Well off to the Dermatologist! She thinks maybe the itching is caused by dry skin except that shouldn’t make my palms and the bottom of my feet itch. So basically since my labs are normal, we don’t know why I am itching. She tells me to not use dryer sheets, switch to Aveeno and use lotion alot. Also to keep bathing to a minimum (yeah right)! After following all her instructions and taking a course of Prednisone, guess what? STILL ITCHING!
Well, still itching. I can’t let that bother me though so I load up on Benadryl and Cortisone cream because we are leaving on a long awaited trip to Ireland! Unfortunately, by day 3 of our Ireland trip I am sniffling, coughing and using a box of Kleenex an hour. All this and I can’t even track down some NyQuill. Come St Patrick’s Day (our 5th anniversary) in the fair city of Dublin, I am absolutely miserable! I can’t breathe and the fever is getting out of control. We find a clinic that gives me some flu medicine and that works enough for me to make the best of it. My first day back to work, my cough is so bad, my boss sends me home!
The itching was driving me crazy! I started using props to scratch with. My cat’s hairbrush was my preferred tool. My Plastic Surgeon’s office said this was not normal and any itching associated with the lipo should have subsided by now.
My husband and I had an agreement that if I got down to a certain weight, I could have liposuction for my ‘spare tire’. So last year I joined a gym called Curves and 50 pounds later I was ready to go. That was a week before Thanksgiving. My Plastic Surgeon’s office said that itching was part of the healing process, so when the itching started I wasn’t concerned.
1996- I first started experiencing fatigue. The fatigue would common phases and last anywhere from a week to a month. This still plagues me to this day. I can sleep anywhere from 8-16 hours a day and never feel refreshed. My husband and I joke that if sleeping were an Olympic event I’d win the gold! I also started experiencing pain in my joints, especially my wrists, that was so intense there were times I would just cry because I couldn’t hold a pen, make a peanut butter sandwich or even was my hands with our excruciating pain.
1997- My Doctor sends me to a Rheumatologist for a Carpal Tunnel exam. Surprise, the results are negative. Everything continues on except now the depression starts setting in from dealing with these symptoms all the time. There were nights I would curl up on the bathroom vanity in my apartment and hug my cat Merlin and just cry for hours. Luckily there was a bright spot that year. In October I met my husband, Jerry.
1998- Well, the year keeps going and I catch everything that goes around. If someone so much as sniffles around me, I’m out for the next week with a fever. I am diagnosed with Asthma (incorrectly) and have Sinusitis and Bronchitis at least twice a year.
1999- Symptoms still running amuck, but Jerry decides to marry me on St Patrick’s Day anyway. At this point I have just learned to live with everything the best I can and no one really knows how miserable I feel.
2000- Well new insurance means a new Primary Physician. Despite having seen more Dr’s than I care to count over the years, this one thinks I have Fibromyalgia and sends me to a new Rhuematologist who confirms diagnosis. Finally, a name for my pain.
2001- Having a lot of nausea and stomach pain. Finally end up in the ER on July 4, thinking my appendix had burst or something else that was going to kill me. Turns out my Gall Bladder has decided it wants to be evicted. That was the worst pain I could imagine! So a week later I say “Goodbye old pal” and bid farewell to this mysterious little green organ.
2001-2003 I still am having boughts of pain and fatigue. I have tried every arthritic medication known to man (much to my insurance companies delight). I still catch every bug that goes around. In 2003 alone, I spent weeks in February, May, August and November sick and on antibiotics.
Well that takes us into 2004… The year of the Cancer!