Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico USA
| | My 10th year with Rosacea 695.1
My itching issues began, around age 51, with red skin, inflamed, around my ankles to my feet. A visit to Dermatologist, I was prescribed Fougera
(Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream 0.1%) "it helped" but, also had a DX of
Planters Facititis, by my Chiropractor, same year, my job requred, I stand
on concrete slab floors for 8 hrs a day, which was 50% of my problem.
By 2004, age, 53, I develop serious facial skin itching, that, sent me to ER
twice, that year. Two M.D.'s conferred, reluctantly, to place me on a 6 pack
(day's of Prednisone). (this cleared up the redness and itching in my face).
But the itching and red sores, from constant itching returned. I consulted 2 M.D's, my Dermatologist, and had a full allergy body test, by a Allergist M.D.
Allergist M.D prescribed me Hydrozyzine 10mg x 4 per day and Allegra 180mg
(Fexofenadine HCI extended release) DX: Urticaria, allergic 708.0, Other
Atopic Dermatitis 691.8, Rosacea 695.3, Unspecific Pruritus Disorder 698.9,
Vasomotor Rhinitis 477.9, Angioedema, Allergic 995.1 between the two M.D.'s
I saw in year 2005. Meds attempted but failed were: Minocycline 100mg x 2
for two 120 day trials, Halobetasol Propionate 0.05% ointment, for my body, except my face, Protopic (tacrolimus ointment 0.1% for my facial itching).
Prescription meds that gave me "some measurable relief" were the ointment,
Desonide 0.05% just for my face, OTC Aquanil HC (hydrocortisone USP 1%)
but, the only thing that worked 100%, was Prednisone, which, again, my
Dermatologist prescribed reluctantly, in 100 x 5 mg PRN for flare-up's, in the
year 2007. I am 6'1" and historical weight, before Prednisone was 189 lbs.
Now, 5 yrs later, I average taking Prednisone, about 130 to 135 days a year, often, in one week run's of a starting dose as high as 20 to 30 mg the first day, then declining, for as short as 3 days to as long as 10 days. My
worries, are this: Prednisone side effects: I have significant weight changes,
I attribute 50% of to Prednisone, all weight gain, thus far in the mid-section, but, I can go from 192 to 218 lbs easily within 21 days. I have had to buy a new mini wardrobe of clothes, for the first time in decades, due to my weight gain, regular slacks will not fit, shirt size often now a XL, from a large size.
When I bump my arm against things, it takes three times as long to heal, even scratches. I got bruises, easily, and my fingernails, break off, noticably more often.........after use of Allegra for 5 yrs, I gave up on it, it seemed useless. I have also, given up on daily use of 40 mg per day of year round use of Atarax, (hydroxyzine 4 x 10 mg per day) 50mg and up makes me too
drowsy, to be task oriented, but reduces the flare-up's of Hives, but only,
partially, at recommended doses. The drug "Clobex" (clobetasol Propionate) is very effective in immediately stopping the itching on the scalp of my head.
The daily wash prescribed for me, to cleanse my face, "Sulfacetamide Sodium"
I use faithfully, along with, the pricey soap bar, OTC Cetaphil.
My immediate concern, is this, the long term side effects of taking this one
drug, PREDNISONE, "it is the only medication, that will stop incessant itching on my face, "flare-up's" but family members, notice, my mood swings, continue to get worse, from depression to a highly irritated, demeanor, frankly I feel so bad, when a flare up begins, and, is going thru its course, I have become very self conscious, of my redding, face, with the red pimples, and mostly now scars, from my incessant scratching, while, I toss and turn, with my insomnia. I keep Revlon make up available, when I venture outside, even to buy groceries. I am now Divorced, I am now unemployed, and I live alone, with no dogs or cats, (allergies), my Planters Fasititus, cleared up, as soon as I got fired, from standing again, on concrete slab floors, during most of my working career, which seems to be over now. The stress, that I believe, was a significant factor, in a career of mismatched jobs, and a mis-matched 12 year marriage, has been over, since October 2007, but, my facial itching, and the multiple diagnosis issues prevail. I have cut down, the use of my Prednisone, by 50%, beginning in January of 2012, even taking a pill cutter to take only 2.5 mg during a flare-up, and otherwise just suffer a lot.
