Before I was diagnosed with HCV I had a bunch of different things going wrong with me. In late November 2009 all the lymph nodes on the back of my head swelled and were terribly itchy. It seemed to happen every time I ate, about 45 minutes after eating. Sometimes they would swell up so much I had just one huge mass of swelling on the back of my head and over my ears.
That went on until the following January. The very same day that stopped, other things started. I had crushing pain in my chest and couldn't even swallow water. I was only able to eat once every other day. I also started to get rashes that started between my fingers and over the course of a couple of hours would cover my entire body. It was hell. I lost 40 lbs in a few months.
I was referred to several specialists in an attempt to figure out what was wrong with me. I saw an internal medicine doctor who sent me for every test under the sun. Gastric emptying study, a test for cortisone somethingerother, a zillion vials of blood taken (which is how I was diagnosed with HCV), a few CT scans, MRI (one of the CT scans and the MRI while I was hospitalized briefly comtemplating whether or not they would just insert a feeding tube), upper endoscopy, Honestly, I can't even remember all the tests I had.
I was referred to a second gastro (the first one was useless) who sent me for a test to measure the contractions in my esophagus. I was then diagnosed with vigorous achalasia. This was a YEAR LATER. I lived with this crushing chest pain and not being able to swallow for a YEAR. I now take a high blood pressure med to relax my esophagus so that I can eat.
I was also referred to an immunologist who diagnosed me with dermographic urticaria.
I'm sorry for writing a novel but it is getting to my concern about interferon! ;)
This past Thursday, after getting out of the shower, I was covered in small red spots. I had a bunch in the crook of my left elbow and all over my lower legs. I swore it looked like ringworm!
So while googling ringworm images to compare my spots to pics of ringworm, I see that psoriasis looks the same. I start researching psoriasis... Damned if I don't have several symptoms of psoriasis. The ends of my fingers have had a buildup of excess skin for years. I have patches of rough skin on my elbows that never go away, no matter how much moisturizer I use. My rashes are always in the same places, my shoulder blades, lower back, inside elbows and lower legs.
Then the psoriatic arthritis... The last joint on my left pinky finger is permanently bend. This has happened over the past few years. I also had lower back pain for years, an MRI several years ago revealed some changes to my sacro joints.
Then I also read that people with psoriatic arthritis sometimes have dysphagia. My esophagus troubles?
I have never told any doctor that all of my troubles came exactly 4 weeks after I had an H1N1 shot in early November 2009. I don't want to sound like a crazy "immunizations are bad" person. ;) I've had a flu shot every year because I have type 1 diabetes (also an autoimmune disease!). Never had a problem...
So here is my question - IF I have been misdiagnosed with vigorous achalasia and dermographic urticaria, and I actually have psoriasis... This can be exacerbated by interferon treatment, correct?
At about week 20 into treatment, the itching became unbearable. I blamed the drugs... But now I am 12 weeks post early EOT and it's not getting any better, it's getting worse. The hip pain, peeling fingers, esophagus spasms, itching so bad I have to immerse my feet in ice cold water when I get home and take my shoes off... It's awful.
I have an appointment with my gastro in a week. I should probably ask him for a referral to a dermatologist.
My father has rheumatoid arthritis but I know I do not, I had some blood test that was negative for that.