Friday, April 8, 2011

An Itchy Mess

Early last week, I started to feel itchy.  I thought my skin was just dry and stretching, so I put on some extra lotion.  Then late last week, I noticed a sort of rash developing.  At first, it wasn't as noticeable as a rash as much as it looked like my new stretch marks were inflamed.  These stretch marks were a recent (unwelcome J) addition (I only saw them over spring break for the first time) and I didn't think that they had been swollen and inflamed when they first appeared.  But they sure were.  Then I realized my legs were starting to look the same as my stomach.  And on Friday and Saturday, I was an itchy mess.  I kept getting super sweaty during both of my baby showers, and it made the itching worse.  By Sunday night, my rash was a full-blown rash—all across my stomach, my thighs, and starting in on my arms.


On Monday, I called the doctor to explain what was going on.  She ordered a prescription for Prednisone and had me come in for bloodwork Tuesday morning.  I found out later she was testing for cholestasis of the liver (after looking this up, I'm thankful I didn't know what she was testing me for).  That came back negative (thankfully).  Meanwhile, I was still getting no relief.  I hadn't slept a full night since Friday or Saturday because of the itching.  I kept waking up and finding myself scratching my skin off.  I couldn't get more than 20-30 minutes of relief using Hydrocortisone and/or Benadryl cream.  Cold showers felt good for as long as the water was running.  I truly wanted to itch my skin off.  Wednesday night I stood in the shower with cold water running and sobbed because I was so miserable.  The rash has spread over my body—the only places I am NOT covered in a rash are on my hands, feet, and face.  It's more sporadic in some areas, but across the entire trunk of my body, it's pretty solid.


I went for my appointment yesterday, and my doctor just kept looking at me and saying, "Oh, this is awful."  She had to consult her medical books to make an official diagnosis.  I have PUPPS.  It's an acronym, obviously, for a longer word.  She said that in every case of PUPPS she has ever seen, it was only on the stomach, never anywhere else.  She was preparing to send me to a family practice doctor to get checked out when she went ahead and consulted the book to find out that in some cases of PUPPS, the rash spreads to the rest of the body.  Basically the rash was caused by pregnancy.  The majority of women who get it are carrying boys.  And it's not super common.  And it usually only happens in first pregnancies.  And I have the worst case she has ever seen.  And then for the good news: the only cure for PUPPS is delivery.  Which means that this rash won't clear up until after Liam is born.


I cried.  I feel stupid, but I did.  I am so tired, and so itchy on top of all of the other pregnancy side effects like heartburn, achiness, and discomfort, that the thought of continuing like this for another six weeks made me cry. (Let's be honest—I cried again later when I told my dad on the phone…I cried a lot)


 She was able to offer some relief.  One of the other doctors had developed a compound that worked as a soothing cream and could be mixed at the apothecary downtown (the only nearby pharmacy that still mixes medication).  It's got menthol, Lubriderm, and some sort of anti-itch soothing thing in it.  I picked up a bottle last night, and it seems to be helping some.  My itch feels manageable today—I still itch, but I don't want to crawl under my desk and tear my skin off.  On top of that, we discussed the possibility of inducing a little early, so I don't have to go the whole six weeks.  So Liam will probably be here before May 21, which is a wild and crazy idea to me right now.  I start going for checkups every week now, which is early.  I should have had a few more weeks before that, but she wants to keep an eye on the rash and my ability to stand it. 


So that's a part of what's going on here right now.  I still have pictures from my second baby shower to post, but somehow I saved them wrong off my camera, and I need my memory card back to fix it…and Andy has my camera at work, so I can't fix it yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hang tough Liam needs as much time as possible in there.Luv ya