Saturday, October 20, 2007

I can't make this stuff up...

For two months now, I have been suffering from a laundry list of ills that is becomming more bizarre by the moment. I will try to describe this in as few words as possible.

At the beginning of September, I discovered what I believed to be an abcess on my upper left gum. This diagnosis was confirmed several days later by a dentist who said the problem had to be dealt with by an oral surgeon. In the interim he prescribed an antibiotic to help treat the infection. I made an appointment with the oral surgeon for the following week. The day before the appointment I received a call from the surgeon's office to inform me that the appointment had to be pushed back because of a death in the surgeon's family. I was prescribed more antibiotics to carry me until the following week.

When I finally saw the surgeon, he lanced and drained the abcess and advised me that he would have to perform surgery to get to the root of the problem (literally) and advised another round of antibiotics. The following week, he performed surgery, ordered me to return in a week's time for a follow-up and gave me more antibiotics to prevent re-infection of the surgical site.

If you've been keeping track, this makes four weeks of continual antibiotic use, more than anyone should have to endure. This extended use of drugs created an imbalance in my digestive tract by killing all the beneficial fauna in my intestines, causing chronic diarrhea, intermittent fever and nausea. Here's where it becomes really interesting.

After nearly two weeks of non-stop diarrhea, I saw my private doctor who prescribed a drug to counteract the effects of the antibiotic and restore balance to my system. After taking it for two days, I developed an allergic reaction to the medicine in the form of intense itching, scratching and large blistery hives appearing all over my body. It turns out that I am a member of a very very small group of people who are allergic to this medication (vancomycin, in case you're interested).

Allergic reactions to orally administered vancomycin are very rare, very severe and commonly known as Red Man Syndrome because the skin turns bright red as if it were sunburned. Neither my doctor nor my pharmacist had ever encountered such a case, although they had both heard of it. My doctor said my reaction is so rare, she could write my case up for presentation to the medical community.

Right now I look as if I was attacked by a hive of bees. My eyelids are nearly swollen shut and the blisters across my body are frightful. Thankfully the condition is not permanent, is easily treatable and doesn't leave any lingering ill effects. I have been in constant contact with my doctor who is monitoring me closely. I'm taking Benadryl to counteract the intense itching and redness and have been prescribed a mild steroid to deal with the skin eruptions.

As of this moment, I am truly too grotesque to be seen by others. No, I am not exaggerating here. My son saw me early this morning and the look on his face was one of utter fright. My husband can not believe what he sees. As if my own medical woes aren't enough, during this same two month period, I have had to deal with health issues concerning both my mother and my daughter. Thankfully they have both recovered from their respective issues.

I can only hope that when my particular concerns are resolved, it will be the end of my travails and that I will have no further medical issues in the near future. Keeping fingers and toes crossed here.

Ballo ergo sum,
Always and all ways,
Gitana, the Creative Diva

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