Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Blotches on back... burn or wrong diagnosis?

Posted In: Skin conditions 0 Replies
  • Posted By: BB_Curvy
  • November 8, 2010
  • 06:53 AM

This is a long story and somewhat complicated so please bare with me...

On October 25, 2010 (Monday) I woke up and was getting in the shower when I noticed something on my back. I looked in the mirror and almost the entire right flank of my back was covered in these red and purple blotches from my spine to my side and from just beneath my shoulder blade to the small of my back. Thinking it was an imprint from sleeping I proceeded with my shower and getting ready but an hour or so later I checked and the marks were the same. There was no change the following day either.

On October 27, 2010 (Wednesday) I started having some minor discomfort around the bottom 2-3 ribs on the right side as well as the hip. By this time I was thinking I had slept wrong and possibly tore something and/or popped some blood vessels so I didn't think too much of it.

The following day (Thursday) I noticed most of the red was gone and the marks were mostly purple which seemed to be getting darker, however, the discomfort in my ribs and side were subsiding.

By November 1, 2010 (exactly a week later) I was starting to get concerned because the spot on my back was getting increasingly darker and the marks were going from a bright purple to almost a plum purple to blackish color. Everyone I knew was urging me to go to the doctor, however, not having a job or health insurance I really couldn't afford to do so unless I just absolutely needed to.

Around November 3, 2010 (Wednesday) I started having a lot of pain in the area of where the blotch on my back was, especially around the shoulder blade and joint area, even though the mark didn't go up that far. I tried taking ibuprofen, but it wasn't doing anything. Then I happened to notice the heat from the heater in my garage made the pain feel better, so I tried a heating pad and it made the pain completely disappear.

By November 7, 2010 (Saturday) I couldn't take it anymore and let my father talk me into going into the ER. At that point I was having to sleep on the heating pad as well as use it several times throughout the day as well. This is where things got interesting...

While in the ER a student doctor came in to check me out first. I told him my symptoms, informed him there had been no injury whatsoever to my back and showed him the marks. He was baffled which didn't really surprise me. At that point he left to get another doctor. When the two of them returned I went through the same song and dance as I had with the first doctor. When the second doctor looked at my back he too was completely baffled. Now the second doctor said he had to go find yet another doctor.

By this time the first two doctors come back with a third as well as two nurses because everyone evidentially wanted to see the "mystery rash" as they had more or less deemed it. Again, I go through the same song and dance and the third doctor looks at my back and asks me again about the heating pad I had been using to which I told her it was the only thing that was getting the pain to go away. She then, with a very know-it-all attitude, claimed I had burnt myself with the heating pad. At that point i was a little annoyed because I had told the events of the previous two weeks about 18 times and she obviously hadn't listened as the mark had been there for two weeks whereas I had only been using the heating pad about the last three days. She continued to argue with me that I had burnt myself with the heating pad to which I inquired HOW I could burn myself two weeks ago with something I wasn't using at the time.

Flustered the third doctor decided she was going to go get a fourth doctor! By the time they all came back she informed me she had already explained my situation which must have been as SHE understood it because the fourth doctor looked at the marks and said he agreed, I had burnt myself with the heating pad.

Honestly, by that time I was livid because they weren't listening to me and after confirming what the previous doctor had said they both walked out leaving me with the first two doctors I had seen there. I told the two of them that I didn't agree with her as her diagnosis made NO sense whatsoever. They both agreed that they didn't think it was a burn either.

In the meantime the know-it-all came back and ordered numerous blood tests, xrays, urine test and to hydrate me (which was completely unnecessary in my opinion). The xrays showed nothing wrong, the blood test came back fine except I had a slightly high level of white blood cells and my urine was still sitting on the sink when I was discharged almost four hours later.

When I was about to be discharged the second doctor, whom agreed the diagnosis was wrong, came back to my room to give me my test results which is when he said everything looked fine except for the white blood count. He handed me some paperwork, started to walk out then stopped short to ask if I had a cough at all. I told him I had a little bit of a cough the last couple of days, but thats nothing new for me this time of year. He said he was also going to give me an antibiotic as he didn't want it to turn into pneumonia. As to where that came from or had anything to do with what I was there for is beyond me.

After he walked out I looked through the paperwork I was given and noticed I was diagnosed with Erythema Ab Igne which the accompanying print off (from eMedicine) said was also described as "toasted skin syndrome". Basically they were sticking with their theory that I had burnt myself with the heating pad as they ruled out the heater in my garage which I spend a lot of time in front of. They also stated that this Erythema Ab Igne is not accompanied by pain. Aside from that, that is all I was told and/or given. There was no mention of treatments, possible healing time etc.

But things just don't add up. This is the link to the print off I was given...

This is also a link to an album of pictures I have taken over the course of the last two weeks to document the marks. These pictures are the spitting image of the diagnosis, however, I'm concerned they're judging by looks since that is the ONLY thing that seems to fit with their diagnosis... http://s1182.photobucket.com/albums/x455/BB_curvy/BackPics/

Has anyone else had something like this appear out of the blue? Any other ideas of what could have caused this or what else it could be?

Any ideas would be appreciated because the information I'm finding doesn't make sense :confused:

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