Monday, February 23, 2009

Weird Symptom #379

This is the most bizarre symptom(s) I think I've ever had.

I'm clearly having a flare of my mystery illness, whatever the heck it is. The swelling in my hands isn't as bad as it was Thursday night and Friday. But it's still noticeable (to me, at least).

And my pain levels are up in general, although I've been trying (successfully so far) to refrain from the pain meds. But this is going to drive me crazy. I've got an appointment with my internist for Friday, but I think I'm going to have to call in the morning and beg to be fit in sooner.

So here it is, and remember, I warned you that it was weird:

I feel like my hands are covered in hundreds if not thousands of needles. And we're not talking the nice, skinny acupuncture needles that don't hurt. These are painful. I keep looking at them to see if a porcupine has managed to sneak inside the house and wrap itself around my hands. It's worst in some ways on the tips of my fingers, right where you'd expect the most nerve endings. But it's the backs of my hands and the palms and all the way around my wrists and a couple inches up my forearms.

It's at its worst at night. I don't know if that's because I'm winding down and have fewer distractions. Or if it's because I'm worn out and pain is almost always worst at night.

The really bad part is that for the past few days/nights, it's been limited to a sensation on my hands. It's gotten worse, but it hadn't spread. Tonight, it has clearly spread. I have the sensation on my feet and calves and oddest of all (to me), following along my hairline and around my eyes.

It's driving me so crazy that before I gave up on falling asleep at the normal time, I bit my arm hard enough to leave teeth marks.

Just to clarify: This is not the kind of pins-and-needles you get when your leg falls asleep from sitting too long or you wake up having slept on your arm funny and your hand is asleep. It might be related, somehow, to that, but it's cranked up about a million times more painful and irritating.

And now that I'm thinking about it -- I've spent the past few days trying to block it out -- I'm wondering if it's related to the intense itching I've had for the past week or so pretty much all over but concentrated on my extremities.


Thanks to everyone who checked in on me. I survived the auction over the weekend, and while I stayed longer than I should have, I still was the first to leave by a long ways. I stayed only long enough to watch the bidding for the class project my husband did with artwork by my daughter's preschool class.

It's essentially a wooden quilt. The 3- and 4-year-olds used acrylic paint to decorate wooden squares however they wanted. Then Scott cut them up and put them back together in a pattern reminiscent of a Log Cabin quilt. The center was surrounded by a border of labeled handprints, and then framed in rosewood from a stick of wood Scott had bought on a whim a few years back.

Came out great, as far as I'm concerned. And while it wasn't a huge seller, bidding opened at $250 (and I stayed because I was afraid it might go unbought and planned to buy it for $100 if no one else bid) and a couple moms went back and forth before one bought it for $350. It was the first item on the block for the oral auction, so I figured that was pretty darn good since I'd heard that often the first item or two goes for well below the asking price until people get into the bidding.

I'm just so grateful it's all behind us now. It's a huge relief to have it over and done with. I'm still beyond exhausted, but beyond acupuncture and Ellie's ballet class on Thursday, I intentionally kept this week wide open for recovery. Here's hoping it's enough!

I need to do a medical update on the results I got from the immunologist, but it's late and I don't want to dig out the test results. The overview is that I responded appropriately to the pneumonia vaccine so he's hopeful that I don't have an immunodeficiency but he says the real key will be to see if I can retain the immunity and he wants to run those tests again in six months. So, cautiously optmistic news there.

But he also found some of my results troubling if only because they're clearly abnormal but don't clearly point to a cause or a cure. He also referred me to a hemotologist because my level of monoclonal immunoglobulin is on an upward trend. It's still fairly low, but he doesn't like the direction it's going and wants me to be monitored by an expert. So I've got an appointment with on at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) on March 17. (The one I saw early on has left her practice and my new insurance doesn't cover her co-workers in-network. But I think this guy will be better all around anyway so while I hate starting with yet another new doc, I think it will be worth it.)

Details on all the tests soon, I promise!


Herrad said...

That nasty feeling of needles being stuck in to your hands sounds really unpleasant.

Hope you get some relief from it.

I use cannabis in a vaporizer and that helps me with the pain as well as helps me to sleep.

Do0n't know if it allowed in your state.
Take care.
ps neurologists recomend cannabis for its pain relieving qualties

Herrad said...

Hope you are ok.