2018 has not got off to the start I’d hoped. I wish I had a nice, happy, positive roundup post for you but sadly I’ve had a shitty week. On New Year’s Day I had an anaphylactic reaction to the Famotidine (H2 antihistamine) I’ve been taking for my severe GERD (stomach acid). It had been coming on for a couple of months, with anxiety, palpitations and muscle spasms after taking the tablet, but I’d been trying to ignore it in the hopes my mast cells would settle themselves down. They refused and finally gave up on the drug last weekend. Bugger.
My reflux is really bad and the pain of having my body’s equivalent of bleach eating away at my stomach and oesophagus day in and day out honestly makes me suicidal. My nausea is also off the Richter Scale and my appetite has totally vanished. Not to mention the appalling taste of battery acid which I now have in my mouth every second of the day and which burns my skin and tongue.
I also think the H2s have been helping with other things, such as muscle spasms and brain fog – I certainly feel much more spasmy since I stopped taking them and very foggy headed. After all these years I am so sick and tired and being sick and tired I can’t even tell you, and spent the first few days of 2018 wishing I could have a massive heart attack in my sleep and not wake up, but that hasn’t happened so I’ll just have to find a way of coping with the symptoms.
I’ve now tried all the H2 drugs available and, while my body tolerates them for a year or so, eventually my mast cells throw a hissy fit and I become allergic. I have no fucking clue what the problem is but it’s the same with any drug I take, no matter what it is. So, yes, I could now progress to trying PPIs but every single day I would be worried about anaphylaxis – I either live with the pain and nausea or I live with horrendous anxiety. Super.
To add insult to injury whatever I did to my neck in my sleep before Christmas is no better. I’d hoped I’d just pulled something and it would settle but 3 weeks on it’s still hugely painful every single time I move my head or arms. I can’t be arsed seeing the Doctor (assuming I could get an appointment this side of Easter) as they would want to prescribe painkillers I can’t take or physio I can’t tolerate, so I’m just doing the usual icing, heating and spraying on Ibuleve gel (I can’t even reach to give it a good rub as it’s too painful to move my arms).
I am not a happy bunny and the week has not held any saving graces.
As if things weren’t bad enough, my Dad had some routine bloods done before Christmas in connection with his leg pain and weakness and the results showed that he has a low lymphocyte count (a type of white blood cell) and they also found kappa paraprotein. There can be various reasons for this but tomorrow he has to take a urine sample in which will be tested for Bence Jones protein which detects blood cancer, so naturally we will be worried until we know the results. At his age it is much more likely he has Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) and will just need to be monitored as statistically 1% of people with MGUS develop cancer each year, but it’s still something we didn’t expect and has come as a bit of a shock. Luckily for my Dad he is totally clueless as to what’s going on and Mum and I haven’t discussed the possibility of cancer with him – it’s pointless worrying him (and due to his dementia he gets super anxious about the slightest thing) until we know more.
The only nice day I had this week was Thursday, when I made the journey through to the city to see my best mate. She has been having issues with her hands which swell up and give her fingers like sausages. Her skin is also dry, kind’ve lumpy and eczema like and no-one is quite sure what’s going on. She had a scan which showed virtually all her finger joints were swollen, but her arthritis blood markers are all normal which is odd. Anyways, on Thursday she had been booked in for allergy testing but they rang the day before to cancel it (for the second time) due to the crisis which is going on in the NHS, which left her day open so that we could have a catch-up.
Not wanting to sit in the house all day today on my own and dwell I’ve arranged for my folks to have Bertie for the morning and I am taking my hide down by the river to try and photograph a pair of Dippers I’ve spotted recently. It’s bollock freezing cold, so I will need to be well wrapped up and have various heat pads secreted about my person, and it’s not going to be easy when I can barely move my head or left arm but it will pass the time.
Speaking of which I must get up, dressed, take the dog out, through to my parents and then get myself settled down by the river. Or at least I would if I could stop sneezing. I have been having a massive sneezing fit for the past 30 minutes, my nose is running like a tap and I’ve already gone through 2 man-size cotton hankies since I got up. I swear if I’m starting with a cold it will be the last straw.