Monday, November 21, 2011

Just One More Thing....

Every now and then I skim through some of my Sjogren's syndrome reference books.Yesterday, this paragraph on page 169 from The Sjogren's Syndrome Survival Guide by Teri P. Rumph, Ph.D. and Katherine Morland Hammitt really grabbed my attention:

For many people with Sjogren's, there is always some medical problem to deal with, and both the symptoms and the process of dealing with these problems are exhausting, frustrating, and traumatic.  A chronic disease can bring nonstop stress.  It is important to find ways to release it whenever possible. The goal is to maximize the stress-free intervals, and to deal with the stressful ones as expediently as possible. Sometimes, and here we are referring to any kind of ongoing stress, it feels as if healing takes places in the cracks, those stress-free intervals between one crisis and another. 
So true, isn't it?

Just when I think that I have my body's response to autoimmune disease all figured out......something else happens. In my case, that something else is a new batch of weirdo skin lesions on my back.

These are the best-looking ones of the bunch. 

Yes. They look strange. My doctor described them as annular (shaped like a circle), and discreet (each lesion formed separately of the others). I describe them as kind of itchy, and turn bright red when I'm in the pool, which makes me a bit nervous that people there will think that I have something infectious. Which I don't. I think.

It seems that Dr. Young Guy is speculating that these splotches may be from the onset of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosis.


I am scheduled for a biopsy, which hopefully will diagnose or rule out SCLE. I am also trying not to obsess or fret excessively about this potential addition to the autoimmune party going on in this old body.

Here's a bit about SCLE found here:
Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) is a nonscarring, non–atrophy-producing, photosensitive dermatosis. SCLE may occur in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sj√∂gren syndrome, or deficiency of the second component of complement (C2d), or it may be drug induced.......Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) uncomplicated by severe SLE has a good prognosis. Some patients may manifest spontaneous remission; however, most have chronically active disease or a course punctuated by intermittent exacerbations. Exacerbation in the spring or summer is not uncommon.
Approximately one half of patients with SCLE have 4 or more of the criteria for classification as SLE, but in these patients, the disease is generally less severe.
Breathe, Julia. Just breathe.


stephanie said...

Sorry, Julia. That sure goes along with the Survival Guide section you posted. I am dealing with "exhausting" + "frustrating", too. The Mobic I have tried for 8 days is making my heart race, so on to Plan G. Something that has been VERY helpful for me lately is a book: "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young (daily readings). A lot of it is about being thankful, no matter what you are dealing with.

annie said...

I can testify to having a trying year. The latest....I apparently suffer from migraines, and a skin biopsy on my arm was thankfully removed on time,before turning to melanoma. I can't move as I pulled something in my back on the weekend, and I'm hoping it's not herniated disc!

I feel for what you're going through. It seems true that if you have one autoimmune disease, you'll have others. I think help and strength comes from within, and if we could only laugh about some of our problems, we can cope with anything life throws us. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that :-( You've been pretty lucky so far. I've been collecting autoimmune diseases for 55 years. I think my body wants to try each one out. Here's hoping you are OK and no matter what is thrown at you, you will keep smiling :-)