Posted for a friend who's about to undergo something similar to the Incision and Drainages (I+D) that I have to do frequently for my skin condition.

Medical details herein )
Damn I hate having a pain condition. Been dealing with cysts for something like two weeks now - as soon as one heals up, another one blossoms. Maybe once school actually starts I'll stop worrying about it and the cysts will go away.

What's bothering me about them right now is the continual pain. Sure it's mild, but it's always there, and that's really draining on physical energy, emotional energy, and attention span. I regenerate a spoon maybe every hour or two, and then I promptly use it up making lunch. Or washing my lunch dishes. Or rotating some of the toys in Kappa's cage. Or even just making a list of all the things I have to be doing! I keep wanting to just sit down and cry from the pain and the frustration all together. But that would take a spoon I don't have.
I hate how stress causes skin flare-ups for me. (I have hidradenitis suppurativa if you've missed the other PSAs.)

Sources of stress )

Results of stress (a cyst) )
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
For those of you who aren't already familiar with my skin condition, hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), you may wish to skim that link. [ profile] framefolly, remember how I said the other day that you shouldn't post anything unlocked that you wouldn't get up in front of a room and tell your whole class? Well, my posts on HS are my exception to that rule, b/c I want to make the condition more well-known and remove the stigma from it. I *still* wouldn't stand up in front of a class and tell them about it, primarily b/c it's not relevant to the class, but I have talked about it with a couple individual students.

So, back to the reason for this post. I've got a cyst at the belt line. I haven't had one this big in months, that much is great, but getting one now isn't. It's probably *because* of pants that I have it in the first place - pants rub on your waist, but you don't ever notice it until you have a horrible painful bump right under that rubbing spot. How painful?

This painful: (photo) )

Yeah, I've never shown pictures of it before, not sure what prompted me to do so now.

I cannot wear normal pants b/c the belt line falls right atop the cyst. I can't wear low-rise jeans b/c the very top edge of the waist rubs against the bottom of the cyst. I can't even wear normal sleep pants, despite how soft they are. What I'm wearing right now is these cotton super thin sleep pants without elastic that are basically the scrubs you wear as a hospitial patient. I tie them very loose so they're nearly falling off my hips and then they're below the cyst enough that it only irritates a little. Yes, that's my pink undies you see right below the cyst, bikini style, that's how low I have to wear these sleep pants. And I'm currently wearing a sweatshirt without any elastic at the bottom, because again the elastic would rub on it. Even so, moving around too much hurts because your skin always flexes. (Never noticed that before, did you?)

So what do I wear to work? I had to dress nice today for a luncheon, so I found a long sleeve slightly formless dress (c/o the last chorus I was in), in black velvet(een?). Since it was black, I spruced it up with red and green so it wouldn't look like I was going to a funeral - it's appropriate for a NYC wedding instead. ;)

See? )

Tomorrow if it's clear I'm going to have to stay out late with a class doing an extra-credit observing session, so a dress is out. I'm debating wearing a dress during the day and changing into overalls, or just wearing overalls. I'm probably going to go with the overalls just b/c changing's ridiculous. I don't like dressing that sloppy, but I think it's warranted - overalls are also warmer than normal pants. Ooh, I can wear the ones Mom made me, out of really nice white tapestry material. If I already sewed the button back on, hm, maybe not. :-\

I hate my skin. Back to soaking it.
And I forgot to mention, I've got a lovely cyst on my abdomen - in the front a couple inches under my belly button, right where my pants waistline inevitably rubs. Started on Sunday - so there were TWO reasons to not be staying on campus for the Hunt, that and the toothache. Last couple nights I wore a long shapeless comfy cotton dress for sleep instead of my usual sleep pants, and today I wore overalls out - both items without a waistline. I'd been considering wearing lowrise jeans and a long shirt, but I found the overalls first and they fit my mood better than sexy pants.
Owie, that cortizone shot really REALLY hurt. :'( It'll help me though, the last one did. Derm suggests for my next flare-up I do NOT start the levoquin (antibiotic) at all but call up immediately and try to get a quick appointment. If I can't, then email him and he'll get them to squeeze me in. We're thinking wait for now on further Remicade.

I slept most of the night (after having sushi for dinner after a 2-hr nap), and was only restless in the last few hours.

Man, ow. I should go shower. And write a review sheet for exams. And exams themselves. And grade...

ETA: Forgot to mention, I asked about more than OTC painkillers. My thought was that prescription painkillers will probably significantly dull my ability to do things like drive to work, and actually teach, so I probably wouldn't want them unless I were in a situation where I was already missing work due to the pain. Derm replied that most skin conditions do not involve pain, so he's not actually all that familiar with pain management. He suggests if I think it's an issue, I should talk with my general practitioner and get her recommendation. Huh.

Also, it's not actually MRSA, it's just a strain of staph that happens to be resistant to lots of methicillin-like antibiotics. But it's susceptable to levoquin, hence its use. *shrug*

[HS] Sleep

Nov. 14th, 2006 11:07 pm
Maybe I'll be lucky and sleep through the night tonight. Since the start of this cyst I haven't slept through the night, I keep waking up in pain by 3am, and then it takes me up to an hour to go back to sleep. I've also been waking really dyhydrated, which's unusual. It's started getting better - there's two ways this can happen, the neat preferred way where it shrinks, and the messy way where it drains. But it's still hurting and swollen and red, it's just not quite as bad as before. Like a small marble instead of a big one. Or a deflated balloon instead of a superbounce ball.

