Emily’s been very poorly for the last three weeks, which has somewhat taken away from both my desire and my time to blog. We’re still here, still home educating and still refusing to let jumped up council officials get away with ignoring statutory guidelines on home education, but obviously Emily’s health is rather higher up the priority list.
Early in the new year, Emily started to get an intermittent rash on the back of her hands. It would only ever last for a few hours at a time, and wasn’t itchy, and there would be days or even weeks between occurences. We thought it must have been a minor allergic reaction but since it vanished so quickly each time and caused no discomfort, we didn’t think much of it. Some over the counter hay fever type tablets made it vanish on the rare occasion it hung around long enough to be still in evidence when we visited a chemist.
Then about six weeks ago, she developed a couple of blisters at the base of the 3rd finger of one hand. She rides every day, and they just looked like ordinary blisters that might be caused by the reins rubbing; we got Blue new reins and Emily new gloves and again, didn’t think anything of it. But the blisters wouldn’t heal. Then about three weeks ago, the blisters suddenly started to spread, very gradually across the rest of her hands – tiny little blisters on her fingers mostly. A chemist recommended some hydrocortisone cream and said it was an allergy; we used the cream for a few days, and lo and behold the situation got much worse, with splitting, bleeding, sore skin and more spreading blisters. Emily stopped using hand washes and things like that, and we bought dermatological soap-free stuff, but that changed nothing.
And so to the GP. They said it looked like pompholyx eczema – and indeed it did. Doc prescribed a stronger steroid ointment, warned that it could take several weeks to clear up, and sent us away telling us to come back if it got worse. It certainly got worse. At some points in the last couple of weeks, it’s been too painful for Emily to even hold a pen or type; she hasn’t been able to ride very much as she can only hold the reins for 15 minutes or so at a time; it’s been very miserable and painful for her. Early last week we noticed that she had blisters and red blotches on her feet. This type of eczema affects the feet as well as the hands, so that wasn’t a complete surprise, albeit a very unwelcome development. But then suddenly, the blisters mostly vanished and were replaced by large red raised blotches, which then began to spread up Emily’s legs and onto her wrists. I called the GP; they called me back five minutes later and told me to take her there immediately.
To cut this long story short, the GP was slightly baffled by the change. He called for second opinion from a colleague, who was also baffled. They now don’t think it’s pompholyx – they think it’s an autoimmune disorder of some kind, especially considering Emily had unexplained alopecia a few years ago. They did some blood tests there and then, during which Emily nearly collapsed 😦 We’ve now got to wait a week for the blood results. In the meantime, they’re trying another type of steroid cream and some oral tablets. It’s very, very worrying now and very distressing for Emily. None of the disorders they’re testing for are remotely fun. Our poor baby girl 😦
I hadn’t posted any of this out of respect for Emily’s privacy – however, she wanted me to post this. Emily also wants me to post some pictures from our days out over the last six weeks or so, so I’ll do that in the next post.