- CASE FILE
It began with skin issues and twelve months later I have heart damage. My life has been interrupted and my body is so drastically changed.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I work in construction, I’ve always been healthy. In July of 2018 I had issues with pharyngitis, sore throat, and severe swelling in my tongue for about a month. The symptoms went in circles, then I developed a terrible rash on my face that contained pustules and felt like a chemical burn. I was diagnosed with impetigo and given a short run of antibiotics. Once I finished the rx, headaches and fevers began. In September of 2018 an ER doctor decided the issue was scabies, but that diagnosis was tested and disproved by three others. The only symptom of note was the strange appearance of skin rashes of my hands, face, and feet as well as painful skin sensations that resembled being “bit” by something small like a bug. My skin was very discolored - like bruising- and all of my veins in my extremities began to enlarge and darken prominently. Soon after, eye pain and cloudy peripheral vision became an issue (always in one eye at a time). I have had swelling in my legs and abdominal pain since mid winter with little to no relief. After being seen in an ER in March 2019, I was given a steroid. 48 hours later, I was taken via ambulance to the hospital for being unresponsive with tachycardia and severely elevated bp. Since then, my heart rate has remained high (generally never below 90 bpm even when laying down). I have seen almost every specialist that can be seen. Routine bloodwork has been repetitive and very few doctors have thought outside the box. I have had a full rheumatology workup with no positive test result. I now have to wear thigh high compression stockings daily. Several blood vessels have broken from the pressure, resembling varicose veins. I was put on Doxycycline by a dermatologist in late March at the height of my decline, which had managed the symptoms of my skin rash, skin sensations, and minimizes any eye pain. Two times I was taken off of it, but both times my fever returned, rashes returned, fatigue and malaise worsened, feelings of pressure in many parts of my body worsened. In June of 2018, I had an abnormal EKG and was sent to a cardiologist. I now have heart damage - 2 of my 4 valves are regurgitating and I have develop an irregular heartbeat in my atria. I’ve been referred to Infectious Disease doctors due to the strangeness of my symptoms and the correlating nature of my work, however they both concurred they see “no reason for evaluation” by their specialty. I am still on the Doxycycline though I will soon have exhausted the prescription and all of it’s refills. I’m being sent for neurological testing due to pressure in my head and pain in my neck as well as an abnormal head ct. I continue to feel pain in my joints, in my abdomen, and in my legs daily. Basic function is the hardest thing on the bad days. My PCP recently prescribed anti-anxiety medication to help me manage the stress of my symptoms. At this time, my only diagnoses are the cardiac ones listed above and “vasomotor phenomenon with myalgia & edema - cause unknown”.