Just Press for Help

 If only it were so easy. Press a button and get the help that you need. 

If only it were so easy. Press a button and get the help that you need. 

I've just left Denver Health where I went to see a dermatologist for the rash that has travelled around my body for the last 13 years. They tell me it's not dangerous, but its inflammation of some sort. There has to be some negative effect on the body from it.

Several years ago I had the rash biopsied and at that time they told me that it was a form of lupus and that I need to avoid the sun at all costs.  A few months ago it was biopsied again, and this time they tell me that it's not caused by lupus, but rather a manifestation of Sjögrens Syndrome, and one of the ways to possibly gain some relief from the rash is to expose it to the sun.  What the hell?  Apparently there's a light treatment, similar to a tanning bed, which I could try, but it would require me to go to Denver Health twice a week for several months and considering the amount of time it takes to get to and from there on the bus, it's just not feasible. I guess I'll try sitting in the sun from time to time, though they tell me not to be in the sun for longer than five minutes unless I have SPF 50 on. So, apparently the sun is still terrible for me, but it's good for the rash. I give up.

Clearly there's no consensus on what's really going on with me. It's no wonder I'm so frustrated and don't feel like I will ever get the answers. I just get more prescriptions. This time the prescription is a steroid cream, apparently the strongest they make. I'm told to be careful not to use it on skin without the rash because it will cause the skin to weaken and become thin. This sounds like a great thing to put on my body.

 Sjögrens Rash on Arm

Sjögrens Rash on Arm

Although the rash has moved around my body for 13 years, it seems to manifest much more after times of stress. There have only been a few times over the years that I've not seen the rash on some part of my body, but those were times when I was on Prednisone. I've tried the gamut of medications from Plaquinil to Quinacrine, and none have ever made the rash recede.  When the rash moves to my head, it causes bald spots and severe itching on my scalp. On other parts of my body it just itches from time to time. It's not as though I can't just suck it up and live with it, but I won't deny it's frustrating, especially when it's on my face and head and people look at me like a leper and wonder if they shouldn't get too close.

On the positive side, I did got the dermatologist to freeze burn off a couple of planters warts that have been hanging out on my foot for a while. I had them frozen a couple of years ago but it didn't take, so hopefully they'll finally go away this time. 

I guess like everything else in life, I just have to wait it out. Nothing seems to be killing me, at least not quickly, so I may as well live it up. I know it's not the doctor's fault that they can't figure out what's going on, but I'd think after years of trying to figure this out, I'd be a little further along than step one.