Home » Uncategorized » Day 329 – 17th Jun 2015 First Real Improvements Happiness Dampened by Eczema Herpeticum Grief

Day 329 – 17th Jun 2015 First Real Improvements Happiness Dampened by Eczema Herpeticum Grief

June 2015
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  • Itchiness: Minimal
  • Flaking : Moderate
  • Burning skin: Moderate
  • Redness: Head to waist due to Herpeticum
  • Soreness : Face, body due to Herpeticum
  • Weeping skin : Calves, feet, fingers minimal
  • Mood : Freaked out

Happy update first. My hands have finally shown signs of improvement. FINALLY!!!! Here’s a quick look at the comparison of colours (less red) and cracking(no cracks!) flaking (tiny barely-there flakes!!!!). There is still weeping between 3rd and 4th fingers on both hands (hmmm) :

Before

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30 Aug 2014

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8 Jan 2015

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14 Mar 2015

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19 Apr 2015

TODAY 17 Jun 2015:

IMG_1430 IMG_1429

I was so eager to completely heal, and be able to prepare food for my hubby’s birthday and my son’s solids. When I first noted the hands getting better by better everyday, I tried to see if using hand soaps will affect me. Only one try and I got bubbles popping out. Sigh. Have to wait a while more.

As for the elephant skin, guess they will be there for around 3 years or so. Little inconvenience, just ugly to look at.

Legs are continually improving as updated in my previous posts. The oozing is so much less. When it shows real complete healing, I will do the progress pictures like those for my palms above.

I realised I never noticed when my red sleeve went away…. hmmmz.

And so I thought this post would have just been a “good news post”.

Alas, when I started arranging meet ups with some friends whom I have not seen for the past year, I noted tiny red dots appearing across my face. I was thinking, so the limbs are healing, and the next is the face. I dismissed it as a TSW natural progression, although I was afraid how oozing is going to be for my face and scalp. Then I really can’t see my son at all.

But these tiny red dots…… quickly became bubbles, like cold sores. These cold sores break on their own and form CAVITIES in the FACE!!! HOLES!!!!

RED BLOODY HOLES. And they hurt BAAAAAADDDDDDDD. Such sharp deep pain its unbelievable.

And it spread, REALLY QUICKLY. I freaked out.

IMG_14151

14 Jun 2015

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15 Jun 2015

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16 Jun 2015 – Hospitalised. Eczema Herpeticum and possible eye infection

IMG_1427

17 Jun 2015 – Dripped Acyclovir, oral Clarithromycin, anti-histamines, paracetamol.

These changes took day by day. Just days! I posted on Facebook on 15th Jun 2015 with my pictures and immediately 1 warrior recognised it as Eczema Herpeticum.   I remember many warriors have been warning about infections such as Staphylococcus Aureus, and Eczema Herpeticum. I remember one of which can be fatal.

I checked:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eczema_herpeticum)
“Eczema herpeticum is a rare but severe disseminated infection that generally occurs at sites of skin damage produced by, for example, atopic dermatitis,…….

This infection affects multiple organs, including the eyes, brain, lung, and liver, and can be fatal.”

The morbid part of me started to think “everyday in bath, I asked to be taken away if there is no end to this stinging, tingling, prickling, oozing, flaking and horrendous itching….. maybe this is the answer….”

Many others say to check diagnosis with GP first. Next morning, with much fear, I went to a GP. Acting with much guidance from a healed warrior’s caretaker (Olive) and the lady who started Singapore TSW awareness (Grace), armed with names of the possible diagnosis and needed treatments, I spoke to the GP. He noted the Eczema Herpeticum cannot be assessed by a GP of his level, that I must proceed to a dermatologist at National Skin Centre (NSC) / hospitals. With a frantic voice he urged “Go now, do not delay, just go the A&E say you need immediate attention for possible herpeticum, they will know what to do.”

With the GP acting this way, the more I freaked. And so I rushed to the A&E of Tan Tock Seng, which I know is affiliated with NSC, to get a diagnosis and referral. The TTS doctor said it is no doubt Eczema Herpeticum, and recommended to be hospitalised.  I noted financial reestraints and signed a “refusal for admission” form. Went to NSC which 2 doctors further confirmed right away that it is herpeticum, strongly urged me to be hospitalised. The senior doctor remarked “It has spread  to eyebrows, eyelids and below the eye….. definately there are risks for eye infection….. financial concerns vs getting blind…. hmmmmm”.

