- CASE FILE
Suffering from an ongoing, systemic condition that seems to progressively worsen. Seems to exacerbate any time a treatment is completed.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
For almost a year and a half now I have been trying to figure out what has caused my body to basically feel like it is destroying itself from the inside out. It started around November 2018 with a back, neck, and shoulder pain that I shrugged off due to my job as a nursing assistant. The pain and tightness in my back and neck got worse over the months when I finally mentioned it to my doctor. I had also started getting more frequent headache/migraines that would last for days with intense throbbing and nausea. I started physical therapy in August of 2018. I would go to therapy 3 times a week. The therapy included a session with a physical therapist, a chiropractor, a 30-minute massage, and a sort of laser therapy. This would sort of help for the time being to briefly loosen things up but long-term it wasn't doing much.
Other symptoms slowly started to creep in, such as feeling constantly fatigued and weak no matter how much rest I would get. My energy level has decreased significantly and I become exhausted doing the simplest tasks. In November of 2018, I had gotten what I thought was poison ivy or oak from collecting firewood. It started on my neck as a little white patch that kept getting bigger and red. I also had a place on my left forearm that looked like a blister with a splinter in it. It spread to different parts of my neck and forearm and started to open up and weep a clear fluid almost constantly. I tried home poison ivy remedies and nothing seemed to dry it out. So I went to the urgent care to be treated. They gave me a steroid shot and a course of oral steroids to decrease the inflammation. The steroids didn't seem to help much and the inflammation actually worsened. It started to produce these white granules that would just fall out of my chin where the rash was. The area under my chin was so swollen that I could feel the fluid just sitting in there and when I walked I felt like I had a turkey gobbler under my chin. I went back to the urgent care and they said that I now had a staph infection along with the rash. I was given a topical antibiotic ointment. It didn't help. This rash and infection took weeks to finally heal and when it did it left scars on my arm and a faint outline on my neck of where it had been. My skin and hair had become very dry. This is when my face began to break out with ulcerative lesions that were not poppable. These sores never really come to a head they just get bigger until they eventually break open and bleed profusely, heal with a very thin scab and continue to break open and heal several more times before completely going away. My face and jaws hurt constantly. I'm not sure if it's fluid build-up or what, but my face feels swollen and tight and almost squishy-like. The majority of these sores are on my chin, jawline, and by my ears, but occasionally one has popped up on my chest, neck, arm, hairline, and legs. They are extremely tender and painful to touch and almost feels like a kernel is underneath. When they break open from washing my face (i use castor soap and jojoba oil on a warm washcloth and gently go over my face in small circles), they hurt so much worse. Nothing comes out of except for a serosanguineous fluid that takes forever to stop. They are almost always perfectly circular lesions with an ulcerated center or ulcerated area within. It feels as if there are shards of glass within them that cut through the tissue deeply. It is difficult to wash my face in a way that isn't super painful. After I wash my face it always feels more swollen and almost throbbing because of the fullness.
I have told 2 different dentists about the throbbing pain in my jaws and they have done X-rays and I have gone back to the oral surgeon who pulled my wisdom teeth and neither has been able to find a cause. One said that my salivary glands were blocked so I started drinking even more water and sucking hard candies, which changed nothing and the other said could be TMJ, so I started using a mouthguard. I used the mouthguard every night for about 6 months but it made no difference. The amount of tension in my jaws has caused very tender knots to form on both sides. I have some symptoms that come and go, such as finger and toe numbness and poor circulation in my toes to the point of turning purple, random shooting nerve pain in my lower back and down my hips, and I have lost about 25-30 pounds over the last year without really trying. My appetite is very poor and I feel full after eating very small amounts. My entire body just feels like it's wasting away with no apparent cause according to clinical data. I have seen a dermatologist about the sores that persist. The only thing they tell me is that it is due to skin picking, which I can't seem to get them to believe that I have never had issues like this with my skin and that other than the skin basically disintegrating off when I wash my face is why they are open sores. They literally hurt so bad to even touch them with a washcloth. I have seen multiple dentists and an oral surgeon about the jaw pain. I have been to urgent care multiple times due to complete exhaustion and feeling like I can't breathe. I have been to the ER about the stabbing pains. I have even gone to an oncologist because of the weakness, muscle wasting, weight loss, poor appetite, and swollen lymph nodes. The only doctor who has ever cared to listen to me and tried to help me is my family doctor. I know that he is struggling to understand what is wrong and make sense of it all. It is extremely frustrating when you feel so horrible but everything clinically is coming back fine. I have tried so many different treatments from physical therapy to antibiotic regimens to liver and stomach detoxes. I have tried to consistently work out and practice yoga, breathing, and meditation techniques, but some days I can barely find the energy to shower. I have always been an extremely active and positive person, but going through this has really tested my strength. I don't want to let this get the best of me or keep me from reaching my goals in life and following my passions, but the more I hit dead ends in the medical world the more discouraging it becomes. I have strong faith in the Lord and him guiding me in all aspects of life, so I'm just pushing forward as hard as I can to find the underlying answers and get my life back.