Sunday, November 15, 2009

red, red rash.

(For an interesting article on the diversity of snowflakes, go here:

MS is a funny thing. It is known as a "snowflake" disease because no two patients are alike. Symptoms vary from numbness, to vertigo, to hypersensitivity. Some patients are in wheelchairs, while others are running marathons. Some have relapsing-remitting MS that lasts for years, while others quickly go from relapsing-remitting to primary progressive or secondary progressive MS. Because of the wide-variety of symptoms and effects that MS has, doctors can have a hard time deciphering what to do when something arises.

For example, Mr. M has been on the receiving end of a nasty red rash for about a year now. It comes and goes, especially at night, so we are never able to show it to anyone. We have taken pictures, but it is hard to diagnose from a camera. We have shown them to his primary care doctor, but she referred us to his neurologist. And since the VA is as it is, we will not be seeing her until later this month. So as you can imagine, we are anxious to find out what it is, if she even knows. I will definitely post more on that later if/when we know more about what's going on.

So, as I mentioned, the rash comes and goes, and ALWAYS happens at night. This in and of itself is extremely bizarre. We thought that he was having an allergic reaction to one of his medications at first, but his primary care doctor assured us that it was not. The rash also has a pattern. It starts at the top of his head and neck area, then progresses down his body, going all the way to his toes. And it burns. His skin turns bright red, and sometimes his face looks swollen or droopy. Sometimes the hypersensitivity is so great that he can't continue to lie in bed with the covers on. It is all so strange. If anyone has seen or heard of this before, I would love to hear about it. Hopefully Mr. M's neurologist will have some answers for us. If not, I guess we will just keep searching and he will just keep on enduring.