Saturday, January 21, 2012

Erythema Nodosum: Confirmed

I managed to get in to see a dermatologist really fast. If you tell them you have a very painful nodule on your skin, they think it's shingles and will see you right away! Well I did not have shingles, but he was glad to see me any way. He said this is definitely erythema nodosum (yay for google!) and that he had only seen it a few times in his years as a dermatologist. Online it states he has been practicing for over 30 years...

He really didn't know what to do with me, so he sent me off to a rheumatologist that is literally next door. After some pressure and calls into the rheumatologist, he was able to see me this morning in a brand new location. I swear it was divine intervention because the earliest appointment outside of this one was February 23!

I went there expecting the worst, but it turned out to be the best mainstream doctor I have ever seen!

I was getting ready for the insults to start flying as he walked into the room. "You are fine. This isn't even that bad. You look great. Oh get a job and see ya!" But it went so much better than expected that I almost cried in the office with him. He knew what adrenal insufficiency was and he understood the difference between physiological and pharmacological doses of HC. He even knew what POTS was! I nearly fell out of my chair at that point. haha The funny thing is, is that this doctor does not have very good reviews online. People have said some bad things about him, but most of the responses were specifically on how treatments aren't working. Who do you blame in those situations? The doctor, the medicine, our shitty pharmaceutical based health care? POTS doctors have this same problem. The solutions aren't solutions at all. Ugh.

Well this doc may not have solutions that work for RA, but dammit he knows exactly what needs tested for EN... He was personable and a nice guy. I can't say that for a lot of the docs I've seen over the last 5 years. haha! I think it helped erythema nodosum is a real condition that I can not make up. I am not faking in anyway and it generally means something is going on in my body. This doctor may not have been so nice if I had just come in with generalized pain, but who knows.

I went to this guy because I wanted to rule out some of the bad things EN can be caused by such as cancer, sarcoidosis, connective tissue disorders, infections and a few other bad things. Oh boy did he satisfy that need. He has ordered a ton of bloodwork mostly checking for autoimmune issues like Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus, RA, but also infections like Streptococcus, EBV, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and more. I got all of that done today. He also ordered a chest xray to rule out sarcoidosis, which could be a real possibility. In the very least I could have Lofgren's Syndrome.

He took one look at my leg and went, so I imagine your legs feel numb and tingle a lot? How often does that happen? I was sort of caught off guard by his questions because I have had tons of doctors look at my legs and not say a damned thing. haha I told him quite often and that I take B12 which helps some, but I have been slacking big time lately. The doc said he believes I have neuropathy just by looking at them. I assume it must be the discoloration in them, which could just be the blood pooling us POTSies get. We will see!

I went to the hospital and got all the blood work and the chest xray done. I was trying to read the woman helping me with the xray to see if they saw something, but I couldn't really do it. I will probably find out Monday if they found any enlarged lymph nodes in my chest. If so, then I think it's pretty much guaranteed I have sarcoidosis (at least the acute form of it) and then we can go from there.

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