So, I'm guessing this is a long shot, but I'm sick of being sick and frustrated that it seems that my doctors are treating symptoms of a larger problem and not finding the actual cause. I live with a paramedic and he thinks I might have some sort of autoimmune disease, so if this sounds like you or anyone you know, please write me back with a type of doctor I can go to or a test I could take. Thank you!
I'm 25 yrs old, 5 ft 1, 105 pounds.
Ok, when I was born I was 7 mths, my mom had toxemia, I was 3 pounds. I was ok, but I know they gave me all sorts of drugs to make me develop faster. I actually still have the scars in my heels today from all the needles.
When I was 3 I had my first stomach issue- apparently I couldn't/wouldn't go to bathroom. For whatever reason, I would not do number 2 for days and then it would hurt. I remember my parents taking me to a pediatric gastro, he said there was nothing physically wrong, and by the time I was 5 this resolved on it's own.
Everything was pretty normal till I was 12, I remember I started getting episodes of what my primary care doctor called "Spastic Colon." All of a sudden I would get sharp, piercing pains in my lower left side, my stomach would get incredibly boated, and literally nothing, nothing would help except for chamomile tea and eventually in a few hours this would pass as very bad diarrhea. This would happen once every 2/4 months or so, and increased to once a month by the time I was 16..more on that later.
Around this time I started getting severe eczema all over and psoriasis of the scalp, my scalp would get so oily but also so dry..it was very weird..I had prescription shampoos and all that. The eczema bleached out my skin in places..spots on my legs and arms would get pure white from my normal olivish Italian skin. Steroid cream somewhat resolved this, it got much, much worse in winter. Still, during the summer my skin is dry, during the winter ezcema is everywhere.
As I was becoming a teenager eczema attacked my face, all year round. So did severe, bacterial-based acne. It was a pretty sad game, trying to treat the acne and the eczema at the same time - the eczema cream would make the acne worse, the acne meds would irritate the eczema. Only antibotics could control the acne, bactrium if I remember. Eventually, the skin on my nose wore so thin it would bleed and my eyelids also would be raw. My skin's collagen had a total breakdown and my face honestly looked like an angry, raw red mess. The worst part was showers, where it would make my face feel like it was on fire and I would have to coat it with Eucerin cream for 40 minutes after I got out.
Luckily for me, this was the 90's and lasers were coming out. This one amazing, forward thinking dermatologist I found ( others had no idea what to do for me) decided to do a series of gentle lasers for free while placing me on a round of that lovely drug Accutane. All in all here, I don't think accutane hurt me, but more on that later. Anyway, 30 laser treatments later, the eczema was pretty much gone from my face, and my skin no longer felt any issues while taking a shower. It didn't look good, but with makeup on you wouldn't really know I ever had an issue. The Accutane pretty much resolved the major acne, and also my severe depression about this whole thing, as I was a young girl in highschool and I often missed school because I felt I was "too ugly" too go that day.
Anyway...as my skin got better I started having severe stomach issues..the Spastic colon thing got out of control, and I was diagnosed with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. I noticed that any sort of high-fiber/ruffage type foods made it worse - lettuce, oatmeal, etc. Then, literally 5 days after my 16th birthday, I just stopped being able to go to the bathroom. Just no more. Five days went by and I took a ton of laxatives, Senekot, and I finally went, and it was very painful. This pattern repeated and I told my parents..it never stopped repeating. When I tell you I was miserable every second of my life back then, it's true. My stomach would constantly be cramping, eating felt terrible, and I could never go to the bathroom without a laxative, and often only citric of magnesium worked, and it was SOO PAINFUL when it did..doctors put me on stool softeners and metamucil, which only made me feel worse..this went on for two more years, until the drug Zelnorm came out. This helped a pretty good deal. While I was on this drug I only needed to take stool softeners and sometimes strong laxatives, but I could function in life. This went on until I was in college.
PLEASE READ PART II