Ok I got it!…… and was reluctantly warded. Besides financial concerns I was pretty upset with the TCM sinsehs who have just seen me the morning before. Why was it they could not recognise obvious signs of such serious infection? I am baffled. Then, fury got me for the amount of monies I paid them for treating me….. and this stage I get to. They have previously kept assuring me their herbs will guard me against infection and also lessen inflammation. I guess the herbs do not work on me?

Every step of the way that day, sweet sweet Olive was so supportive with guidance on every decision made and positive remarks, SMS me constantly for 4 hours. I must hug her in person one day. Who else but a ex-warrior and their caretakers can be in a better position to advice me? Grace and Olive guided me with nothing in return. Just because we are in TSW together. How beautiful these kind people can be.

Once I was admitted, blood was taken. It was so difficult for the Medical Officer to find my veins with my elephant skin. Luckily she was experienced enough to try only twice. As it was noted I have taken chinese herbs for 10 months, they needed to test for liver and kidney failure. I was clear. Then they tested for malnutrition due to the elimination diet I was doing. I was iron and potassium deficient. My lymph  nodes noted swollen, staph infection was also present. Started  me on Acyclovir drip, Clarithromycin pills, every 6 hours of high dosage. Also pills for the iron and potassium deficiency, anti histamines, saline compress on the face, anti bacterial creams, double-pyjamas wet treatment with paraffin, etc. Seen the eye doctors today to confirm my eyes are not infected. But to note for one ulcer at the lash line, if the eye starts giving pain or blurred vision, to alert the eye doctors again.

At the moment, I am not taking in the drugs fast enough. The skin doctor tried to convince me to take steroids to speed up the healing, to which I am adamant not to waste my 11mths of TSW hardwork. I in turn tried to convince her of the improvements I have seen without steroids. So now every morning, we try to brainwash each other. Two can play the game. Hahaha

From anticipating to be able to cook for my family soon, to not being able to see my son for at least a month, my mood swings from one end to another. I just hope my body takes in the anti-biotics faster so I can be discharged sooner. How many days more at this creepy colonial housing hospital room???? Eeekekkk

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10 Comments

  1. Ella's on Fire says:

    That looks so painful. Big hugs brave warrior!!

    Like

  2. Esther says:

    Eek! That got really bad! Glad you finally got the righttreatment though.

    Like

  3. Greg Stewart says:

    On IV acyclovir, you should start to see considerable improvement in the lesions in about three days. Since you are apparently suffering a more advanced stage of the eruptions that I had you may need to remain on IV acyclovir for at least that time, and you may need to follow up with oral acyclovir when released. it all depends on how your infection responds to the meds.

    You are lucky that you allowed yourself to be admitted when you did. Herpetic infections of the eye can be difficult to treat, and frequently result altered or lost vision. I am glad you’re in hospital for this. Your health, and life, are more important than worrying about the bills–they can be dealt with later.

    I think I mentioned in my other comment that I had four recurrences of eczema herpeticum over a seven month period; three treated with oral acyclovir, the last successfully treated with daily bleach baths. I was sceptical about the bleach baths being effective but I needed an alternative to expensive anitviral meds if this was going to be a trend. Since I had developed an excellent ability to recognise the initial sensation of the infection, I immediately started (hot) bleach baths a day or into the fourth episode. Within three days it as gone completely.

    Pay close attention to the pain you are in. Remember the sensation of the herpetic infection… it is very unique. If you feel this particular pain beginning again in the future, act immediately. The sooner you can treat it, the better you can keep it away.

    Stay strong. You’ll be released from hospital soon.

    Like

    • SueAnne says:

      Hi Greg
      How have you been??

      Don’t know how you feel reading this but…. there you go, you got it right again.
      After you warned that you have yourself prevented multiple recurrences of herpeticum…. and asked me about starting the bleach bath….. I procrastinated again.
      I was discharged a month ago 24th June…… with your mentioned course of oral Acyclovir for around 5 days.
      I hesitated starting the bleach bath because it takes precautions to do it correctly and I am not a very careful person. Also, the products you mentioned is not readily available in the market here. Hence I chose to do Epsom on a more frequent basis. But alas, the herpeticum came back yesterday.
      I should have started colloidal silver sooner tho.
      I did notice the pain this time round. Like you said, once I noticed, I took action immediately. Went to get Acyclovir again. I recognise the “uniqueness” you mentioned. It is unusually dry, the skin stretches and the new holes will sting. Really sting.
      SO I hope I have also attained the ability to recognise the initital sensation of the infection.
      Though likelihood is that this will again recur, based on your experience, I am keeping my fingers crossed this is the last time I take Acyclovir.
      Cheers Greg! Stay Positive!

