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Urticaria, Lupus, and MRI's

Posted by Tammy Chapman on

Part 2

The Urticaria continued to worsen.  There are several types and I have four of them.

1. Food Allergies:  Doctors told me to assume I was allergic to everything.  Pills helped with the hives, but not the rash.  More to come on this in a future post.

2. Heat:  The rash worsened in heat.  I have learned my set point is 73 degrees.  Above this and I break out.  Now you all know why I love Northern MN!

3. Compression:  This is the hardest for me.  I am a heavy girl (the wonderful word is obese).  What this means is that wherever my skin touched, I broke out.  This has gotten so much better over the years, but I still only wear "undergarments" if I am going out, and although I cannot wear pants to bed (too hot) I do use a pillowcase to keep my legs from touching.  Take awhile and think about how much "skin to skin" and Compression (pressure) you have on your skin a day.  This is overwhelming.

4.  Stress:  WELL DUH!

 It's 2010 now, about 4 years into this and I battled everyday.  And yes, I was still working!  I awoke one October morning and was barely able to move.  I managed to make it to work, but by noon I left and went to my doctor.  After a brief exam, he decided that I had a pinched nerve in my left leg.  He did a cortisone injection in my hip, and I was feeling better by the time I limped out of the office.  He had done x rays too, and said he would call if anything showed up.  I had a week, maybe two that I felt almost normal.  Little did I anticipate what was coming.

When the doc called about the x rays, he had already made an MRI appointment for me.  I am reading the MRI report again.  It is devastating, and hard to imagine.  I was sent to a Neurosurgeon.  Tim went with me to this appointment.  I am going to give you the highlights. 

1. Surgery:  My spinal column was/is narrowing.  They saw a "bone chip" floating in my spine that caused great concern.  It could move and paralyze me at anytime.  Surgery was expected immediately. 

2. Disc degeneration and herniation:  L2, L3, L4.  Nerve damage, Scoliosis, Herniation.  

3. Degeneration of left hip joint: Severe

This was December 10, 2010.  After the initial shock, I refused immediate surgery.  Here's why...I worked in the pain clinic at the hospital.  I wasn't new to the perils of back surgery.  AND I am not a surgery person!  Years ago they told me that if I didn't have knee surgery I wouldn't walk by the time I was 40.  Never had knee surgery.  See where I'm going with this?  The Neurosurgeon agreed to give me some time to see if there was any healing on my own.  I could tell he thought I was crazy.  I was given all the warning signs to watch for movement of the bone chip.  My appointment in January showed that my body was actually absorbing the bone chip.  He was surprised.  He agreed to postpone surgery.  My disability ran out in February.  I have never returned to work...I work from home when needed.

There is much nerve damage.  I have no feeling in my upper thighs, I have neuropathy in both feet & hands. The hip will need replaced at some point, but probably not until I actually can't move.  Yes, stubborn is my middle name. 

This is all I can share today folks.  I think there will be 2 more installments in this series, then just a few updates as needed on my regular posts.  You must understand how hard this is for me to relive.  So much that we put behind us for our own self-preservation.  I have learned to cope everyday.  It is very hard reliving how I got here.

That being said...the sun is shining, it is going to be 50' here today!  WOO HOO!  The snow is finally gone from the hills, but the field is still covered!  Then comes the melt, the rain, and the MUD!  Love my farm!

A picture of my peeps who keep me sane (mostly)!

Stay home, Stay Safe, Stay Sane!