Last November I almost became part of the zombie cast in The Walking Dead. This was my right hand –
And this was my right hand two days after I was admitted to the hospital –
This is my right hand today-
Not only was my right hand a mess but also my right arm, my left arm, my left hand and both legs. However, my legs were not as bad. As evidenced in the last picture, I did not cross over to the land of the zombies. I am still human with 98% of my skin cleared up.
The cause of the breakout? An unexpected allergic reaction to an antibiotic which was used to treat a staff infection.
When I was initially admitted to the hospital, I was put into quarantine as the doctors were not sure what I had contracted. The first day I was alone. I told my parents, who are 88, not to come. My youngest son was back at school and I did not have a current number for my oldest son. It was a little unsettling to be alone especially after a doctor from ICU came up to discuss the seriousness of the situation.
Yet, despite it all, I was not in pain nor was the breakout itchy nor did I feel sick. Even the ER doc mentioned she would not know I was in need of care just looking at my neck up and talking with me. I ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days, then taking medical leave for a week. I now wear a medical id necklace which lists my allergies and I carry an epi pen.
I know the main reason my attitude never faltered was because I not only felt OK, despite the way my skin looked but also because I did not fully grasp the impact of how the tide could turn causing a worse situation to occur. After numerous tests, I was diagnosed with Spencer Johnson Syndrome. Most people who contract this disease have serious complications that affect not only skin but also organs and eye sight. Because the body is burning up from the inside out, it can be life threatening. Most people also have to be admitted to a burn unit as the blistering rash is so severe it can cause 2nd – 3rd degree burns.
Luckily, even though there was talk of sending me to the burn unit, I was stabilized and my rash slowly began to improve. Today I still have a few red patches that are fading but no other symptoms or repercussions.
I will admit there were some scary moments. There were even times I cried, especially when I was under quarantine. However I once again let my faith take over as I prayed for healing. For I knew the situation was out of my control and there was nothing to be done except rest, and follow doctor’s orders. Thankfully I never lost hope which helped keep my optimism tank fueled and full.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would end 2015 with a condition that could have been fatal. I guess that is why it is important to live each day as if it is the last one. Life is so unpredictable, you never know when it will unexpectingly shake you up. Regardless, I have learned to never lose hope, to accept whatever circumstance comes my way and I am never alone when I rely on my faith.