I know I have mentioned my laundry list of diseases before, but I will again here before getting into the topic of this essay. I have Sjogren's, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Inflammatory RA. Impressive, huh? And I've come to accept and live with the effects of each of these conditions on my body when they appear. Until now.
You see, lately, I have developed a new symptom that is unlike any other I have had to deal with. And it is driving me totally nuts. I have started itching every day, all day, almost everywhere on my body. And I can't figure out how to stop it.
Have I changed soaps, you ask? Nope. I've always had sensitive skin so I rarely if ever, change soaps, lotions, or makeup. Have I changed laundry detergents? Nope. Same reason. In grade school, we found out I am allergic to Bounce fabric softener sheets, so now I smell test everything and pretty much stick with one or two brands. Perfume? Never. Cologne? All go through my approval. Cleaning products? Same as above. New meds? Nope. Same water system too.
So that really does leave the disease and the disease process. Sjogren's is known for causing neuropathies. I have had facial neuropathy - itchy jawline- for years and recently developed trigeminal neuropathy which runs along the face and head causing pain.
But only recently have I developed itchy arms even though I shower. And itchy upper chest and upper back area. Itchy lower legs. The bottoms of my feet, and boy are those hard to itch! My palms and wrists. My lower abdomen. Sometimes all at once, but more likely one at a time, preferring to move around as I scratch one area forcing me to play a very uncomfortable version of “Tag” where I'm always It.
And when I get totally sick of this game, I'll use a lidocaine cream to deaden everything for a bit of relief. But I truly don't know if that's the right thing to do or not. It's easy. That's why I do it. And it's not ANOTHER pill to take, with more side effects and chemicals and all.
I know I will have to bring it up to my doctor. I get bumps that turn into swollen scabby areas and on someone like me, immunosuppressed, any open wound can turn ugly quickly. But still, I itch all the time and I need to make it stop. Even dealing with the pain of walking and sitting and bending and climbing stairs which are all daily pains for me now don't compare to this constant itchiness.
So for now, I itch. I use cold showers. I take benadryl. I use lidocaine cream. And I do weird little dances that feature me slapping the crap out of my arms and legs. And my husband gives back rubs with lidocaine, sometimes when I don't even need them. All to try to keep muscles relaxed and nerve endings happy and not overly sensitive. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get some sleep tonight instead of feeling like I'm on fire.
If not. Maybe I'll right more. You all deserve it. You've waited so long while waiting for me to rejoin the world of the living since moving in to care for my mom Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. She's doing really well!