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itch itch eeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww


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ok, this entry will take some backtracking, and forward jumping, from the time frame of my other entries.... back to the first week i was in rehab, first week of november, 2003 - id noticed that my roommate always had a long list of things to ask/discuss with the drs when they came around each morning, i on the other hand, being of the don't complain, deal with it myself, as long as i'm breathing and not bleeding to death ill say "i'm ok" type, always just said i was "fine" - well, one morning id woken during the night with my arms and back itching, and had a really hard time falling asleep, even itched on the, at that time, "dead side", so i mentioned it briefly, more as an "isn't cool that i felt something" type thing, i got "i'm sure its nothing, let us know if it happens again... it kept happening;but since i usually felt ok again by the time they came around, it took a few days before i mentioned it - id found a few bumps that looked kind of bite or rashy, so pointed them out, "oh, thats just dry skin, ill have the nurse put some lotion on it" well, my skin was no drier than usual and id never had this before;but a dr should know, right ? a couple days later, still itching i mentioned it again "oh you must not be using the lotion enough, ill have the nurse leave it with you" (oh yeah, ill use it lots more if i have to put it on myself one-handed.....) nurses decided if it was dry skin maybe she knew a better cream than the one the dr had ordered, so brought that two - oh joy, now i had two things i couldn't put on, neither of which worked for a condition i was convinced the drs were wrong about...... the itching was getting worse, it woke me almost every night, and i found more bumps... the day before thanksgiving, id had an especially grueling morning of therapies, preceded by getting up early and wheeling myself down to the spinal cord rec room on the floor below for the thanksgiving breakfast the therapists cook for the patients each year, so after lunch id dozed off before the afternoon schedule - i woke up to find 7, yes, 7 dermatologists staring at me and asking about my itch... so i told them it had been itching for over 3 weeks at that point, that the dr said it was dry skin;but i didn't think so, and that none of the creams or lotions had done a thing... they conferred and consulted and came to the momentous decision that it was just "contact dermatitis" that i must be allergic to the hospitals detergent or something, so they gave me still another ointment and a benedryl prescription.... neither did a thing.... i doubted it could be that, cause i'm not allergic to anything and had been using their sheets,towers, etc for 2 months by then, and why only my arms and back ? another 10 days go by, with me itching more and more, the dermatologists come by one more time, just a few days before my scheduled discharge, they still insisted on the diagnosis, gave me a stronger itch pill, and said i wasn't using enough of the ointment (since i was still basically one handed and couldn't reach half the places, and it had zero affect, how surprising was it that i didn't use much ?" at this point, i stopped mentioning it, figuring that if they were right, my upcoming discharge would fix the problem..... yeah, right.... it got way worse, after a couple weeks at the hotel, i was getting virtually zero sleep since i was kept awake all night by itching, i scratched so much trying to get even a little relief that i was often bleeding, combined with the coumadin, the sheets were a sight, no major bleeds, just tons and tons of little smears... i was still popping the pills since the dr had claimed they'd put me to sleep as well as give itch relief, they did neither.... in january, when i first saw my primary dr, she took a look, said "hmm, ill give you a dermatology referral, they should look at that again, they'll call you with an appointment" a few days later i had my first rehab dr appt "hmm, could be a med rash, ill give another referral, and mark it urgent, maybe you'll hear sooner".... itching got worse, sleep got less, bleeding and rash became obvious to everyone who saw me.... my ot mentioned that dermatology was one of only a couple of clinics where you could call directly and not need a referral.... she got me the number and i called, i gave a short version of the story and was told "oh yeah, we saw that referral and determined it was routine, so the earliest we could see you is the end of march" well, that was 2 months away, id been itching for almost 3 months already, it was getting worse, had spread to just about my whole body except my head and face, id had no sleep at all for weeks, all while trying to deal with all the usual post stroke stuff, trying to find a permanent home, etc, so here i am, id dealt with ptsd,stroke,living alone, etc, never complaining (ok, not much anyway) and when she says 2 more months, i just start crying and babbling; but i cant sleep..." so she finally broke down and said i could come in on feb 3, still 10 days away;but better than 2 months.... when i went to the appointment and was signing in, the clerk saw my hand and arm and said "oh, you poor thing, i guess that really wasn't routine after all", first dr came in, looked, said "hmmm, could be x, or maybe y, or... hmmm, let me get the other dr." the dr i like to refer to as "the only dermatologist with brains" came in, looked at my arms,stomach,chest, with the same puzzled look on his face that the other had had, then he looked at my back and said "ohhh" got a scalpel and took a scraping from my back and a number from the palms of my hands and between my fingers - left the room, came back a bit later and announced... scabies (ewwwwwwwww) he said he'd never seen a case as bad as mine, nor one that hadn't gotten caught much much earlier and someone i knew who id been in close contact with must've given them to me, i said i caught them in the hospital "are you sure ? it usually takes 3-4 weeks for the itching to start if you've never had them before" "id been in the hospital 6 weeks when i noticed it" "oh, well, too bad they didn't catch it then, it would've been much easier" grrrrrr so i got still another cream, was supposed to put it on all my skin from the neck down, sleep with it overnight, shower in the morning, then repeat a week later, well, needless to say there was no way i could reach half that skin, so a friend came over and did it for me, 2 weeks after the second application i went back for a followup, still itching!!! he found no evidence of life remaining;but just to be sure wanted me to try two more applications of the cream, and some oral meds that kill them, too "better overkill than to risk putting you through more of this" gee ya think 4 months was enough ? anyway, i finally stopped itching, got a bit of sleep and got normal looking skin again, although there are still scars on my hands where the worst of it was... anyway, now my skins crawling again, maybe i should've put a warning before telling this.... i promise the next entry will be less creepy....

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Hi Teal,

 

That is outrageous that it took that long to diagnosis a case of scabies!!! That's the first thing they should have checked when someone has been in a hospital, nursing home, traveling around a lot, etc. I feel so badly for you! I get hives extremely frequently so I understand just how awlful this whole thing must have been for you. The intense itching can drive you nuts.

 

Jean

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