Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013 - Back to Work?

Well, I have been off work for 5 weeks now.  I am at a strange position with my doctors in that I am not going to take their advice anymore.  I refuse to take steroids.  I can't really ask my doctors to extend my medical leave if I am not doing what I am being told, can I?  So, I have decided to go back to work and see how it goes.  

Since last post, the good:

- My skin is better on my legs and neck.  My neck was thick and leathery and is much more normal.  My eczema on arms and legs is not nearly as red and angry as it was.

- Temperature control is better.  I am no longer freezing and sweating and the same time.  Hot and cold at the same time, yes, but not to the point where I huddle inside a quilt while sweating with heat pouring out of my clothing.

The bad:

- The itching has not let up, and in some areas is worse.  My chest and stomach are a powder keg.  If I even brush my hand across that area there will be an urge to itch that is almost beyond comprehension.  If I give in to the urge, the itching explodes and travels around my entire body as I chase it.  The only way to suppress this is to take a warm bath.  My wife found "Allegra Intensive Relief Topical Analgesic/Skin Protectant" and it usually works, sometimes really well.  If I can catch that urge to itch at its very beginning with this cream, I can delay the cycle.

- The edema and pain in my feet returns if I do anything for more than an hour or so.

- It is starting to affect my face.  My eyes have been swollen for a while now, but now my whole face is starting to itch and get rashy.  I really hope this doesn't get worse.  The only reason I have felt my case has been better than most other steroid withdrawal folks is that it hasn't been on my face.

- Emotionally I am struggling.  I've never dealt with depression before, but this may be it.  I dread every day.  I am wishing time away.  I haven't slept in my bed with my wife for about 2 months.  I can hardly stand it that I am not attending Texas Tech games to see my daughter march.  My stepdaughter's wedding is in 5 weeks,  what am I going to be like?  This nightmare could take months, if not years. 

- I still can't sleep unless I take Ambien, and that stuff is kind of scary.  I was reluctant to try it based on reports of people sleep walking or worse.  It has some of that effect on me in that I will catch myself talking out loud to myself before I nod off, or I will have lucid dreams wherein I am supposed to be scratching myself for some bizarre reason.  One morning I woke up on the floor scratching myself raw while having some bizarre dream where the itching was part of a process to activate some kind of sic-fi body mesh matrix thing.  Weird.

- I really don't know how I can go to work.  Not only can I barely function, I am in a cycle right now that lasts 4 or 5 hours:  The urge to itch will become unbearable, so I will take yet another bath.  This gives me relief, but only for a few hours.  How am I supposed to handle that at work?  


  1. Keep it up man...

    I am lucky I still live with my parents. I would not be able to do this without them.
    And I would not be able to go to work. No way.

    How would it work out? Indeed. How can you work when showering/bathing only delays the itch for a few hours. I sometimes shower twice when I wake up.

    Hang on...

  2. Thanks man. This is third day back to work, and it may have been a mistake. Only managed half days and today after just a couple hours I am about to go insane with itching. Popping ibuprofen like Skittles and they are doing nothing.