Saturday, October 27, 2007

The "Latest" Fresh Hell...

Remember this?:

Well, now it's this: For the love of God, could I just have ONE friggin week of some semblance of "normal" again?!?

As you know, my RIGHT forearm and upper arm have been burning/painful...a most concerning experience as these anomalies tend to always occur on my LEFT side. But, for whatever reason, my dearly beloved RIGHT side has decided to get in the MS game.

This morning, I awoke all too early and way too tired to the sound of the P.O.D. (Princess O' Darkness, aka, my cat) THROWING herself against my bedroom door, scratching the door, pawing under it, and jumping to grab the door handle...she had obviously slept ENOUGH during the night...her human slave had not!

I dragged my weary bones out of my warm bed and got up to feed her...all she REALLY wanted was for me to open the living room blinds because the sun was shining and she needed to "tan" herself. I stumbled into the bathroom feeling extremely fatigued and noting the pain in my right arm seemed more "sensitive" than before. I glanced down at my RIGHT forearm, only to discover a RASH had formed in the night! (I had actually noted the beginning of some weirdness the night before, but blew it off as just that...weirdness.) It was reddened, burning hot, and inflamed.

You may recall (or perchance tried to forget) the strange pain I developed in my LEFT hand/thumb in the spring with subsequent rash...and then, of course, the ICY HOT debacle where I burned the lovin' flesh right off my thumb! But let's forget THAT nursing "fox paw", shall we?!?

Well, this pain in my RIGHT forearm/upper arm smelled suspiciously like THAT pain from the spring in the other hand and NOW I had developed the same funky rash on the RIGHT side...I, of course, immediately emailed Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named...complete with a PHOTO (since she only plays a doctor on the Internet!). She emailed me back with (in my humble opinion) a rather dismissive one-liner of "maybe we should have you see a dermatologist?" I emailed her back with my best "catty" patient response of, "by the time I get an appointment with a dermo, this rash will have disappeared and I will look "stupider" than usual!" There were no more email exchanges as I went to work...very tired, arm on fire, with a suspiciously painful rash on my arm.

One of the benefits of my job (if you can call it that) is, I frequent the ER of the 4-state trauma hospital of the region on a regular basis...I interact with doctors on a near daily basis...psychiatrists and REAL doctors. LOL And tonight was no different. I was stationed more or less at this particular ER for the better part of 2+ I took advantage of the "free" medical advice at my disposal (one must always remember though, "free" can mean "cheap", too! LOL)

I consulted with 3 ER nurses, a family practice ARNP (Adult Registered Nurse Practitioner), a medical student, and a psychiatrist...they were all huddled in the same area I was at. And the consensus? Well, certainly NOT something a dermatologist could help me with.

All SIX of these medical providers came to the same conclusion I have EITHER an unusual pattern of shingles OR Post Herpetic Neuralgia (pain/rash developing because I've HAD shingles before)...and I think they are probably right.

Treatment? Neurontin/Morontin for the pain or Lyrica AND rest. Expected recovery time? Indefinite. Cause? Most likely due to my lowered immune system from all the IV steroids and Novantrone...herpes zoster likes to flare itself in immune systems that can't fight back. The cost of my medical consult? least FREE! LOL

Dermatologist? I don't need no stinkin' skin doctor...LOL...


Diane J Standiford said...

Yep. Not everything is MS. The steroids weaken immune system, slow T-cells; I changed what I could for 6weeks after taking a round (sick kids had to stay away, no buses, extra close observance of any cut or scratch, etc.) Isn't there a vaccine for shingles now? My doc said I could only get them if I'd had chicken pox (which I haven't; so all I needed was that vaccine, which I got a few months ago.) I hope it stops at your arm. A shot of OJ to your swift recovery! PS--my aunt/90-something, my uncle/late 80-something, and my mom/late 60-something all got shingles in same month, about 9 years ago. ????

harkoo said...

Medical theorizing. Could your bout with shingles have predisposed you to experience pain with your ms? Just wondering about this.

Merelyme said...

oh my...well i am glad that you finally did get some good advice. you really need your wits about you in order to navigate the MS treatment maze.

Have myelin? said...

Oh my- I have to HAND it off to you to compete in the MS symptom of the week contest. You win.

Take me to the Final Two?

I'll share my Cipro with you! LOL!


Bubbie said...

Shingles! I'll be...well, surprised? What else could we possibly add to our assault/insult, whatever..
Sounds ridiculously painful and annoying. Take care.

Becky said...

my thought was shingles when you first discribed the pain,.....ouch!!!
feel better

Miss Chris said...

I've been watching a marathon of "Mystery Diagnosis" on Discovery health channel scary is it that I guess what these people have with startling regularity. They need to see a doctor for months/years and it seems they still know nothing. Wait a sec...haven't I been down this "doctors know nothing" road before? I think they are usually making educated guesses.

Anne said...

Benadryl cream for the rash/itching works well.

Ask your doc or family doc to order you some liquid Lidocaine to swish in your mouth (not swallow) and it will give you at least 30-60 minutes of freedom of pain.

Also Sucrets or store brand throat spray between Lidocaine swishes if you need it.

Been there, had that and this is what worked for me.

Good Luck and feel better soon,

Sara said...

man alive you're like a live petri dish - lol

but seriously get better soon!