Finally, I treat myself, to the use of "custom facials" twice a year, at
expensive "over the top" Spas, usually, as a guest, 1/2 dozen times, from
LaCosta, Calif, to 5 visits to Santa Fe NM Spa's, and, once, (Feb 2012) to a exclusive Spa in Los Cabos Mexico, It feels good, but, it never lasts.........
I avoid "exfoliation" because it burns my face so badly, gave up on many,
very pricey potions peddled by the 5 star resort Spas, they just don't work.
My apparent gradual change in my personality, often a "rage a holic" has costs me most of my friends. Is this due to the Prednisone also? I have had two accidents, in the past year, that took weeks to heal, with strong antibiotics, and multiple visits to Urgent Care Centers, getting scripts for antibiotics, to avoid, a staff infection twice. I believe my immune system has been compromised by the now, 5 yrs of dependence on Prednisone. My last physical, I was told to take Vitamin D-3 daily 1,000 mg and Calicum Citrate, 1,500 mg per day. A bone marrow x-ray revealed normal results last yr.
The psychological effects, of the mundate tasks of living, has taken its toll, with my maladaptive adjustment to a unexpected, hostile Divorce, so many sick days, that, I have failed to attempt to try to replace my former full time job, and as is common in middle age marriage splits, I lost 50% of my net worth, and, now with my health problems, "just unpredictable mood swings, due to "when is the next flare up going to start" from the co-morbid diagnosis conditions, my social life is, well, non-existent. I have been living off of a lifetime of savings, that is now depleted (finally), and, still live, in
a very upper middle class neighborhood, but, have resorted to selling off, assets, to have the cash, to now balance my budget, (sold 5 collector cars, drive a 10 yr old 120,000 mile car, just for transportation. My medical insurance, has gone up fourfold since my Divorce from my highly paid, ex
spouse, a case mgr RN, that represented 60% of our monthly net income.
Nine years of psychotherapy, (300 one hour consults) from Ph.d's to
MSW's whlle married, has given me "insight" but no resolution, to having
skills to adapt, to living alone, and, the constant fear, now of downshifting, to
a borderline lower middle class aging male, and living in a section of the city, with more crime and rif-raff. My home is paid for, but, credit cards, are now my crutch, just to pay the property taxes and groceries, utility bills, etc.
I am in day three of another Urticaria attack, and, now bleed more from the scratching my face, due to my decision, to cut back on the Prednisone.
My PCP, and now my Psychiatrist, were unaware of my dependence on
Prednisone, and are not happy with me, that is clear. "stating it is a drug they would not put in their body". I leave their office feeling like a addict.
Question: is is possible to completely get off Prednisone for the multiple diagnosis conditions, that I provided to you in this "wall of text" ? any ideas, would be greatly appreciated. Finally, the reason, I see a Psychiatrist, since
1994, (18 years) is simply for two medications, when, I was given the Dx of
Attention Deficit Disorder, Inattentive Type, when I was a grad school student at age 45, "Adderall 30 mg a day, (amphetamine salts) and, a RX
for Ambien (10 mg of Zolpidem). I had no hives reaction to amphetamines, at age 45, when, I was then, on a much higher dose, 55 mg per day, and, my
Adderall dose, has been cut down, for the past 7 yrs to only 30 mg per day.
When I take deliberate vacations from the use of this stimulant, all I do is sleep,and, am extremely, scattered, and have serious amotivational syndrome
The inability to process "Stress" as I age, how in this world can one eliminate
Stress in one's life? if that, still seems to be 50% of my problem, along, with
some possible hereditary issues, my late Grandmother, and my only Neice, have had lifelong Urticaria, all of their life.