Life's Path

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Answers with my skin...And stress is evil.

Okay, I have to apologize as I have taken more than a few days to continue with my story.  Again, life gets away on you and before you know it, time has flown by! 

I left off with me heading to the dermatologist to see if we had any answers as to what was going on with the invasion of red spots all over my body.  When my wonderful doctor comes in the room, she looks at me with hopeful eyes and says we have an answer.  I have discoid cutaneous lupus.  I ask her how I could have gotten this, due to my current health conditions being so good.  She says most likely stress, and at that point I burst into tears.  She immediately starts asking me about things in my life and is overwhelmed with what I have gone through in the last year.  She immediately takes out her notepad and takes me off work indefinitely.   She says that my body has been in defense mode for too long and it is shutting down because of the stress and it manifested itself this way. 

In some ways I am relieved to know what is going on.  In other ways, I am saddened to know that the effects of events in this last year have done this to my body.  But again, I look at this as a way to learn.  Never again can I let stress and life do this to me.  It is awful how I look.  I am so thankful that it did not spread to my face and that I can cover this mess up.

Now that we know what we are dealing with, we know how to properly treat it.  I start off with two types of creams, one and antibiotic as the spots are open and we don't want them to get infected.  Another is to help with the inflammation that has occurred from the spots.  We start that, go off work and try to get life stress free (is that even possible???) and I will come back in a month to see how things are going.

I end up back in the dermatologist office in early January and things are not better, they are actually worse with the spots.  We have talked things over and because my body is in such a state of flight and fight mode, we have to get it to calm down so that it can heal itself.  I have to go on the awful, yet helpful drug prednisone.  It is a strong steroid that will take much monitoring.  It is the only option at this point.  I have even talked to my naturopathic doctor and she is in agreement.  Sometimes, you have to take things like this to help the body out.  So I start my prednisone treatment. 

And it is a miracle drug.  Within a couple of weeks, my skin is calming down and the spots are going away.  I still have to do the two cream treatment twice a day as well.  We call that connecting the dots!  Thank goodness my husband is a rock star and no matter how awful my body looks, he graciously twice a day plays connect the dots. 

Within a couple of months, I am spot free and my skin has healed up very nicely.  I have minimal scarring, which we are incredibly thankful for!  I can live with some scars.  I am staying away from stress.  The doctors are continually amazed that I have not gone systemic with the lupus (where it attacks the liver etc)  They tell me that my diet has saved me from going systemic.  It looks like I will just have the skin lupus. 

Which means I have to be careful in the sun.  Cover up, sunscreen.  I will always have pale skin as I will not be exposed to the sun in ways that I used to before.  But it is okay.  I can get used to a life of floppy hats and long sleeves.  The sacrifice is worth it.

I am going to post some pictures so that you can have a little glimpse into what my skin was like.  If you don't want to see them, then the post will have to end here for you.  I post these as a remind to myself to not let stress and life get me back to this point.  I have to take care of me, first and foremost.