skINSANITY and allerGEEZ

Heya Spoopy Spoonies!

I know, I know, I haven’t updated in a dogs age even though I promised you I would. But, as I’m sure my fellow spoonies are aware, life gets in the way of even the best laid plans sometimes. Since I’ve been feeling relatively well up until the last few days, I’ve been busy enjoying myself. It’s been a while since life felt ‘normal’ to me, and I needed to just live for a while. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Enjoying my good days.

Right now I’m completely pooped. I’m on my very last spoon and nursing a killer headache. I spent today cleaning my bff’s apartment as a surprise for when she returns from her trip to Ontario to visit her family. I’ve been there daily taking care of her adorable furbaby, Puddin, because not only does he need to be fed and watered, he needs a lot of loving, because he’s a bit of a sook. So, since I’ve been spending my days there anyway, I figured I’d get ‘er done. I started yesterday, and tuckered myself out so I gave up and had a nap with the cat. I did get a fairly good start on things, however. So today, I just finished doing the kitchen. Which was a bit more of a project than my body had predicted. For the average Joe, the project was probably an hour’s worth of work, tops. For me, pacing myself as best as I could, and taking many water and snuggle breaks, it took me about 4 hours. Then, I grabbed a nice cold shower before I was completely out of spoons hoping it’d calm my allergies and skin flare down. Which, is what I’m going to discuss in this blog post.

Just fair warning, this post may be a bit TMI. Too much information. It’s probably not TMI to other spoonies, because we deal with a lot of ‘not so lovely’ things on a day to day basis, but I thought I’d disclaimer this just encase.

For the last few weeks I have discovered my allergies and skin have gone utterly haywire. It is summer time in the city, and things have bloomed, and new insects are out, but it still seems worse than usual. Not only am I getting my normal itchy/watery eyes, sneezing, and running nose, I’m also noticing my lungs tightening; I need my inhaler more often. As well, my skin has gone insane. I’m getting rashes, hives, acne and cysts that I don’t usually experience.

I have a red, scale-y patch under both eyes and across my nose. My eye lids are incredibly dry and itchy. I have acne! I’m not prone to acne! My upper lip becomes chapped, red and sore way too easily. Hives are appearing in the crook of both arms, behind my knees, and across my neck, chest and belly.

I developed eczema on both hands back in 2006 after wearing a pewter ring I had an allergy to. In 2011/2012 I managed to get rid of it. That was until the last little while! It’s back! And it flares badly whenever my allergies flare.

But, by far the oddest thing I’ve experienced, is I’m getting cysts and abscesses. Now, I’m a bigger girl, and I know those who are heavy are more prone to cysts than those who are not. But, they’ve never really been an issue for me. I had a Pilonidal cyst a few years back, and I tend to get Bartholin cysts. However, now, I have three under my right arm and one on the right side of my pubic line.

To curb the red scale-y patches under my eyes as well as the dry areas on my eyelids, I’ve stopped wearing makeup the last week or so (aside from mascara) just to see if it helps. The first day was great, I felt much better, so I thought maybe I was allergic to one of my makeup products (which I hadn’t been before.) But then it just started back into it again even without the makeup, and only cleaning my face with a gentle cleanser.

I have discovered one thing that doesn’t help any of these skin issues or allergy issues at all, however. Sweat and being overheated. This year has been the absolute worst for me when it comes to overheating. I can do it at the drop of a hat. It can be less than 10 degrees Celsius and that is still too hot for me, especially when it comes to any kind of exertion. And sweating! Jeepers’ creepers! I am the queen of unflattering, over-the-top sweating at any occasion. The Cymbalta I’m on also increases sweating. So, between my natural predisposition to it, and the medication, I am a wet, sopping, disgusting mess lately. So much so that the bff I mentioned earlier in this post, Ash, bought me a couple adorable hankies just for mopping myself up. A sweet gift, but also quite amusing since it is necessary. If you can’t laugh at things, you’re not going to make it through the day.

The sweating makes all of these skin issues worse. The cysts are probably because those areas are the worst for sweating, rubbing and chaffing. My chapped lip is because I tend to mindlessly wipe that area the most because it is where the sweat pools. The red patches under my eyes are where my glasses sit, which probably collects the sweat in that area.

Sexy, isn’t it?

Yeah. I’m just dripping pure sex appeal over here.

I see my primary care doctor on July 4th, and I wish to bring these issues up to her. Perhaps she has some suggestions on what to do about it all. Perhaps there is something better than Reactine/Zyrtec to control my allergies? Perhaps there is something I can do to calm the sweating and overheating? I’m pretty much open to any suggestion because it’s just making life even more difficult that it already is. Also; if any of you spoonie readers out there have any suggestions, I am certainly welcome to those as well!

I also started on the generic version of Cymbalta about two weeks ago or so and it’s been causing more trouble than it is worth, I have discovered. I was switched because my insurance company doesn’t want to pay for the Cymbalta prescription. Since the generic is much cheaper, they opted for that one. I’m one of the lucky people (there are plenty out there) who don’t react to the generic as well as the brand name. Plenty of people have this issue, I have read. Generic versions potentially differ just enough, miniscule amounts, that some people don’t react the same way to them. Side effects get amped up, for instance. In my case, it makes me incredibly anxious, and I find it doesn’t control my chronic pain as well. So that’s another issue I must bring up to her on July 4th. I asked my pharmacy about it, and they said that this does occur, and I need to speak to my doctor about it. But, of course, I couldn’t get a hold of her or get in to see her during the last two weeks, so I have to wait until my previously schedule appointment. (I’d hate to see how long they’d make someone wait who had a concern that was even more urgent. Perhaps even an emergency. I can guarantee they wouldn’t be able to get them in to see the doctor, send the patient to the emergency room, and then the ER doctors and primary care doctor will grill the patient on not seeing the primary care doc first. Guaranteed. Because it’s happened to me on more than on occasion.)

Sorry for that little rant there. Next blog I’ll be speaking more about the generic vs brand name issues with Cymbalta, and I’ll update you on what happened at my July 4th appointment. I also have plans to talk about dating with chronic illness, as well as the Canada Pension’s Disability Plan, as I try to navigate that system. Wish me luck with that. I also have appoints coming up with my Urologist and Psychiatrist. So I’ll speak about those things.

Cheers!

-Jil

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