Well, took my Aleve, took my levoquin, let's see if I can sleep.
Not the best written petition, but it's a start. Go sign.
For those of you new to here, posts marked with [HS] or [Skin] are about my skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa (or HS for short), and are probably TMI. Click at your own risk, but I'm not going to friendslock them most of the time - this disease is here and people need to know about it. If you know me in person, it's kinda nice to know you know what I'm going through and that there's sometimes a reason I wince or yell "ow" out of the blue. Don't expect me to be comfortable talking about it face-to-face, but do expect me to try, and I am willing to do so.

What is HS? Here's a simulation for you. )

ETA: I love email. )
asterroc: (rhino)
Today instead of cleaning or doing errands, I ended up researching whether there is a concensus in the medical community of what causes hidradenitis suppurativa. I did this to settle in my head a debate that continues on the Yahoo group I follow on it. My posting regarding it is below for my reference, or in case you're curious.

Read more... )

HS: limits

May. 27th, 2006 01:35 pm
asterroc: (rhino)
I've been pondering, what does it take for Joe Schmo to decide he's going to the Emergency Room? The cyst I have right now, if it popped up entirely unanounced on someone who's never had them, it would probably make them break down and go to the hospital, or at a minimum get a doctor's appt ASAP. Me, I had a routine derm appointment Thursday, and I didn't see much reason to try and get one sooner, despite it being not for two weeks after this cyst got this bad. I mean, I think my derm's out of town this past week anyway, and what's the real difference between Tuesday and Thursday? And my general practitioner might not know what's the right way to deal with it, even if I could've gotten in to see her sooner. And at a hospital, I'd just have to wait for hours as people with actual emergencies go in sooner. It'd also be a little wierd if I ended up seeing that resident who bubbled over me last time. :-P
I finally found a tankini top that I like, in size Small as usual, bright pink, no horrible plunge. Unfortunately, it was an "old" (early in the season) model and I couldn't find the matching simple bikini bottoms. I tried on a few different bottoms (hooray for mix'n'match), and shockingly I apparently have just enough fat around my waist that it gets squished around by the bottoms. And to make matters worse, I'm a size Medium on the bottom, as usual. I wasn't about to try on a size Large. I was complaining to the friendly saleswoman with the same name as myself (spelled the other way though), about how I have a small top and bigger bottom and how I shouldn't have to wear a Large and I certainly shouldn't have to wear something that makes ME feel fat, and she said, "oh, you're a pear!" I guess that's a body type that's small on top and big on bottom. Hee, I've got a big bottom!

Y'know, I think I'd be more coherent if I'd had dinner this week. But then I'd be FAT!!!! :-P Seriously, I haven't really had dinner all week, I had a half a dinner yesterday.

Insert nasty HS (skin) stuff. You don't want to read this, I mean it. )

now what?

May. 10th, 2006 06:50 pm
I finished grading last night. today I emailed those students of mine who asked for their grades ahead. at 4pm I was done with everything, and didn't know what to do. My colleague L*** wandered into my office, with the same dilemma. we chatted for a hafl hour about how we really didn't know what to do with ourselves now that we didn't have to grade for hours. she said she was thinking of going shopping. "Me too! For what?" I replied. It couldn't have been for a new bathing suit. Mine still fit and all, I'm not growing anymore, and it's not shrinking, but it's faded and the chlorine smell won't go away. But yeah, it was for a new bathing suit. We went to the same places, different cars and slightly different times though. I wonder if she thought it'd be awkward to be around a colleague while shopping.

Tankinis these days have plunge necklines. The whole reason I buy tankinis though, is that I want to show my midriff (which 1-piecers don't let you do), but I *don't* want to show my cleavage (which bikinis force). I found a flirty little strapless thing that'll replace my current bikini (the old one's not faded, but as my chest/cleavage is worse than it use to be, from my skin condition, my confidence in baring that portion of myself goes down), but I couldn't really swim in it. It would be for sunning or lounging in the water, or whirlpools. Not that I swim well. And I'm resigned to my armpits showing, I have to be or I couldn't function. :-\

HS: done

May. 3rd, 2006 04:36 pm
so tired. infusion was fine. I'd been taking OTC claritin for th etwo weeks prior, and I was premedicated with clarinex (same as claritin) and benadryl, so the worst that happened t ome during the infusion was that I actually dozed off for something like a half hour. stupid drugs. I've got more in a pocket in case I have a delayed reaciton like last time.

I'm maybe 1/2 to 2/3 done with the phys sci exam I'm giving tomorrow. i can't wait till I fill out the bubble sheet tomorrow while the kids are taking it and find out just how messed up it ended up from the sleepiness. :) astro today was fine, have already graded the MC part since bubble sheet. good thing i can finish writing the exam and then email it to the printshop and it'll be waiting for me when I get to campus tomrorow morning. yay for the intarwebz
is happening in under an hour. Unfortunately, I had a flare-up in the intervening time - left armpit, and chest. Hopefully no reaction today, hopefully this last one will help my HS more. If it helps some but not lots, I'm not sure if I want to have / should have / can get coverage for more treatments. June 1 is a derm appt to discuss that, and other stuff.
Quinalones form a group of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Possible side effects include )
When my derm emailed me back to say I could start on the levoquin, he mentioned that I should continue the hot conpresses. I realized that every time I've resorted to the levo, I've immediately stopped using the compresses. And I just figured out why: because when it's gotten to the point where I'm resorting to drugs, it's also gotten to the point that my skin's painful enough that just touching it with a towel (let alone a hot one) is significantly unpleasant. Maybe I'll point that out to him.

I expect it to start shrinking tomorrow or Sunday. Ibuprofen's adequately managing the pain.



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