Monday, January 28, 2008

The Itch Goes On

Once again last night I was in an Aveeno bath, trying to soak away my itch and reading The Other Boleyn Girl (Phillipa Gregory). It worked for as long as I was in the bath, mostly, and I stayed in until the bath was quite cool.

Afterward, I was fairly un-itchy for a bit. I was talking to my sister on the phone and the itch came back with a vengeance. I was chasing it around my body with a back scratcher. We were talking about what could be going on with me, and she recalled when I "diagnosed" her peanut allergy. She had been having respiratory symptoms, almost asthma, was losing her voice, etc. I asked her about her diet and things she had been eating. It came down to peanuts and nut butters. Once she got those out of her diet, the problem cleared up.

Normal, healthy people generally don't develop new allergies as they go on in life. The immune system doesn't start overreacting. In my family, however, we do develop new ones. And we never know what will come next. My sister has had to eliminate soy and peanuts and has had to limit wheat. She has lupus. Mom had lupus and developed all kinds of allergies and adverse reactions to meds.

I've developed new allergies over the last 10 years. I now get hives from hugging my dogs against uncovered skin. That one really upsets me. I wheeze if we have candles going. I am allergic to gadolinium (which is mostly water) that is used for contrast in MRIs. I have to pre-medicate with Benadryl and Xanax before an MRI that requires contrast. Allergic to sulfa (check). Allergic to penicillin (check). Allergic to Carbatrol (check). Neurontin gives me abnormal thoughts (check). I have to laugh when they ask me about allergies at the doctor. It takes a bit for me to remember them all.

The problem is that we have overreactive immune systems. Autoimmune illnesses. Almost all of us. My sisters have lupus, as did Mom. One brother has Crohn's. One brother has neuropathy and probably diabetes type 2 (haven't heard from him in awhile, but he's not well). And now me, with MS (or possible MS...still waiting to see the specialist).

There are some MS sites that discuss neuropathic itch as a symptom of MS, however if they don't diagnose me with MS, then what is it? I'm leaving off the peanuts now, since I talked all this out with my sis. We'll see if that helps. Peanuts were my afternoon snack of choice. Been eating them for a couple of weeks now, because the Planters nuts were on sale at the store. It's no bargain when you feel like this, though.

Let's hope the peanuts are the culprit. The thought of this itch going on for an extended, indefinite period of time is something I don't want to consider.

Wish me luck.

Peace - D

1 comment:

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I'm sorry you haven't figured out the itch yet. Based on our e-mail discussion, I have to give up coffee, tea, chocolate, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. The coffee and chocolate will be difficult, but if it means getting better, then I'll go for it!