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Back and semi-coherent

May 10, 2010

I’m back and semi-coherent, having spent the weekend in a prednisone-and-antihistamine-megadoses daze. (Slept most of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, actually.)

Thursday morning, I ended up in the local Urgent Care with a nasty rash all over, which started Tuesday but kept spreading and getting worse. I’ve got eczema, and am prone to allergic rashes, but this was something special. I wasn’t sure if it qualified as an emergency, but finally decided that when (a) certain body parts are swollen to about 3 times the usual size, (b) you haven’t slept because they’re raw and on fire, and (c) you’re wheezing from the allergy overload, it probably counts as urgent.

Especially when after the extended “what new products have I used?” musing, the only thing you can settle on is a new batch of sanitary pads–with the obvious rash epicenter. Ouch.

Turns out–from roughly 5 seconds on Google–that this is far from unusual given all the chemicals used in manufacturing, and it took me a good while to think of that as a possible culprit! (No new soap, no new laundry detergent, no new foods even–what’s left?!) It looks like I’ve had less severe allergic reactions before, and put them off on other things (like moisture and heat). Talk about compelling incentives to switch completely over to cloth… 😐

If I hadn’t known better, what with none growing in the vicinity, I’d have assumed the worst bit was poison ivy. And I get the kind of poison ivy that requires a couple of weeks on steroids or six weeks (and antibiotics) to clear up. Thank goodness, this responded much more quickly to the prednisone.

I hadn’t sought any medical treatment whatsoever in almost two years, thanks to PTSD. Nigel was kind enough to take the morning off work to go with me, which I appreciated. It was very possibly the least annoying ER trip ever; there weren’t a lot of people waiting at 8 a.m., especially once they funneled us over to Urgent Care, and it took less than 2 hours all told, even waiting better than half an hour for the pharmacy. I saw a very pleasant nurse practitioner, who didn’t even make a fuss about my anxiety-fueled blood pressure (higher on the second reading, once I saw the first 153/75!). She was cringing at the rash. I went home with a 3-day course of prednisone and instructions to see the GP if I needed more–which I haven’t, thank goodness.

This was a pleasant surprise after my last trip to an A&E department ranked 150/151 in all of England on pain relief, 151/151 for health care standards, 151/151 on general patient satisfaction. Maybe I should try to get into Urgent Care there in future, instead of the main ER. 😐 Last time, after almost kneecapping myself, I finally fled the place–after 5 hours–with the wrong joint wrapped up (can’t make this stuff up!) and no pain relief. That didn’t leave me entirely keen on going back there.

I’m very glad I didn’t chicken out, and went to see about it. While I’m still pretty groggy today, things are much better than they would have been without the steroids!

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