      Like

      • Greg Stewart says:

        SueAnne… I’m really happy to hear you were discharged from hospital, and not carted out in a bag–you made things sound pretty gruesome and dismal. But, at least your photos of the hospital make it look pretty cozy and relaxing.

        Try to get your doctors to prescribe a ten day run of 400mg 5x daily acyclovir, not the standard 5 day course (and, extra to have on hand, just in case, if possible). If you can afford it, ask the doctor if you can use small amounts of mupirocin (Bactroban in U.S.) ointment (not cream) compounded with your normal moisturising product to help get staph or strep under control. Mupirocin, though, is absurdly expensive here in the States, I don’t know about Singapore.

        Also, can you find KAO Liquid Bleach? (http://www.kao.com/sg/bleach/blc_bleach_blue_01.html) This looks like it might be the same or very similar to the generic stuff we have here in the U.S. If there are brands of bleach you have available that you have questions about, send the list to me and I’ll try to research the contents to see if they are safe for bathing.

        Remember, the bleach baths also have an anti-inflammatory action on eczematous skin, not just an anti-microbial action. My skin is actually remarkably clear since I started taking bleach baths “religiously”. Unfortunately, I am still stuck going to work everyday, which sets me back a bit each time there are other people in the office (even after I spent US$1,300–which I don’t have–on a high-end chemical air purifier, but that’s a bitch-session for another day).

        Don’t be lazy about it… and do try to be careful at least some of the time. As long as you can keep yourself from drinking the chlorinated bath water, or spraying it in your eyes, I think you’ll be fine.

        There is still a lot of controversial data on colloidal silver. I tried it years ago when a co-worker of mine was selling it (he gave me a free–large–sample), but it didn’t do anything for me. The data seem to suggest it may be that silver is antimicrobial as an element, and possibly in solution, but not so much in the human body.

        Like

      • SueAnne says:

        Hi Greg
        Yes KAO bleach is readily available. Still need guts to start trying. But I was given Bactroban, as well as an anti-microbial wash (http://www.schulke.co.uk/product/_/14/octenisan/). I was thinking if I use this instead of the bleach bath, its ok?

        Doctor gave 5 bdays of Acyclovir, didnt get to read your comments early enough.

        Re silver, I did know it might not work too. So am not sure haha. Just trying.

        Like

      • SueAnne says:

        I will try bleach bath still….. sometime soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Greg Stewart says:

        WordPress doesn’t seem to want me to reply to your replies to my replies…. eh., chronology is overrated, anyhow.

        Do the bleach… just a half measuring cup in the tub, it’s not going to kill you. Actually, it’s probably less risky than the 10 months of TCM you did 😉

        Have you every been to a swimming pool? Singapore’s Environmental Public Health Act requires swimming pools to be treated with either calcium hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite. The latter is “bleach”. The only difference is that in pools the concentration is too low to be effective against skin infections. It just takes care of most microbes that float into the water.

        In my article about bleach baths, I may have made it sound a bit more scary than it really is. But, i worded it that way more for parents of children with eczema, than adults treating themselves.

        Octenisan may help, but i’d expect that for getting the eczema herpeticum under control in your current state, the bleach baths may be more effective.

        The chemical octenidine seems tobe rated well for wide-spectrum micobicidal properties, and I found a comparison of it to chlorhexidine, which is just another chlorine delivery compound. Octenidine rate better in one study that chlorhexidine, but I found no comparison to bleach baths.

        Allantoin, another chemical in the Octenisan, seems to help rebuild the barrier function of the skin.

        i would say use both the baths and the cleanser, and when things are under control and you have no more relapses of the herpeticum, you can more safely reduce or eliminate the baths and just use the Octenisan. but, keep the bleach in mind if you flare up again.

        Like

      • SueAnne says:

        Hi Greg, Thanks for your always very prompt replies!

        Glad you noted that Octenidine is ok to use 😀 As I already am using it,

        Ok noted to get the KAO and give it a shot. Maybe I already have it in the house…. gonna find it later……

        Ok now I know, we cant reply to replies of our own replies.
        HAHHAH

        Have a great day and thanks again!

        Like

      • Greg Stewart says:

        Don’t use bleach that you have had hidden in a closet for a few years. Bleach does have an expiration date. (Go buy a new a bottle.)

        Bleach should be changed every three months if you are using it to disinfect anything.

        For laundry, it doesn’t matter as much.

        Also, don’t use diluted bleach (bleach you have added to water or anything else) longer than 24 hours after dilution. Once mixed with water it degrades very quickly, and essentially you end up with stinky salt water.

        Apparently, WordPress figured out where to put my reply to your reply to my reply, so I’m guessing this reply to your other reply will show up where it ought to be.

        Like

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