Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where's Bill Been Hiding?

I actually haven't been hiding, I was on the endangered species list.

I have been sliding down a slippery slope for about a year now and seem to be finally recovering.


It all started around the beginning of the year when my doctor gave me a new drug that after about a month appeared to be causing a mild rash. We didn't stop the drug at the time because it also seemed to be working incredibly well, doing a good job. Bad idea, should've stopped the drug immediately. However, what I've learned about these kinds of drug rashes since,, it probably wouldn't have made any difference in the outcome if we stopped right away as it was probably too late to stop what had already been put in motion.

Just some redness and a few blisters up around my shoulders, that was all it was when it started. Next thing you know my entire torso is covered in this crap. By April it was a big old mess and I was in trouble. It spread over my head, all hair gone, beard, etc. POOF! It spread down my back, eventually the arms and last but not least, it slowly spread down my legs until it reached feet. Head to toe, I was covered in compromised skin with no real treatment options except time to let it heal.

Time my ass, it's been many months and it's still fucked up.

My skin then started cracking, bleeding, making sores, etc. so needless to say I became home bound for about 6 months. Eventually other weird shit started like edema, most likely a long-term side effect of the prednisone I was taking. The edema got so bad I couldn't sit at a computer more than an hour or so a day before my arms and legs puffed up to the point I couldn't take it and had to lay down. That basically took me offline for quite some time and then other fun things started to happen like my fingernails started falling off which made it almost impossible to type until they were fucking gone altogether.

Then the real fun happened, the edema got so bad the doc tried taking me off the prednisone but did it too fast and just about killed me. My skin had been actually getting better but while being weaned off the prednisone too fast it went in reverse and the next thing you know I'm 50%(or more) compromised, can barely sit or get out of a chair because it's all raw. Real fun stuff.

In a short period I went from being completely ambulatory to using a cane, a walker, and finally being pushed around in a wheelchair when I went out because I couldn't muster enough energy to walk more than a short distance.

I was fading fast, it was not looking good, so I finally got them to admit me to a burn unit about a month ago since they specialize in wound care to get my skin problems stabilized. The first couple of days I spent in the burn unit I was practically bed ridden. Honestly, I didn't think I was ever walking out of that place. However, after spending close to 2 weeks in the burn unit, with new medication and expert wound care, I started to bounce back and walked out on my own.

Currently I still have skin being treated with drugs and bandages but the edema is gone, as well as the wheelchair, walker and cane!

After 6 months of being stuck in the house I finally managed to go out to restaurants a few times, a couple of stores, and even drove the car! Might not sound like much, but trust me, when you've been stuck indoors in the same chair staring at the same TV for 6 months, it's HUGE!

So that's where I'm at, better but not totally healed which could take months, but I'm now online and posting a lot so that should give you a clue I'm bouncing back and well enough to be taken off the endangered species list, or so I hope!

No clue if I'll ever be the same again, but it sure beats the alternative!