Rash

If you are looking for an educational or uplifting post, today’s isn’t it.  Sorry.  Not today.  Today I saw my rheumatologist.

I waltzed into the appointment feeling great.  A few sore joints here and there, but nothing worth mentioning.  By the time I left, I sat dejectedly in my car and sighed.  What did I do to deserve this?

It was not a happy experience.  Every appointment has routine paperwork.  When I first arrived, I buzzed happily along marking “no, no, no, no…”  At “new rash” I hesitated.  Well, there are those funny red bumps that showed up symmetrically on my shins and forearms – but they went away.  Something similar showed up on one of my hands, but it’s almost gone.  I hesitated because if I report anything, then she has to investigate.  That could lead to more tests or a referral to another doctor – not something anyone in their right mind would relish.  I sighed and, since a new crop of red dots showed up yesterday, marked “yes” to the “new rash” question.

This rash is peculiar.  It doesn’t hurt.  I’d say that it doesn’t itch, except that I first noticed it when I was scratching my shins.  Mindlessly reaching down to my legs, I was startled to feel bumps, and then looked and discovered a bunch of red dots.  Pondering this odd development, I realized that I was scratching the same thing on my arms.  So… it doesn’t itch, except that it must if I’ve been scratching it.

After those rashes went away, something similar appeared on one  of my hands (am I the only one to heave a sigh of relief when something is not  symmetrical?)  Then it went away.  Yesterday I was rubbing the bottom of my foot and discovered new bumps.  When I looked, it appeared to be a bunch of tiny blisters.  This morning the appearance was completely different:  just like the red bumps that seem to be migrating about my body.

My inclination is to shrug it off.  It doesn’t hurt, and the other rashes went away.  This probably will, too.

Doctors don’t tend to shrug things off.  My rheumatologist looked at the rash and asked a bunch of extra questions.  She also took photos.  I’m sure her differential diagnosis contains more than the two options she mentioned:  (1) vasculitis or (2) something peculiar that will just go away on its own.

Reading about vasculitis is frightening, and I’ve decided that I know all I want to know about it unless that becomes a definite diagnosis.

For now, it’s just a possibility.  The doctor says that these bumps should probably be biopsied, but she doesn’t want to take a chunk out of the bottom of my foot.  I appreciate that.  Then again, that sounds as if the procedure is rather painful and not something one would look forward to (nor look back on fondly).  Since we already know that RA has affected the nerves in my feet, maybe that IS where we should get the sample.  Anyhow, no biopsy for now, but if the rash shows up somewhere else I’m supposed to phone.

With any luck, I’ve seen the last of this rash.

May you have a terrific weekend – and no rashes.

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9 thoughts on “Rash

  1. My goodness WarmSocks. Let’s hope the rash doesn’t come back. I know what you mean about having something new to show the doctor when you go to an appointment. Sometimes I wish they would say: okay thanks for showing me and move on. But it is always: Let’s run some tests, see another doctor or we need to monitor that come back in a month. Ugh. Let’s hope it is gone for good.

  2. Here’s hoping it is just some inexplicable once-in-a-lifetime rash thingy that will disappear and never pop up again and you’ll just forget all about this — I’ve got my fingers crossed! :) L

  3. UGH… Seems no matter how hard you try there is always something new you haven’t thought of and now have to worry and deal with. The fact that is is traipsing all over your body is very odd indeed. Sometimes, I just wonder though. If we left well enough alone would it matter or will it do more harm than good? We all need a nice warm vacation on a beach…I’ll bring the sunscreen!

  4. Amazing how you can be moving along minding your own business and then be hit with yet another possible medical problem. I hope it is just a blip on the radar and turns out to be nothing,

  5. I hate new things popping up with my body when I am getting by just fine. I’m so sorry the unknown hangs now. :( I also wanted to share that when I had strange rashes that migrated over my body, I had three different biopsies done at different times. One was on my cheek, another in a private area of my body, another on my breast. Yay for me! But wanted to let you know they don’t take a lot for a sample and after stitches are out–just a little scar. Hoping it’s one of those quirky things that fades into the distant past.

  6. I have Celiac Disease, and Dermatitis Herpetiformis (blistery rash), and RA – and all three seem to be related in my reality. If I accidentally eat food that is cross contaminated with gluten, the rash gets worse and so does the RA.

    So, looking at a blistery rash from my perspective, I’d check out DH and see if that is a potential in your reality.

    I hope it is not DH or anything else significant, and that your rash disappears as mysteriously and quickly as it appeared.

    Good luck!

  7. Before I got diagnosed, I got these weird rashes — usually started on my arms, but would / could appear anywhere and everywhere. The dermatologist said they were allergies. My allergies said I wasn’t allergic to anything. The only thing that would clear them up was prednisone. Once I started treatment for RA, they went away and haven’t been back. So I’m not surprised that they might be related. Hugs to you as you work through this latest issue.

  8. Y’all are incredible. Thank you. I checked Dermatitis Herpetiformis, and that’s not what this looks like (also, my gluten-related lab tests were all normal when checked a couple years ago so I’m hoping that never changes). I realized that every time I notice a new rash, I’ve just gotten out of the pool, and wondered if I’d developed an allergy to chlorine or something – or maybe that’s just the only time I’m awake enough to notice my skin. It’s very puzzling. No new huge outbreaks – yay!

    It’s great to know that a skin biopsy wouldn’t be that bad; I’ve had a couple endometrial biopsies, and that’s not an experience I ever want to repeat.

    I still have some prednisone in my medicine cabinet, and have been considering a quick taper to see if it would have any impact on this issue. Not sure my doctor would think that’s such a great idea, though.

    I like the beach vacation idea. Let’s all go! :)

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