Friday, October 8, 2010

exhausted

It's the middle of the night, but that doesn't seem to matter - this has been going on for years now...tonight's just a good reminder of how bad it has been in the past. I seriously had hoped that THIS wouldn't happen again. Not like THIS. Not THIS bad...but it is. Right NOW.

I itch. The inside of my ears itch so bad right now, so far in my ears that my tiny pinkie finger, even with no nail left to bite off of it so I wont scratch my skin; that small, smooth tip of my kid-sized baby finger won't reach down to where it itches. I wont allow myself to use a q-tip, but I think in the anguish of this itching that even an ice pick would not bring comfort.

I have scratched my head, every centimeter of my scalp, and the tops of my feet are especially itchy tonight, although earlier it was my arms, my back, the back of my neck. If I could burn my skin to a crisp, to char it to keep it from itching more, I would.

I haven't itched like THIS in months...maybe in a year.

My eyes itch...the bridge of my nose...and still my ears- GOD why my ears? I can't relieve that, can't touch it, can't even pray it into comfort.

Although earliest episodes, years ago, were random, then the issue was relieved a bit with treatment for hypothyroidism, tonight's episode was seemingly brought on by an antibiotic. It is not the burning rash and tingling areas around my mouth, or a swollen airway that screams "I'M ALLERGIC!" but my a-typical thyroid type rash...almost like hives that itch just under the surface of my skin before it's redness appears. The rash that for 3 years now has kept me biting my nails down, then filing them as smooth as possible so I don't dare scratch my skin into welts that look as though I've run through poison ivy, or have some bizarre parasite tracking under my skin.

But sometimes it appears - like tonight on the back of my neck - in welts like bug bites that make all my lymph nodes back there swell and become tender, even as I desperately itch them to bring some sort of relief...but it brings none...and I'm exhausted. Exhausted of feeling this anguish. Exhausted of trying to satisfy an itch that can't be reached.

"Take a zyrtec" was my plan, but after talking with my pharmacist BIL across the country, as he mentioned that perhaps it (the azithromycin) has messed with my liver function, perhaps that is why this feels like the itch of thyroid malfunction and not of allergic reaction. So the last thing my untrained but common sense brain tells me is "do not throw another chemical into your already screwed up liver!" - JUST in case that is the issue.

So I force feed myself yogurt, in case it's another theory that it is imbalance of yeasty beasties taking over my body, since dose 2 of my z-pack has killed every yeast eating microbe in my system. Yogurt, and 2 pro-biotic filled capsules that bring hope of removing this itching and restore healthy flora to my queasy stomach....and yes, after a capsule that refuses to go down my throat (and feels like it's lodged in my lung after the coughing fit that ensued) the itching seems to calm down...momentarily...so I take my "normal" bedtime meds - hormones to keep me from having hot flashes and an anti-anxiety dose that my counselor friend swears is not even enough to count as a therapeutic - and the lights are no sooner than turned off - and the itching starts in again. The tops of my feet, burning with itch. The top of my head. The back of my neck. The outside of my thighs.

And because I don't want to over use my already exhausted liver (if this is the case) I don't take anything for my cold symptoms, which started this whole mess anyways. So the medicine that has brought me relief for the "sniffly - sneezing - coughing so you can rest" is NOT helping me rest tonight, and the coughing ensues. Hacking really. Which is a pain, since I have a full middle aged bladder that doesn't hold well under that kind of pressure - literally and figuratively.

OH, I still itch, but I manage to keep my hands busy playing with my phone (so Mark can at least rest) and I lose to backgammon against the smart-aleck in the phone, and read the news on several sources, and even check the hourly forecast on a weather site - both for home and for Saturday's game a few hours away - in case I'm healthy enough to really go there. After an hour I can't keep my eyes open, and I think I'm going to FINALLY get some rest...exhausted...and I turn off the phone and lay down my head and cough...but I don't care...I'm going to sleep...finally... until that itching on the top of my feet starts in again...which wakes me up enough to feel it in my ears again. ENOUGH!

Enough is enough. I figure I can get up now, it's been ALMOST 12 hours - that's GOT to be near the half life of that antibiotic - so I'll trust my liver to a 1/2 dose of zyrtec to relieve this itching, and thankfully it's in the bathroom, so I'll pee while I'm up - and THEN get a good night of sleep - at least 1/2 of a good night.

Sadly, my throat isn't going to cooperate at all, and it's dry and scratchy inside (but not an allergic reaction kind of scratchy, but a "it's so dry I need to be hydrated" kind of hacking). So I give up, and my quick run to the bathroom is now over an hour later, and I've given up on my phone and just come into the living room with the Zyrtec bottle and a flat Mt. Dew. So much for the yeasty things - this sugar and caffeine will feed the yeast fine - and all I really want is for relief, and sleep, to come.

One and a half Zyrtec later, I'm still here on the couch. I'm feeling a bit "woozy" from the Zyrtec, and starting to not CARE that I'm itching so badly, and wondering what will happen next in this journey, trusting that God is in control of all this. Even if it's a spiritual attack, I want to learn what I am to learn from it, and will praise God for the 4 other women He has brought into my life that are all suffering with "idiopathic hives", just like me, some with diagnosed thyroid issues, some that I suspect are going to be diagnosed soon. And I praise Him that this is "only" a rash, as miserable as it is, that I'm not trying to put together a plan for cancer treatment, or breast reconstruction, or sitting by my child's bed following a pace maker surgery - trying to speak words of comfort to a child whose pain meds are not working, as a few of my other friends are tonight.

So, as miserable as I am, this is my journey. And whether it's modern medicine that brings me relief, or acupressure, or drug induced coma (JUST KIDDING), I know that He's there, and He won't allow me to suffer more than I can handle...and I know that, in my heart of hearts. I don't understand what this is all about, but I'm sure HE does, and I trust Him with that - even when I don't LIKE it.

So, goodnight sweet world, except for those momma's that are rocking their hungry babies, and daddy's up early to beat the clock to work, and someone making coffee at Mc Donald's this morning. Look up at the sky, and see the bright, BRIGHT stars that are out there in the darkness of this fall sky...I had not even seen them so bright since we moved here...and is that why He had to force me out of bed this morning - to see His handiwork in the night sky? I will praise Him for the sky so bright with stars, and the intricacies of my broken body - so fearfully and wonderfully made - and at that thought - of being created for a purpose - intentionally and exceptionally - realize...this is the week of the 37th anniversary of my mother's passing...

...and perhaps He did all this, just to bring me to a place of devotion, for that very thought.

I love you Lord. I miss my mom. Thank you.