for about 2 weeks. I continued to breakout after every medicine possible would run its 2 week course. That was the magic number. After 2 weeks on any medication my skin issues would return and I would be back at square one. I even went as far as moving into my parents' house over the summer of 2005 to see if I was allergic to my dog or something.....nope! (good thing for Farley)

Over the course of about 3 years, I saw roughly 20 different doctors. Some were dermatologists, some were allergists and some were just general practitioners. Just when I thought I had found some pattern or a medication that I thought would work over the long term, it would just sneak back up on me and ruin any hopes of ever finding a cure or even finding out what I had. I ended up at a dermatologist in Reston that was highly recommended by Washingtonian Magazine. I was pretty excited when he really acted as if he knew what to do. I tried some new medication and was doing pretty well, but then, BAM, it came back again. I went back to see him and he then suggested I see a specialist at Johns Hopkins. So, I did.

Lee came with me and we saw a dermatologist there who specializes in contact dermatitis. This is what all the doctors thought I had, so it only made sense. She sent me to the lab t0 have some blood drawn so that numerous tests could be run. We went home with some prescriptions and instructions on how to handle my skin. Again, these remedies worked, but they wouldn't last long.

Then, I got the call. The doctor from Hopkins called me on my cell phone while I was at work. She preceded to tell me that there was a slight possibility that I may have Hodgkins Disease. WHAT? Are you kidding me? You are calling me on my cell phone and telling me that I could possibly have cancer??? Wow. So, she told me to make an appointment with my family doctor to get a physical and have my lymphnodes checked and to also get a check xray. So, after freaking out and calling Lee to completely lose it, I called and made an appointment with my family doctor. I couldn't get in for a couple days, so I had to wait. It seemed like FOREVER but I made it to the doctor and had a physical. She said everything seemed completely normal and she gave me a prescription for a chest xray. I went right next door to the hospital and went right in for my xray. Of course, now I had to wait again. When I didn't hear anything I called my doctor who told me she hadn't heard but that she would call. I was a complete mess and was totally impatient, so I called over and over again. Finally, I got my test results and they were negative. THANK GOODNESS!!!! That was definitely a scary time but after all was said and done, I STILL didn't know what was wrong with me.

Over the past 5 years, I filled about 50 DIFFERENT prescriptions for different creams, ointments, tars, pills and even some "Egyptian Magic" vaseline type crap that some crazy lady, who called herself a doctor, convinced me to buy....what a waste. At one point, I was even on Prozak because they thought it would help calm my nerves and help me if stress was any part of it. That certainly didn't work either. The ONLY medicine that did any good at all was prednisone. As a lot of you may know, this is a steroid and will make you eat EVERYTHING in sight and also causes you to retain water and look like a beached whale. I have enough problems with my weight that I didn't really need another reason to gain weight, but it worked, so I took it when I could. However, there are long lasting side effects to this medication so doctors stopped prescribing it to me. So, again, I was screwed.

Lee was absolutely WONDERFUL through all the crying fits and frustration and just sheer madness. He even married me after all of it!! I was very nervous about the wedding because I had a sleeveless gown. I filled my last prescription for a 9 day dose of prednisone that I started taking a few days before the wedding so that I would clear up. It worked for the most part and then I was able to enjoy our honeymoon as well.

Lee and I moved into a new townhouse in April of this year in preparation for Andrew's arrival in August. It appears that since we moved, I haven't had ANY breakouts (KNOCKING VERY HARD ON WOOD RIGHT NOW). Could it have been something in the old house? Who knows. The bottom line is, I am doing SO well right now it's almost unbelievable!! I will say that mosquito's certainly like me and take ANY opportunity to bite me so that I have SOMETHING to scratch at all times!!!!!

Anyway, that is my skin story. I have the best friends and family anybody could ever ask for. Everybody supported me through all this craziness and I am very thankful. YIPPEE!!!!! Here's to a lifetime of ITCH FREE skin!!!


LeahBear said...

oh my gosh, i hope so much that your skin stays happy! i had no idea they told you you might have hodgkins! that is so scary, and i'm so very happy it wasn't true!!


RipleyVT said...

That was a few years ago, but still.....I remember it well!!! I hope my skin stays happy too....TRUST ME!!!!! :)