Monday, 15 August 2011

day 11

I woke with my hands and feet in an agony of itching, a yellower tongue, flaky skin over my reddened face, worse fungal flakiness around the corners of my mouth, very red ears and a very red nose.  My facial skin was still extremely oily too, I guess trying to excrete whatever it could.  My hands and arms looked like this:

I showered carefully again, using liquid shower gel and my hand, and prepared for another quiet day at home alone, wearing no shoes or watch, and allowing no heating. It could have been my imagination while I was showering, but my hair felt and looked heathier than it had been in a long time, and hair quality is one of those odd indicators of health.  I also felt, despite only a few hours sleep, lighter and more fluid than in a very long time too - not labouring under some unseen weight, and not feeling "sludgey".

I kept the bath full of cold water.  Every few hours, I sat on the rim and anesthetized my forearms, hands, lower calves, and feet in it.  I dried them carefully, put socks back on, and continued reading a book until the heat and itching started again.  Strangely, the rash seemed to have halted just below the knees, and didn't seem to be seeding much below the elbows at this stage either, which was positive.

Nevertheless, I knew enough after last night's torment that I was going to have another battle of similar proportions tonight, and that I also needed my HIV specialist to see what was going on and perhaps give me stronger medication.

I made an appointment with my doctor for the morning of the following day.  The receptionist advised me to soak my hands and feet in cold chamomile tea in the meantime.  The tea was delivered by a friend, but the soaking didn't have any effect that night.  The soaking in the bath ended up being better because it was colder.

Despite all precautions, the rash spread on my hands and feet, and its torment was worse that night.  Before I went to bed, my hands and feet looked like this:

Freezing, and limbs anesthetized with cold, I'd get into bed and hope for the best.  Sure enough, after 30 minutes, both hands and fingers, feet and toes would swell up, get hot, get itchy, and then get insanely itchy.  After several trips to the bath to calm them down again, after I'd give in to a bout of furious scratching, they eventually looked like this:

I managed to fall asleep at 3 am after both extremities called a temporary truce for a few extra minutes, or I was too physically and mentally exhausted to stay awake any longer.

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